The Red Army on a Peace Footing

Speeches, Articles, Reports


At the Parade on Red Square, February 23, 1922

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

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I greet you on the fourth anniversary of the existence, the struggle and the triumph of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army.

Unlike other armies, we were created, built and trained directly under fire, on the battlefield, and our learning was won at the cost of very grave sacrifices made by our valiant Red Army, in the North, South, East and West.

Three years were spent in unremitting struggle to defend and strengthen the workers’ and peasants’ Soviet Republic. And if sometimes we lacked skill and knowledge, we made up for these deficiencies with heroism, courage, and the blood of the best sons of our country.

When we look to the West and to the East we say to ourselves, even now, that danger has not yet passed, for power is still held by the bourgeoisie throughout the world. True, it has learnt to fear us, but it will never cease to fight against us and to hate us.

Our duty, comrade Red Army men, commanders and commissars, is to make use of the period we are now living through to develop and strengthen ourselves further. In future we must win our victories with fewer losses. The fifth year will therefore be a year of untiring, intense study. Every Red Army man must be literate by May 1. We give a solemn promise to achieve that. By May 1 there will not be a single illiterate Red Army man in Russia! At the same time we must raise the level of political consciousness of every Red Army man.

The Red Army is strong today, but in a year’s time it will be even stronger, because it will be better able to master the art of war.

In the fifth year, every day will be a day for study, a day of progress by the Red Army.

You will hear today the greetings of comrades who have come here from Western Europe for the meetings of the Comintern and the Profintern. We say to them that we have been waiting four years for the day when the red flag of the people will be raised over their countries and over the whole world, freed from capitalist oppression... We are waiting, and we believe that this hope will soon be realised.

The Red Army and, in the first place, the glorious garrison of Moscow, stands always ready to leave its peacetime quarters for the field of battle, ready to give its life for the existence of our Soviet republic and for the creation of Soviet Republics throughout the world.

Long live Workers’ and Peasants’ Russia!

Long live the world working class!

Long live the coming federation of workers’ and peasants’ Soviet Republics of the whole world!

Izvestiya V. Ts.I.K.
February 24, 1922, No.44

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Last updated on: 28.12.2006