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ORDER TO THE FORCES OF WEST FRONT No. 081

Secret

1 December 1941
Active Army

The results of the employment of radio communications in offensive operations of West Front indicate that the requirements of NKO [People's Commissariat of Defense -J.Gebhardt] Order No. 0243 of 1941 to the forces of the front are not being carried out, and as before radio communications are being employed unskillfully and work poorly.

The commanders in chief of armies and commanders of large formations still consider radio communications to be auxiliary means of communication and are attempting to command and control battle only by telephone and telegraph.

On the contrary, in conditions of offensive operations, radio communications are a fundamental means of communications and without broad employment of the radio, command and control of forces are impossible.

I ORDER:

1. Over a 10-day period re-examine the radio operator component of army and divisional radio communications sets and man them with exceptionally well-trained radio operators.

2. Divide the radio operators of front, army, and divisional radio sets into three groups: first class radio operators, second-class radio operators, and general radio operators.

Radio operators who can receive and transmit 16 groups and above without textual errors are to be considered first class.

Radio operators who can receive and transmit 12 groups and above are to be considered second class.

First class radio operators are quickly to be promoted to the rank of "senior sergeant"; second class radio operators to the rank of "sergeant".

Henceforth all combat orders are to be transmitted and received only by first class radio operators.

3. Require from chiefs of radio stations and radio operators the maintenance of reliable, uninterrupted communications. In all cases of the disruption of radio communications, immediately conduct an investigation in order to hold the guilty parties responsible.

4. Henceforth transmit combat orders only by radio. Transmit instructions and combat reports using code and signal operating instructions. The transmission of simple documents is categorically forbidden.

5. At high-level staffs compose combat orders and reports briefly and concisely, with a total volume of not more than 50 words.

With weakly trained radio operators, and also during the employment of the radio by commanders themselves, transmit using a microphone.

6. Commanders in chiefs of armies and commanders of large formations and units, irregardless of the availability of other means of communication, will transmit brief combat reports by radio in accordance with the following schedule:

a) Division headquarters to army headquarters-5 times per day: 0400, 0900, 1300, 1700, and 2200.

b) Army headquarters to front headquarters-three times per day: 0600; 1500; and 1900.

7. The dislocation of radio transmitters will be accomplished taking into account the schedule designated for transmission of reports. Report in a timely manner to the appropriate headquarters concerning each instance of delay of a report. In all cases of the failure to submit a report at the established time, conduct a special investigation in order to hold the guilty party accountable.

8. For the establishment of direct radio communications by the front headquarters with any radio station of the front, the permanent call sign "Tiger" is established. All radio operators and chiefs of radio stations should know this call sign. The response to calls by this call sign should follow immediately, notwithstanding any other radio traffic that is being worked by the summoned radio station.

9. Chiefs of staffs of the armies and divisions are to provide answers by radio to all questions posed by the front staff immediately. In the absence of the required information a response is not to be delayed, but to given to the degree that a response is known.

10. Commanders at all levels are to recommend their best radio operators, who ensure uninterrupted communications in the difficult conditions of combat, for government awards. Implement this order by telegraph.


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

MEMBER OF WEST FRONT MILITARY COUNCIL
/BULGANIN/

CHIEF OF STAFF WEST FRONT, LIEUTENANT GENERAL
/SOKOLOVSKIY/



Translated by:
James F. Gebhardt
Sources:
TsAMO, collection 208, index 2524, item 10, sheets 220-22. True copy.

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