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Transcripts from Soviet Archives
Volume XI - 1931
III. Red Army
Special report of the OGPU on shortcomings in combat training, political work and the organization of summer camps in a number of military districts. June 1931
Head of the Special Department of the OGPU Olsky
Preliminary data on shortcomings by camps
In the preparatory work for going to the camps, in most cases there were the same significant shortcomings as last year. A number of camps were not put in order in a timely manner, mainly in terms of repairing camp premises, equipping shooting ranges, training grounds, etc. The reason for this in some places was ‐ untimely delivery of materials, insufficient use of mechanization and rationalization of construction and repair work, which disrupted the deadlines for completing the repair of premises, and as a result, many units had to go to unequipped camps.
BVO, 6th Cavalry Division. By order of the BVO troops, the division was supposed to enter the camps on May 20, but, due to the lack of equipment in the camps, the exit was delayed. Repairs were carried out by gravity without proper guidance.
64th Infantry Division. By the time, the recruits of the 64th artillery regiment arrived in the camps, the nests for tents had not been prepared, and the stables were not repaired.
98th Rifle Regiment. There are no canteens for the Red Army men and the commanding staff, there is no regimental block, the shooting ranges are not equipped, the existing one well cannot satisfy the campʹs need for water.
Moscow Military District, Separate Cavalry Brigade. Out of the required 40 wagons of timber, only 10‐15 wagons were delivered to repair the camp. Mechanical cutting of the material has not been established for two weeks. Shrapnel 76 was not prepared on time, and its preparation by hand slowed down and increased the cost of work.
Mechanized brigade. The plan for the construction of the Narofominsk camp for the mechanized brigade was not fulfilled by the time the brigade entered the camp. Access roads to garages were not made, living quarters for command personnel were not completed, etc. In some camps, construction work began without a preliminary survey of the terrain and soil. Also, the repair work was carried out unscheduled: it was not the main objects that were repaired, but the secondary and less important ones.
LVO, Kushubsky camp. The construction of the camp, begun without sufficient preliminary study and research of the terrain and soil, does not justify the material costs. The started digging of two artesian wells, which cost 20 thousand rubles, was stopped due to the impossibility of reaching the water. The designated place for the shooting range and training fields is swampy. The bathhouse and the laundry are not built where they should be, etc.
Moscow Military District, Ryazan camp. First of all, the secondary buildings were repaired, while the training grounds and shooting ranges remained unrepaired.
81st Infantry Division. The bathhouse and pumping station under construction were not completed before the arrival of the division in the camp. As a result, the Red Army men have to be led to wash in the city 10‐12 miles away and bring water by horse. The command of some units did not show due attention and solicitude to providing their units with repaired wagons and tents for the camp period. Some units went to the camps with a large shortage of tents.
Moscow Military District, 1st Radio Regiment. The wagon train has not been completely repaired ‐ 8 wagons require repair.
40th Infantry Regiment. The wagon train to the camps was not ready, 9 pair wagons were not repaired, the kitchens were not received.
6th Infantry Division. The divisionʹs units are missing 639 tents.
2nd k [corpus] and [rtillery] regiment. There are 95 old tents for the camp, this amount only covers the need for personnel. The collection of the reserve command staff in the amount of 600 people will not be provided with tents. The regiment did not make any requests for tents for collecting supplies, referring to the fact that the inventory of tents and the need for them is carried out directly by the military military establishment.
BVO, 81st Infantry Regiment. Of the 174 tents available, 52 are unusable at all, 57 require medium repairs, 46 require major repairs and 19 minor ones. During the loading into the trains, some parts of the Moscow Military District noted disorganization, irresponsibility in relation to the case of the leaders and chiefs of the trains, delay in loading, failure to provide trains with hot food and boiling water along the route.
MVO. 52nd and 53rd rifle regiments. On the way, the Red Army men were not provided with boiling water and drank raw water. The cars were illuminated only until 22‐24 hours. In the parts of the Moscow Military District, especially the territorial ones, that have entered the camps, there is a large shortage of command personnel, which directly affects the success of the implementation of the combat training plan for new recruits, for example, in units of the 6th Infantry Division.
There is a lack of staffing: senior commanding staff 11.4%, middle commanding personnel 23.7%, political personnel 26%, and in the 8th battalion of the 3rd territorial regiment the shortage is even greater ‐ the political personnel lacks 66%, command personnel ‐ 55%.
With the arrival in the camps in some parts of the LVO, political work has weakened, conversations are held irregularly, a wall newspaper is not published, and mass work has not begun. There are even sentiments that “camp tents do not need to be built at all,” for example, the battery commander of the 101st artillery regiment (LVO), Baranov, refusing to build a camp, said: “We don’t need it, no work is being done anyway, and will not be carried out. ʺ
A direct consequence of the inadequate arrangement of the camps and the negligent attitude of a part of the command personnel to the preparation of entering the camps is the growth of dissatisfaction with the service of the Red Army during the first time of the camp period. For example, in the Saratov camp (SKVO), dissatisfaction with the service accounts for 50% of all negative statements, while in winter apartments in these parts of the said statements were much less. The growth of dissatisfaction with the service is very often promoted by the indiscriminate nature of some command personnel and the aimless exhaustion of the physical forces of the Red Army soldiers at various jobs.
SKVO, Slavyansky lagsbor. The camp headquarters demanded 20 Red Army men from the 22nd artillery regiment for camp work, who, having come to the headquarters located two kilometers from the regiment, were sent from the latter to work on the flank of the camp, located five kilometers from the headquarters. There was no work on this flank, and the Red Army men were again returned to headquarters. Thus, the 12‐kilometer path was traversed in vain. There, on May 9, when changing the guard, they forgot to remove the temporary post on the flank of the camp, and the sentry stood unnecessarily until two oʹclock the next day.
Moscow Military District, 14th Infantry Division. The Red Army soldier Nikitin expressed his opinion: ʺThe Red Army men are a regimental mare, how many they will carry and will be silent, why is it necessary ‐ to carry different rolls, rifles and other accessories, only to torment us.ʺ
In connection with the weakness in some parts of the political work, it is noted, especially among the recruits, a significant increase in kulak statements, mainly on questions of the partyʹs policy in the countryside. ʺI will not go to the collective farm, I will not serve in the Red Army, since I am not going to defend the Soviet power,ʺ and so on.
Moscow Military District, 42nd Infantry Regiment. The Red Army recruit said: “I will not serve in the Red Army. The Soviet government is killing people not only morally, but physically, forcibly driving them into collective farms, I will hang myself, but I will not go to a collective farm, and I will not serve in the army, since I am not going to defend the Soviet government. ʺ With access to the camps, a sharp deterioration in the financial situation of command personnel and, mainly, of their families is observed almost everywhere. The rations received by the command personnel are listed in the camp canteens. The families left in the winter apartments are left without rations, which causes a lot of criticism from the command staff.
SKVO. 13th Infantry Division. Komroty said: “We take rations to the camps, but what will our families do? Really the command staff will be silent. This is outright disgrace. ʺ
22nd Infantry Division. The regimentʹs veterinarian said: “What kind of worker will I be when I think about my family all the time? Iʹd rather agree to leave my ration for the family, and somehow held it out myself.
In the camps of the UVO, many cases of complete insecurity of command personnel and their families, even with essential products, were recorded. In a number of camps (3rd, 80th, 7th, 25th, 95th rifle divisions) cooperative service is not organized, canteens are not open.
UVO, 3rd Infantry Division... In the Angarsk camp on May 17, 18 and 19, meat was completely absent. Lean porridge was served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the same place, there was a case of open indignation of a part of the command personnel with poor nutrition, and, moreover, it almost came to a collective action, prevented by the measures taken by the O [special] o [department] and the political department of the lagsbor. The main reasons for the unsatisfactory service of the command personnel in the camps and their families are the inactivity of the lower‐level cooperation apparatus and the weak and untimely planning of this work by the central cooperative and other supply bodies. The shortage in a number of basic products for public catering of the command staff remains uncovered. For example, the additional norms allocated for the camps by the VDO Tsentrosnab are very scanty; released meat 12 tons, instead of 100 tons of monthly need,
Cooperative construction in camps (CCP), despite the sufficient amount of allocated funds, in a number of camps is not completed, due to poor management of this work by the construction department of the ONS UVO. Moreover, the indicated department, without itself deploying any practical work on cooperative construction in the camps, only at the end of April transferred all the work to the command of the units.
Assistant to the head of the 2nd department of the OGPU Alekhin Operative of 4 branches of the OGPU Balanda
76 Shingles ‐ thin wooden planks (planks) for upholstering walls and ceilings for plastering and for roofing.
Special report of the OGPU about anti‐Soviet nationalist manifestations in the 26th cavalry regiment of the North Caucasus Military District. December 28, 1931
Head of PA OGPU Leplevsky
Recently, a number of anti‐Soviet nationalist manifestations have been noted by some of the command and enlisted personnel of the national squadron of the 26th Cavalry Regiment (SKVO), which negatively affect the political and moral state and discipline of the squadron as a whole.
So, for example: November 24 this year. platoon commander Gambotov, an Ingush, a member of the Komsomol, while the platoon was working in the fields of the Pyatigorsk state farm, shouted in Chechen among the Red Army soldiers of the 1st squadron ʺLong live the elimination of the poor as a class and the collectivization of kulaks.ʺ
In response, the Red Army soldiers shouted ʺHurrayʺ in the Chechen language. Platoon commander Sultygov, a non‐partisan, nationalistminded, expressed his unwillingness to work, saying: ʺI will work so that Evdokimov and Apanasenko are brought to justiceʺ (Russian commanders).
Platoon commander Akhtaev, a member of the All‐Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, who is in solidarity with Sultygov, said: ʺI will also work for one day and be ill for three days.ʺ
While working at state farm No. 3, the proposal of the commander of the national squadron to increase the pace of work at the state farm by the platoon commander Agirzhenokov, the candidate of the All‐Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, in the presence of the platoonʹs Red Army men, indignantly replied: ʺPeople are already working, I canʹt pull them by the collar.ʺ
In response to the Pompolitʹs attempt to call Agirzhenokov aside and talk to him, the latter, swearing at the marketplace, said: ʺI wonʹt go, that you are pulling me.ʺ
The above manifestations on the part of the command personnel, having received wide publicity in the squadron, are reflected in the political state of the Red Army, generating among the latter deserterinsurgent sentiments.
The Red Army soldier Amaev, a non‐partisan, Chechen, said: ʺI will go home [...] and go to the gang.ʺ Red Army soldier Tashaev, a nonpartisan, Chechen, said: ʺWhoever stays here will die, now we have warm clothes and weapons ‐ you can go to the gang.ʺ The Red Army soldier Batlekaev, a non‐partisan, Chechen, said: ʺWe must go to the gang and beat these fools.ʺ
The podiv and the RVS of the district were informed about the state of the squadron, before which the question of strengthening party and cultural‐educational work among the nationals of this regiment was raised.
Assistant to the head of the OGPU Ivanov
Operative of the 5th branch of the OGPU Balanda
A special report from the OGPU on the liquidation of the Trotskyist group in the Vladikavkaz infantry school. March 31, 1931
Head of PA OGPU
In the Vladikavkaz infantry [otnaya] school, a Trotskyist counterrevolutionary group of 7 cadets was liquidated. The leaders of the group, cadets: Yegorov, Zubrov and Shamin, were arrested. An investigation is underway. Details will be announced later.
Assistant to the head of the 2nd department of the OGPU Alekhin
Operative of 4 branches of the OGPU Balanda
Special report of the OGPU about gross excesses on the part of the command and political staff of the Red Army. November 3, 1931
Deputy Head of the OGPU Leplevsky
The Red Army continues to record many facts of gross excesses and distortions committed by a part of the compolitist staff when recruiting Red Army soldiers into collective farms.
PRIVO. 5th territorial regiment. Komroty Zimin at the rally got the collective farmers to present the shameful banner to the individual farmers. An old footcloth was tied to a pole with the inscription: ʺTo individual farmers, enemies of the USSR, who stubbornly do not go to the collective farm and do not want to be the support of socialist construction.ʺ
15th battalion. Platoon commander Zotov at the shooting range, having built the individual farmers into a special group, turned to them with a proposal to enroll in the collective farm. In response to the refusal of the individual farmers, Zotov said: “Well, since you are against the Soviet regime, sign your name,” and immediately wrote a statement: “I, the change‐in Yegorkin, will not join the collective farm and do not want to go, because I am against the Soviet regime,” and offered to sign it to those who refused.
The Red Army soldier Yegorkin signed, and after a while took his subscription back and joined the collective farm, while others refused to subscribe. To this Zotov threatened: “If you don’t subscribe, then we will take measures, we will apply Article 61 of the Criminal Code 80, you are not ours, we’ll drive you out of the army, but we will write at your place of residence so that you will be dispossessed and deprived of your vote.” The kompolitstaff of some units, instead of carrying out the necessary political explanatory work to draw the Red Army men into collective farms, applies administrative pressure to the individual farmers.
MVO. 163rd Infantry Regiment. Komrots Repin and compolite Solomatin at the meeting, after some Red Army men refused to vote for the collective farm, commanded: ʺWho is against the collective farm, two steps forward.ʺ
PRIVO. 5th Artillery Division. Vreede pomp Plost after it was noted that recruiting was bad in the artillery battalion, he summoned individual farmers and threatened them with deprivation of voting rights, dispossession and exile if they did not join collective farms. As a result of these excesses and distortions on the part of the Red Army, there are facts of sharp dissatisfaction with collectivization, and in the case of joining the collective farm, not of their own free will, but out of fear of reprisals in order to leave the collective farm after demobilization.
In addition, these excesses are used by the anti‐Soviet element in their agitation as evidence of the forcible involvement of peasants in collective farms.
OKDVA. 107th regiment. The Red Army soldier Mikhailyuk, a nonparty, middle peasant, said: “Where is voluntariness here? In the villages, peasants are forcibly forced to join collective farms, while in the army this violence takes on other forms. I personally do not want to be on the collective farm, but they dragged me, well, let me be listed only on paper. Let them say that we are making progress in the field of collectivization. These successes are based on violence. ʺ
Based on the facts of brutal pressure on the Red Army soldiers, sometimes painted in an embellished form, some of the Red Army soldiers complain to their relatives (in letters or during visits with visitors) about the repressions against the individual farmers in the Red Army.
PRIVO. 14th battalion. The Red Army soldier Voronkov writes home: “The bosses look at us as if they were kulaks, they donʹt trust us, they say you can let us down. The head of the pulsbor says that whoever does not sign up before the 15th will be expelled from the Red Army with a document as a counter‐revolutionary, as a saboteur of the Red
Army, I really do not want to go to the collective farm. ʺ
Assistant to the head of the OGPU Ivanov
Operative of the 5th branch of the OGPU Balanda
80 According to Article 61, Article 61 of the RSFSR Criminal Code read: “Refusal to perform duties, national tasks or work of national importance ‐ a fine imposed by the relevant authority up to five times the cost of the imposed task, duty or work; the second time ‐ imprisonment or forced labor for up to one year; the same actions committed by kulak elements, at least for the first time, or by other persons under aggravating circumstances: collusion of a group of persons or active resistance to the authorities in carrying out duties, assignments or work ‐ imprisonment for up to two years with confiscation of everything or part of property, with or without reference. ʺ
Special report of the OGPU on the shortcomings in the recruitment of military schools. July 13, 1931
Head of the OGPU Olsky
The recruiting of the Moscow artillery and Saratov armored schools with special recruiting cadets (party members commanded by party organizations) is unsatisfactory. Many of the people on assignment have not yet appeared (for example, 468 people have arrived at the armored school out of 600 charged up yet), and some of the people who have appeared are taking all possible measures to evade service in the Red Army, up to leaving the party and deserting. Particularly sharp negative sentiments are observed on the part of those withdrawn from their studies in civilian universities, where, in their opinion, they had ʺboth freedom and material prospects, but there is nothing here.ʺ
MVO. Moscow art school: On June 2, a cadet Kalashnikov, a worker, a candidate since 1930, posted by the MK of the All‐Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, submitted an application to the cell of the 3rd battery that he would not study, citing his weakness. The statement ends with a request to exclude him from the party.
Cadet Tyuskov, a candidate of the All‐Union Communist Party
(Bolsheviks), also sent by the MK of the All‐Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), submitted an application to the cell with a request to expel him from the party, citing his unwillingness to comply with the partyʹs decisions on special enrollment in military schools.
On June 3, cadets Shaburo, a worker, a member of the CPSU (b), and Denisov, a member of the CPSU (b), came to the secretary of the party bureau, and said that they did not want to stay in school, since they had already served their one‐year military service and had the title of a reserve platoon commander.
PRIVO: Armored school. Cadet Mokrousov, a peasant, a middle peasant, a workersʹ faculty member, submitted a report in which he writes: “I consider my further stay in this school a waste of state money. I qualify my act as disagreement with the party mobilization of students in military schools. ʺ
A group of cadets, including 10 people who arrived from the Institute of Engineers from the North Caucasus (Timanov, Bodrov, Efimov, Terekhov, Akhmetov, Stepanov, Kremnev, Berniyazov, Khingulov and Barmin), persistently sought before various authorities to return them back to universities, as a result of which school received a telegram from the head of state university 77about sending them back to the Institute of Engineers. Considering that the secondment of this group would affect the mood of the rest of the cadets, the school command turned to the RVS with a request to cancel the order of the nachguvuz. Without waiting for the final resolution of the issue, the members of this group, cadets Efimov and Berniyazov, refused to continue their studies; Berniyazov said in a report: “In view of the decision of the Central Committee of the All‐Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) and the telegraphic order of the Revolutionary Military Council to send me to the Institute of IMSZ and in view of the demand of the director of the institute to send me to the institute immediately, which serves as the basis for incorrect sending to the SBS by local party bodies, therefore I ask immediately send me to the institute. In case of non‐fulfillment of the decisions of higher bodies on your part, I regard it as a distortion of the party line”.
Without being limited to such claims, some of the more volatile and morally corrupt are deserting.
MVO. Art school. Cadet Zyuzin, a worker, a member of the CPSU (b), who arrived on a business trip, was a member of the CPSU (b), having received uniforms, left the school and has not returned to this day. A member of the CPSU (b) Voronkov who arrived on a business trip to the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Committee of the CPSU (b), a worker, having appeared drunk, left school during sanitation and never returned.
In total, as of July 1, the following schools were recorded:
1. Submission of applications for withdrawal from the CPSU (b) due to unwillingness to study ‐ 7 cases.
2. Refusal to study under the guise of illness, etc. ‐ five cases.
3. Desertions ‐ three cases.
At meetings convened by the political apparatus of schools to discuss these actions, there were also speeches against abandonment in schools and service in the army, for example: PRIVO, BTSh. Cadet Levashov said: ʺI am one of those who least of all would like to be in school, I obeyed only because of the authority of the corresponding ones.ʺ Further, Levashov put forward a number of demands, calling into question the possibility of acquiring knowledge at school with a clear discrediting of the command staff. Levashov is a former active Trotskyist, expelled from the CPSU (b) and arrested.
Although the general mood of the bulk of the arriving cadets remains healthy, nevertheless, the indicated moods of some of the arriving students can have an extremely bad effect, both on the condition of the entire cadet mass and on the course of study, if sufficient measures of political educational and repressive order are not taken in time.
Assistant to the head of the 2nd branch of OO OPTU Alekhin
Operative of 4 branches of the OGPU Balanda
77 Nachguvuz ‐ head of the Main Department of pedagogical educational institutions.