J. V. Stalin

Letter to V. I. Lenin
from the Eastern Front1

January 5, 1919

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.

To Comrade Lenin,

Chairman of the Council of Defence.

The investigation has begun. We shall keep you regularly informed of its progress. Meanwhile we consider it necessary to bring one urgent need of the Third Army to your attention. The fact is that of the Third Army (more than 30,000 men), there remain only about 11,000 weary and battered soldiers who can scarcely contain the enemy's onslaught. The units sent by the Commander-in-Chief are unreliable, in part even hostile and require thorough sifting. To save the remnants of the Third Army and to prevent a swift enemy advance on Vyatka (according to all reports from the command of the front and the Third Army, this is a very real danger it is absolutely essential urgently to transfer at least three thoroughly reliable regiments from Russia and place them at the disposal of the army commander. We urgently request you to exert pressure on the appropriatemilitary authorities to this end. We repeat, unless this is done Vyatka runs the risk of suffering the same fate as Perm. Such is the general opinion of the comrades concerned, and all the facts at our disposal lead us to endorse it.

F. Dzerzhinsky

Vyatka, January 5, 1919, 8 p. m.


1.In connection with the catastrophic situation which had arisen on the Eastern Front, and particularly in the sector of the Third Army, the C.C., R.C.P.(B.), on the motion of V. I. Lenin, decided on December 30, 1918, to send J. V. Stalin to the Eastern Front. On January 1, 1919, a commission consisting of two members of the C.C., J. V. Stalin and F. E. Dzerzhin- sky, was appointed by the Central Committee of the Party and the Council of Defence to investigate the reasons for the sur- render of Perm and the reverses at the front, as well as to adopt measures for the restoration of Party and Soviet work in the area of the Third and Second Armies. On January 3, 1919, J. V. Stalin and F. E. Dzerzhinsky left for the Eastern Front, where they carried out a great deal of work for restoring the fighting efficiency of the Third Army and strengthening the front and rear. By the end of the month, thanks to their labours, a decisive turn was achieved on the Eastern Front.