February 23, 1945
Information Bulletin, Embassy of the U.S.S.R.
COMRADES RED ARMY MEN AND RED NAVY MEN, SERGEANTS, OFFICERS AND GENERALS!
Today we are celebrating the 27th Anniversary of the Red Army's existence. Created by the great Lenin to defend our motherland from the attack of foreign invaders and reared by the Bolshevik Party, the Red Army has traversed a glorious path in its development.
It has fulfilled with honor its historical destination and rightfully is the beloved child of the Soviet people.
In the years of the Civil War, the Red Army defended the young Soviet State from numerous enemies. In the great battles of the Patriotic War against the German invasion, the Red Army saved the peoples of the Soviet Union from German-fascist slavery, upheld the freedom and independence of our motherland, and helped the peoples of Europe to cast off the German yoke.
Now we are celebrating the 27th Anniversary of the Red Army in the midst of new historical victories over the enemy. The Red Army has not only freed its native land of the Hitlerite filth but also hurled the enemy back for many hundred kilometers beyond those lines from which the Germans launched their bandit attack upon our country, carried the war into Germany's territory, and now, together with the Armies of our Allies, is successfully completing the rout of the German-fascist army.
In January of this year, the Red Army brought down upon the enemy a blow of unparalleled force along the entire front from the Baltic to the Carpathians.
On a stretch of 1,200 kilometers it broke up the powerful defense of the Germans which they had been building for a number of years. In the course of the offensive, the Red Army by its swift and skillful actions has hurled the enemy far back to the West In stiff fighting, Soviet troops have advanced from the frontiers of East Prussia to the lower reaches of the Vistula-for 270 kilometers; from the bridgehead on the Vistula, south of Warsaw, to the lower reaches of the Oder River-for 570 kilometers; from the Sandomierz bridgehead into the depth of German Silesia-for 480 kilometers.
The first consequence of the successes of our winter offensive was that they thwarted the Germans' winter offensive in the West, which had as its aim the seizure of Belgium and Alsace, and enabled the Armies of our Allies in their turn to launch an offensive against the Germans and thus link up their offensive operations in the West with offensive operations of the Red Army in the East.
Within forty days of the offensive in January-February, 1945, our troops ejected the Germans from 300 towns, captured about 100 war plants manufacturing tanks, aircraft, armaments and ammunition, occupied over 2,400 railway stations, and seized a network of railways totaling over 15,000 kilometers in length.
Within this short period, Germany lost over 350,000 officers and men in war prisoners and not less than 800,000 in killed.
During the same period, the Red Army destroyed or seized about 3,000 German aircraft, over 4,500 tanks and self-propelled guns and not less than 12,000 guns.
As a result, the Red Army completely liberated Poland and a considerable part of the territory of Czechoslovakia, occupied Budapest and put out of the war Germany's last ally in Europe-Hungary-captured the greater part of East Prussia and German Silesia and battled its way into Brandenburg, into Pomerania, to the approaches of Berlin.
The Hitlerites boasted that for more than 100 years no single enemy soldier was within Germany's borders and that the German army fought and would fight only on foreign soil. Now an end has been put to this German braggery.
Our winter offensive has shown that the Red Army finds more and more strength for the solution of ever more complex and difficult problems.
Its glorious soldiers have learned to batter and annihilate the enemy in accordance with all rules of modern military science. Our soldiers, inspired by the realization of their great mission of liberation, display miraculous heroism and selflessness; they skillfully combine gallantry and audacity in battle with full utilization of the power and might of their weapons.
The Red Army generals and officers masterfully combine massed blows of powerful equipment with skillful and swift maneuver. In the fourth year of war, the Red Army has grown stronger and mightier than ever before, its combat equipment has become more perfect and its fighting mastery many times higher.
Comrades Red Army men, Red Navy men, sergeants, officers and generals!
Complete victory over the Germans is now near. But victory never comes of itself-it is won in hard battles and in persistent labor.
The doomed enemy hurls his last forces into battle, resisting desperately in order to escape stern retribution. He grasps and will grasp at the most extreme and base means of struggle. Therefore, it should be borne in mind that the nearer our victory, the higher must be our vigilance, the heavier must be our blows at the enemy.
On behalf of the Soviet Government and our glorious Bolshevik Party, I greet and congratulate you upon the 27th Anniversary of the Red Army!
To mark the great victories achieved by the Armed Forces of the Soviet State in the course of the past year, I order:
Today, February 23, the day of the 27th Anniversary of the Red Army, at 8 P.M., a salute of twenty artillery salvos shall be fired in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Petrozavodsk, Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Kishinev, Tbilisi, Stalingrad, Sevastopol, Odessa and Lvov.
Long live our victorious Red Army!
Long live our victorious Navy!
Long live our mighty Soviet motherland!
Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in the struggle for the freedom and independence of our motherland!
Death to the German invaders!
February 23, 1945.
Marshal of the Soviet Union,