800.00B International Red Day/2–2546: Airgram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan) to the Secretary of State

A–87. Full summary follows on Red Army Day Order issued by Stalin February 23.

Red Army greets its 28th anniversary in flower of its strength and surrounded with halo of victory. After long and grievous war it has emerged as first-class army with high moral fighting qualities and completely equipped with modern arms and tried commanders. In war with fascist invaders Red Army showed itself more than equal to its great tasks. All peoples of USSR are now convinced that they can rely on Red Army. Red Army’s outstanding successes are explained first of all by fact that it is genuine people’s army and defends interests of its people. Red Army’s victories are further explained by fact that Communist Party educates it. Communist Party explained meaning and aims of war to Soviet fighters.

USSR has now entered new peaceful period of its economic development and its task is to advance still further, not merely consolidating economic positions already gained, which would lead to stagnation. Under present conditions Red Army’s duty is to maintain vigilant protection over peaceful constructive labor of Soviet people and make frontiers of USSR impregnable to all enemies.

In peace time first task of all soldiers, officers and generals without exception is to perfect their military and political knowledge. In years of war Red Army’s officers and generals mastered art of leading troops on field of battle. They must now master art of training and educating troops in peaceful circumstances. Patriotic war brought much that was new into military art and duty of Red Army is to use this precious experience not only for theoretical training but also for developing Soviet military science. Red Army must not only [Page 710] keep up with military developments but must advance them still further. First class technical equipment of Red Army forms basis of its strength and this equipment must be handled skillfully and preserved carefully. Success in training troops is unthinkable without strong discipline and strict military order, maintenance of which is in first instance duty of officer cadres and in particular of senior lieutenants and sergeants who are direct and closest educators of Red Army soldiers. Soldiers and officers have great services to their credit before people but this must not lead to conceit. Duty of each Soviet warrier is to put whole of his strength and knowledge at service of Red Army.