The Red Army on a Peace Footing

Orders, Circulars, Telegrams, etc.


To the Editorial Board of the Military-Scientific Journal of the Eleventh Petrograd Infantry Division

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

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Dear Comrades! Please allow me, instead of writing an article, to express some ideas about the military-scientific journal which you have undertaken to produce. I presume that you do not intend to bring out a military publication of a general character, that is, one in which all the theoretical and practical problems of war would be studied in their general state-wide and even world-wide dimensions. It would, of course, be impossible to bring out such a journal with the resources of a division. Given the youth of the Red Army and the insufficient number of theoretically and practically prepared workers in its ranks, we could produce a military-scientific journal really capable of illuminating all questions of army-building only on a state-wide basis.

A military-scientific journal at divisional level can be useful, and even very useful, only on one condition: provided that it does not set itself broad, general tasks, but from the outset takes as its aim to illuminate the experience of its own division, the history of this division’s origin, its battles, its successes and failures, its strong and weak sides, and so on. If these articles include factual material, even should this be drawn from the life of one regiment alone, and all the more so should it be drawn from that of the whole division, then these articles will be immeasurably more valuable than sterile theorising and rehashing of military text books. Less abstraction, more concreteness, more of what is your own – what you have experienced, thought and felt! Fewer commonplaces, more attention to living detail, to the particularities, the trifles, of the life of the Eleventh Division. It has a rich past, and this should be illumitated. It has a responsible present, and this should be fertilised with ideas. It has a glorious future, and this should be prepared for.

May your journal be a true and trustworthy weapon for the Eleventh Division!

October 21, 1921

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Last updated on: 28.12.2006