The Red Army on a Peace Footing

Speeches, Articles, Reports


To the Eleventh Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks), March 29, 1922 [1]

Comrades, you have asked for a report on the Red Army. I shall be very brief, both because I can add nothing to the report which I gave to the Ninth Congress of Soviets and also for the practical reason that we have not much time left today. The year which has elapsed since the Tenth Party Congress can be divided, so far as the Red Army is concerned, into two parts: before the Ninth Congress of Soviets, approximately, and since then. This year was, in its first half, a very hard one for us: a period of demobilisation, contraction, reorganisation. Furthermore, the reorganisation, demobilisation and contraction of the army’and here I touch upon the principal practical question about which, I think, we are going to ask you, through the conference of military delegates, to give a definite decision’took place in several stages, in four main phases. Contraction, amputation, is a surgical operation, and a rather serious one. But if you cut off a man’s leg in four stages’first the foot, then up to the knee, then above the knee’this operation will, of course, be very much more serious and painful. Influenced by objective conditions, the uncertainty of the situation, and in part also by our own mistakes, we carried out the contraction of the army during this year in a series of jolts’first, a few hundred thousand, then another few hundred thousand and so on. An army is a complex organism, and the more organised, the more properly structured it is, the greater is the internal proportionality established between its different parts. I should be in error if I were to say that we have already achieved such complete, ideal proportionality. The army is far from having reached organisational perfection, but it is already a properlystructured organism. Given its present reduced numbers and comparative organisational orderliness, every fresh contraction is not a mere mechanical amputation but a complex business of taking both from the rear services and from the active units while striving to maintain a certain degree of internal proportionality. That is why, in the course of this year, we have announced establishments A, B, C, and so on, and why the military workers in the localities have expressed bitter resentment against their own centre, which has not given them straight away a programme for reducing and reorganising the Red Army, and consequently has made it necessary to carry out these painful operations.

Can we reduce our Red Army still further? I do not regard this as being absolutely out of the question. It depends on circumstances’partly on how circumstances and events take shape this spring. This spring is, for many reasons, going to be an uneasy time for us, especially on the Western and Southern fronts. But there can be no doubt that, given the appropriate policy on the part or neighbours and their protectors, it will remain possible to effect a further reduction in the size of the Red Army.

It has to be said, however, that this further reduction will need to be carried out on the basis of a firm programme. Give us, as soon as conditions have settled down somewhat, a firm figure’say, that the Red Army must be reduced by half (which I consider impossible at present) or by one-third, or by one-tenth, but these reductions will have to be effected over a more or less lengthy period, over the rest of 1922, that is, in the next nine months. What weighs most heavily upon the army is the uncertainty, the indefiniteness of this reorganisation and continual regrouping. It makes it difficult to achieve stability in relations and regularity in study.

The second question is the question of our budget. Comrade Lenin said here that we must make sacrifices for the Red Army, but strictly defined ones. That is a correct view. We are poor. Our sacrifices for the Red Army can only be limited in amount. But, in defining what these limited sacrifices are to be, we need to establish a firm budget. We must get away from the traditions of 1918, 1919, 1920 and even 1921, when, as need arose, we gave to the Red Army, then took from it, then gave to it again. The budget must be fixed at a definite amount. The army must be matched with the military budget and the military budget with the army, that is, with its size. A firm size and a firm budget. Otherwise, comrades, we shall not raise the army to a higher level: and if we were faced with the necessity of choosing because of the difficult material situation, between making a considerable reduction in the army, with a firm budget, and keeping the army at its present size, but with an undefined budget, then I, personally, should vote even for a very considerable reduction in the army, but with a firm budget.

I said that it will be possible to reduce the size of the army, depending on the international situation; but this will also depend to a considerable extent on the way that we ourselves use the army. If we are to reduce the army we cannot go on overburdening it with fatigues. This, comrades, is the most serious problem in the life of our army, which affects its training, education and organisational cohesion. The army is overburdened with fatigues. This is due to the entire nature of our epoch and the entire development of the army. But we have entered a period of planned construction’because, while, in the economic sphere, we are obliged to manoeuvre actively in the market, in the military sphere it is now possible for us to undertake systematic, planned constructive work, and proper, well-prepared study, and we must say to you that systematic constructive work calls for discontinuance of that way of using the Red Army – unavoidable in the past, but wrong today – which is expressed in turning a disproportionate part of the army into guards for various sorts of government property, freights and so on. With our communications and our distances, jobs of escorting and transporting freight mean that Red Army men are detached from their units for months on end, and these units are practically destroyed. A Red Army man costs the state too much in the role of a mere watchman. These guard duties must be reduced to the minimum, the real minimum, and the departments that despatch freight must go over to forming special escort-teams made up of a small number of qualified persons trained for this work. That will be more economic in every way. This question, at first sight purely technical, is, with the reduction in the army’s size, a question of life and death for it.

Our present numbers had, by March 1, not yet, alas, been brought down completely to the level which the relevant state decisions assigned to us. We receive for the army, for the GPU units, for the task-forces of the People’s Commissariat of Justice, for the Navy and so on, a total of 1,616,000 rations. Our numbers stood, on March 1 at 1,640,000 that we had fallen short of that norm by 25,000 [sic]. It has to be said that, in carrying out this great contraction we have reduced the active units, that is, the divisions, to less than a third and the rear services to one-eighth of their previous size. If you take the tables which show how this total of 1,640,000 men is made up, you will see, first and foremost, those constituent elements which are not subject to any further change. The universal military training apparatus has been cut down by 10,000 rations. Voices have been raised saying that the universal military training apparatus is being abolished. I regard it as my duty to deny that, categorically. We are reducing the size of the army, and, given favourable conditions, we shall reduce it still further, and so we shall have all the more need to develop pre-call-up training. That is, of course, not a task for the univeral military training apparatus alone; it is a responsibility of the local soviet and other organisations, especially as regards sport, as a form of physical education of young people. But it is necessary to retain the basic elements of the universal military training organisation, so as subsequently to be able to strengthen and expand it. The Navy accounts for 35,000 men. We do not see how we could make any further reduction there in the immediate future. We have cut the Navy’s numbers down to the minimum. In recent months our young Red Navy has experienced a revival, encouraged by the attention paid to it by the Party and by the Soviet Republic, in the person of the Ninth Congress of Soviets. The navy, I repeat, has been reduced to the ultimate limit. While our army approximates in size to that of pre-revolutionary Russia, the Navy has been reduced to a fraction of what it was. But it has received an influx of youthful forces from the Young Communist League, and is training a fresh complement of seamen, including naval commanders, through the naval training establishments, in which a fresh wind now blows. That figure of 35,000 is the minimum which we must preserve if we do not want to write the Navy off; and to do that does not in the least follow from our situation – we have coasts, maritime approaches to our country, and danger exists. We need a small, purely defensive, but single-minded and well-united navy.

Among the 1,600,000 there are included 101,000 transients, itinerants, nomadic elements. Here, besides a certain unavoidable ebb and flow due to the army’s internal life, we find tens of thousands of vagabonds in the shape of men returning from escort duty, who have been travelling for months, owing to the grave state of transport’and this is an element that constitutes a heavy burden upon our army.

The material situation of the army’roughly since the last Congress of Soviets, and even a little earlier’has improved. It would be false optimism to say that it is satisfactory in all respects, and still more so to say that it is good. This I state at an open session of the Congress, and I think that to do so can cause us no harm; our military situation is sufficiently sound for us not to be afraid of speaking openly of the difficult aspects of the army’s position. There has undoubtedly been an improvement in all forms of supply, but the situation is still not satisfactory. I do not fear to say this openly because our adversaries and enemies, who appreciate the position, must draw from it the conclusion that the overall situation of the country and the army (even if all other considerations are left out of account) excludes the possibility of any warlike endeavours on our part. But, at the same time, the improved situation of the army, and its morale, which all the data available and all the checks carried out show to be fully satisfactory, and even considerably better than before, render successful defence completely possible, completely attainable.

In this army there are about 80,000 Communists. Their number has now increased and is increasing, in connection with the influx of youngsters born in 1899, 1900 and 1901. [2]

Where these young people are concerned we, as the War Department, are having to fight with other departments, institutions and so on, because everybody wants to have young Communists, and that is quite natural. However, Jam firmly of the opinion that when we conscript young Communists belonging to age-groups whose members have, in general, already been conscripted, exemptions, postponements and so on must be kept to the most minimal minimum, both in the interests of the army and for the sake of educating and tempering the young Communists themselves. I must say, though, that, as well as the great joy naturally felt by our units and by the responsible military workers at the infusion of fresh, red, Communist blood into units from which the outflow of Communists has been very large’as well as this rejoicing, complaints are also heard that a certain percentage of these youngsters do not at all constitute a best-quality, first-rate element. [A voice from the seats: ‘The majority of them.’]

I am sure that you are very much mistaken, comrade. It is not true that the majority of these young Communists entering the army are not first-rate. The young people entering units of the army have to adjust themselves, have to find their feet in them, and they are not entering the units under fire, in the way that we used to do in 1918-1920, but in comparatively peaceful circumstances of barrack life. They come in with certain ideological pretensions, because they have already, in some cases, been doing quite responsible Soviet work. They have to get used to the circumstances of the army. But a certain percentage are undoubtedly not very suitable, there is a percentage of waste material, and I think that if we are to be serious about the question of purging the Party, and if, when it comes to renewing the forces of our party, we stake our hopes on the youth, it would be a very good thing if we were firmly to decide to put all our young people through the Red Army.

When I said, yesterday, that for us the task of Party education consists in infusing the youth, by theoretical means, with the experience that we have accumulated, I received a note, sent up, I suppose, by one of our young guests who is studying at a Workers’ Faculty [3]: ‘Why, then, do you demand that conscription by extended to Workers’ Faculties?’ For this reason, because I consider that the Workers’ Faculty is not the only school where the Party can hand onto the youth its experience, in the broad sense of that word. I consider that the army, too, is for the Communists of our Soviet Republic a school wherein the Party can imbue our worker and peasant youth with its moral tempering, its spirit of self-sacrifice, its sense of discipline: that is why I shall go on haggling and haggling with our respected comrade Mikhail Nikolayevich Pokrovsky over these same young workers and peasants. People ask: who are we going to train as engineers? There will, of course, be some delay in qualifying, but I consider that a Red engineer who has spent two years in a Red barracks will be twice as valuable to us, because he will be a militant Communist and a tempered worker.

I have here a very interesting report received from the Party commission in the 44th (Kiev) Division. I received this report only yesterday, and read it avidly, as I read all documents in which there are facts and figures depicting the internal life of the army and the country. It contains complaints about a section of these young people, and emphasises that the purging of the Communist elements in the army, together with the general Party purge, is not over yet. It is now being given a more planned, more organised character. I will read what they say.

’We had, principally, to expel those of the young Communists born in 1899-1901 who, when called up into the Red Army and serving with our division, revealed all the negative qualities characteristic of self-seekers and deserters ...’: and, later: ‘The experience accumulated by the divisional Party commission in the first three months of its work shows that the period of purging is far from over. At present, to an even greater extent than during the purge (especially in the army), a major re-grouping of forces is still going on, with expulsion from the vanguard of the most cowardly and unreliable elements, and drawing into it from the reserves the elements which are most conscious, revolutionary and devoted to the proletarian revolution.’ That is true.

In this connection the question arises of how to educate the worker and peasant youth in the army. And I take note here of an ever larger number of speakers from the floor who call for a much more concrete presentation of this matter of educating the youth’not only the Communist youth, but the elements in the Red Army generally. There can be no doubt that, in the first period, we undertook tasks, in all spheres of training and education, pedagogics both military and otherwise, that were very broad’too broad, unrealisable at present’of universal, all-embracing education. That is, unfortunately, not yet within our power. If you look, from this angle, at our Political Directorate of the Revolutionary War Council, you will see that its programmes are too universal in scope, and therefore, in practice, amount to repeating commonplaces, which say nothing either to the mind or to the heart of the worker or of the peasant who has been taken from his village and put in the ranks of the army. We need to start out, in the barracks, from the fact that the peasant has become a soldier. Why? For what reason? This is the basic fact; this is a new epoch in his life, and this is where we must start’not with the aim of turning a 19 or 20 year old peasant into an ideal Communist by means of an abstract, ideal programme of education: that will not succeed. We have to explain to the young fellow from Saratov or Penza whom the workers’ state has taken from his village and put into a regiment and who wants, first and foremost, to understand just why this has happened, and to do this concretely, simply, politically, and not ‘pedagogically’. It is said quite correctly in the interesting booklet written by Comrade Perepechko, the commissar of the 27th Division, that we must by no means let ourselves be carried away by universal Communist pedagogics into trying at once to turn a young Red Army man into a Communist: and Perepechko deplores the fact that this universality takes, more often than not, the form of abstract verbiage.

At the same time, he raises another question: the role of administrative and educational influence on our young Red Army man.

At present we are going through what is, in the fullest sense, a new epoch in the life of our Red Army. Previously, there was the epoch of battles, when we plucked the Red Army man straight from his village, gave him a weapon’sometimes as he boarded the train, sometimes his weapons travelled separately, and we armed him when he left the train: he spent two or three weeks, or just a week, in a holding unit, and then, inasmuch as he had, all unprepared, to be thrown into the firing line, the iron net of discipline was brought down upon him, in the shape of the commissars, the tribunal, the battle-police and so on. To be sure, we carried on a campaign of agitation, when we could, but hastily, under fire, under a pressure of 100 atmospheres. Today we live in stationary quarters, and this circumstance makes possible and offers a different way of approaching the Red Army man. Comrade Perepechko is right when he says that purely administrative measures can only drive the Red Army man’s peasant prejudices inward, but it is much more difficult to bring him one step nearer to Communism by means of educational work. This is made difficult also by old habits, and it is especially difficult because of the army’s poverty in Communist forces.

If I am the only commissar in a regiment, without the assistants I need at lower levels, then I, being absolutely deprived of the possibility of getting to know all of my men, am obliged to issue orders of a summary, too general character, and this inevitably entails bureaucratism. For bureaucratism means an approach which is not practical and concrete but formal: dealing not with the substance of a matter but with circulars and bits of paper. A commissar is the less able to pay practical attention to things, the fewer the number of mature Communists there are in his unit. From this we arrive at the conclusion that, without a good section-leader who is at once a commander and an educator, we shall not advance the Red Army man to a new, higher level in his military and political qualities. In this matter, all our work is now focused on the task of creating a good Soviet, Red section-leader, well-grounded in all respects.

What percentage of section-leaders will be Party members, Communists, is something we shall not pre-judge today. But a section-leader, even if he be not a party member, must personify the commander who knows how his section has to fight and for what it has to go into action. Then our section will be strong, and the army is built of sections: the section is its basic cell. In the old army the section-leaders were NCOs. We have abandoned this rank, because for us there are not and cannot be two storeys of commanding personnel: our Red officer has to begin his career as a section-leader. This question may at first sight seem to you, comrades, to be one of secondary importance, but I think that I shall be voicing the opinion of all the military workers here present if I say that this is one of the most important tasks before our Party’to educate a real cadre of section-leaders, who are the foundation of the entire command structure of the Red Army.

If we have a section-leader who is politically educated, within the limits of his task, and is well-trained in the military sense, he will be a fully-finished junior leader. Thereby, the education of the peasant and worker youth in the army will acquire an indispensable lever. We already have more than one case of a Communist commissar at the head of a regiment who has several thousand men before him and few assistants at lower level, but who has a proper system of education based upon section-leaders each of whom knows every one of his Red Army men and is able to talk to him. This opens the way to one-man command in the army. There can at present be no question of abolishing regimental commissars, even where, for example, the regimental commander is a Communist. Why not? Because, it is said, the purely educational-political work to be done is too great. Correct. But when we create a cadre of fully conscious Soviet section-leaders and platoon-commanders, this duality in organisation will swiftly wither away, and we shall go over to complete one-man command, from top to bottom.

There is now a very great striving to learn. This is, in general, a most gratifying symptom in the life of our country. The young people want to learn. When some Workers’ Faculty students jib at being conscripted, this is not at all because they do not want to go into the army, but simply because they are getting their teeth into learning, into scientific work. I have observed this also from private examples, from examples in my own family: all the facts show that the young people are now very keen to study. This is a very important symptom. If we again look back and consider how many forces we spent unnecessarily in our struggle, how many mistakes we committed in all spheres, owing to our lack of preparation, it will be clear that this striving to study is the youth’s reaction to the experience gone through in recent years. This striving must be supported at all costs. Upon it we can build everything – both the economy and the army. The army is now in a privileged position, it is not active but is engaged, precisely, in studying, whereas the economy has to be transformed into a field of battle. Even six months ago this striving to study was not so marked. In the army, on the contrary, an uncritical idealisation of the previous period was still alive, with condescending contempt for bourgeois military science.

Not so long ago! had a big discussion in our military academy with General Staff students, young cadets at the General Staff Academy, when I expounded some rather elementary but very important truths: ‘Learning is light, ignorance is darkness’; ‘Measure seven times, then cut once’; it is not enough to have a broad conception, you have to have the correct methods for putting it into execution, right down to a good, clear distinctlytranscribed order, in which times and places are not garbled; you have to establish communications under difficult conditions; and soon and so forth. I pointed out that our main task is to learn, and to learn to be precise, and conscientious where trifles are concerned. A comrade then arose and, with the sympathy of a considerable section of the audience, accused me of nothing more nor less than this, that generally speaking, I value competence more than reliability. As Communists, he said, we possess the important quality, namely, reliability, and that is the quality for a commander, whereas competence is a quality of secondary importance: Trotsky, however, puts competence above reliability. This way of posing the question is in the highest degree absurd, all the more so because the discussion was taking place in an educational institution, which was created for the purpose of educating people in competence. But, six months ago, that attitude still met with a certain sympathy even in the General Staff Academy. Go there today -they are working well. They do not always eat well, alas, which sometimes hinders them in their work, for they must become the flower of our army ... I repeat: they are working.

Today there is less and less of that denigration of bourgeois science or bourgeois strategy on the grounds that we, as it was said, have invented a new strategy. That sort of talk was very much in evidence not so long ago. There was an uncritical idealisation of our past. None of us in this hail is going, of course, to repudiate our glorious past struggle on the fronts of the civil war, the achievements of the Red Army, the heroism of the Communists, workers and peasants, that was shown in that struggle. But, comrades, I regard it as my duty to say that to idealise this past as a whole would be a very big mistake on our part. We were very clumsy and ignorant in military matters, we squandered a huge quantity of forces precisely because we were clumsy and ignorant. When they say that we have created a new, proletarian strategy, I reply: no, that is not yet true. Up to now we have not created a new strategy. What was shown in our battles was the very great enthusiasm and self-sacrifice of the working class, who taught the peasants to form a centralised army, for by themselves, the peasants, when they tried to assert their independence, never got beyond guerrilla-ism. The peasant either gets saddled by the nobles and landlords, or he follows the lead of the advanced worker, as that of an elder comrade. That was what we demonstrated, and it is an historical fact of immense significance. If, however, we review the entire history of our fights on all fronts, we see great upsurges of heroism, but also very great retreats, recoils over hundreds of versts, which testify to what? To the fact that, in this flood, in these upsurges, the necessary controlling centres were lacking, there were not enough firm, reliable cadres, not sufficient military culture. We shall not repudiate the proletarian selfsacrifice, the precious qualities that were revealed in the revolution, and especially in the civil war, by the advanced workers and peasants, but we must supplement that by developing centres of control, that is, of better orientation, better security, better communication: by learning when it is necessary both to retreat and to advance; we must create conditions that will ensure that the army will have control of itself in all circumstances, will orientate itself and act with knowledge of why it is doing what it is doing. Only by raising the quality of the army as a whole, and especially of its commanders, starting at the lowest level, that is, by creating good section-leaders, shall we take a real step forward.

I must say that the army’s ideological life, in the sphere of purely military questions, is now developing to a remarkable extent. Commanders are getting closer to politics, and political workers closer to military matters. That is extremely valuable, and we shall do all we can to support and develop it.

The stirring of interest in military questions has already given rise to some theoretical disputes. This is due, as I see it, to the fact that, as soon as work of theoretical generalisation and drawing of conclusions began, that uncritical idealisation of our past at once also rose to the surface and sought theoretical expression. I shall not deal in detail with this question here. Whoever is interested in knowing more about it should be so good as to acquaint himself with our literature on the subject, or come to tomorrow’s conference of military workers, 21 where we shall discuss and, maybe, argue, among members of the department, but which, of course, any delegate may freely attend. I will say here, briefly, just this, that what is at issue is the so-called ‘unified military doctrine’ which is supposed to be the generalisation of a new revolutionary strategy and tactics. With this unified military doctrine is associated military-production propaganda. Note that, if you please: ‘military-production’. For a long time I scratched my head trying to think what military-production propaganda might mean. But, on inquiring, I discovered that this was an expression which had already become almost established, and must mean military propaganda, propaganda of military knowledge. This striving for stunning terminology is observable especially among those comrades who uncritically idealise the past, find in it what was not there, sometimes fail to notice what was there, and cover up the gaps in their ideas with luxuriant expressions. They remind me of a seminary-student I knew long ago, who was infatuated with learning, and for this reason never called a rake anything but, Latinically, a ‘rakus’. [4] But what we must do is not that, but, rather, try to express abstruse things in simple language, and bring them down to the level of the sectionleader, and through him to the mass of the Red Army men.

I am afraid that the Ukrainian commanders, at their last conference (I am very sorry that Comrade Frunze, who has been taken ill, is not present here: he has a high temperature) I am afraid, I repeat, that some of the Ukrainian comrades have, in their resolutions, rallied too strongly to the military doctrine, idealising the past, and have made too many concessions to that same Comrade Rakus. But we will talk about that in more detail tomorrow. I hope to show that the heralds of the new unified military doctrine are at fault not only because they formulate wrongly the general tasks of strategy and tactics but, principally, because they distract their own attention and other people’s from the very important, even though crude, empirical, practical and partial tasks which go to make up the real culture of the Red Army.

This is today the heart of the matter in all spheres. We shall raise the level of the army today, in the present period of its history, not by reiterating the idea that proletarian strategy is better than bourgeois strategy but by ensuring that the soldier receives the elements of military-cultural education. Let’s see to it that the soldier is free from lice. This is an immense and most important task of education, for what is needed here is persistence, indefatigability and firmness in freeing masses of men, by means of example and repetition, from the slovenliness in which they have grown up and which has eaten into them. For the soldier who has lice is only half a soldier. His attention is divided, his will-power is enfeebled, and, not realising this, he feels himself constrained. And, as for illiteracy, that is spiritual lousiness. We must liquidate it for sure by May 1, and thereafter continue this work with unrelenting intensity. And believe me, comrades, on the day that our army becomes free from lousiness both physical and spiritual, when all the Red Army men are clean and literate, our army will at once rise two heads higher, regardless of the invention of new and ultra-new doctrines, military production propagandas, and other ‘rakuses’.

There, comrades, is, essentially, all that I can tell you today. Summing up, I will reduce everything to four points which are linked together in unity. First, we need to have a firm figure laid down for the army’s size. May the new Central Committee which you will elect help the Soviet Government, in accordance with the entire situation that will take shape in the course of the coming spring, to lay down a firm figure for the army’s size, so that we may say to the military workers: within the limits of this firm framework, build, organise, train, improve.

Secondly, we need a firm budget’let it be meagre and reduced, but firm. Whatever is lacking will be supplemented by our patrons: the patronage system has wholly justified itself. I warn you: we are keeping lists of all executive committees, at province and uyezd level, recording everything, missing nothing out, and we shall know which patrons are doing what they should and which are not. I shall not at present reveal to you this confidential information that we possess, so that the backward ones may have a chance to pull themselves together and draw level with the front runners. [A voice: ‘But who are the front-runners?’]

The palm must, of course, go to Moscow. I shall not name any others today, so as not to give rise to any competition here. [A voice: ‘That would be useful.’] That would be useful, but I am afraid that, through speaking from memory, I might express insufficiently grounded judgments and evaluations of particular provinces or uyezds. And that would be harmful. But, in due course, we shall report on this matter, have no doubt of that ... So, then, a firm figure for the army’s size, and a firm budget. Further, reduction in the excessive outside duties imposed on the army. That will make concentrated and conscientious study fully possible. Finally, help us to educate the section-leaders. If I were to be asked today to define in one sentence the course that the War Department is following, I should say that we are now setting our course not towards the unified military doctrine, not towards the proletarian strategy, not towards commanders of genius with great plans in their heads, but towards a good, sound, efficient section-leader well educated and trained both militarily and politically.

Stenographic report of the Eleventh Congress of the RCP(B)


1. The Eleventh Congress of the Russian Communist Party was held between March 27 and April 2, 1922. During the congress, a conference of military delegates was held, which passed a number of resolutions about the Red Army. In a resolution adopted by the Congress in connection with the resolutions of the military delegates’ conference, mention was made of the need to lay down a definite strength for the army in 1922, to establish a fixed budget, determined in accordance with the strength of the army and the demands of military technique, and to reduce decisively the extraneous duties which imposed an excessive burden on the army. The Congress also confirmed the mobilisation of Communists of the 1899, 1900 and 1901 age groups.

2. At the beginning of 1922, after the demobilisation of the older age-groups from the Red Army, it became necessary to strengthen the army’s ranks with Communists and members of the Young Communist League. There was a call-up of some of the members and candidates for membership of the RCP belonging to the 1899, 1900 and 1901 classes. About 20,000 men were added to the army by this call-up.

3. The Workers’ Faculties (Rabfaks) were special university courses for workers who lacked the usual previous education. They were founded in 1920 by M.N. Pokrovsky, Deputy Commissar for Education.

4. In the original, for grabli the seminarist said grablius: neither the Russian word nor its English equivalent is derived from Latin.

1 1

Last updated on: 28.12.2006