Various Subjects

Our Task In The Fourth Year

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

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The third anniversary finds the Red Army, as before, in the thick of battle. We have created, amid flame and smoke, a centralised apparatus of military administration, trained substantial cadres of new commanding personnel, and become more experienced, sounder and stronger. But the Red Army is still far from being what it must become.

Up to now we have developed mainly in breadth, but henceforth we must develop in depth. Up to now we have required, in the main, quantity, but henceforth we must learn to require quality. The fourth year must bring us into a new period of army-building. We must reduce the ‘tail’ and increase the number of fighting men at the expense of the number of auxiliaries. The infantry, the principal mass of the army must be raised to a higher level. Every infantryman must undergo instruction, in a training unit at the very least. The holding brigades must become exemplary schools of military education and training. Work on the command courses must be developed and deepened. They must give us Red commanders who have been prepared theoretically and practically. Our masses of cavalry must be subjected to careful selection and education. The army’s technical units must be brought into line with the latest conclusions of military science.

The proletarian revolution has still not won final victory throughout the world. There will therefore be much work for the Red Army to do in the future. Developing in depth, improving in quality, rising to a higher level – that is the programme for the fourth year!

October 15, 1920

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Last updated on: 27.12.2006