J. V. Stalin

Speech Delivered at a Plenary Meeting of the Moscow Soviet of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies on the Situation on the Southern Front

October 29, 1918 (Newspaper Report)

Source : Works, Vol. 4, November, 1917 - 1920
Publisher : Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1953
Transcription/Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2009
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2009). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit "Marxists Internet Archive" as your source.

There is no need to prove that the strength of Soviet Russia is growing, Comrade Stalin said. Its successes are sufficient proof of that. But never before have the enemies of Soviet Russia tried so stubbornly to break us. The plan of the enemies of Soviet Russia is to wrest her richest grain regions from her and compel her to capitulate without a fight. Five or six months ago, Samara and Siberia were selected for the execution of this plan. The past two months have made it clear to our enemies that this plan is unfeasible. Now they are trying to repeat the adventure in the South. The South exercises a great attractive power. There are no less than 150 million poods of available grain there. There are also hundreds of thousands of poods of coal. South Russia is even more important strategically. A new international knot is being tied in this region. This can be seen from the activity going on there. A new government has been formed in Yekaterinodar, headed by Krasnov. Three armies have united there. In their effort to seize possession of the South, the counter-revolutionaries are aiming their main blow at Tsaritsyn. In August, Krasnov issued an order for the capture of Tsaritsyn. The order was not carried out, and Krasnov's army had to seek safety in flight. In October, Krasnov issued another order: to capture Tsaritsyn by October 15 at any cost and link up with the Czechoslovaks. No less than forty regiments of the combined armies of a number of generals were thrown into action. However, the generals had to seek safety in flight—so that one of them even lost his boots. (Laughter.)

Only then did the generals realize that our army represents a real and growing force, too powerful for them to cope with.

Wherein lies the strength of our army? Why is it beating its enemies so effectively?

The strength of our army lies in its political consciousness and discipline. Political consciousness and proletarian discipline—these are among the reasons for our success on the Southern Front.

Another reason is the appearance of a new corps of Red officers. They are mostly former privates who received their baptism of fire in a number of engagements and well understand the job of fighting. They are leading our troops to victory.

These are the chief factors determining the successes of our army. That is why I think that the blackguard bands will never succeed in vanquishing our army in the South.

Izvestia, No, 237, October 30, 1918