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fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Whitewood, Peter (2015)
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: DK
This article explores the possible connections between Stalin's purge of the Red Army, sanctioned in June 1937, and the Soviet mass operations, launched just weeks later. It argues that Stalin ordered the military purge to combat a misperceived threat from foreign agents in the Red Army that had become a pressing issue in the early months of 1937. The article makes the case that, once launched, the military purge provided the catalyst for the mass operations as the regime sought not only to destroy a ‘fifth column’ in the Red Army, but soon turned attention to the wider population.
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    • 2 Details of the first mass operation were first published inTrud on 4 June 1992. For the political context of the publication, see HagenlohS, talin's Police, p. 6ff.
    • 3 From a large body of work, see Robert Conquest,The Great Terror: Stalin's Purge of the Thirties, London, 1968, and Adam Ulam, Stalin: The Man and his Era, New York, 1974.
    • 4 See Oleg Khlevniuk,Master of the House: Stalin and His Inner Circle, New Haven, CT, 2009, p. 167. Khlevniuk, Master of the House. See also, Hiroaki Kuromiya, Voices of the Dead: Stalin's Great Terror in the 1930s, New Haven, CT, 2007, and 'Accounting for the Great Terror', Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 53, 2005, 1, pp. 86-100.
    • 7 See Khlevniuk,Master of the House, esp. pp. 201-02.
    • 8 'Materialy fevral´skogo-martovskogo plenuma TsK VKP(b) 1937 goda', Voprosy istorii, 10, 1994, pp. 15-16.
    • 9 See David R. Shearer, 'Crime and Social Disorder in Stalin's Russia: A Reassessment of the Great Retreat and the Origins of the Mass Repression'C,ahiers du Monde russe, 39, 1998, 1-2, pp. 119-48, and Policing Stalin's Socialism: Repression and Social Order in the Soviet Union, 1924-1953, New Haven, CT, 2009; Paul Hagenloh, 'Socially Harmful Elements and the Great Terror', in Sheila Fitzpatrick (ed.),Stalinism: New Directions, London, 2000, pp. 286-308, and Stalin's Police.
    • 10 J. Arch Getty, '“Excesses Are Not Permitted”: Mass Terror and Stalinist Governance in the Late 1930s',Russian Review, 61, 2002, 1, pp. 113-38 (pp. 115-16).
    • 23 RGVA, f. 37837, op. 21, d. 99, l. 16; f. 33987, op. 3, d. 851, ll. 39-40, 134.
    • 24 Ibid., l. 50.
    • 25 March 1937 had also seen a significant increase in the number of counterreovlutionaries 'discovered' in the Leningrad Military District, including foreign agents. See V. S. Mil´bakh, A. M. Grigorian and A. N. Chernavskii, Politicheskie repressii komandnonachal´stvuiushchego sostava, 1937-1938: Leningradskii voennyi okrug, St Petersburg, 2013, pp. 82-83.
    • 26 'M. N. Tukhachevskii i “voenno-fashistskii zagovor”',Voenno-istoricheskii arkhiv, 1, 1997, pp. 149-255 (p. 255).
    • 27 Reabilitatsiia: kak eto bylo, ed. A. Artizov et al., 3 vols, Moscow, 2000-04, 2, p. 601.
    • 28 For more on possible German disinformation attempts, see 'M. N. Tukhachveskii i
    • 32 Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv sotsial´no-politicheskoi sitorii (hereafter, RGAPSI), f. 74, op. 2, d. 117, ll. 51, 58, 485.
    • 33 RGVA, f. 9, op. 29, d. 319, l. 6.
    • 34 RGVA, f. 4, op. 14, d. 1820, l. 170.
    • 35 Ibid., l. 247.
    • 36 On document security in the Red Army, see Aleksandr Zdanovich,Organy gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti i krasnaia armiia, Moscow, 2008, pp. 483-524. One story of a serious intelligence leak comes from the account of Polish intelligecne agent from November 1936. According to this agent, a group of Red Army men illegally copeid the mobilization plan for the Western Border regions and the most senior of the gruop then fled to Poland. The mobilization plan later apparently surfaced in the Brtish press. See, Sovetsko-pol´skie otnosheniia v politicheskikh usloviiakh Evropi 30-kh godov XX stoletiia, ed. E. Durachinski and A. N. Sakharov, Moscow, 2001, pp. 67-68.
    • 52 Transcripts from Tukhachevskii's interrogation have been shown to eb bloodspattered, suggesting the NKVD beat a confession from him. eSe 'Delo o tak nazyvaemoi “antisovetskoi trotskistskoi voennoi organizatsii”', p. 50.
    • 53 See RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 203, ll. 62-88.
    • 54 See thePravda articles 'Podryvnaia rabota iaponskoi razvedki', published on 9 July and 'Shpionskii internatsional', published on 21 July. Both can be found in Stalin's personal papers. See RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 203, ll. 95-100. The Red Army newspaper,Krasnaia zvezda, also published a series of articles on espionage between March and May 193.7
    • 55 V. K. Vinogradov, 'Tret´ia reforma organov bezopasnosti (1934-1941)', in V. K. Bylinin et al., Trudy Obshchestva izucheniia istorii otechestvennykh spetssluzhb, 4 vols, Moscow, 2006-07, 2, p. 93. Hiroaki Kuromiya and Georges Mamoulia point to documents showing that Germany and Japan did increase joint military intelligence activity against the Soviet
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