The Military Writings of
Leon Trotsky

Volume 2, 1919

How the Revolution Armed

The Fight for Petrograd

ORDER No.169

By the Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic and People’s Commissar for Military and naval Affairs to the train of the Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic, November 4, 1919, No.169, Petrograd

Transcribed and HTML markup for the Trotsky Internet Archive by David Walters

* * *

The last weeks of October and the beginning of November will enter forever into history: in those days the Seventh Army, shoulder to shoulder with the workers of Petrograd, defended Red Petrograd against the White-Guard vultures.

The workers of our train took a worthy part in the heroic struggle of the Seventh Army between October 17 and November 3. Comrades Kleiger, Ivanov and Zastar were killed in action. Comrades Prede, Draudin, Purin, Chernyavtsev, Kupriyevich and Tesnek were wounded and Comrades Adam son, Purin and Kiselis shell-shocked. There was not one among the staff of the train who wavered a hair’s breadth in carrying out his revolutionary and military duty. I do not mention the rest by name because I should have to name all of them. The workers of our train played an important part in bringing about the turn that took place at the front.

I firmly believe that these latest trials, battles and sacrifices, which have led to a glorious victory, will bind still closer the brotherhood in arms of our train, which has now served for fifteen months the cause of victory for the working class over all its enemies. [84]


84. Comrade Trotsky’s train was organised during the night of August 7-8, 1918, in Moscow, and at dawn set off for Sviyazhsk, on the Czechoslovak front. Already in 1918 the train constituted a mobile apparatus of administration. It was equipped with its own printing plant, telegraph, wireless, electric power station, library, garage and bath-house. This train, which organised will-power and brought victory with it, would appear at critical moments at key sectors of the front. During Yudenich’s October offensive the train was sent to Petrograd. Out of its personnel was formed a crew for the armoured train named after Lenin, and a commando which was incorporated in a Red Army unit in the Ligovo area. For its participation in these battles the train was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. In the course of the civil war the train made 36 runs, covering a total distance of 97,629 versts.

return return

Last updated on: 23.12.2006