Order by the Chairman of the Supreme Military Council and the People’s Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs (No.18-1918)

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It has been reported to me that the Petrograd guerrilla detachment has abandoned its position.

I order Commissar Rozengolts[1] to verify this.

The soldiers of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army are neither cowards nor scoundrels. They want to fight for the freedom and happiness of the working people. If they retreat or fight poorly, their commanders and commissars are to blame.

I issue this warning: if any unit retreats without orders, the first to be shot will be the commissar, and the next the commander.

Soldiers who show courage will be rewarded for their services and promoted to posts of command.

Cowards, self-seekers and traitors will not escape the bullet.

For this I vouch before the whole Red Army.

  1. On August 11 Comrade Rosengoltz was appointed a member of the Revo1utionary War Council of the Kazan Sector of the Eastern Front. The War Council for that sector, which was formed on the same day,constituted at the same time the command of the Fifth Army. The army Commander was Comrade Maygur, the commissar Kobozev, the chief of staff Comrade Blagoveshchensky, the commissar at headquarters Comrade Gusev. Immediately after it was organized, the headquarters of the Fifth Army began preparing the operation for the recovery of Kazan.