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Stalin and the Soviet Armed Forces
Nikolai BulganinAll the peoples of our Motherland and the working people all over the world are today doing honour to their great leader, wise teacher and best friend, Comrade Stalin, on the occasion of his seventieth birthday.
Comrade Stalin has been fighting for the happiness of the working people, for over fifty years. His life has been one of self-sacrificing effort, and is an inspiring example for all Soviet people, and for the working people of the whole world.
Comrade Stalin’s name is most precious and dear to the heart of all toiling mankind; Stalin—is the symbol of all that is advanced and progressive.
Stalin is the genius, the continuer of Lenin’s immortal cause, the inspirer and organizer of the building of Communism in our country.
Stalin is the creator of the Soviet Armed Forces; he is the greatest military leader of modern times. It was under his guidance that our Armed Forces were created, grew and gained strength. It was under his leadership that they routed the enemy in the period of the Civil War, upheld the freedom and independence of our Motherland in the Great Patriotic War, and saved the people’s of the world from the menace of enslavement to German fascism. Stalin is the creator of the advanced, Soviet military science.
Born in revolutionary battle, the Soviet State stood in need of reliable protection from the encroachments of external and internal enemies. Hence, the Bolshevik Party was faced with the task of arming the revolution, of organizing the army of the revolution. The fate of all he revolutionary gains our people had won depended upon the speed with which this task was carried out.
The creation of the army of the first Socialist State in the world was a new and extraordinarily difficult undertaking. Our Party had to organize an army, the like of which had never been known in history. It was necessary to work out the principles upon which the new type of army was to be built, to pick and promote new cadres of commanders who would be faithful to the revolution and to train them in the spirit of revolutionary discipline and loyalty to the Soviet State; and it was necessary, amidst the prevailing economic ruin, to supply the army with all it needed. All this had to be done under the difficult conditions of military intervention that had been launched against our Motherland by the imperialists of Germany, England, France, the United States Japan and outer countries.
Only great leaders like Lenin and Stalin could rouse the people to overcome these incredible difficulties and create a reliable military shield for the Soviet State. By their will and efforts, the army of the proletarian state was created; and from the first days of its existence this army served not only as a reliable bulwark for the gains of the Great October Socialist Revolution, but also as a faithful defender of the interests of the working people all over the world.
With the foresight of genius, Comrade Stalin was aware of the severe trials of war the Soviet State would inevitably have to go through, and, with his characteristic determination, he told the Party and the people that we must create a strictly disciplined regular army and protect the republic, for otherwise, our cause would perish.
This regular army, this new type of army, the army of the emancipated workers and peasants, the Bolshevik Party created; and herein lay the great service Comrade Stalin rendered our Motherland and the working people all over the world.
During the Civil War, when the fate of the power of the Soviets was being decided, Comrade Stalin, with Lenin, performed immense work in mobilizing all the forces and resources of the country for the purpose of achieving victory over the foreign interventionists and Russian Whiteguards. Comrade Stalin picked and trained the army cadres, created a Party, political administration in the army, and taught the military commissars the art of politically guiding troops.
There was not a single problem concerning the organization of the country’s military defence, in the study and solution of which Comrade Stalin did not take a leading part. Comrade Stalin was the creator of the most important military strategical plans and the direct leader of the decisive military operations conducted by the Soviet forces. Near Tsaritsyn and Perm, near Petrograd and against Denikin, in the west against squire-ridden Poland, and in the south against Wrangel—everywhere, it was Comrade Stalin’s iron will and military genius that ensured the victory of our Soviet forces.
In the history of the heroic struggle our people waged to consolidate the power of the Soviets and, to protect the freedom and independence of our Motherland is inscribed forever the name of the great leader and captain, the inspirer and organizer of victory over our numerous enemies—the name of Comrade Stalin.
The rout of the interventionists during the Civil War did not remove the danger that the imperialists would undertake new military adventures against our Socialist Motherland. Advantage had to be taken of the respite that had been won to prepare the country for new trials of war.
Again and again Comrade Stalin called upon the Party and the Soviet people always to bear in mind the danger of a military attack and to be in constant mobilization preparedness, so that no fortuities, or designs on the part of external enemies may take us by surprise.
When the great Lenin died, Comrade Stalin, in the name of the Bolshevik Party, took the historic vow not to stint efforts, unceasingly to increase the defence power of the Soviet State, and in every way to strengthen its Armed Forces.
The immense historic service Comrade Stalin rendered our people was that he found and indicated the correct ways and means of consolidating the night of the Soviet Union. The fundamental factor and chief prerequisite for the fulfilment of this paramount task was Stalin’s policy to industrialize the country and to collectivize agriculture.
Under Comrade Stalin’s guidance, the Soviet people, within a short space of time, fundamentally changed the face of the country and transformed it into an advanced, industrial power, possessing a mighty war potential and capable of producing modern armaments on a mass scale.
Everybody knows today, that the fact that during the Great Patriotic War our country possessed powerful and smoothly-running war economy capable of meeting all our colossal requirements in arms, ammunition, equipment and provisions was due entirely to Comrade Stalin’s wise policy, to the constant concern he displayed for the military strength of our Motherland.
The whole of the vast work to produce armaments and to supply them to the Army, the Air Force and the Navy, was conducted under Comrade Stalin’s direct guidance. He himself went into all the details of the production of new types of weapons. Under his direction conferences of engineers, airmen, tankists, artillerymen, naval men and leaders of our industry were convened to discuss problems connected with the construction of new types of aircraft, tanks, artillery, warships and other dear requirements.
Comrade Stalin has always displayed and is displaying today constant fatherly care to the rearing of military cadres and to their training in the spirit of selfless devotion to the Bolshevik Party, in the spirit of Soviet patriotism and self-sacrificing service to the people. If our army, he said, will be supplied with a sufficient number of really steeled cadres, it will be invincible. The Great Patriotic War showed that the Soviet military cadres trained by great Stalin are in all respects on the level of the requirements of Soviet military science.
Comrade Stalin rendered our Motherland inestimable service in routing the enemy agents in our country. The liquidation of the enemies of the Soviet people—the trotskyites, bukharinites and other hirelings of imperialism who tried to undermine the economic and military might of our country and to create conditions in it favourable for the imperialists in the event of war—was of decisive importance for the successful building of Socialism and the strengthening of the defence power of the Soviet State. The rout of these enemies of the people was equal to the winning of a big battle on the battlefield.
Of exceptional importance for the further growth of our country’s military might was the work the Bolshevik Party performed in the all-round strengthening of the Soviet State on the basis of the integral and complete theory elaborated by Comrade Stalin on the role and functions of the Socialist State under the conditions created by the capitalist. encirclement.
Guided by Comrade Stalin’s theory of the Socialist State, the Bolshevik Party and the Soviet Government carried through practical measures for the further strengthening of the Soviet Army and Navy. The system of staffing our army was changed in conformity with the changed conditions. On Comrade Stalin’s initiative, and with his participation, a universal military service law was drafted and new Army regulations were put in force.
Thanks to Comrade Stalin’s guidance, the Soviet Armed Forces grew into a formidable force against our enemies.
While working incessantly to strengthen the military might of the Soviet State, Comrade Stalin, at the same time, directed our country’s foreign policy on the lines of fighting for the peace and security of the peoples. He repeatedly warned the peoples of the world that fascist Germany and imperialist Japan were preparing to launch a war of aggrandizement. He called upon the freedom-loving peoples to unite for !he purpose of combatting the warmongers and of curbing the fascist aggressors. The imperialist governments, however, and primarily those of the United States, Great Britain and France, far from taking measures to avert war, in every way encouraged the German fascists and incited them to war against he U.S.S.R. For this treacherous policy of the imperialist governments, the peoples of Europe paid the heavy price of the death and suffering of millions of people and the destruction and devastation of towns, and villages during the second world war.
The attack of fascist Germany upon our Motherland planed her in mortal danger. The Hitlerites openly set out to destroy our Soviet State and to enslave our people. It was a matter of life or death for the peoples of the U.S.S.R. The thoughts and hopes of all Soviet people were turned towards Comrade Stalin. During those hard and grim days for our Motherland, the greatness of our leader and teacher, Comrade Stalin, was revealed in all its magnificence. He took upon himself full responsibility for the fate of our country and people and, as Supreme Commander-in-Chief, headed the struggle against the enemy invasion. This saved our Motherland from slavery and ruin and led us to great historic victories.
In the very first days of the war, Comrade Stalin called upon the Soviet people to wage a Great Patriotic War, to rout the enemy, to wage a self-sacrificing struggle for victory. In his appeal to the people on July 3, 1941, he revealed the true character of the war we were waging, exposed the myth about the invincibility of the hitlerite army, foretold its inevitable defeat, drew up a clear program for the defeat of the German fascist aggressors and formulated the tasks of the people and the army in the war. Comrade Stalin called upon the Party and the Soviet people to reorganize all their work and put it on a wartime footing, to subordinate everything to the interests of the font, to the task of organizing the defeat of the enemy, to dispute every inch of Soviet soil, to wear down the enemy and to foment partisan warfare in the enemy’s rear.
Everybody also remembers the great mobilizing force of the historic speech Comrade Stalin delivered in the Red Square in Moscow on November 7, 1941. That speech breathed indomitable faith in our victory. As is known, the situation at that time was extremely grave. The enemy was at the walls of Moscow and Leningrad. Every Soviet citizen was filled with anxiety concerning the fate of our Motherland. In this grave situation the voice of our leader rang out, full of deep confidence in our victory, in the triumph of our just cause. Can there be any doubt, Comrade Stalin asked, that we can and are bound to defeat the German invaders? The devil is not as terrible as he is painted. Fascist Germany will collapse beneath the weight of its crimes, he said.
Comrade Stalin’s speech raised the spirit of our people and roused unprecedented enthusiasm among our troops. “Stalin is with us. Stalin says we will win, and if he says it, it will be so,” said our soldiers and our people in those days of war.
A month later, in the Battle of Moscow, our troops gained a brilliant victory over the hitlerite army. Comrade Stalin himself directed the whole course of that gigantic battle. He it was who inspired and guided the military operations of our units and formations.
During the Battle of Moscow, Comrade Stalin’s wisdom and courage were displayed with exceptional force. Notwithstanding the grave situation at the front, Comrade Stalin saw to it that the reserves were not prematurely expended. Knowing that General Headquarters had large reserves at their disposal near Moscow, the Commander-in-Chief of the Western Front asked for reinforcements, but Comrade Stalin ordered him to hold up the enemy with the forces at his command. Soon, the wisdom of Comrade Stalin’s decision became evident. Comrade Stalin held those reserves for the purpose of launching a decisive counteroffensive. At the proper time, the front received these reserves in the necessary quantity, and this was the decisive factor in the defeat of the enemy near Moscow.
In the subsequent course of the Great Patriotic War, Comrade Stalin’s genius was displayed with even greater depth and brilliance. This is shown by the results of gigantic battles like those fought at Stalingrad and Kursk and the offensive operations in 1944, and, in particular, the operations conducted for the liberation of the Byelorussian S.S.R. and its capital Minsk from the German invaders, which ended in the rout of the central group of the German forces and in the almost complete extermination and capture of its personnel, the winter offensive in 1945, and the final operation of the war—the Battle of Berlin—which was an immense triumph of the Stalin art of military leadership.
Executing Comrade Stalin’s orders, our Navy served as a faithful assistant of our land forces, and in the course of the war it sank numerous enemy ships on the enemy’s lines of communication, thereby inscribing new pages in the book of Russian naval glory.
All the operations during the Great Patriotic War were planned by Comrade Stalin and were carried out under his guidance. There was not a single operation, in the working out of which he did not take part. Before sanctioning any given operation, he subjected it to thorough analysis and discussion with his immediate comrades-in-arms. He made it a rule to hear the opinions and proposals of front, fleet and army commanders and in this displayed his characteristic sensitiveness and attention to all the comments and proposals that were made.
Comrade Stalin paid special attention to the preparations for operations and made sure that everything that was needed for them, particularly aircraft, artillery and tanks, was supplied. Always his policy was to strike the enemy a sure blow and with the least possible losses. Comrade Stalin himself directed the course of every operation. Every day, and sometimes several times a day, he verified the execution of his instructions, gave advice and amended the decisions of commanders if this was necessary.
To verify on the spot the readiness of our troops for a given operation, he himself visited the fronts. Before the Smolensk operation was launched, he visited the Western Front. On his arrival at Front Headquarters, he verified the readiness of the front commander and the troops for the forthcoming operation, gave exhaustive and infinitely clear instructions concerning the disposition of forces, and saw to it that they were supplied with aircraft, tanks, artillery and all other reinforcements and supplies. He drew the commander’s attention to the individual stages of the operation, to the different phases of the development of military operations. As a result of this, the commander obtained a clearer understanding of the significance of the forthcoming operation and, as we know, it was conducted with great success in complete conformity with the plan sanctioned by General Headquarters.
The historic victory of the Soviet Armed Forces won in the Great Patriotic War is practical proof of the strength and virility of the Soviet military science.
Comrade Stalin laid the foundations of the new, advanced, Soviet military science as early as the period of the Civil War, and throughout the whole course of their history our Armed Forces have been built up, trained and have conducted military operations in conformity with the laws of the Stalin military science. This science, based on the teachings of Marxism-Leninism, and absorbing all that was best in the art of war in the past, gives exhaustive answers to all the problems connected with the conduct of modern warfare and with the achievement of victory in it.
The military science created by Comrade Stalin embraces not only questions of tactics, the art of conducting operations and strategy, i.e., questions concealing the art of war as such, but also questions connected with the economic and morale potential of one’s own as well as the enemy’s country.
Comrade Stalin’s genius as a military theoretician lies primarily in that, when generalizing the experience of war, he, for the first time in history, created a military science that boldly stepped beyond the limits of the art of war and thereby broke with the traditions of the old, “classical” military science which covered only questions concerning tactics and strategy.
In addition to correct strategical and operations plans, the Stalin military science calls for guarantees for the execution of these plans in the shape of the country’s economic potential; and it considers that although good strategical and operations plans are important factors for winning a war, by themselves, if the economic potential is left out of account, they are not sufficient for the purpose of achieving victory.
Comrade Stalin links the question of victory in modern warfare with the political character of a given war. He teaches us that there are liberating and just wars, but there are also predatory wars, wars of aggrandizement. Wars conducted in the interests and for the protection of the people facilitate the maintenance of a high morale among the people and the armed forces throughout the whole course of the war. Wars that are conducted against the interests of the people do not facilitate this. Furthermore, the Soviet military science considers that good plans of war and a high economic potential may prove insufficient for achieving victory if one other factor is absent, namely, a high morale among the people and the armed forces throughout the whole course of the war.
Comrade Stalin has also thoroughly worked out problems of the art of war as a constituent part of the military science.
He has created the theory of the art of operations and modern tactics and strategy.
A characteristic feature of the Stalin art of war is that it constructively approaches the question of the choice of the forms and methods of fighting the enemy. It is free from the stereotyped rules and dogmas characteristic of the bourgeois art of war.
A most important feature of the art of war created by Comrade Stalin is thorough preparation and all-round supply for an operation. Comrade Stalin has always pointed out that the working out of a good plan of operations is not by itself preparation for the operation. The plan of operations is only the beginning. Of decisive importance are preparations to execute the plan, all-round supplies of men, materiel, reserves, etc.
The Stalin art of war found vivid expression in the unprecedentedly gigantic operations carried out during the Great Patriotic War, the distinguishing feature of which was their exceptional purposefulness.
Every operation during the Great Patriotic War was distinguished by the originality of its design and the constructive peculiarity of its execution. On each occasion, Comrade Stalin was able to devise such methods, forms and ways of conducting military operations as most fully served the objectives and the given situation, and at the same time carne as a surprise for the enemy.
Comrade Stalin rendered an outstanding service as a military theoretician by working out the problems of active defence and of counteroffensive. The part that the Stalin theory of these problems and the Stalin art of applying it played in the victory achieved by the Soviet Armed Forces in the Great Patriotic War cannot be overestimated. To get an idea of this it is sufficient to recall what role in the war was played by the battles of Moscow, Stalingrad and Kursk, which were classical examples of active defence and of counteroffensive.
The art of war created by Comrade Stalin is also distinguished by the fact that it solved an extremely important problem like that of the interaction of all arms of the service in a battle or operation, with the employment of massed artillery, tanks and aircraft.
Comrade Stalin raised and solved in a new way all the fundamental problems of modern offensive and defensive operations. This was one of the most important advantages the Soviet Armed Forces enjoyed over the enemy.
Thus, thanks to Comrade Stalin’s military genius, our forces were superior to those of the German fascist invaders not only in economics and morale, but also in military respects.
That is why our people quite justly retard Comrade Stalin, the creator of the Soviet military science, as the greatest of military leaders.
The scope of the problems Comrade Stalin deals with as the leader of the Soviet people and head of our state, and as organizer and leader of the Soviet Armed Forces, is amazingly wide and all-embracing. There is not a problem connected with the life of our Armed Forces that fails to receive his attention.
The study of Comrade Stalin’s extremely multifarious activities during the Great Patriotic War is of enormous importance and essential for the further building up of our Armed Forces and for the training of our military cadres.
Comrade Stalin picked, trained and promoted splendid new cadres of Soviet military leaders, who displayed outstanding skill in executing the plans his genius produced. He carefully studies and picks our military cadres and personally knows our generals, admirals and numerous of officers.
While working out strategical and operations problems during the Great Patriotic War, Comrade Stalin closely studied the fighting experience of our troops. He frequently consulted with generals and officers from the front concerning new methods of conducting battles and operations, and, taking their experience into account, he worked out the tactics for our troops during offensive and defensive operations. Among those invited to consult with Comrade Stalin were top rank generals, as well as regimental and battalion commanders and other army and naval officers.
Throughout the whole course of the war our Soviet soldiers constantly felt the great care and solicitude of their leader. Comrade Stalin called upon all commanders to take care of their men and to cherish every single one; he taught them how to manœuvre skilfully and on a wide scale, and how to use their materiel to crush and exterminate the enemy; he warned them not to undertake unprepared attacks on fortified positions and not to hurl troops against the enemy without a preliminary reconnaissance.
Comrade Stalin always devoted great attention to the conditions of the rank and file of the Army and Navy. He enquired into their scales of rations, the quality of their kit and the weight of the weapons each soldier had to carry. In his orders he repeatedly pointed out that care for their men’s food and living conditions is the sacred duty of commanders, that they must strictly see to it that the men actually receive all the provisions they are entitled to according to regulations, and that well-prepared and hot food be supplied in proper time to the men in trenches, fire points, blindages and dugouts. Thanks to the constant attention Comrade Stalin paid to matters concerning material supplies for the troops, our soldiers at the front were well fed and comfortably and warmly clad.
Exceptionally great was Comrade Stalin’s concern for the political education of the Soviet troops. Guided by his instructions, the Bolshevik Party constantly explained the meaning and objects of the war to the Soviet soldiers, trained them to be highly conscious of their patriotic duty and imbued them with selfless courage and valour, fearlessness and discipline.
The fighting men in the Soviet Army and Navy responded to the all-round care Comrade Stalin displayed for them by expressing their boundless devotion to their leader. For them his name became the symbol of the greatness and heroism of our people. They rushed into battle with the cry: “For Stalin, for our Motherland!”
Comrade Stalin constantly enquired how the various types of weapons were employed in battle and how effective they were; from the information he received he drew the necessary practical conclusions. In August 1941, when fierce fighting was raging near Smolensk, on one of the sectors of the front an enemy battalion that had confidently and arrogantly launched an attack was exterminated with a volley of jet-propelled mortar shells (“Katyushas”), which at that time were not yet being extensively used. The effect of this type of weapon was so terrific that it drove the hitlerites into a panic. On learning of this incident, Comrade Stalin at once gave orders to have this type of weapon manufactured on the widest possible scale. Within a short space of time jet mortars became most widely employed by our army.
During the war, Comrade Stalin studied in detail the designing and introduction of new and improved types of weapons, particularly artillery, tanks and aircraft. He consulted scientists, engineers and heads of armament factories and set there definite tasks in the production of new types of weapons. He gave every encouragement to the innovators’ and rationalizers’ movement in industry and inspired the workers, engineers and technicians to creative effort.
On the instructions and under the direction of Comrade Stalin, his immediate and faithful comrades-in-arms and the whole Bolshevik Party performed enormous economic-organizational work in reconstructing the whole of the national economy for the purpose of supplying the needs of the fronts. As a result, within a short space of time a smooth-running and rapidly growing war economy was built up in our country; and this war economy not only satisfied the needs of the front and the rear, but also enable us to accumulate reserves. The Bolshevik Party united all the efforts of the Soviet people, directed them towards the common goal, and concentrated all their strength and resources on the task of defeating the enemy. During the war the Party became more intimate with the people, more closely connected with the broad masses of the working people than ever before.
The world-historic significance of our victory in the Great Patriotic War lies primarily in the fact that, contrary to the expectations of international reaction, the cause of Socialism became immeasurably stronger than it was before.
As a result of World War II, a number of states have forever fallen out of the capitalist system and have taken the road pointed out by Lenin and Stalin. Already at the Seventeenth Congress of our Party, Comrade Stalin warned the aggressors that if they unleashed a second world war some bourgeois governments would be missing as a result of it. This is exactly what happened.
The disinterested assistance of the Soviet people and of their army enabled the working people of a number of countries in Central and Southeastern Europe to free themselves not only from fascist bondage, but also from the oppression of their landlords and capitalists, and it enabled them firmly to take a new path—the path of building Socialism. The peoples of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania and Albania are successfully proceeding along this path under the leadership of their Communist and Workers’ parties.
The path of the revolutionary-democratic change has also been taken by the great Chinese people who, under the leadership of the Communist Party headed by Mao Tse-tung, have put an end to the age-long rule of foreign and native exploiters. The Chinese people would not have been able to achieve this historic victory had it not been for the teachings of Lenin and Stalin; for the victory of Socialism in our country, and for the U.S.S.R.’s victory over the fascist coalition.
The Soviet Union, which stands at the head of the democratic camp, is resolutely and perseveringly pursuing a policy of peace. The program of rehabilitation and further development of our socialist economy which Comrade Stalin proclaimed in his speech at an election meeting in the Stalin District of Moscow on February 9, 1946, our post war five-year plan, the plan to plant shelter belts for the purpose of transforming nature in the interests of the people, and many other important measures that have been launched by the Party and our Government on Comrade Stalin’s initiative, are all evidence of the Soviet people’s earnest striving for peace, for constructive work in the building of Communism.
Around the Soviet Union are rallying countless supporters of peace. The Peace Front has grown into a force that is capable of curbing the new claimants to world domination.
The World Peace Congress in Paris and Prague, and the peace congresses that have been held in many countries, have demonstrated how strongly the idea of peace influences the masses and what confidence the working people of all countries have in our Government’s peace policy. The fomenters of a new war will not succeed in carrying out their designs, because, as Comrade Stalin said, the horrors of the last war are too fresh in the memory of the peoples, and the forces that stand for peace are too strong.
Today, on the festival which the whole of progressive mankind is celebrating, we say again from the bottom of our hearts and with profound gratitude. It was the genius of Stalin and his iron will that ensured for the Soviet people the victory of Socialism in our country in an incredibly short period of time, and ensured such an economic development as prepared our Motherland for the severe trials that beset her on June 22, 1941.
It was the genius of Stalin and his iron will that ensured the defeat of the enemy in the past, war and saved the Soviet people from the danger of fascist slavery.
It was the genius of Stalin and his iron will that are today ensuring the Soviet people success in the building of Communism and are helping the entire democratic camp headed by the Soviet Union successfully to fight for peace.
Stalin is the banner, the pride and the hope of the whole of progressive mankind.
Long, long years of life and health to our dear and beloved leader and teacher, the great Stalin!