J. V. Stalin

Order of the Day of the Commissar of Defence of the U.S.S.R., No. 8

23 February, 1946

Source : Works, Vol. 16
Publisher : Red Star Press Ltd., London, 1986
Transcription/HTML 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.

Comrades soldiers and sailors of the Red Army and Red Navy, non-commissioned officers, officers and generals!

Today we are celebrating the twenty-eighth anniversary of the existence of the Red Army. The Red Army commemorates its twenty-eighth anniversary in the glow of the glorious victory over the German and Japanese imperialists. Engaged in a prolonged and arduous war, the Fled Army has emerged as a first-class army of the highest morale and fighting force, equipped with modern armaments and cadres of great experience, tempered by battle. In the war against the fascist invaders the Red Army has shown its high quality, and it has shown that it is able to defend the interests of the Soviet state effectively, faithfully and staunchly.

Our soldiers, officers and generals have justified the confidence of the people and have shown their great devotion towards our Motherland. The Red Army has proved to the Soviet, people that they can have confidence in it. The people of our country have great trust in their army and its victories, and will keep the sacred memory of their heroes who fell in the battles for the Motherland.

The remarkable victories of the Red Army are explained, above all, by the fact that it is a truly popular army that defends the interests of its people. The Soviet people love their army ardently, and are a constant source of its reinforcement and of its strength. This has been shown especially in the time of the Great Patriotic War. All our people have worked unhesitatingly, day and night, for victory. Without this work, without this self-sacrificing of the workers, peasants and intellectuals, without their material and moral support, the Red Army would not have defeated the enemy.

The victories of the Red Army are also explained by the fact that it was led and educated by the Communist Party. Furthermore, the behests of the great Lenin helped the Soviet people, under the guidance of the Communist Party, to transform our country from a backward land to a land of progress, from an agrarian to an industrial country. On this basis was founded all the material possibilities for the victorious struggle of the Red Army against its enemies. During the Great Patriotic War, the Communist Party united all the countries of the Soviet Union into a single military camp, and has orientated all the efforts of the people and the army towards a single aim - the destruction of the enemy. The Communist Party has educated the Soviet soldier in the sense and aims of the war, it has cultivated love for the Motherland, constantly reinforced their fighting spirit and inspired their staunchness and discipline. All this has created the conditions for our victory.

After the victory over the enemies, the Soviet Union has entered into a new period, into a peaceful period of economic development. The present task of the Soviet people is to assure the conquered positions and to go forward in a new economic effort. We cannot only assure our position as this would mean stagnation; we have to go forward and create the conditions for a new and powerful effort of the national economy. To put it in a word, we have to heal the wounds inflicted on our country by the enemy and reach the pre-war level of the national economy before we can make considerable progress; we have to raise the material well-being of our people and we have to raise the economic and military ability of the Soviet state.

Under these new conditions, the Red Army must vigilantly protect the creative work of the Soviet people, must solidly guarantee the interests of ‘•he Soviet Union and protect the borders of our Motherland and make them inaccessible to any enemy.

During the war the main task of the soldiers, officers and generals of the Red Army consisted of attaining the victory, to concentrate all their knowledge and efforts on the total annihilation of the enemy. In these peaceful times the prime task of our soldiers, officers and generals, without exception, consists of perfecting their military and political abilities. All our soldiers and non-commissioned officers of the Red Army have to intensively study military art, have to know their weapons well and perform their duty irreproachably. Now, more than ever, the officers have to be able to educate and instruct their subordinates.

During the war the officers and generals of the Red Army knew well how to lead their troops in battle. Now these officers and generals have to become perfect masters in the education and instruction of their troops in present times.

The Great Patriotic War has introduced much that is new in the military art. The combat experience represents a rich treasure for the instruction and education of the troops. That is why all the instruction of the army should be based on the intelligent application of the experiences of the war. It is also necessary to utilize this experience in all fields for the theoretical instruction of the cadres and officers, for the enriching of Soviet military science. One must ensure that the military art develops constantly and swiftly. The Red Army is obliged not only to follow the development of the military art but to further progress it. The Red Army is equipped with first-class military material which constitutes the basis for its ability in combat. It knows how to handle this equipment perfectly and it treats it as the apple of its eye.

Any successes in the instruction and education of its troops is impossible without without discipline and a strict military order, because the effectiveness of an army depends on this. This applies especially to the adjutants and sergeants who are the immediate superiors and direct teachers of the soldiers of the Red Army. The soldiers, officers and generals of the Red Army have great merit with the people and the Motherland. But they must not become complacent and vain about this, they must not rest upon their laurels, - but they must conscientiously carry ‘out their duties and they must devote all their strength and knowledge to the service of the Red Army. That is what is demanded of all Soviet soldiers.

Comrades soldiers and sailors of the Red Army and Red Navy, non-commissioned officers, oficers and generals! In the name of the Soviet government and our Communist Party, I greet and congratulate you on the occasion of the twenty-eighth anniversary of the Red Army. To celebrate the day of the Red Army, today, 23 February, I order: A salute of twenty artillery salvoes in the capital of our Motherland, Moscow, in the capitals of the federative republics and in the heroic cities of Leningrad, Stalingrad, Sebastopol and Odessa.

Long live our victorious Red Army!

Long live our victorious sailors of the war!

Long live our glorious Communist Party!

Long live the great Soviet people!

Long live our powerful Motherland!

People’s Commissar of Defence of the U.S.S.R.,
Generalissimo of the Soviet Union

("Pravda," No. 7, 23 February, 1946)