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Liveblogging World War II: August 16, 1941

The Supreme Command of the Red Army:

August 16, 1941 Not only his friends but our enemies are forced to admit that our war of liberation from Nazi invaders, the vast majority of the Red Army behaved impeccably, with courage, and heroically. Even those parts of our army who accidentally broke away from the army and were surrounded preserved the spirit of fortitude and courage and did nt surrender, trying to cause harm to the enemy. Some parts of our army, surrounded by the enemy, used every opportunity to inflict a defeat on our enemies and break out of encirclement.

Commander of the Western Front Lieutenant-General Boldin, while in the 10th Army near Bialystok, surrounded by Nazi troops… after 45 days of fighting behind enemy lines and made their way to the main forces Western Front. They destroyed the headquarters of two German regiments, 26 tanks, 1049 cars, vehicles and staff vehicles, 147 motorcycles, five artillery batteries, 4 mortars, 15 machine guns, eight machine guns, a plane on the airfield and warehouse bombs….

But we can not hide the fact that lately there have been some shameful facts of surrender. Separate the generals is a bad example to our troops…. The commander of the 13th Rifle Corps, Major General Kirillov, surrounded by German troops, rather than fulfill his duty to the country… deserted the battlefield and surrendered to the enemy. As a result, part of the 13th Rifle Corps were broken and without serious resistance surrendered….

These shameful instances of surrender to our sworn enemy suggests that in our brave Red Army… there are unstable, cowardly, cowardly elements. And these cowardly elements are not only among the Red Army, but also among the command staff….

Can I put up in the Red Army with cowards, deserters to the enemy, or faint-hearted chiefs who at the first hitch on the front tear off their insignia and desert to the rear? No, impossible! Cowards and deserters must be destroyed.

Can we allow battalion commanders or commanders of the regiments who hide in crevices during the fight, do not see the battlefield, do not watch the course of the battle on the field, and still imagine themselves to be the commanders of regiments and battalions? No, impossible! They are not commanders of regiments and battalions, they are impostors….

I hereby order:

Commanders and political workers who during the battle defect to or surrender to to the enemy will be considered malicious deserter. Their families are subject to arrest as a family that has violated the its and betrayed its homeland.

All higher-level commanders and commissars to shoot deserters from command personnel on the spot.

Encircled units and subunits to selflessly fight to the last, preserving their weapons as part of the apple of their eye, and make their way into the rear of the enemy so defeating the fascist dogs.

Require each soldier, regardless of his official position, to demand from a superior to fight if surrounded until the last possible moment….

Require division commanders and commissars to immediately remove from their posts of commanders of battalions and regiments who hide in crevices during the battle… and if necessary to shoot them on the spot, putting in their places brave and courageous junior command personnel from the ranks of the distinguished.

Order to read in all companies, squadrons, batteries, squadrons, teams and staffs.

Supreme Command of the Red Army

Chairman of the State Defense Committee STALIN

Chairman of the State Committee of Defense V. Molotov
Marshal S. Budyonny
Marshal Voroshilov
Marshal S. Timoshenko
Marshal B. Shaposhnikov
Army Gen. Zhukov