World Battlefronts: No More Commissars

Premier Joseph Stalin abolished the Red Army political commissars last week. The reorganization made every officer sole commander of his unit, under no obligation to consult a political collaborator before making a decision. The decision showed Stalin's confidence in the political loyalty of his Red officers.

Father of Red Army's political commissars was Stalin. As commissar on the southern front, he organized the defense of Stalingrad (then Tsaritsyn) against the White Army in 1918. Every unit from platoon to army had its commissar. Their functions, then and since:* 1) to check on officers'...

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