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ORDER TO THE FORCES OF WEST FRONT No. 055

Secret

3 November 1941

In many units and large formations insufficient attention is given to issues of sanitary-everyday living support of Red Army soldiers and commanders.

Red Army soldiers are dressed in a slovenly manner; they do not wash their clothes, go for weeks without baths, and do not change their underwear. Many are unshaven and lack haircuts. They are given hot meals at irregular intervals and their water sources are, as a rule, unprotected.

Many commanders and commissars relate to the satisfaction of elementary needs of their subordinate soldiers and commanders with criminal irresponsibility and lack of concern.

Doctors of units and large formations are not displaying sufficient initiative and persistence in the conduct of sanitary-preventive measures; they do not require commanders to carry out and observe basic hygiene regulations.

All this has led to a threat of outbreak and spread of contagious illnesses.

I ORDER:

COMMANDERS OF UNITS AND LARGE FORMATIONS:

1. Assiduously monitor the observation of uniforms, for the preservation and timely repair of individual equipment and boots.

2. Organize the cutting of hair, shaving, and sanitary practices of all units with an exchange of underwear not less than twice monthly, using all available local resources in this effort (baths, mobile baths, laundries).

3. During the formation of new units and the reformation of old units, it is mandatory that you conduct sanitary processing of all personnel.

4. Deliver an uninterrupted supply of hot food to your subordinates. Establish the strictest system of protection of water sources.

CHIEF OF VOSO AND CHIEF OF FRONT MEDICAL DIRECTORATE:

Do not permit a single echelon [train] moving to the front to pass without inspection and, in the event it is possible, sanitary processing. For this purpose establish sanitary control points on railroads.

THE CHIEF OF THE FRONT MEDICAL DIRECTORATE:

1. Report to me one time each month the sanitary condition of the troops and concerning the execution of this order.

2. Withdraw the sanitation equipment from troop units and use it to equip the bath-disinfection companies.

3. Ensure the impregnation of clean underwear with preparation "K" and supply active units with anti-lice means ("SK" dust, pyrethrum).

Remind commanders and commissar at all levels that daily concern for the needs of their subordinates is their first responsibility and a guarantee of the combat readiness of their unit.


COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF FORCES OF WEST FRONT, ARMY GENERAL
/ZHUKOV/

MEMBER OF WEST FRONT MILITARY COUNCIL
/KHOKHLOV/

CHIEF OF STAFF WEST FRONT, LIEUTENANT GENERAL
/SOKOLOVSKIY/

CHIEF OF MEDICAL SERVICE WEST FRONT, MILITARY DOCTOR 1ST RANK
/GURVICH/



Translated by:
James F. Gebhardt
Sources:
TsAMO, collection 208, index 2524, item 10, sheets 156-58. True copy.

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