Trotsky on Employment of Former Generals

Leon Trotsky, Employment of Former Generals. April 21, 1918


Excerpt from a speech, in How the Revolution Armed (1923).

Original Source: L. Trotsky, Kak vooruzhalas’ revoliutsiia (Moscow: Izd. VVRS, 1923-1925), Vol. 1, pp. 63-64.

… In order to train the Red Army we are employing… some of the better qualified and more honest of the old generals. I hear these questions: “What? … Is this not a dangerous step?” There is danger in everything. We must have teachers who know something about the science of war. We talk to these generals with complete frankness. We tell them: “There is a new master in the land — the working class. He needs instructors to teach the toilers… how to fight the bourgeoisie.” … If these generals serve us honestly, we shall give them our full support; if they attempt counter-revolution, we shall find a way of dealing with them. They know that we have eyes everywhere…

Source: James Bunyan, ed., Intervention, Civil War, and Communism in Russia, April-December 1918 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1936), pp. 405-406.

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