THE MILITARY WRITINGS OF LEON TROTSKY
Volume 3: 1920
The Southern Front
The Fight Against Wrangel
To the War Department and the People’s Commissariat of Transport, October 14, No.247, Kharkov
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While the majority of the railway workers of the Ukraine are honestly doing their duty to the republic of the working people and helping the Red Army in its fight against the last enemy, Baron Wrangel, a counter-revolutionary minority of railway workers are helping in every way the enemies of the working class – Wrangel, Petlyura and the numerous Ukrainian bandits.
Extermination of the bandits is a necessary condition for the survival, development and economic advance of the Ukrainian Republic. This task would have been accomplished long ago if the bandits had not had their agents among the railwaymen, who maintain communication between them, give them warning of danger, notify them of trains carrying army supplies, and help them to destroy the permanent way and blow up bridges.
Now, when the majority of the peasant population of the Ukraine is rallying under the banner of the Soviet power, against the kulaks and bandits, the time has come to purge the railways of Petlyurist agents.
I hereby order that:
- All unreliable stretches of the railways are to be put under the control of railway military units.
- All railway workers found guilty of giving direct or indirect help to bandits, of committing acts adverse to the safeguarding of railway property, or of failing to warn neighbouring stations and defence organs, are to be punished like bandits, in accordance with martial law.
- Those railwaymen who, although they have not committed actual crimes, are nevertheless conspicuous for their general lack of discipline and of concern for the needs of the Red Army, and for the contemptuous attitude to their responsibilities towards public property, are to be transferred from the Ukrainian lines to the Murmansk and Northern lines and to those in the Urals and Siberia, and their places taken by disciplined and conscious transport workers.
- All organs and institutions of the Transport Commissariat and the War Department are to work hand in hand with the local soviet, trade-union and Party organisations to combat disruptors of transport among the railway workers themselves.
The ulcer of treason must be cauterised with a red-hot iron.
Last updated on: 26.12.2006