Achievements of Fourth War Year


By JOSEPH STALIN, Premier of Soviet Russia

Delivered before a meeting of Moscow workers on eve of the twenty-seventh anniversary of the Soviet revolution, November 6, 1944

Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. XI, pp. 69-73.

COMRADES, today Soviet people celebrate the twenty-seventh anniversary of the victory of the Soviet revolution in our country. For the fourth time our country is celebrating the revolution in conditions of the patriotic war against the German fascist troops. This, of course, does not mean that the fourth year of the war does not differ from the preceding three years of war. On the contrary, between them a radical difference exists.

The previous years of war were years of the offensive of the German troops. Their advance deep into our country obliged the Red Army to conduct defensive battles.

The third year of war was a year of radical change on our front, when the Red Army developed powerful offensive battles, smashed the Germans in a series of decisive battles, cleared the German fascist troops from two-thirds of our soil and forced the enemy to pass to the defensive.

The Red Army, moreover, still continued to wage war alone against the German troops without serious support from our allies.

The fourth year of war turned out to be a year of decisive victories over the German troops on the part of the Soviet Armies and the armies of our allies. The Germans, forced to wage war on two fronts, found themselves hurled back to the frontiers of Germany.

War Carried to Germany

During the past year there has been achieved the expulsion of German troops from the confines of the Soviet Union, France, Belgium and middle Italy and the transference of military operations to the territory of Germany.

The decisive successes of the Red Army this year and the expulsion of the Germans from the confines of the Soviet Union was achieved by the series of crushing blows struck by our troops on the German troops. The blows were begun this year before Leningrad and Novgorod when the Red Army broke down the permanent defenses of the Germans and hurled them back to the Baltic area.

The result of this blow was the liberation of the Leningrad region. The second blow was struck in February and March of this year on the Bug River, when the Red Army routed the German troops and hurled them back beyond the Dneiper. The result of this blow was that the western Ukraine was liberated from the German fascist invaders.

The third blow was struck in April and May of this year in the Crimea area, when the German troops were thrown into the Black Sea. As a result of this blow the Crimea and Odessa were liberated from German oppression.

The fourth blow was struck in June of this year in Karelia, when the Red Army smashed the Finnish troops, liberated Viborg and Petrozavodsk and hurled the Finns back into the interior of Finland.

The result of this blow was the liberation of the major part of the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Republic

Reached Soviet's Frontiers

The fifth blow was struck on the Germans in July of this year, when the Red Army ground down and smashed the German troops before Vitebsk, Bobruisk and Mogilev and accomplished its blow on the encircled German divisions in the Minsk area.

The result of this blow was that our troops completely liberated the white Russian Soviet Republic, reached the Vistula and liberated a considerable part of Poland allied to us; reached the Nieman and liberated the major part of the Lithuanian Soviet Republic, forced the Nieman and reached the frontiers of Germany.

The sixth blow was struck in July and August this year in the area of the western Ukraine when the Red Army smashed the German troops before Lwow and hurled them back beyond the San. The result of this blow was that the western Ukraine was liberated. Our troops crossed the Vistula and beyond the Vistula formed a powerful bridgehead west of Sandomir.

The seventh blow was struck in August of this year in the area of Kishinev and Jassy when our troops utterly routed the German fascist troops and completed their blow by surrounding twenty-two German divisions before Kishinev, not counting the Rumanian divisions.

The result of this blow was that the Moldavian Soviet Republic was liberated, that Rumania, Germany's ally, was put out of commission and declared war on Germany and Hungary; that Bulgaria, Germany's ally, was put out of commission and also declared war on Germany; that the road was opened for our troops into Hungary, the last ally of Germany in Europe, and that the opportunity was presented for stretching out a hand of aid to our ally Yugoslavia against the German invaders.

Smash in Baltic Area

The eighth blow was struck in September and October of this year in the Baltic Sea area when the Red Army smashed the German troops before Tallinn and Riga and drove them from the Baltic area.

The result of this blow was that the Estonian Soviet Republic was liberated, Germany's ally Finland was put out of commission and declared war on Germany. More than thirty German divisions found themselves cut off from Prussia, caught in pincers in the area between Tukums and Libau, and they are now being smashed by our troops.

In October of this year the ninth blow was launched by the movement of our troops between the Tisza and the Danube in Hungary which aims at bringing Hungary out of the war and turning her against Germany. The result of this blow, which has not yet reached its culmination, is that our troops have rendered direct aid to our ally Yugoslavia in the work of driving out the Germans and liberating Belgrade. Our troops obtained the opportunity of advancing through the Carpathians and stretching out a hand of assistance to our ally Czechoslovakia, part of whose territory is already liberated from the German invaders.

Lastly, at the end of October of this year, a blow was dealt the German forces in north Finland when the German troops were knocked out of the area of Pechenga and our troops, pursuing the Germans, entered the territory of Norway, our ally.

I shall not give figures of the losses in killed and prisoners which the enemy sustained in these operations, of the number of guns, tanks, aircraft, shells and machine guns captured by our troops and so forth. You probably are acquainted with these figures from the communiques of the Soviet Information Bureau.

Such are the main operations of the Red Army during the past year which brought about the expulsion of the German troops from the confines of our country. The result of these operations was that 120 divisions of Germans and their allies were smashed and put out of action. Instead of 257 divisions standing against our front last year, of which 207 divisions were German, today we have against our front, after all the total and super-total mobilizations, a total of 204 German and Hungarian divisions. Of these not more than 180 are German divisions.

Nazis' Power Stressed

It must be admitted that in the present war Hitlerite Germany with her fascist army turned out to be a more powerful and perfidious enemy than Germany and her armies in past wars. To this must be added the fact that the Germans in this war succeeded in making use of the economic forces of almost the whole of Europe and the pretty significant armies of her vassals.

And if, in spite of these conditions favoring Germany's conduct of the war, she has nevertheless found herself on the verge of inevitable catastrophe, it has to be explained by the facts that Germany's chief opponent, the Soviet Union, has surpassed the efforts of Hitlerite Germany.

What is new in the past year in the war against Hitlerite Germany is the fact that the Red Army conducted its operations against the German troops not in isolation, as had been the case in the preceding years, but jointly with troops of our allies.

The Teheran conference was not in vain. The decision of the Teheran conference for joint blows on Germany from the west, south and east began to be carried out with astonishing exactness.

Simultaneously with the Red Army's operations on the Soviet-German front the Allied troops began the invasion of France and organized powerful operations, forcing Hitlerite Germany to wage war on two fronts. Our allies accomplished mass landing operations on the coast of France, unprecedented in history as regard organization and scale, and by mass force overcame the German fortifications.

Thus Germany found herself seized in the vise between two fronts. As was to be expected, the enemy was not able to stand up to the joint blows of the Red Army and the allied troops. The resistance of the enemy was smashed and his troops in a short space of time were thrown out of the confines of middle Italy, France, Belgium and the Soviet Union. The enemy was hurled back to the frontiers of Germany.

Fronts Mutually Dependent

There can be no doubt that without the organization of the second front in Europe, which pinned down seventy-five divisions of the Germans, our troops would not have been able in so short a space of time to break down the resistance of the German troops and drive them from the confines of the Soviet Union. Thus it is equally without doubt the mighty operations of the Red Army in the summer of this year, which pinned down some 200 German divisions, the troops of our allies would not have been able so quickly to deal with the German troops and throw them out of the area of middle Italy, France and Belgium.

The task is to continue to hold Germany in the vise between two fronts. This is the key to victory.

If the Red Army was able successfully to fulfill its duty to the motherland and drive the Germans from the confines of the Soviet Union, it did so thanks to the fact that it had the supreme support of the rear, the whole country, the whole peoples of our country.

The selfless work of all Soviet peoples, under leadership of our state and party organs, went forward in the past year under the banner "All for the front."

The past year was marked with new successes in industry, agriculture and transport, a new upward trend of our military economy. On the fourth year of the war our factories produced planes, tanks, guns, mortars and ammunition many times more than at the beginning of the war. The most difficult period of the restoration of agriculture lies behind us. After the return to the country of the fertile lands of the Don and Kuban, after the liberation of the Ukraine, our agriculture is rapidly recovering, inspired by the victories.

Soviet rail transport stood up to the traffic, which it is hardly likely the transport of any other country could have coped with. The Soviet State despite the hard times of war, despite the temporary occupation by the Germans of extremely large, economically important districts of the country in the course of the war, did not curtail but increased its supplies to the front of arms and ammunition.

Now the Red Army has tanks, guns, planes in not smaller, but larger numbers than the Germans. As for the quality of our war material, in this respect it is considerably superior to that of the enemy.

The Soviet people gave up a great deal that was necessary, accepted deliberately serious material privations in order to give more to the front. The ten-fold labors of the present war did not break, but made still stronger the iron will and courageous spirit of the Soviet people.

Our working class strained all their efforts for the sake of victory, constantly perfected the technique of production, increased the capacity of industrial enterprises, erected new factories and workshops.

Our intellectuals proceeded boldly along the road of new inventions in the sphere of technique and culture, success-

fully developing contemporary science still further, creatively using their achievements in the production of arms for the Red Army. By their creative labor, the Soviet intellectuals contributed an invaluable share to the cause of routing the enemy.

Just as we cannot fight and conquer without modern arms, we cannot also fight and be victorious without provisions. The Red Army, in the fourth year of the war, thanks to care shown by the collective farming peasants, is experiencing no shortage of food. Men and women collective farmers are supplying the workers and intellectuals with food, and industry with raw materials, thus securing the normal working of the factories and plants making arms and equipment for the front. Our collective farming peasantry, actively and with a complete understanding of their duty to their motherland, are assisting the Red Army to achieve victory over the enemy.

Workers' Feats Praised

The unexampled feats of labor of Soviet women and our glorious young people, who carried on their shoulders the main burden of the labor in the factories and plants, in the collective and State farms, will forever go down in history.

For the sake of the honor and independence of the motherland, Soviet women, young men and girls are displaying prowess and heroism on the front of labor. They have shown themselves worthy of their fathers and sons, husbands and brothers defending the motherland from the German Fascist monsters. The feats of labor performed by Soviet people in the rear, equally with the undying military deeds of our troops at the front, have their source in the ardent creative Soviet patriotism.

The strength of Soviet patriotism lies in the fact that it has as its basis not racial or national prejudice, but profound loyalty and the faith of the people in their Soviet motherland, the fraternal friendship of the working people of all nations of our country.

Soviet patriotism is harmonious. It combines the national traditions of the people and the common vital interests of all the working people of the Soviet Union. Soviet patriotism does not disunite, but on the contrary consolidates all nations and nationalities in our country into one single fraternal family. In this should be seen the basis of the indestructible and still stronger friendship of the peoples of the Soviet Union. At the same time the peoples of the Soviet Union respect the rights and independence of the peoples of countries abroad, and have always displayed their readiness to live in peace and friendship with neighboring states.

In this should be seen the basis of the developing and strengthening ties between our states and all the freedom-loving countries.

Disavows Racial Hatred

The Soviet people hate the German invaders not because they are people of a foreign nation, but because they have brought our people and all freedom-loving peoples misery and suffering. It is an old saying of our people: "The wolf is not bad because he is gray but because he ate the sheep."

For their ideological weapons the German Fascists selected the racial theory of human hatred, calculating that their sermons on bestial nationalism would create the moral-political premises for the domination of the German invaders over the enslaved peoples.

However, the policy of racial hatred pursued by the Hitlerites became in actual fact the source of internal weakness and foreign political isolation for the German Fascist state.

The ideology and policy of racial hatred is one of the factors making for the downfall of the Hitlerite bandit plot. It cannot be considered an accident that not only the enslaved peoples of France, Yugoslavia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Holland have risen up against the German imperialists, but also the former vassals of Hitler—the Italians, Rumanians, Finns, Bulgarians.

By their cannibal policy, the Hitlerite clique has roused against Germany all the peoples of the world. And the so-called "chosen German" has become the object of universal hatred.

In the course of this war the Hitlerites have sustained not only a military defeat but also a moral and political defeat.

The ideology of the equal rights of all races and nations, which is established in our country, has won a complete victory over the ideology of bestial nationalism and the racial hatred of Hitlerites.

Now when the patriotic war is proceeding to its victorious conclusion the historic role of the Soviet people stands out in all its magnitude. Now everyone admits that the Soviet people, by their self-sacrificing struggle, saved all the nations of Europe from the Fascist pogromists. This is the great service rendered by the Soviet people to the history of mankind.

I will then turn to foreign political questions. 'The past year was a year of triumph of the common cause against the German coalition, for the sake of which the peoples of the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the U. S. A. have united in military alliance. This was a year of consolidation of the unity and coordination of the operations of the three main powers against Hitlerite Germany.

The decision of the Teheran conference for joint action against Germany and the brilliant putting into practice of those decisions constitute one of the clear indications of the stabilization of the front against the Hitlerite coalition.

Few large-scale planned military operations for joint action against a common enemy can be found in history carried out so fully, and exactly as the plan for the joint blow against Germany drawn up at the Teheran conference was carried out.

There can be no doubt that without the unity of outlook and the coordination of action of the three great powers, the Teheran decisions could not have been realized so fully and exactly.

United Front Achieved

It is also without doubt, on the other hand, that successful realization of the Teheran decisions could not fail to serve to consolidate the front of the United Nations.

The decision of the conference at Dumbarton Oaks on the question of the organization of post-war security should be regarded as an equally clear indication of the stability of the front of the United Nations.

There is talk of differences between the powers on certain questions of security. Differences do exist, of course, and they will arise on a number of other issues this week. Differences occur even among people of one and the same party. All the more so should they occur between representatives of different States and of different parties.

One should not be surprised because differences exist, but because there are so few of them, and that they are as a rule solved almost every time after the united and coordinated action of the three great powers. It is not a question of the differences, but that the differences should not be solved against the interests of the unity of the three great powers; and that in the final count they are solved in the direction of the interests of that unity.

It is known that more serious differences existed for us on

the question of the opening of the second front. But we know equally well that these differences were solved in the long run in a spirit of complete agreement. I can say exactly the same concerning the differences at the Dumbarton Oaks conference.

Characteristic of this conference is not the fact that certain differences were revealed there but that nine-tenths of the security questions were solved at this conference in the spirit of complete agreement.

That is why I think that the decisions of the Dumbarton Oaks conference should be regarded as one of the clear* indications of the stability of the front against Germany.

Unity Shown at Parley

A still more vivid indication of the consolidation of the United Nations front should be considered the recent negotiations with the head of the British Government, Mr. Churchill, and the British Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Eden, in Moscow, held in a friendly atmosphere and in a spirit of complete agreement.

Throughout the whole course of the war the Hitlerites made desperate efforts to disunite the United Nations and set them one against the other, to cause suspicion and misunderstanding among them, to weaken their military efforts and mutual confidence, and possibly set them at war against each other.

These Hitlerite aspirations are fully understandable. For them there is no greater danger than the unity of the United Nations in the struggle against Hitlerite imperialism, and for them there would have been no greater military and political success than to disunite the Allied powers in their struggle against the common enemy.

It is known, however, how much in vain were the efforts of the Fascist politicians to dislocate the alliance of the great powers. This signifies that no accidental transitory motive, but vitally important long-term interests lie at the basis of the alliance of our country, Great Britain and the United States.

There is no need to doubt that if the fighting alliance of the democratic powers has stood the trial of more than four years of war, if it is consolidated by the blood of the peoples who have risen up in defense of their liberty and honor, the more so will that alliance stand the trials of the concluding stage of the war.

Allied Front Extended

The past year, however, was not only a year of consolidation of the Allied powers against the German thrust but also a year of extension of that front. It cannot be considered an accident that after Italy other allies of Germany were withdrawn from the war, finally Rumania and Bulgaria.

It should be noted that these states not only withdrew from the war but broke with Germany and declared war on her, thus attaching themselves to the front of the United Nations. This undoubtedly signifies an extension of the front of the United Nations against Hitlerite Germany.

There can be no doubt that the last ally of Germany in Europe, Hungary, will also be put out of commission shortly. This will signify complete isolation of Hitlerite Germany in Europe and early catastrophe will follow inevitably.

The United Nations make a victorious combination in the war against Hitlerite Germany. The war against Germany will be won by the United Nations. There can be no doubt at all on that score.

To win the war against Germany means to accomplish a great, historic task. But to win the war does not yet mean security to the peoples of the world in the future. The task is not only to win the war against Germany but also to make impossible the outbreak of new aggression and a new war, if not forever, at least for the duration of a considerable period.

After the defeat of Germany she will, of course, be disarmed, both in the economic and military-political respects. However, it would be naive to think that she will not attempt to restore her power and develop new aggression. It is known to all that the German leaders are already now preparing for a new war. History points to the fact that a short period—twenty or thirty years—is sufficient for Germany to recover from defeat and to restore her power.

How to Curb Aggression

What means are available to avert new aggression by Germany and, if war arises, to stifle it at its very beginning, without allowing it to develop into large-scale war? This question is the more appropriate because, as history shows, aggressive nations—nations that attack—are usually more prepared for a new war than peace-loving nations, which, not being interested in a new war, are usually too late in preparing for it.

This means that the aggressive nations in this war before the outbreak of war had an invasion army ready, while the peace-loving nations did not even have fully satisfactory armies at the crisis of mobilization.

It cannot be considered accidental that such unpleasant facts occurred as the incident at Pearl Harbor, the loss of the Philippines and the other islands in the Pacific Ocean, the loss of Hong Kong and Singapore, when Japan as an aggressive nation proved more prepared for war than Great Britain and the United States, which pursued a policy of peace.

Neither can we consider accidental such an unpleasant fact as the loss of the Ukraine, White Russia and the Baltic regions during the very first year of war, when Germany, as an aggressive nation, proved more prepared for war than the peace-loving Soviet Union.

It would be naive to explain these facts by the personal qualities of the Japanese and Germans, their superiority over the British, Americans and Russians, their foresight, etc It is not a question of their personal qualities but of the fact that the aggressive nations, interested in a new war, as nations preparing for war over a long period and accumulating forces for this purpose usually are—and must be— more prepared for war than peace-loving nations who are not interested in a new war.

This is natural and comprehensible. This is, if you like, a law of history that cannot be denied.

It cannot be denied that in the future the peace-loving nations may again find themselves taken unawares by aggression, of course, if they do not work out now special measures capable of averting aggression. What means are there for averting new aggression by Germany and, if war arises in spite of that, stifling it at its very beginning and not allowing it to develop into large scale war?

Means for This Purpose

There are such means for this purpose. Apart from complete disarmament of the aggressive nations there is only one means, namely, to create a special organization to defend peace and insure security, composed of representatives of the freedom-loving nations, to put at the disposal of the leading organ of such an organization the essential amount of armed force required to avert aggression, and to make it the duty of this organization, in case of necessity, to apply without delay these armed forces to avert or liquidate aggression, and to punish those guilty of aggression.

There must not be a repetition of the sad memory of the League of Nations, which did not have either the right or the means to avert aggression. It will be a new, specially empowered international organization with everything at its disposal to defend peace and avert a new war.

Can one reckon on the fact that the activity of this international organization will be sufficiently effective?

It will be effective if the great powers, which have borne on their shoulders the main burden of the war against Germany, will act in future also in the spirit of unanimity and concord. It will not be effective if these essential conditions are violated.

Comrades! The Soviet people and the Red Army are successfully executing the tasks that have faced them during the patriotic war. The Red Army has worthily fulfilled its patriotic duty and liberated our motherland from the enemy.

Henceforth and forever our soul is free from the Hitlerite filth. Now the last, final mission remains for the Red Army, namely, to complete, together with the armies of our Allies, the task of defeating the German fascist armies, finishing off the fascist beast in his own lair, and raising over Berlin the banner of victory.

There is ground to reckon on this task being fulfilled by the Red Army in the near future.

Long live our victorious Red Army! Long live our glorious Navy! Long live the Soviet working people! Long live our great motherland! Death to the German fascist invaders!

The Government of the Republic


By GENERAL CHARLES deGAULLE, Leader of Provisional French Government

Delivered in the Palais Chaillot, Paris, France, September 13, 1944

Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. XI, pp. 73-75.

DURING the eighteen days which elapsed after the surrender to our troops of the enemy holding Paris, a wave of joy, pride, and hope exalted the French nation. All the countries of the world witnessed the impact of the liberation, which freed five sixths of our territory, in particular the capital, and which clearly brought in the limelight our people's will to fight, their enthusiasm and wisdom. If there were some people who still doubted the determination of our oppressed nation and its ability to rule itself, I believe they know now how matters stand.

At any rate, today's meeting, organized by the Council of Resistance, which inspired and coordinated right here— at the price of great dangers and losses—the fighting waged against the enemy and usurpers, is manifestly symbolical. Gathered here with the National Resistance Council—to which I wish to address the thanks of the Government and the whole nation—are the representatives of the peers of the nation, men of all origins and political creeds, who stood in the front lines of those who are waging the fight.

Everyone can see that a single flame inspires and a single reason guides all these leaders of France. It is impossible to find an audience which would be more qualified and worthy to hear of the country's future.

The powerful military force of Germany, which rested upon the exceptional capacity for fighting, enterprise and suffering of a powerful fanaticized nation; this force which furthered the designs of an ambitious man, who was aided by the defeatism and sometimes the treachery of the statesmen of countries which he wished to enslave in his attempt to rule the world—this force has been pushed back and humiliated. The edifice which was defeated months, years ago, was attacked this time with strength and daring and appears to be crumbling in its very foundations. The horizon is golden with the light of victory. New and bloody efforts will no doubt still be necessary, in order to obtain a direct and total victory. But no matter what may be the obstacles, and the length of time needed, it is henceforth certain that France will have its share of the victory.

We wish to pay wholehearted tribute to the brave and chivalrous nations that are achieving victory with us. We pay tribute to the British Empire which declared war with us on September 3, 1939. After the reverse of 1940, the British Empire remained interdependent with our mis-

fortunes by its determination; the British Empire is still beside us, fighting on our soil, until together we can crush our common enemy on his own territory.

We pay tribute to Soviet Russia, which after the 1941 aggression saw the German armies advancing deep into the Caucasus. But Russia was always able to find, in the admirable courage of its people, in the qualities of its fighting men, and by mobilizing its vast wealth, the energy for and the necessary means of driving out the invader, and crushing most of his war-like strength, in terrific battles.

We pay equal tribute to the United States, which in turn was attacked in December 1941 from Pearl Harbor to the far-reaches of the Pacific. During this war, the United States has become a powerful military nation and is now accomplishing gigantic undertakings overseas. It has already seized bases which will make it possible to attack Japan itself in the near future. We pay tribute to the valiant Polish, Czecho-Slovakian and Greek nations who were entirely submerged by the hated tide, but like us they never despaired and they are now seeing the dawn of liberation.

But if we who are accustomed to both great tragedies and great successes know that each of the countries that form with France the team of freedom, nobly deserves the esteem and friendship of France, we also can judge ourselves too clearly to ever forget our initial tragedy. We know that we too were unprepared for this new kind of war; we had not yet recovered from the terrific loss of human lives, which were wasted in the previous war; as the advanced guard of democracies we were tragically isolated, with nothing to protect us—neither a protective body of water nor vast territories—and we were submerged by Germany's mechanized force and suddenly precipitated into material and moral confusion which made it possible for defeatism and treachery to paralyze the will to conquer in many of us. But, when in 1940, all of Germany's tanks, guns, and planes relentlessly strove to beat us, then these tanks, guns, and planes were cutting into our flesh, and not into the flesh of other nations.

Subsequently, in spite of oppression, darkness, solitude, false propaganda, the persistent servitude imposed by the usurpers who were then in power, the great mass of the French people never believed the defeat was permanent.

Our flag never disappeared from the battlefields.