MAIN MENU    SOLDIERS AT WAR    DOCUMENTS    BATTLES    TANKS    ARTILLERY 

ORDER TO THE FORCES OF WEST FRONT No. 070

Secret

27 November 1941
Active Army

1. The order of People's Commissar of Defense No. 0285 requires "Stop carelessness and underestimation of chemical danger by the most severe measures".

These requirements were laid down so that the enemy, in the employment of contaminating substances, could not take us by surprise, not confuse us, and not defeat the stubborn resistance of our forces.

2. The brutal German occupiers are capable of employing all means of struggle, including contaminating substances. They are also capable of employing these means without warning.

On 20.11 the enemy employed (for smoking out) poisonous smoke pots against the heroic defense of a strongpoint (cellar) commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Korneev, commander of 1322 Rifle Regiment. As a result 14 soldiers and officers received lung injuries.

The injuries occurred because the soldiers did not have their protective masks with them. The remaining 46 soldiers put on their protective masks in a timely manner and successfully fought off the enemy attack.

There is credible information that the enemy operating on our front has the following capability: 54th Chemical Regiment, 1st and 2d Chemical Mortar Battalions [i.e. ammunition with CW agent -V. Potapov].

This information and the facts of the employment of contaminating agents indicate that we must quickly liquidate the element of irresponsibility and reliably organize the chemical defense of our forces.

I ORDER:

1. Military councils of armies to follow up to ensure that each commander of chemical troops is occupied daily with the chemical defense of our forces.

Supervisory personnel of chemical service are to be used only in their specialty. IT IS CATEGORICALLY FORBIDDEN to use them for any other type of work.

2. Bring to a reliable condition all means of defense, decontamination, and chemical reconnaissance and observation that currently exist in the forces.

3. Ensure regular reconnaissance of the enemy's rear with all forms and means of reconnaissance. In a timely manner determine the transport, concentration of combat chemical substances, and points of dislocation of chemical troops.

4. The Chemical Defense Service is to organize and operate in all combat situations. It is to determine in a timely manner by means of reconnaissance and observation the enemy's preparation for a chemical attack, and quickly disrupt these attacks by active measures of forces and first of all artillery and air strikes.

5. All field defensive fortifications and command and observation posts are to be constructed with chemical defense in mind. Broadly employ available means for measures of mass defense (washing, decontamination) of the forces.

6. By 5.12, form chemical defense companies and platoons with personnel and assigned wheeled and horse-drawn vehicles.

Provide these small units transportation to carry out efforts to decontaminate terrain and weapons.

7. The supervisory component of units and large formations is to conduct a merciless struggle to prevent loss of individual defense means. All personnel must always have their gas mask and anti-chemical packet with them in full combat readiness.

8. All supervisory personnel and chiefs of chemical services at all levels are hereby warned that henceforth they will be held personally responsible for the maintenance in subunits, units, and large formations of individual means of defense and careful chemical defense of their troops.

Publish this order down to the level of company, battery, and squadron commanders.


COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF FORCES OF WEST FRONT, ARMY GENERAL, HERO OF THE SOVIET UNION
/ZHUKOV/

MEMBER OF WEST FRONT MILITARY COUNCIL, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF SNK OF THE USSR
/BULGANIN/

CHIEF OF STAFF WEST FRONT, LIEUTENANT GENERAL
/SOKOLOVSKIY/



Translated by:
James F. Gebhardt
Sources:
TsAMO, collection 208, index 2524, item 10, sheets 186-88. True copy.

This page belongs to The Russian Battlefield

@Mail.ru