Leon Trotsky

The First Five Years of the Communist International

Volume 1

Order of the Day Number 83
to the Red Army and Navy [1]

Greetings From The Communist International

IN MOSCOW early in March the representatives of the revolutionary workers of various countries of Europe and America came together in order to establish close revolutionary collaboration among the toilers of the world in the struggle against their oppressors. This conference founded the Communist International, that is, it founded the international alliance of workers, soldiers and toiling peasants for the establishment of the World Soviet Republic which will forever put an end to enmity and wars among the peoples. At one of its sessions the Communist International adopted the following resolution of greetings to the Russian Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army:

The Congress of the Communist International sends the Red Army of Soviet Russia its heartiest greetings and extends its fullest hopes for a complete victory in the struggle against world imperialism.

This fraternal salute of the world proletariat must be made known to all the warriors of the Red Army and Navy. I hereby order the Commissars to make it publicly known to all squads, detachments, squadrons, batteries, and all ships. Every soldier of the Red Army, every sailor of the Red Navy will hear with merited pride this message of greeting from the highest and most authoritative body of the world working class. The Red Army and the Red Navy will not fail the expectations and hopes of the Communist International.

Under the Banner of the World Working Class – Forward!

Issued March 9, 1919. Moscow.

Chairman of the Military Revolutionary Council of the Republic;
Commissar of War and Naval Affairs.

First published in Izvestia, No.54, March 11, 1919


1. Order No. 83 is only one of the innumerable historical documents attesting that Lenin and his co-thinkers never viewed the Red Army otherwise than as the military arm of the world working class in its struggle for emancipation. In Lenin’s day, the Congresses of the Third International were invariably the occasion for great propaganda and agitational campaigns, especially in the ranks of the Red Army. Thus the day after the adjournment of the First World Congress, March 7, 1919, was proclaimed a public holiday, the Red Army paraded in Red Square and that evening great mass meetings were held throughout the country. Similar procedure was followed so long as Lenin remained alive.

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Last updated on: 15.1.2007