J. V. Stalin

Order of the Day, No. 309

November 7, 1943

COMRADES, men of the Red Army and Navy, sergeants, officers and generals, men and women guerillas, working people of the Soviet Union!

On behalf of the Soviet Government and our Bolshevik Party, I greet and congratulate you on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the great October Socialist Revolution.

We are celebrating the 26th anniversary of the great October Socialist Revolution at a time of glorious victories of the Red Army over the enemies of our country.

For more than two years our people have been conducting a war of liberation against the German-fascist enslavers. A year ago our Motherland was passing through grave days. At that time the enemy had seized a large part of our territory. Millions of Soviet people were languishing in German bondage. The enemy hordes were pressing on towards the Volga with the object of outflanking Moscow from the east, and were besetting the approaches to Trans-Caucasia. But the Red Army with its very bodies barred the road against the enemy. Our troops halted the foreign bandit hordes and, after routing them at Stalingrad, began vigorously to drive them to the west. Since then the Red Army has invariably held the initiative in its hands in all military operations.

In the winter of 1942-43 our gallant troops smashed the picked armies of the Germans, Italians, Rumanians and Hungarians, killed or took prisoner over 1,000,000 enemy officers and men and liberated a vast territory covering an area of about 500,000 square kilometres (195,300 sq. miles).

In the summer of 1943 the Red Army dealt the enemy another crushing blow. In the course of a few days our troops liquidated the German summer offensive and so buried Hitler’s plan of routing the main forces of the Red Army and outflanking Moscow from the directions of Orel and Kursk. Moreover, the Red Army itself went over to a decisive offensive, broke through powerful enemy defence zones and, in the space of three months, drove the enemy back to the west, at some points for a distance of 400 to 450 kilometres (250-280 miles). During the summer campaign our troops drove out the enemy from the whole of the Ukraine east of the Dnieper, from the Donets Basin, from the Taman, Orel and Smolensk Regions, entered the Ukraine west of the Dnieper and captured Kiev, capital of the Soviet Ukraine, entered Byelorussia, captured the approaches to the Crimea and liberated over 160 towns and over 38,000 populated places.

During the past year the Red Army recovered from the Germans almost two-thirds of our territory previously seized by the Germans and delivered tens of millions of Soviet people from the German yoke.

During the past year the Germans lost on the Soviet-German front over 4,000,000 officers and men, including at least 1,800,000 killed.

Picked divisions of the German-fascist army met their inglorious end on the Soviet-German front and, together with them, the Hitlerite plans to conquer the world and enslave its peoples have been buried for all time.

True, the German army is still fighting stubbornly, clinging to every position, but the reverses that the Germans have sustained since the defeat of their troops at Stalingrad have undermined the fighting spirit of the German army. To-day the Germans fear encirclement like the plague, and when threatened by the outflanking manœuvres of our troops they flee, abandoning their equipment and wounded on the battlefield.

In the offensive operations of the past year our troops have gained experience in waging modern war. Our officers and generals skilfully lead their troops, successfully master the art of military leadership. The Red Army has become the most powerful and steeled of modern armies.

The Red Army’s victories have still further consolidated the international position of the Soviet Union. Our army’s offensive has been supported by the operations of the Allied forces in North Africa, on the Italian islands and in the south of Italy. The air forces of our Allies have subjected the industrial centres of Germany to heavy air bombing attacks. There is no doubt that the Red Army’s blows from the east against the German troops, supported by blows dealt from the west by the main forces of the Allies, will lead to the crushing of the military might of Hitlerite Germany and the complete victory of the Anti-Hitlerite coalition.

The Red Army could not have gained this year’s great victories without the aid rendered to the front by the whole people. The Soviet people are devoting all their strength to support their army. An endless stream of arms, ammunition, provisions and equipment is flowing to the front. The Urals and Kuznets Basin, the Moscow and Volga areas, Leningrad and Baku, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Georgia and Armenia—all our Republics and Regions have become a mighty arsenal for the Red Army. The Soviet people are successfully restoring the industrial and agricultural areas recaptured from the enemy. Factories, mills, mines and railways are being restarted, State and collective farms are being restored and the resources of the liberated areas are being enlisted to serve the front.

Our achievements are indeed great, but it would be naive to rest on the successes achieved. To-day when the Red Army is thrashing the enemy beyond the Dnieper and is pressing forward to the western borders of our country, it would be particularly dangerous to lapse into self-satisfaction or complacency and under-estimate the grave difficulties of the battles that lie ahead. The enemy will now fight more viciously than ever for each scrap of territory that he has seized, because every step forward by our army brings nearer the Germans’ hour of reckoning for the crimes they have perpetrated on our soil.

The struggle for final victory over the German-fascist invaders demands still greater exertions and fresh deeds of valour on the part of our army and people.

Comrades, men of the Red Army and Red Navy, sergeants, officers and generals, men and women guerillas!

In titanic battles against the accursed enemy you have won great victories and covered the banners of the Red Army and Navy with undying glory. The Red Army and Navy now enjoy every possibility for completely clearing the German invaders from our Soviet soil in the near future.

In the name of the victory of our Motherland over the German-fascist monsters, I order:

(1) All rank and file Red Army men and sergeants: tirelessly to improve your fighting skill, strictly observe the requirements of the army regulations and the instructions and orders of your commanders and generals. Everywhere and at all times observe exemplary order, strict discipline and a high degree of organization.

(2) Officers and generals of all types of arms: improve your skill in leading troops on the battlefield and in co-ordinating all types of arms, firmly consolidate the successes of the offensive, vigorously pursue the enemy troops, bring up your rear establishments more rapidly, be bolder in gathering your reserves for fresh blows at the enemy.

(3) The whole of the Red Army: boldly and resolutely smash the enemy defences, pursue the enemy day and night, do not give him any chance to entrench himself on intermediate lines, cut the enemy’s communications by skilful and daring manœuvres, surround and split up his forces, wipe out or capture his man-power and material.

(4) Men and women guerillas: rouse the Soviet people to armed struggle against the Germans, increase by every means your aid to the Red Army in its advance, smash the enemy rear establishments and headquarters, save Soviet people from being killed or driven off to slave labour in Germany, mercilessly exterminate the German-fascist scoundrels.

Red Army men, men and women guerillas! Forward to the complete defeat of the German-fascist invaders!

Long live the 26th anniversary of the great October Socialist Revolution!

Long live our victorious Red Army!

Long live our victorious Navy!

Long live our gallant men and women guerillas!

Long live our great Motherland!

Vengeance and death to the German-fascist invaders!

J. Stalin
Supreme Commander-in-Chief
Marshal of the Soviet Union