Stalin's Call to Arms Description: Stalin, Joseph. "A Call to Arms." As reproduced in Soviet Foreign Policy during the Patriotic War, trans. Andrew Rothstein (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1946), 21, 23-24. Description:

Comrades, citizens, brothers and sisters, men of our Army and Navy! It is to you I am speaking dear friends!

The perfidious military attack by Hitlerite Germany on our Motherland begun on 22 June, is continuing. In spite of the heroic resistance of the Red Army, and although the enemy's finest divisions and finest air force units have already been smashed and have found their graves on the field of battle, the enemy continues to push forward, hurling fresh forces to the front. Hitler's troops have succeeded in capturing Lithuania, a considerable part of Latvia, the western part of Belorussia and part of Western Ukraine. The Fascist aircraft are extending the range of their operations. . . . Grave danger overhangs our country.

How could it have happened that our glorious Red Army surrendered a number of our cities and districts to the Fascist armies? Is it really true that the German-Fascist troops are invincible, as the braggart Fascist propagandists are ceaselessly trumpeting?

Of course not! History shows that there are no invincible armies and never have been. Napoleon's army was considered invincible, but it was beaten successively by the armies of Russia, England and Germany. Kaiser Wilhelm's German army in the period of the First Imperialist War was also considered invincible, but it was beaten several times by Russian and Anglo-French troops, and was finally smashed by the Anglo-French forces. The same must be said of Hitler's German-Fascist army of today. . . . [I]t too can be smashed and will be smashed, as were the armies of Napoleon and Wilhelm. . . .

The Red Army, Red Navy, and all citizens of the Soviet Union must defend every inch of Soviet soil, must fight to the last drop of blood for our towns and villages, must display the daring, initiative, and mental alertness characteristic of our people. . . .

We must strengthen the Red Army's rear, subordinating all our work to this end; all our industries must be got to work with greater intensity, to produce more rifles, machine-guns, cartridges, shells, planes; we must organize the guarding of factories, power stations, telephonic and telegraphic communications, and arrange local air-raid protection.

We must wage a ruthless fight against all disorganizers of the rear, deserters, panic-mongers and rumor mongers; we must exterminate spies, sabotage agents and enemy parachutists, rendering rapid aid in all this to our extermination battalions. We must bear in mind that the enemy is treacherous, cunning, experienced in deception and the dissemination of false rumors. We must reckon with all this, and not fall victims to provocation. All who by their panic-mongering and cowardice hinder the work of defense, no matter who they may be, must be immediately hauled before a military tribunal.

In case of a forced retreat of Red Army units, all rolling-stock must be evacuated, the enemy must not be left a single engine, a single railway truck, not a single pound of grain or gallon of fuel. Collective farmers must drive off all their cattle and turn over their grain to the safe keeping of the State authorities, for transportation to the rear. All valuable property, including non-ferrous metals, grain, and fuel that cannot be withdrawn, must be destroyed without fail.

In areas occupied by the enemy, partisan units, mounted and foot, must be formed; sabotage groups must be organized to combat enemy units, to foment partisan warfare everywhere, blow up bridges and roads, damage telephone and telegraph lines, set fire to forests, stores and transports. In occupied regions conditions must be made unbearable for the enemy and all his accomplices. They must be hounded and annihilated at every step, and all their measures frustrated.

The war with Fascist Germany cannot be considered an ordinary war. It is not only a war between two armies, it is also a great war of the entire Soviet people against the German-Fascist troops. The aim of this people's war in defense of our country against the Fascist oppressors is not only to eliminate the danger hanging over our country but also to aid all the European peoples groaning under the yoke of German Fascism. . . .