Proletarians of all countries, unite!
On the 80th anniversary of the victory in the battle of Stalingrad
The International Communist League correctly stated in its ‘Political Declaration and the Principles of the International Communist League’: “We assume the position of Chairman Mao on the role of comrade Stalin that he was a great Marxist. Furthermore, we must bear in mind that he was the one who brilliantly defined Leninism. We, the communists, today have the task to assume the defense of his role in World War II within the Communist International, particularly its 7th World Congress.” The latter will be central for this article celebrating the tremendous victory in the battle of Stalingrad.
The weight and significance of this great and heroic battle was correctly established by Chairman Mao Tse-Tung: “This battle is not only the turning point of the Soviet-German war, or even of the present anti-fascist world war, it is the turning point in the history of all mankind.”
The war fought by the USSR, as it was absolutely correctly defined, was a Great Patriotic War, a just war of defence. Additionally to the glorious and heroic defence, in which the USSR under the leadership of Comrade Stalin had to apply scorched land to defend its territory, to defend the socialist motherland, what costed more than 25 million lives, the anti-imperialist struggle unfolded vastly in the oppressed nations during this period.
Chairman Mao Tse-Tung just and correct thought us: “The Soviet Union’s sacred war of resistance against fascist aggression is being waged not only in its own defence but in defence of all the nations struggling to liberate themselves from fascist enslavement. For Communists throughout the world the task now is to mobilize the people of all countries and organize an international united front to fight fascism and defend the Soviet Union, defend China, and defend the freedom and independence of all nations.”
The peoples of the world rose for the just cause and spilled their precious blood not only in the war against the axis, but also against their respective imperialist masters, what initiated the great anti-colonial struggle in the second half of the 20th century.
In the winter 1941/42 the Soviet Union under the leadership and command of Comrade Stalin had already successfully rebuffed a vicious Nazi-German attack on the western part of the country, aiming to take the capital Moscow. The Nazi-Wehrmacht, not able to understand that every attempt to crush the Bolshevist steel tempered by the great Lenin and Stalin was doomed to fail, mounted an offensive on southern Russia in the summer of 1942. They set their sights on Stalingrad, because the city served as an industrial center in Russia, producing, among other important goods, artillery for the country’s troops. The Volga River, which runs through the city, was also an important shipping route connecting the western part of the country with its distant eastern regions. The Nazis wanted the Wehrmacht to occupy Stalingrad, seeing its value for propaganda purposes, given that it bore Stalin’s name. For similar moral reasons there was a special need to defend it. The 6th Army of the Wehrmacht began their assault on 23 August 1942.
Comrade Stalin, as the highest command, issued personally the Order 227, at the end of July 1942, in order to elevate the level of sacrifices and fighting spirit of the armed forces to the level of the people:
“The enemy throws new forces to the front without regard to heavy losses and penetrates deep into the Soviet Union, seizing new regions, destroying our cities and villages, and violating, plundering and killing the Soviet population. Combat goes on in region Voronej, near Don, in the south, and at the gates of the Northern Caucasus. The German invaders penetrate toward Stalingrad, to Volga and want at any cost to trap Kuban and the Northern Caucasus, with their oil and grain. […] Part of the troops of the Southern front, following the panic-mongers, have left Rostov and Novochercassk without severe resistance and without orders from Moscow, covering their banners with shame.
The population of our country, who love and respect the Red Army, start to be discouraged in her, and lose faith in the Red Army, and many curse the Red Army for leaving our people under the yoke of the German oppressors, and itself running east. Some stupid people at the front calm themselves with talk that we can retreat further to the east, as we have a lot of territory, a lot of ground, a lot of population and that there will always be much bread for us. They want to justify the infamous behavior at the front. But such talk is falsehood, helpful only to our enemies.
Each commander, Red Army soldier and political commissar should understand that our means are not limitless. The territory of the Soviet state is not a desert, but people – workers, peasants, intelligentsia, our fathers, mothers, wives, brothers, children. The territory of the USSR which the enemy has captured and aims to capture is bread and other products for the army, metal and fuel for industry, factories, plants supplying the army with arms and ammunition, railroads. After the loss of Ukraine, Belorussia, Baltic republics, Donetzk, and other areas we have much less territory, much less people, bread, metal, plants and factories. We have lost more than 70 million people, more than 800 million pounds of bread annually and more than 10 million tons of metal annually. […] To retreat further – means to waste ourselves and to waste at the same time our Motherland. Therefore it is necessary to eliminate talk that we have the capability endlessly to retreat, that we have a lot of territory, that our country is great and rich, that there is a large population, and that bread always will be abundant. Such talk is false and parasitic, it weakens us and benefits the enemy, if we do not stop retreating we will be without bread, without fuel, without metal, without raw material, without factories and plants, without railroads. This leads to the conclusion, it is time to finish retreating. Not one step back! […] It is impossible to tolerate commanders and commissars permitting units to leave their positions. It is impossible to tolerate commanders and commissars who admit that some panic-mongers determined the situation on the field of combat and carried away in departure other soldiers and opened the front to the enemy. The panic-mongers and cowards should be exterminated in place.
Henceforth the solid law of discipline for each commander, Red Army soldier, and commissar should be the requirement – not a single step back without order from higher command. Company, battalion, regiment and division – commanders and appropriate commissars, who retreat without orders from higher commanders, are betrayers of the Motherland. These are the orders of our Motherland. To execute this order – means to defend our lands, to save the Motherland, to exterminate and to conquer the hated enemy.”
Our heroic red soldiers were initially able to slow the Wehrmacht’s advances during a series of skirmishes north of Stalingrad, offering more than 200,000 lifes, and successfully held off the Nazi hordes. It was decided not to flee but withstand and therefore not to evacuate the more than 400,000 inhabitants of the city. The men and women, even the youngest, of Stalingrad were incorporated into war related activities – combat, construction, espionage, supply, etc. Even when the walls of Stalingrad bursted by the Luftwaffe’s constant bombardments or the heavy artillery strikes, the people stood steadfast.
The Operation Uranus led by Georgy Zhukov and Aleksandr Vasilevsky organized Russian troops in the mountains to the north and west of the city. From there, they launched a counterattack. Paying the necessary price the Red Army was able to encircle the city by late November 1942, trapping the nearly 300,000 German and Axis troops (mainly Italian and Romanian), choking off the enemy forces from vital supplies and essentially surrounding them in an ever-tightening noose.
Close to Stalingrad the Red Army won important battles, including in Rostov-on-Don, about 250 miles away from Stalingrad. Thus the enemy forces were thinned and stretched at that part of the front and the Operation Little Saturn in the west of Stalingrad was successful. With men, not arms, proving the Marxist principle about what is most important correct once again, they strangled the invaders to death and fought the greatest battle of war in cities ever seen. It was a war not only from street to street, nor from house to house or cellar to cellar, not even floor by floor, but room by room, generating the most heroism, chapters that have shaken the world.
On the significance of the battle of Stalingrad for the whole course of the war Chairman Mao stated: “…in this present war the attack on Stalingrad is the expression of the last desperate struggle of fascism itself. At this turning point in history, too, many people in the world anti-fascist front have been deluded by the ferocious appearance of fascism and have failed to discern its essence. For forty-eight days there raged an unprecedentedly bitter battle, unparalleled in the history of mankind–from August 23, when the entire German force crossed the bend of the River Don and began the all-out attack on Stalingrad, through September 15, when some German units broke into the industrial district in the northwestern section of the city, and right up to October 9, when the Soviet Information Bureau announced that the Red Army had breached the German line of encirclement in that district. Ultimately this battle was won by the Soviet forces. During those forty-eight days, the news of each setback or triumph from that city gripped the hearts of countless millions of people, now bringing them anxiety, now stirring them to elation. This battle is not only the turning point of the Soviet-German war, or even of the present antifascist world war, it is the turning point in the history of all mankind. Throughout these forty-eight days, the people of the world watched Stalingrad with even greater concern than they watched Moscow last October. […] following the battle for the defence of Stalingrad, the situation will be totally different from that of last year. On the one hand, the Soviet Union will launch a second winter counteroffensive on a vast scale, Britain and the United States will no longer be able to delay the opening of the second front (though the exact date cannot yet be foretold), and the people of Europe will be ready to rise up in response. On the other hand, Germany and her European accomplices no longer have the strength to mount large-scale offensives, and Hitler will have no alternative but to change his whole line of policy to the strategic defensive.”
We all know, and we must remember, that the fascist offensive led by the Nazis, to which the Italian and Spanish fascists as well as others like the Romanians, Hungarians and also Bandera’s bunch of rats from Ukraine contributed, and which used all the economic might of subjugated Europe, threw millions over millions, the cream of the German army, 75% of its air force, into the invasion. But comrade Stalin had wisely handled diplomacy with great subtlety.
It is worth noting the sagacity and penetration of the Soviet intelligence service. What an intelligence service. They knew the exact day of the Nazi-invasion.
The Soviet Union applied a strategic defence together with scorched earth, leaving them nothing but bare earth, mud, ashes and the most brave, determined and resolute partisans behind the enemies lines. They had the audacity, the courage to blow up monumental works such as the famous dam that links the Volga with the Don that took so many years of effort. The Germans never dreamed, they thought that this work would not be blown up, because it was too important and had cost a lot.
The dictatorship of the proletariat was at stake, the revolution was at stake, we cannot stop to think, nor can we simply allow ourselves to be hindered, as Chairman Mao said, by the defence of inches of land. They crashed at the gates of Leningrad, at the gates of Moscow and Stalingrad; but not only
scorched earth was carried out, but guerrillas and even simple individual men and women with their rifles, their ammo and their vodka awaited the enemy. To annihilate one of those brave heroes and heroines, the Germans lost 10 men, averagely.
The fascist offensive was a military plan of very high quality, thus, the highest and most enlightened German military leaders elaborated this plan and the German school has a many times proven war tradition: in three months they planned to conquer the USSR.
Comrade Stalin’s foresight, he had already taken measures since the 1930s when there was the great transformation of the countryside and industry, they had already transferred factories beyond the Urals, even foreseeing the possibility of leaving as far as Moscow, for it is true, everything was
already in place in case they could not ultimately defend Moscow, even if that was the decision taken, it was already planned to move the leadership and the centre to the Urals; So the first thing that was done was to make arrangements for Lenin’s transfer, because he could not fall into the dirty hands of the wretched sons of hell, he could not fall.
But the order, after they had penetrated to the above mentioned gates, the order was not to retreat any further! It is very memorable, and we must always remember how on November 7, the anniversary of the revolution, they had nowhere to celebrate it and it was considered impossible to carry it out; comrade Stalin said: “to the station”, “but there is no platform there, there are no seats there”, comrade Stalin stepped on a box and spoke in celebration of the revolution, saying: “how many of us were there when we seized power, what forces did we have when we repulsed the imperialist aggression immediately after the October Revolution? We will crush them, and we will annihilate the beast in its own den, in Berlin.”
These are things one must remember, to appreciate comrade Stalin one must look at the Second World War. We all know how then came the great resistance, the breaking of the German lines, the siege of Stalingrad where the German commanders, Hitler himself, commanded them not to retreat to those inferior subhumans. Those inferiors, the barbarians, the Mongols, hunted them down like rats and they had to surrender.
It is always good to reiterate this: Stalin, the skillful and wise manager of war, always took the moral element into account and paraded all the defeated, surrendered Nazis and threw their flags, their eagles, their swastikas at the foot of Lenin’s mausoleum; not only a great military defeat, but a
great moral defeat! The Nazi arrogance had been sunk in the mud and trampled upon, it was the greatest moral blow it had ever received, and that was the beginning of the breakdown of the Nazi Wehrmacht.
In February 1943 Comrade Stalin analysed: “Three months ago the troops of the Red Army began their offensive at the approaches to Stalingrad. Since then the initiative in military operations has remained in our hands and the pace and striking power of the offensive operations of the Red Army have not weakened. Today, in hard winter conditions, the Red Army is advancing over a front of 1,500 kilometres (950 miles) and is achieving successes practically everywhere. In the north, near Leningrad, on the central front, at the approaches to Kharkov, in the Donets Basin, at Rostov, on the shores of the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, the Red Army is striking blow after blow at the Hitlerite troops. In three months the Red Army has liberated from the enemy the territory of the Voronezh and Stalingrad regions, the Checheno-Ingush, North Ossetian, Kabardino- Balkarian and Kalmyk Autonomous Republics, the Stavropol and Krasnodar Territories, the Cherkess (Circassian), Karachaisu and Adygeisu Autonomous Regions and almost the whole of the Rostov, Kharkov and Kursk Regions.
[…] in the winter of 1942-43 alone, the Germans lost over 7,000 tanks, 4,000 planes, 17,000 guns […] since the beginning of the war, has put out of action about 9,000,000 German-fascist officers and men, of whom no less than 4,000,000 were killed on the battlefield.
[…] first, the weakness of the German army is the shortage of man-power reserves, and consequently it is not known from what sources these losses will be replaced. […] the Red Army has become a seasoned army. […] millions of Red Army men have become masters of their weapons […]
It cannot be considered an accident that the Red Army Command not only liberates Soviet soil from the enemy but does not let the enemy leave our soil alive, carrying out such important operations as the encirclement and annihilation of enemy armies which can well serve as examples of military art. This is undoubtedly a sign of the maturity of our commanders.
There can be no doubt that only the correct strategy of the Red Army Command, and the flexible tactics of our commanders who execute it, could have resulted in such an outstanding fact as the encirclement and annihilation at Stalingrad of an enormous picked army of Germans, numbering 330,000 men.”
Our Brazilian comrades pointed out: The victory against fascism in the Second World War is one of the great historical events of the process of the Proletarian World Revolution, the imperialist camp found itself deeply beaten, three important imperialist powers were defeated – Germany, Japan and Italy – which has to be seriously studied for its just and correct comprehension, it has to be highlighted and celebrated.
The Communist Party of China affirmed, regarding the evaluation of this historic experience:
“In the first place, the history of anti-fascist war shows that the socialist system has an enormous vitality that can resist the most severe test and that a state of the dictatorship of the proletariat is invincible.
In second place, the history of the anti-fascist war shows that imperialism is the source of all wars in modern times, that the aggressive nature of imperialism will not change and because of that, to defend world peace it is necessary to persist in the struggle against imperialism.
In third place, the history of the anti-fascist war shows that the peoples war sure to attain victory, that it is completely possible to defeat the imperialist aggressors, that imperialism is a paper tiger, who is apparently strong, but in reality is weak, and that the atomic bomb is also a paper tigress and it is the people and not the arms, of any class, who decide the outcome of the war.
In fourth place, the history of the anti-fascist war shows that, in order to defeat the imperialist aggressor, it is imperative to trust in the unity of the revolutionary forces of the people in all countries, to attract to our side all the forces that can be won, to form the broadest possible international united front and concentrate our blows on the main enemy of the peoples of the world.”
Under the guns of the glorious Red Army Nazi-Germany was shattered, Socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat arose in up to Eastern Germany. The Red Banner of the Communist Party and the USSR waving over the shadowed and destroyed German Reichstag is an undeniable great moment of the international proletariat that symbolize the whole heroic and glorious epic of the struggle against fascism in defense of the USSR and for the development of the Proletarian World Revolution. The sentence made by comrade Dimitrov when he embarked in the direction of
USSR after the great victory in the Nazi Tribunal in Leipzig was thus accomplished: “We will make Germany Soviet!”.