The Red Army on a Peace Footing

Orders, Circulars, Telegrams, etc.

Order No.1247

By the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic, May 20, 1922, No.1247, Moscow

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

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Thanks to the vigour and staunchness shown by the commanders and commissars at all levels, and especially to the diligent and thoughtful work of the political education workers and teachers, the campaign for liquidating illiteracy in the Red Army and Navy, according to Order No.515 of 1922 by the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic, has produced very considerable and valuable results within the time laid down.

Tens of thousands of illiterate Red Army men and Red Navy men were drawn into systematic school work, and when the First of May came round, an illiterate Red Army man was a very rare exception. The commanders of military districts and armies, the commissars and commanders of divisions, brigades, regiments and other units did everything they could to fulfil their military task.

The Political Directorates of the Military Districts, the Political Departments of the Armies and the Divisions, the Political Education workers and the teachers were able to tackle the work of teaching in the schools in such way as to evoke among the Red Army men a burning desire to learn to read and write and raise their cultural and political level, and thereby they animated the other forms of political-educational work in the Red Army and the Red Navy.

Party and Soviet organisations were drawn into the work (Party Committees, Executive Committees, the local organs of the People’s Commissariat of Education and the organs of the Educational Workers’ Trade Union).

In many places the patrons gave substantial backing to the Red Army in the campaign being pursued.

Thanks to the vigorous measures taken in good time by the supply organs both at the centre and in the localities, the schools’ requirements in teaching aids for the liquidation of illiteracy were satisfied.

But, as on any fighting front, the success achieved cannot be considered complete unless the positions conquered are consolidated. The enemy must not only be defeated, he must be finished off, thoroughly annihilated. The ignorance and illiteracy of the working people constitute an enemy no less dangerous and stubborn than the counter-revolutionaries and White-Guards of the whole world. In certain units, owing to various insuperable obstacles, it did not prove possible to complete the liquidation of illiteracy by the First of May. A hastilytaught Red Army man is in danger of relapsing into illiteracy.

In view of this, and so as to ensure further progress in the fight against illiteracy and quasi-illiteracy among the Red Army and Red Navy men, and also in order to prevent relapses into illiteracy, I order that:

  1. For the purpose of consolidating the knowledge attained by the Red Army men who finished at the schools of literacy by May 1 of this year, the companies of illiterates and quasi-illiterates are to be kept in being, with their school apparatus, so that every Red Army man who has completed the first standard of the school of literacy may consolidate and broaden the knowledge and practice he has attained in the second standard of these schools, in accordance with the curriculum published in order No.104 by the head of the Political Directorate of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic.
  2. The campaign to liquidate illiteracy and quasi-illiteracy in the Red Army and Navy is to be prolonged until July 15 of this year.
  3. Illiterates who return to their units from missions, from leave, from hospital, etc., are to be immediately assigned to school-work.

    Responsibility for the successful conduct of work in the school companies, squadrons and task-forces is to remain with commanders and commissars of units.
  4. The links established with Party and civic organisations by the Chief Directorate of Political Education and its local organs are not to be severed.
  5. The pursuit of studies is to be guided by the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic’s orders No.295 of 1921 and No.515 of 1922, the force of the latter being extended until July 15, 1922.
  6. The present order is to be brought into force by telegraph and is to be read to all companies, squadrons, task-forces, batteries and ships’ crews.

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Last updated on: 28.12.2006