The Red Army on a Peace Footing

Orders, Circulars, Telegrams, etc.

Order No.275

By the Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic, November 2, 1922, No.275, Moscow

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

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By the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic’s order No.515 of February 28, 1922, illiteracy in the Red Army and the Red Navy was completely liquidated in time for the May First festival. During the summer work was steadily carried on to teach those with a low level of literacy and to consolidate the knowledge won. The older age-groups who had been discharged on indefinite leave to their homes in town and country became there, to a considerable extent, bearers of enlightenment and solidarity among the working masses. But the mass of the workers and, especially, the mass of the peasants, who were kept in ignorance by the Tsarist government, will for a long time yet be unable to send into the army Red soldiers who are fully literate.

Those who have been sent home have been replaced by fresh contingents, and, once more, these include a large number of illiterates.

The Red barracks must be their school. All of them must, at all costs, be taught to read and write, and this in a very short time, so that they may learn the soldier’s trade better, and be enabled to distinguish friends from enemies of the workers’ and peasants’ power.

I order all commanders, commissars, political workers and teachers to work steadily at the liquidation of illiteracy among the newcomers, in accordance with the Commander-in-Chiefs order to all the armed forces of the Republic, September 25, 1922, No.25. [1]

  1. A check on the state of literacy in units is to be carried out immediately, on the responsibility of unit commanders and commissars.
  2. All illiterates found in the units are, for convenience of teaching to be assigned to separate companies for a threemonth period of instruction.
  3. Illiteracy among the newcomers it to be liquidated by February 1, 1923

    By the anniversary of the foundation of the Red Army, that is, by February 23, 1923, a 100-per-cent literate army must be able to read the text of its solemn promise.
  4. Those among the commanders, political workers, Red Army men and teachers who have most distinguished themselves in the work of liquidating illiteracy among the newcomers are to be given awards at the discretion of commanders of military districts.
  5. The present order is to be brought into force by telegraph and read to all companies, squadrons, batteries, task-forces and ships’ crews.

Izvestiya V.Ts.I.K., November 9, 1922, No.253


1. The Commander-in-Chief’s Order No.25 (in the text it is mistakenly given as No.25 [sic]), dated September 25, 1922, set out the programme of activities for Red Army units during the winter months. A great deal of attention was given in this order to the liquidation of illiteracy. It was ordered that the commanding and political personnel of units, and also fully literate Red Army men, were to be involved in the work of teaching men to read, and in school work. A timetable for the liquidation of illiteracy was annexed to the order.

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Last updated on: 29.12.2006