The Red Army on a Peace Footing

Orders, Circulars, Telegrams, etc.


To the Second All-Russia Conference of Communist Navy Men

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

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Dear Comrades! I am extremely sorry that urgent and unpostponable work in commissions and on editorial committees connected with the congress makes it quite impossible for me to visit your conference. I do not doubt in the least that the second conference of Communist Navy men will mark a new step forward in the putting to rights, the betterment and the strengthening of our Red Navy.

We are all, of course, fully aware that the development of the Red Navy can be accomplished only slowly and gradually. It is all the more important and necessary to ensure that strict unity of conception and plan prevails in this work. Where the Red Navy is concerned, as with the Red Army, we need a rigorously thought-out prospective programme for a period of not less than five years. Only in the setting of a prospect such as this can we utilise properly and consistently the credits provided by the state, and ensure that the Red Navy is supplied with really well-trained and educated manpower. Such a five-year programme must be worked out not only in offices but also through live exchange of views among the advanced elements in the Navy, taking account of the experience already accumulated by every individual. During the past five years we were obliged, owing to the entire situation, to work without system, without a plan, adjusting ourselves to circumstances from one day to the next. The justification of that heroic and chaotic period is that we were victorious over our enemies, and the Red Navy played a very prominent part in the struggle and the triumphs. But the second five years will not be like the first. We have won for ourselves the possibility of working in a more systematic way, and we have accumulated a substantial volume of experience. We must now build the Red Navy not on a day-to-day basis but in accordance with a more broadly conceived plan – strictly co-ordinated, of course, with the overall system of our defence.

At the same time we must introduce as much precision and attention to detail as possible into our current practical work. Working to a more broadly-conceived plan and working with a more precise instrument – that, as I see it, is the watchword for the period we are now entering.


I cordially wish you success.


April 25, 1923, No.90

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Last updated on: 28.12.2006