Instruction on Ivan Nikitich Smirnov's Telegram, October 17, 1919

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Written by Lenin on Smirnov’s telegram which reported that “the morale in Siberia is a firm, Soviet one. By organising local forces, = we shall cope with Kolchak; = all that is needed are uniforms and cartridges. = Yesterday we went over to the offensive along the whole front, and expect to reach the Ishim in three weeks”. = Further, mention was made of the desire of the Communists of the 5th Army that the army be transferred to the Southern Front. Smirnov proposed that after the Ishim three divisions of this army should be transferred to the south. “If you provide uniforms for 30,000,” he wrote, “we shall immediately = mobilise this number of soldiers in Chelyabinsk and the place to which we are going. = Send only uniforms; we have and will have all the manpower” = ( underlinings by Lenin) (Collected Works, Fifth Ed., Vol. 51, p. 388).

The document bears a note by Lenin asking that the telegram be returned to him.

1) Give 30,000 uniforms.

2) The entire 5th Army to be taken to the south at once, and not after the Ishim (for the river Tobol is much larger and broader than the river Ishim, and the length of the front when transferred to the river Ishim is insignificantly shortened).

3) Turn the offensive in the direction of the Ishim into a demonstration and withdraw (having prepared for this in the shortest space of time) to the river Tobol.

Instruct the Commander-in-Chief to discuss my proposals 1–3.