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USSR Order 270, August 1941 - Kill Red Army Soldiers
11-20-2013, 10:34 AM
Post: #1
USSR Order 270, August 1941 - Kill Red Army Soldiers
USSR Order 270, August 1941 - Kill Red Army Soldiers

Order 270

Family members of regular Red Army soldiers to be starved and frozen to death, if the soldier surrenders.

Order No. 270, dated August 16, 1941, was issued by Joseph Stalin acting as People's Commissar of Defense.[1] By the time of the order's issuance, German troops had achieved overwhelming successes in their advancement deep into Soviet territory. Their successful blitzkrieg strategy disorganized the Soviet defense system, led to encirclement of several Soviet divisions and even some armies and deteriorated morale of the Red Army's command staff. The command staff's morale was already low from the pre-war period as a result of Stalin's purges. The order was aimed primarily to raise command staff's morale, although in a very brutal manner.

In the preamble, the order gives examples of troops fighting in encirclement, as well as cases of surrender by military command.

The first article directed that any commanders or commissars "tearing away their insignia and deserting or surrendering"
should be considered malicious deserters. The order required superiors to shoot these deserters on the spot.[2] Their family members were subjected to arrest.[1]

The second article demanded that encircled soldiers used every possibility to fight, and to demand that their commanders organize fighting; according to the order, anyone attempting to surrender instead of fighting must be killed and their family members deprived of any state welfare and assistance.

The order also required division commanders to demote and, if necessary, even to shoot on the spot those commanders who failed to command the battle directly in the battlefield.[1]

Commenting on that order, Stalin declared: "There are no Soviet prisoners of war, only traitors."[3]

Original text

Roberts, Geoffrey. Stalin's Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939–1953. New Heaven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2006 (hardcover, ISBN 0-300-11204-1), page 98

Text of Order No. 270

"The warlords: Joseph Stalin"

USSR Order 270, August 1941 - Kill Red Army Soldiers

Stalin's War Against His Own Troops

Order 270:

"To bind each soldier, independent of his official position, to rebuff the enemy to the death, rather than to be taken and held captive, the family of the captured Red Army men to be deprived of welfare payment and of aid."

"Обязать каждого военнослужащ его если часть его находится в окружении, и если такой начальник или часть красноармейцев вместо организации отпора врагу предпочтут сдаться ему в плен, — а семьи сдавшихся в плен красноармейцев лишить государственного пособия и помощи.."

Order 270 of the U.S.S.R.

August 16, 1941

1941, Source: [RGVA], f. 4, pub. 12, d. 98, l. 617-622. Certified copy. Published in Military History Periodical. 1988. № 9. s. 26-28. I

Orders of the People's Commissariat of the Defense of the USSR
June 22, 1941. - 1942 g. - M
Published: 1997. - Vol. 13 (2-2). - S. 58-60. - 448 s. - (Russian archive: Great Domestic).
ISBN 5-85255-708-0
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03-21-2014, 09:45 AM
Post: #2
RE: USSR Order 270, August 1941 - Kill Red Army Soldiers
That's interesting, I didn't know about that.
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