The Military Writings of
Leon Trotsky

Volume 2, 1919

How the Revolution Armed


II. Commanders and Commissars

ORDER No.118

By the Chairman of the Revolutionary War Councd of the Republic and People’s Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs, June 27, 1919, No.118, Voronezh

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

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I have frequently received requests from instructors who have recently been mobilised, asking that they be released and returned to the place where they were previously serving. These requests usually include a statement that the Soviet Republic will go to wrack and ruin if the given mobilised instructor be not returned to the place where he was previously serving. Such requests and solicitations are out of place and essentially indecent. Every one of us, that is, above all, every Red Army man, would very much rather be working as a peaceful shepherd, blacksmith, weaver or turner and thereby contributing to promote the welfare and development of our country and of all mankind. But the predatory bourgeois enemy is trying to seize the workers’ and peasants’ country by the throat and strangle it. Under these conditions every peaceful worker is obliged to defend the freedom, independence and future prospects of the worling people. The mobilised instruc tors must show an example of courage and staunchness in the struggle, and not try to shirk performance of their burdensome but inescapable military duties.

I issue this warning: let nobody send me any more such requests, or I will publish the names of those concerned for everyone to see, as the names of citizens who are trying to become legalised deserters.

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Last updated on: 18.12.2006