Moscow, November 6, 1942
Information Bulletin, Embassy of the U.S.S.R., November 12, 1942.
Comrades, we are today celebrating the 25th anniversary of the victory of the Soviet Revolution in our country. Twenty-five years have elapsed since the Soviet system was established in our country. We are now on the threshold of the 26th year of the existence of the Soviet system. At meetings in celebration of the anniversaries of the October Soviet Revolution, it is customary to pass in review the results of the work of the Government and party organs for the past year. It is on these results for the past year-from November of last year to November of the current year-that I have been authorized to make a report to you.
The activities of our Government and party organs during the past period proceeded in two directions: In the direction of peaceful construction and organization of a strong rear for our front, on the one hand, and in the direction of carrying out defensive and offensive operations of the Red Army, on the other.
(1) Organizational work in the rear. The peaceful constructive work of our directing organs in this period consisted in shifting the base of our industry, both war and civilian, to the eastern regions of our country, in the evacuation and establishment in their new places of the industrial workers and equipment of plants, in extending the crop areas and increasing the winter crop area in the east, and lastly, in the radical improvement of the work of our industries producing for the front and in the strengthening of labor discipline in the rear, both in factories and on collective and State farms.
It should be said that this was a most difficult and complex work of organization on a large scale on the part of all our economic and administrative People's Commissariats, including our railways. However, we managed to overcome the difficulties. And now our factories, collective farms and State farms are indisputably, in spite of all the difficulties of wartime, working satisfactorily. Our munition factories and allied enterprises are conscientiously and punctually supplying the Red Army with guns, trench mortars, aircraft, tanks, machine guns, rifles and ammunition. Our collective and State farms are likewise conscientiously and punctually supplying the population and the Red Army with food-stuffs, and our industry with raw materials.
It must be admitted that never before has our country had such a strong and well-organized rear. As a result of all this complex organizational and constructive effort, not only our country, but also the people themselves in the rear, have been transformed. They have become more efficient, less slipshod, more disciplined; they have learned to work in wartime fashion and have come to realize their duty to the motherland and to her defenders at the front-to the Red Army. Bunglers and slackers with no sense of civil duty are growing fewer and fewer in the rear. Organized and disciplined people, imbued with a sense of civil duty, are becoming more and more numerous.
But, as I have said, the past year was not only one of peaceful construction. It was at the same time a year of Patriotic War against the German invaders, who vilely and treacherously attacked our peaceable country.
(2) Hostilities on the Soviet-German front. As regards the military activities of our directing organs in the past year, they consisted in providing for offensive and defensive operations of the Red Army against the German-fascist troops. Hostilities on the Soviet-German front in the past year may be divided into two periods:
The first period was chiefly a winter period when the Red Army, having beaten off the German attack on Moscow, took the initiative into its own hands, passed to the offensive, drove back the German troops and in the space of four months advanced in places over 400 kilometers. The second period was the summer period when the German-fascist troops, taking advantage of the absence of a second front in Europe, mustered all their available reserves, pierced our front in the southwestern direction, and taking the initiative into their own hands, in the space of five months advanced in places as much as 500 kilometers.
The hostilities in the first period, especially the successful operations of the Red Army in the Rostov, Tula and Kaluga areas, at Moscow and at Tikhvin and Leningrad, disclosed two significant facts. They showed, firstly, that the Red Army and its combatant cadres have grown to be an effective force capable not only of withstanding the onslaught of the German-fascist troops, but also of defeating them in open battle and driving them back. They showed, secondly, that for all their staunchness, the German-fascist troops have serious organic defects which, given certain favorable conditions for the Red Army, may lead to the defeat of the German troops.
It cannot be regarded as mere chance that the German troops, having marched in triumph through all Europe and having smashed at one blow the French troops which had been considered first-class troops, met with effective military rebuff only in our country, and not only met with rebuff, but were compelled under the blows of the Red Army to retreat for more than 400 kilometers from the positions they had occupied, abandoning on their road of retreat an immense quantity of guns, machines and ammunition. This fact cannot be explained by winter conditions of warfare alone.
The second period of hostilities on the Soviet-German front was marked by a turn in favor of the Germans, by the passing of the initiative into the hands of the Germans, by the piercing of our front in the southwestern direction, by the advance of the German troops and their reaching the areas of Voronezh, Stalingrad, Novorossisk, Pyatigorsk and Mozdok.
Taking advantage of the absence of a second front in Europe, the Germans and their allies hurled all their available reserves to the front, and massing them in one direction, the southwestern, created a big superiority of forces and achieved a substantial tactical success. Apparently the Germans are already not strong enough to conduct an offensive simultaneously in all three directions, in the south, north and center, as was the case in the early months of the German offensive in the summer of last year, but they are still strong enough to organize a serious offensive in some one direction.
What was the principal objective pursued by the German-fascist strategists when they started their summer offensive on our front? To judge by the comments of the foreign press, including the German, one might think that the principal objective of the offensive was to capture the oil districts of Grozny and Baku. But the facts decidedly refute this assumption. The facts show that the German advance toward the oil districts of the USSR is not the principal objective, but an auxiliary one. What, then, was the principal objective of the German offensive? It was to outflank Moscow from the east, to cut it off from the Volga and the Urals rear, and then to strike at Moscow. The advance of the Germans southward, toward the oil districts, had an auxiliary purpose which was not only and not so much to capture the oil districts as to divert our main reserves to the south and to weaken the Moscow front, so as to make it easier to achieve success when striking at Moscow. That, in fact, explains why the main group of German troops is now to be found not in the south, but in the Orel and Stalingrad areas.
Recently a German officer of the German General Staff fell into the hands of our men. A map was found on this officer showing the plan and schedule of advance of the German troops. From this document it transpires that the Germans intended to be in Borisoglebsk on July 10 of this year, in Stalingrad on July 25, in Saratov on August 10, in Kuibyshev on August 15, in Arzamas on September 10, and in Baku on September 25. This document completely confirms our information to the effect that the principal aim of the Germans' summer offensive was to outflank Moscow from the east and to strike at Moscow, while the purpose of the advance to the south was, apart from everything else, to divert our reserves as far as possible from Moscow and to weaken the Moscow front, so as to make it easier to strike at Moscow. In short, the principal objective of the Germans' summer offensive was to surround Moscow and to end the war this year.
In November of last year, the Germans reckoned on capturing Moscow by striking a frontal blow at Moscow, compelling the Red Army to capitulate, and thus achieving the termination of the war in the East. They fed their soldiers with these illusions.
But these calculations of the Germans, as we know, miscarried. Having burned their fingers last year in attempting a frontal blow at Moscow, the Germans conceived the intention of capturing Moscow this year, this time by an outflanking movement, and thus ending the war in the East. It is with these illusions that they are now feeding their duped soldiers. As we know, these calculations of the Germans also miscarried. As a result of hunting after two hares-after oil and after the encirclement of Moscow-the German-fascist strategists landed in a difficult situation. Thus, the tactical successes of the German summer offensive were not consummated, owing to the obvious unfeasibility of their strategical plans.
(3) The question of the second front in Europe. How are we to explain the fact that the Germans this year were still able to take the initiative of operations into their hands and achieve substantial tactical successes on our front? It is to be explained by the fact that the Germans and their allies succeeded in mustering all their available reserves, hurling them onto the Eastern Front and creating a big superiority of forces in one of the directions. There can be no doubt that but for these measures the Germans could not have achieved any success on our front.
But why were they able to muster all their reserves and hurl them onto the Eastern Front? Because the absence of a second front in Europe enabled them to carry out this operation without any risk to themselves. Hence the chief reason for the tactical successes of the Germans on our front this year is that the absence of a second front in Europe enabled them to hurl onto our front all their available reserves and to create a big superiority of forces in the southwestern direction.
Let us assume that the second front existed in Europe as it existed in the first World War, and that the second front diverted, let us say, 60 German divisions and 20 divisions of Germany's allies. What would have been the position of the German troops on our front then? It is not difficult to guess that their position would be deplorable. More, it would have been the beginning of the end of the German-fascist troops, for in that case the Red Army would not be where it is now, but somewhere near Pskov, Minsk, Zhitomir and Odessa. That means that already in the summer of this year the German-fascist army would have been on the verge of disaster and if that has not occurred, it is because the Germans were saved by the absence of a second front in Europe.
Let us examine the question of a second front in Europe in its historical aspect. In the first World War, Germany had to fight on two fronts, in the west chiefly against Great Britain and France, and in the east against the Russian troops. Thus, in the first World War there existed a second front against Germany. Of the 220 divisions which Germany then had, not more than 85 German divisions were stationed on the Russian front. If to this we add the troops of Germany's allies then facing the Russian front, namely, 37 Austro-Hungarian divisions, two Bulgarian divisions and three Turkish divisions, we get a total of 127 divisions facing the Russian troops. The rest of the divisions of Germany and her allies chiefly held the front against the Anglo-French troops, while a part of them performed garrison service in the occupied territories of Europe. Such was the position in the first World War.
What is the position now, in the second World War-in September of this year, let us say? According to authenticated information which is beyond all doubt, of 256 divisions which Germany now has, not less than 179 German divisions are on our front. If to this we add the 22 Rumanian divisions, 14 Finnish divisions, ten Italian divisions, 13 Hungarian divisions, one Slovak division and one Spanish division, we get a total of 240 divisions which are now fighting on our front. The remaining divisions of Germany and her allies are performing garrison service in the occupied countries-France, Belgium, Norway, Holland, Yugoslavia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, etc.-while part of them are fighting in Libya or Egypt against Great Britain, the Libyan front diverting in all four German divisions and 11 Italian divisions.
Hence, instead of 127 divisions as in the first World War, we are now facing on our front not less than 240 divisions, and instead of 85 German divisions we now have 179 German divisions fighting the Red Army. There you have the chief reason and foundation for the tactical successes of the German-fascist troops on our front in the summer of this year.
The German invasion of our country is often compared to Napoleon's invasion of Russia. But this comparison will not bear criticism. Of the 600,000 troops which began the campaign against Russia, Napoleon scarcely brought 130,000 or 140,000 troops as far as Borodino. That was all he had at his disposal at Moscow. Well, we now have over 3,000,000 troops facing the front of the Red Army and armed with all the implements of modern warfare. What comparison can there be here?
The German invasion of our country is also sometimes compared to the German invasion of Russia at the time of the first World War. But neither will this comparison bear criticism. Firstly, in the first World War there was a second front in Europe, which rendered the German position very difficult, whereas in this war there is no second front in Europe. Secondly, in this war twice as many troops are facing our front as in the first World War. Obviously the comparison is not appropriate.
You can now conceive how serious and extraordinary are the difficulties confronting the Red Army and how great is the heroism displayed by the Red Army in its war of liberation against the German-fascist invaders. I think that no other country and no other army could have withstood such an onslaught of the bestial bands of German-fascist brigands and their allies. Only our Soviet country and only our Red Army are capable of withstanding such an onslaught. And not only withstanding it, but also overpowering it.
It is often asked: But will there be a second front in Europe after all? Yes, there will be, sooner or later. There will be one. And it will be not only because we need it, but and above all because our Allies need it no less than we do. Our Allies cannot fail to realize that since France has been put out of action, the absence of a second front against fascist Germany may end badly for all freedom-loving countries, including the Allies themselves.
(4) The fighting alliance of the USSR, Great Britain and the United States of America against Hitlerite Germany and her allies in Europe. It may now be considered indisputable that in the course of the war imposed upon nations by Hitlerite Germany, a radical demarcation of forces and formation of two opposite camps has taken place-the camp of the Italo-German coalition and the camp of the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition. It is equally indisputable that these two opposite coalitions are guided by two different and opposite programs of action. The program of action of the Italo-German coalition may be described by the following points:
Racial hatred; domination of "chosen" nations; subjugation of other nations and seizure of their territories; economic enslavement of subjugated nations and spoliation of their national wealth; destruction of democratic liberties; institution of the Hitlerite regime everywhere.
The program of action of the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition is:
Abolition of racial exclusiveness; equality of nations and integrity of their territories; liberation of enslaved nations and the restoration of their sovereign rights; the right of every nation to arrange its affairs as it wishes; economic aid to nations that have suffered and assistance to them in attaining their material welfare; restoration of democratic liberties; destruction of the Hitlerite regime.
The effect of the program of action of the Italo-German coalition has been that all occupied countries of Europe-Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Greece and occupied regions of the USSR-are burning with hatred of the Italo-German tyrants, are causing all the damage they can to the Germans and their allies and are waiting for a favorable opportunity to take revenge on their conquerors for the humiliations and violence they are suffering.
In this connection, one of the characteristic features of the present moment is the progressively growing isolation of the Italo-German coalition and the depletion of its moral and political reserves in Europe, its growing weakness and disintegration. The effect of the program of action of the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition has been that all occupied countries in Europe are full of sympathy for the members of this coalition and are prepared to render them all the help of which they are capable.
In this connection, another characteristic feature of the present moment is that the moral and political reserves of this coalition are growing from day to day in Europe-and not only in Europe-and that that coalition is progressively winning millions of sympathizers, ready to join it in fighting against Hitler's tyranny. If the relative strength of these two coalitions is examined from the standpoint of human and material resources, one cannot help reaching the conclusion that the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition has an indisputable advantage.
But the question is: Is this advantage alone sufficient for victory? There are occasions, as we know, when resources are abundant, but they are expended so incompetently that the advantage is nullified. Obviously, what is needed in addition to resources is the capacity to mobilize these resources and the ability to expend them properly. Is there any reason for doubting the existence of such ability and such capacity on the part of the men of the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition? There are people who doubt-this. But what grounds have they for their doubts?
There was a time when the men of this coalition displayed their ability and capacity to mobilize the resources of their countries and to expend them properly for the purposes of economic, cultural and political development. One asks: What grounds are there for doubting that men who have displayed capacity and ability in mobilizing and distributing resources for economic, cultural and political purposes will prove incapable of doing the same thing for the purposes of war? I think there are no such doubts.
It is said that the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition has every chance of winning and would certainly win if it did not have one organic defect which is capable of weakening and disintegrating it. This defect, in the opinion of these people, is that this coalition consists of heterogeneous elements with different ideologies and that this circumstance will prevent their organizing joint action against the common enemy.
I think that this assertion is wrong. It would be ridiculous to deny the difference in ideologies and social systems of the countries composing the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition. But does this preclude the possibility and expediency of joint action on the part of the members of this coalition against the common enemy who holds out the threat of enslavement for them? It certainly does not preclude it. More, the existence of this threat imperatively imposes the necessity of joint action upon the members of this coalition, in order to save mankind from reversion to savagery and mediaeval brutality. Is not the program of action of the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition a sufficient basis for the organization of a joint struggle against Hitlerite tyranny and for the achievement of victory over it? I think that it is quite sufficient.
The assumption of these people is also wrong because of the fact that it is completely refuted by the events of the past year. And indeed, if these people were right, we should be observing the progressive mutual alienation of the members of the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition. Yet far from observing this, we have facts and events pointing to progressive rapprochement between members of the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition and their uniting into a single fighting alliance.
Events of the past year supply direct proof of this. In July, 1941, several weeks after Germany attacked the USSR, Great Britain concluded with us an agreement "on joint action in the war against Germany." At that time we had not yet any agreement with the United States of America on this subject. Ten months later, on May 26, 1942, during Comrade Molotov's visit to Great Britain, the latter concluded with us a "treaty of alliance in the war against Hitlerite Germany and her associates in Europe, and on collaboration and mutual aid thereafter." This treaty was concluded for a period of 20 years. It marks a historic turning point in the relations between our country and Great Britain.
In June, 1942 during Comrade Molotov's visit to the United States, the United States of America concluded with us an "agreement on principles applicable to mutual aid in the conduct of the war against aggression," an agreement representing a substantial advance in relations between the USSR and the United States.
Lastly, one should mention so important a fact as the visit to Moscow of the British Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill, which established complete mutual understanding between the leaders of the two countries.
There can be no doubt that all these facts point to progressive rapprochement between the USSR, Great Britain and the United States of America and their uniting in a fighting alliance against the Italo-German coalition.
It follows that the logic of things is stronger than any other logic. There can be only one conclusion, namely, that the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition has every chance of vanquishing the Italo-German coalition and certainly will vanquish it.
(5) Our tasks. The war has torn off all veils and laid bare all relationships. The situation has become so clear that nothing is easier than to define our tasks in this war. In an interview with the Turkish General Erkilet, published in the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriet, that cannibal Hitler said: "We shall destroy Russia so that she will never be able to rise again." That would appear clear although rather silly. It is not our aim to destroy Germany, for it is impossible to destroy Germany, just as it is impossible to destroy Russia. But the Hitlerite state can and should be destroyed. And our first task in fact is to destroy the Hitlerite state and its inspirers.
In the same interview with the same general, that cannibal Hitler went on to say: "We shall continue the war until Russia ceases to have an organized military force." That would appear clear although illiterate. It is not our aim to destroy all organized military force in Germany, for every literate person will understand that that is not only impossible in regard to Germany, as it is in regard to Russia, but also inadvisable from the point of view of the victor. But Hitler's army can and should be destroyed.
Our second task, in fact, is to destroy Hitler's army and its leaders. The Hitlerite scoundrels have made it a rule to torture Soviet war prisoners, to slay them by the hundreds and to condemn thousands of them to death by starvation. They outrage and slaughter the civilian population of occupied territories of our country, men and women, children and old folk, our brothers and sisters. They have made it their aim to enslave or exterminate the population of the Ukraine, Byelorussia, the Baltic Republics, Moldavia, the Crimea and the Caucasus. Only villains and scoundrels bereft of all honor and fallen to the state of beasts can permit themselves such outrages toward innocent, unarmed people.
But that is not all. They have covered Europe with gallows and concentration camps, have introduced a vile "system of hostages." They shoot and hang absolutely innocent citizens taken as "hostages," because some German beast was prevented from violating women or robbing citizens. They have converted Europe into a prison of nations. And this they call "the new order in Europe."
We know who are the men guilty of these outrages, the builders of "the new order in Europe," all those newly baked governor generals or just ordinary governors, commandants and sub-commandants. Their names are known to tens of thousands of tormented people. Let these butchers know that they will not escape the responsibility for their crimes or elude the avenging hand of the tormented nations.
Our third task is to destroy the hated "new order in Europe," and to punish its builders.
Such are our tasks.
Comrades, we are waging a great war of liberation. We are no waging it alone, but in conjunction with our Allies. It will end in our victory over the vile foes of mankind, over the German fascist imperialists. On its standard is inscribed: "Hail the victor of the Anglo-Soviet-American fighting alliance! Hail the liberation of the nations of Europe from Hitler's tyranny! Hail the liberty and independence of our glorious Soviet motherland! Execration and death to the German-fascist invaders, to their state, their army, their 'new order in Europe'!"
Glory to our Red Army!
Glory to our Navy!
Glory to our men and women guerrillas!