With the collapse of the USSR, the then leaders of the Russian army decided to abandon the political workers who had been rallying the army with the people for 70 years. And the fact that the political officers were a force, says Hitler’s orders on the eve of the invasion of the Soviet Union: “Do not take prisoners, they are destroyed first of all along with the Jews.”
In army memoirs about 1941 I read:
“I was drawn into military life relatively easily. The experience of party work helped, the essence of which is always and everywhere the same – to rally people and direct their forces to solve the problems set by life. In addition, military affairs for me, generally speaking, were not new “In the Moscow City Party Committee, we studied it not only at the relevant training camps and courses. Shcherbakov made sure that party workers mastered military knowledge constantly, and he himself set an example. He was a member of the Military Council of the Moscow Military District, knew army regulations and manuals well, all types of small arms , versed in artillery, aircraft, tanks. Gradually, Alexander Sergeevich examined us. He would ask a question or two on the regulations, on the design of weapons – and blame yourself if you fail to answer. He liked to repeat: “Do not forget what Lenin said: learn military case in a real way!”
“This only concerns the military,” some people tried to object.
“No, Lenin demanded this from all of us, communists. Each of us must be ready to defend the Motherland with weapons in our hands and teach others this. Now all this came in handy.”
Spiritual and moral foundations of victory
It is clear that Lenin and the Communist Party are now not in honor, but the Motherland has remained. Even if it is now called the Fatherland. This is Russia. But who will lead the Russian army to victories. Military priests are the soul of a soldier, and a political worker is somewhat more. Russian people have always liked to talk in between fights.
An officer of any unit has the authority of an educator, which is based only on military regulations. In the current army there are also psychologists who can (although all this is individual and does not always justify itself) smooth out the fighter’s family experiences. But to lead the attack behind you, to explain to the soldier going into battle the importance of the task, taking into account the political component, only political instructors could always do this.
Yes, a new military-political department was formed in the Ministry of Defense a few years ago, similar to the Soviet GlavPUR, which was responsible for political discipline in the army. At that time, this was presented as an urgent need to strengthen the moral and political tempering of privates and officers at all levels, to strengthen the cohesion of army teams to solve a number of important tasks.
The Main Directorate for Work with Personnel, according to information on the website of the Ministry of Defense, is responsible for organizing the moral and psychological support of military personnel, outreach work and state-patriotic education of the personnel of the Russian army, as well as creating conditions for the exercise by military personnel of the right to freedom of religion, taking into account characteristics of military service.
I would say that this work should have been carried out among pre-conscripts, and not only in the army. But, judging by recent reports, today they don’t even want to serve us for a year, and with the announcement of partial mobilization, the “middle” class rushed out of the country – this is not normal.
I note that the same political workers, commissars, were already in the French army after the French Revolution, and later in the US army. The names are different, but the task is the same: “To love the motherland.” It was their duty to look after both the moral and the political spirit of the army.
They were the first to meet German bullets
The problem of patriotism plays a huge role in the life of modern Russian society. But if these are on-duty flash mobs on TV, no one will believe in it. To do this, you need a live interlocutor – a political instructor.
The political instructor in the army had a difficult role. It is even hard to imagine what mental and physical strength the work required to maintain the morale of the soldiers, to maintain and strengthen the discipline of the fighters. Especially when the combat situation was not in our favor. But we won.
Everyone is well aware of the textbook photograph of a political instructor leading soldiers to attack in 1942. The picture is not staged, it was taken in the context of a real battle. It is significant that it was made in the summer in the Luhansk region. The person in the photo was later identified. This was Alexey Eremenko. Not a commander, but a junior political instructor. He died.
One of the leaders of the defense of the Brest Fortress was the political officer of the regimental commissar Fomin. He was always seen where it was more dangerous. He led the fighters into attacks, cheered up the wounded, took care of the Red Army, tried to raise the morale of the soldiers. Taking the wounded commissar prisoner, the Germans shot him in the fortress at the Kholmsky Gate.
As one of the political workers later recalled, “not everyone was sent to political commissars in a row. Most often they were older people, not green youths, but with life experience. At least those who are already over 30 years old. dear father. If the fighters do not trust you, how can you raise them to the attack for the Motherland?”