September 8, 2018

Bolshevik Leaflets - Instructions on Guerrilla warfare Issued by the Bolshevik Moscow Committee

December 11, 1905 ??


Comrades! A street battle of rising workers against the army and police has begun. If' you do not adhere to certain rules, many of your brothers army perish in this battle. The combat organization of the Moscow Com­mittee of the Social-Democratic Labor Party makes haste to point these rules out and to urge you to follow them strictly. 

l. The first Rule--do not act in crowds. Work in small details of three or four men, not more. Let there be as many of these details as possible and let them learn to attack quickly and disappear quickly. The police strives to shoot crowds of thousands of people with a hundred Cossack. You must put one or two snipers against a hundred cossacks. To fall on a hundred is easier than on one, especially if' that one shoots and escapes unnoticed. The police and army will be helpless if all Moscow is covered with this small and elusive details. 

2. In addition, comrades, do not take up fortified places. 'I'he army always attempts to take them or simply destroy them with artillery. Let our fortresses be passable yards and all places from which we can shoot and escape easily. If' they take such a place, they will not find anyone there, and will lose many of their own. It is impossible to take them all, for to do that it would be necessary to settle every home with a cossack. 

3. Therefore, comrades., if anyone should call you to go in a great crowd or to take a fortified place ., consider him a fool or a provocateur. It he is a fool, don't listen to him, if a provocateur --kill .. 

4. Also, avoid going to large meetings. We see them of'ten in free states, but for now, it is necessary to struggle and only struggle. The government understands this perfectly and makes use of' our meetings to beat and disarm us. 

5. Rather, gather in small clusters f'or combat conferences, each in his own district, and at the first appearance of the army, scatter throughout the yards. From these yards, shoot and throw rocks at the Cossacks and after than, climb into the neighboring yard and leave. 

6. Strictly differentiate between your conscious enemies and your unconscious and accidental enemies. Destroy the former and have mercy on the latter. If, possible do not bother the infantry. Soldiers are the children of the people and do not go against the people by their own will. The officers and the higher leadership set them on the people. Direct your energies against these officers and authorities. Every officer leading soldiers to beat workers proclaims himself an enemy of the people and puts himself outside the law. Kill him unconditionally.

7. Do not spare the Cossacks. Much of the people's blood is upon them. They are the constant enemies of the workers. Let them leave for their own lands, where they have their lands and families, or let them sit shut up in their barracks. Do not bother them there. But as soon as they cane out on the street -on foot or on horse ., armed or unarmed--consider them the most evil enemies and destroy them without pity. 

8. Attack and destroy the dragoons and patrols.

9. In conflict with the police, proceed in this way. Kill all higher ranks whenever conditions are favorable. Disarm and arrest the others. Also kill those 'Who are known for their cruelty and meanness. As for the town militia only take their weapons and compel them to serve not the police but us. 

10. Forbid homeowners to lock their doors. This is very important.

Go after them and if they do not obey, beat them tor the first offense, and tor the second--kill them. Compel the homeowners to serve us and not the police. Then, each yard will be our refuge and place of ambush. 

These then, are the most important rules, comrades. In forthcoming leaflets the combat organization will give you additional advice on how to protect yourselves, attack, and construct barricades. Now we will say a few words about something quite different. 

Remember Comrades that we want not only to destroy the old order but to build a new one, in 'which each citizen will be free from all compulsion. Therefore, immediately take upon yourselves the protection Of all citizens. Protect them. Make unnecessary that police, which under the disguise of protector of the social peace and security exercises force over the poor, puts us in prison, and forms Black Hundred Pogroms: 

Our immediate task, comrades is to transfer the city into the hands of' the people. We will begin with the outskirts and seize one part after another In the seized pert we will immediately establish our elected administration, install our ow order, the eight-hour day, progressive taxes, and so on. We will prove that under our administration social life will go on more justly, and the life, liberty, and rights of each will be better protected than now. 

Therefore, struggling and destroying, remember your future roles and learn to be rulers. 

Combat Organization of the Moscow Committee of the 
Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party.

Vysshii Pod 'em Revoliutsii, PP 665-666.