The Red Army on a Peace Footing

Orders, Circulars, Telegrams, etc.

Order No.264

By the Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic to the Army Units Taking Part in the Inspection, September 12, 1921, No.264, Koyuzhany station

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

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Comrade Red Army men! After I had inspected your praiseworthy ranks I was unable on that occasion to speak to you to convey my greetings. You were present in too great numbers, and regrouping would inevitably have imposed delay and fatigue on you. At the time, a cold prevented me from speaking to you in such a way as to be heard by all, or, at any rate, most of you. I resorted, in those circumstances, to an exceptional measure: gathering the commanders and commissars around me and asking them to convey my greetings to you and to explain two points to you, firmly and distinctly.

First despite the howls of our enemies, our manoeuvres are being carried out for purposes of training and education. It is a lie that we are going to attack somebody. This is refuted by our entire past. But if some adventurers in the service of foreign capital and in alliance with Russian bourgeois-and-landlord reaction should conclude from the fact of these manoeuvres that we are an unconquerable power – well, so much the better for the cause of peace, so much the better for both sides.

Secondly, the commanders and commissars discussed carefully and attentively, at today’s meeting under my chairmanship, all the shortcomings, mistakes and defects that came to light during the manoeuvres. We speak of these shortcomings with all the greater frankness because, by and large, our Red units have taken, in the past year, by the common testimony of those who participated in the analysis, an immense step forward. It would, however, be impermissible to remain at the stage we have reached. We must progress further and further, raising the level of tactical training of Red Army men and commanders, improving the supply apparatus, the organs of political education, and so on.

I have no doubt that by the time the next inspection comes round we shall have taken another and no less decisive step forward. Once more, I regret that I was not able to voice these thoughts personally, before all of you.

Long live the Red Army!

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Last updated on: 28.12.2006