The International Situation and the Red Army

II. Genoa and the Hague

Order No.272

By the Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic, April 14, 1922, No.272, Moscow

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

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‘Keep your powder dry!’

Herewith, for information, an order issued to the Revolutionary War Council of the Caucasian Military District and the Revolutionary War Council of the Caucasian Special Army:

At the meeting of the three Internationals held in Berlin [1], the Social Democrats, present and former ministers in bourgeois governments and devoted agents of the bourgeoisie, raised the question of restoring in Georgia the rule of the Mensheviks, that is, of the petty-bourgeois agents of Anglo-French capital. Following that, the official diplomatic representative of capitalist France, Monsieur Barthou, raised at Genoa the question of inviting to the international conference the former French agents in Georgia, in the person of the Zhordania Government. These facts testify that the European, and in particular the French, stock-exchange is striving to cut a way for itself, at any price, to the riches of Caucasia, and, especially, to the oil of Baku. Past experience shows that the democratic declarations of European diplomats are usually followed by armed invasion by Wrangel and other hirelings of capital.

I hereby order:

  1. That every Red Army man shall have explained to him the possible consequences of the insolent intervention by French diplomacy.
  2. That vigilance be redoubled and powder kept dry.


1. In December 1921 the Executive Committee o f the Communist International adopted theses ‘on the workers’ united front and on the attitude to workers belonging to the Second, Two-and-a-half and Amsterdam Internationals, and also to workers who support the Anarcho-Syndicalist organisations’. After the adoption of these theses, negotiations began with the Second and Two-and-a-half internationals. On April 2, 1922 a meeting of delegations of the three Internationals was held. A resolution was passed at this meeting in favour of convening in the near future a conference of the three Internationals. Before the first session of this conference, on May 21, 1922, a meeting took place between the British and Belgian Labour Parties, which belonged to the Second International, and the French Socialist Party, which belonged to the Two-and-a-half International, at which it was decided to convene a conference of all the socialist parties, without the Communists. The failure of the conference of the three Internationals was thus decided in advance, and its first session, in Berlin on May 23, 1922, proved to be its last. [At this conference the Second (Labour and Socialist) International was formally reconstituted. (May 1923).]

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Last updated on: 30.12.2006