Order of the Day, No. 195
May 1, 1943
Comrades, Red Army and Red Navy men, commanders and political workers,
men and women guerillas, working men and women, men and women peasants,
people engaged in intellectual work! Brothers and sisters who have
temporarily fallen under the yoke of the German oppressors! In the name
of the Soviet Government and of our Bolshevik Party I greet
and congratulate you on the occasion of the First of May.
The peoples of our country meet May the First in the stem days of the
Patriotic War. They have entrusted their destiny to the Red Army, and
their hopes have not been misplaced. The Soviet warriors have stood up
self-sacrificingly in defence of their Motherland, and for nearly two
years already have been defending the honour and independence of the
peoples of the Soviet Union.
During the winter campaign of 1942-43 the Red Army inflicted grave
defeats on the Hitlerite troops, annihilated an enormous amount of the
enemy’s man-power and equipment, surrounded and annihilated two enemy
armies at Stalingrad, took prisoner over 300,000 enemy men and officers
and liberated hundreds of Soviet towns and thousands of villages from
the German yoke.
The winter campaign demonstrated that the offensive power of the Red
Army has grown. Our troops not only hurled the Germans out of territory
which the enemy had seized in the summer of 1942, but occupied a number
of towns and districts which had been in the enemy’s hands for about a
year and a half.
It proved beyond German strength to avert the Red
Army’s offensive. Even for its counter-offensive in a narrow sector of the front in the
Kharkov area, the Hitlerite command found itself compelled to transfer
more than thirty fresh divisions from Western Europe. The Germans
calculated on surrounding the Soviet troops in the Kharkov area and on
arranging a “German Stalingrad” for our troops. However, the attempt of
the Hitlerite command to take revenge for Stalingrad has collapsed.
Simultaneously, the victorious troops of our Allies routed the
Italo-German troops in the area of Libya and Tripolitania, cleared
these areas of the enemy, and now continue to batter them in the area
of Tunisia, while the valiant Anglo-American air forces strike
shattering blows at the military and industrial centres of Germany and
Italy, foreshadowing the formation of the second front in Europe
against the Italo-German fascists.
Thus, for the first time since the beginning of the war, the blow at
the enemy from the East, dealt by the Red Army, merged with a blow from
the West, dealt by the troops of our Allies, into one joint blow.
All these circumstances taken together have shaken the Hitlerite war
machine to its foundations, have changed the course of the world war
and created the necessary prerequisites for victory over Hitlerite
As a result, the enemy was forced to admit a serious aggravation of his
position, and raised a hue and cry about a military crisis. True, the
enemy tries to disguise his critical situation by clamour about “total”
mobilization, but no amount of clamour can do away with the fact that
the fascist camp is really going through a grave crisis.
The crisis in the fascist camp finds expression, in the first place, in
the fact that the enemy has had openly to renounce his original plan
for a “lightning war.” Talk about a lightning war is no longer in vogue
in the enemy camp – the vociferous babble about lightning war has given
place to sad lamentations about the inevitability of a protracted war.
While previously the German-fascist command boasted of the tactics of a
lightning offensive, now these tactics have been discarded, and the
German-fascists boast no more of how they have conducted or are
intending to conduct a lightning offensive, but of how they managed
skilfully to slip away from under the flanking blow of the British
troops in North Africa, or from encirclement by Soviet troops in the
area of Demyansk.
The fascist press is full of boastful reports to the
effect that the German troops succeeded in making good their escape
from the front and avoiding another Stalingrad in one or another sector
of the Eastern front or the Tunisian front. Evidently the Hitlerite
strategists have nothing else to boast about.
Secondly, the crisis in the fascist camp finds expression in that the
fascists begin to speak more frequently about peace. To judge by
reports in the foreign Press, one can conclude that the Germans would
like to obtain peace with Britain and the U.S.A. on condition that they
draw away from the Soviet Union, or, on the contrary, that they would
like to obtain peace with the Soviet Union on condition that it draws
away from Britain and the U.S.A.
Themselves treacherous to the marrow,
the German imperialists have the nerve to apply their own yardstick to
the Allies, expecting some one of the Allies to swallow the bait.
Obviously, it is not on account of good living that the Germans babble
about peace. The babble about peace in the fascist camp only indicates
that they are going through a grave crisis.
But of what kind of peace
can one talk with imperialist bandits from the German-fascist camp, who
have flooded Europe with blood and covered it with gallows? Is it not
clear that only the Litter routing of the Hitlerite armies and the
unconditional surrender of Hitlerite Germany can bring peace to Europe?
Is it not because the German-fascists sense the coming catastrophe that
they babble about peace?
The German and Italian fascist camp is experiencing a grave crisis and
faces catastrophe. This, of course, does not mean that catastrophe has
already come for
Hitlerite Germany, No, it does not mean that.
Hitlerite Germany and her
army have been shaken and are experiencing a crisis, but they have not
yet been smashed. It would be naïve to think that the catastrophe
will come of itself, will drift in with the tide.
Another two or three
powerful blows from west and east are needed, such as that dealt to the
Hitlerite army in the past five or six months, for the catastrophe to
become an accomplished fact for Hitlerite Germany.
For this reason the peoples of the Soviet Union and their Red Army, as
well as our Allies and their armies, still face a stern and hard
struggle for complete victory over the Hitlerite fiends. This struggle
will demand of them great sacrifices, enormous staying power, iron
staunchness. They must mobilize all their forces and potentialities to
smash the enemy and thus blaze the road to peace.
Comrades! The Soviet people displays the greatest solicitude for its
Red Army. It is ready to give all its forces for the further
strengthening of the military might of the Soviet country. In less than
four months the peoples of the Soviet Union have donated more than
seven milliard roubles to the Red Army Fund. This demonstrates once
more that the war against the Germans is a truly national war of all
the peoples inhabiting the Soviet Union.
Without folding their hands,
staunchly and courageously facing the hardships caused by the war,
workers, collective farmers and intellectuals are working in factories
and institutions, on transport, in collective farms and State farms.
But the war against the German-fascist invaders demands that the Red
Army receives still more guns, tanks, aircraft, machineguns, automatic
rifles, mortars, ammunition, equipment, provisions. Hence it is
necessary that workers, collective farmers and all Soviet intellectuals
work with redoubled energy for the front. It is necessary that all our people and all institutions in the rear
work with the efficiency and precision of clockwork.
Let us remember
the behest of our great Lenin: “Once war has proved
inevitable – everything for the war, and the least slackness and lack of
energy must be punished by war-time laws.”
In return for the confidence and solicitude of its people, the Red Army
must strike at the enemy still more strongly, exterminate the German
invaders without mercy, uninterruptedly drive them out of our Soviet
In the course of the war the Red Army has acquired rich military
experience. Hundreds of thousands of Red Army men have learned to wield
their arms to perfection. Many commanders have learned skilfully to
direct troops on the field of action. But it would be unwise to rest at
Red Army men must learn to wield their arms well, commanders must
acquire mastery in the conduct of battles. But even this is not enough.
In military matters, and especially in modern warfare, one cannot stand
still. To stand still in military matters means to lag behind, and, as
is known, those who lag behind are beaten.
Therefore, the main point
now is that the entire Red Army must day in, day out, perfect its
combat training, that all commanders and men of the Red Army must study
the experience of the war, must learn to fight in such a manner as is
needed for the cause of victory.
Comrades, Red Army and Red Navy men, commanders and political workers,
men and women guerillas! While greeting and congratulating you on the
occasion of the First of May,
I order: –
(1) that all Red Army men – infantrymen, mortar gunners, artillerymen,
tankmen, airmen, sappers, signallers, cavalrymen – indefatigably continue
to perfect their fighting mastery, to execute precisely the orders of
commanders, the requirements of Army regulations and instructions,
sacredly to observe discipline, and to maintain organization and order;
(2) that commanders of all units and branches of the service become
expert in leading troops, skilfully organize the co-ordination of all
arms and direct them in battle; that they study the enemy, improve
reconnaissance – the eyes and ears of the army – and remember that without
this one cannot beat the enemy for certain; that they raise the
efficiency of the work of military headquarters and see that
headquarters of Red Army units and formations become exemplary organs
for the direction of troops; that they raise the work of the army rear
establishments to the level of the requirements of modern warfare, and
bear firmly in mind that on the full and timely supply of troops with
ammunition, equipment and provisions depends the outcome of combat
(3) that the whole Red Army consolidates and develops the successes of
the winter battles, that it does not surrender to the enemy a single
inch of our soil, that it be prepared for decisive battles with the
German-fascist invaders, displaying in defence the stubbornness and
staunchness inherent in soldiers of our army, and in attack,
resolution, correct co-ordination of troops and bold manœuvre on the
field of action, crowned by the encirclement and annihilation of the
(4) that men and women guerillas strike powerful blows at enemy rear
establishments, communications, military stores, headquarters and
factories, destroy the enemy’s lines of communication; that they draw
wide strata of the Soviet population in the areas occupied by the enemy
into active struggle for liberation, and thus save Soviet citizens from
being driven away to German slavery and from extermination by the
Hitlerite beasts; that they take merciless revenge on the German
invaders for the blood and tears of our wives and children, mothers and
fathers, brothers and sisters; that they assist the Red Army heart and
soul in its struggle with the base Hitlerite enslavers.
Comrades! The enemy has already felt the weight of the shattering blows of our
troops. The time is approaching when the Red Army, together with the
armies of our Allies, will break the backbone of the fascist beast.
Long live our glorious Motherland!
Long live our valiant Red Army!
Long live our valiant Navy!
Long live our gallant men and women guerillas!
Death to the German invaders!
(Signed) J. Stalin
Marshal of the Soviet Union
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