This work analyzes “An Essay on the Political History of the Almighty Don Host”, a book released by the Don government headed by Ataman A.P. Bogayevsky in 1919 for readers from the countries of the Entente (there were plans to release the book in English and French; the Russian edition of the book was intended for the Slav allies). It is shown that the book consistently advances the idea that the Cossacks were ideological allies of the British and the French and were committed to upholding the traditions of freedom and democracy. However, the book is inconsistent content-wise – for the most part, the factual material does not align with those ideas; it is mainly reduced to describing Cossackdom’s military victories (the exception is the section on the Civil War). This can be explained by the fact that as at 1919 there existed no summarizing works on the history of Cossackdom written from the standpoint of democratic and republican traditions, while it was also difficult to conduct meaningful research amid the Civil War in the country.
This paper examines a unique phenomenon of the Soviet era – the use of agitational-propaganda trains and steamers subsequent to the 1917 October Revolution. Given the military-political situation at the time, the Bolsheviks, headed by V.I. Lenin, needed to have their statecraft agenda grounded in support from the wide masses of the nation’s peasantry and working class. The search for ways to distribute agitational leaflets, brochures, and books among members of the Red Army in as mobile a fashion as possible would result in the launch of literary-instructional trains and steamers.
The paper offers an insight into the mechanics and practices behind the conduct of agitational work with local communities at the time. An attempt was made, based on the available statistical data, to identify the more common and effective propaganda techniques as well as the barriers in achieving the objectives for agitational vehicles. A noteworthy aspect touched upon in the paper is the Bolsheviks’ interest, in this context, in the tenets of Taylorism, which found reflection in their plans to employ cutting-edge technical means.
This paper relies on relevant materials from the popular Soviet newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda to investigate the propaganda work conducted by the Soviet Union in January 1942.
It provides a brief historiographical overview of the theory of propaganda (J. Dewey, W. Lippmann, and H.D. Lasswell) and offers an insight into a special type thereof – military propaganda (A. Morelli, G. Demartial, and A.A.W.H. Ponsonby).
The primary source used in this study is publications (articles, short pieces, reports, citations of official documents, etc.) in the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper, the official mouthpiece for the People’s Commissariat of Defense of the Soviet Union.
The degree is assessed to which the materials from Krasnaya Zvezda match the principles of military propaganda identified by A. Morelli’s. Chronologically, the study centers on January 1942.
A key conclusion drawn from this study is that propaganda was actively employed by the Soviet media during World War II as a means of bolstering the morale of the people.
Besides the 10 general principles identified by A. Morelli (‘we don’t want war – we are only defending ourselves’; ‘our adversary is solely responsible for this war’; ‘our adversary’s leader is inherently evil and resembles the devil’; ‘we are defending a noble cause, not our particular interests’; ‘the enemy is purposefully committing atrocities; if we are making mistakes this happens without intention’; ‘the enemy makes use of illegal weapons’; ‘we suffer few losses, and the enemy’s losses are considerable’; ‘recognized intellectuals and artists support our cause’; ‘our cause is sacred’; ‘whoever casts doubt on our propaganda helps the enemy and is a traitor’), the work explores a few other principles of military propaganda (‘infallibility of our leader’; ‘temporariness of failure’; ‘our leader having the unconditional support of all the people in the country (the ‘draw the nation together’ effect)’; ‘having the active support of the world community’; ‘feats of courage being committed on a mass scale, with every single of our combatants being ready to commit one’).
The paper discusses political agitation and mass party work in the Sochi Militsiya (militsiya – Soviet-time police) Department of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) in the period when a major part of the Krasnodar Region was occupied by NKVD troops (September – December 1942).
The sources used feature archival materials of the Center for Documentation of the Contemporary History of the Krasnodar Region, Krasnodar, Russian Federation, scholarly papers and publications by Russian researchers, and Soviet periodicals (Izvestia and Krasnaya Zvezda newspapers), as well as collections of archival documents and materials.
As a conclusion, the author shows that key forms and methods of mass party work included organizing political and morale building activities among the militia department personnel, raising political awareness in subdivisions, studies in groups of young communists and candidates for the membership in the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks (VKPB), arranged by party workers. In addition, VKPB members ran mass party activities in the Komsomol organization of the NKVD Department. Political agitation placed an important focus on the work of the editorial board and publication of a wall newspaper. Propaganda teams were also created. Another central field of action was running patriotic and political campaigns, such as a rally in support of Red Army (Workers' and Peasants' Red Army) soldiers and raising funds to support them and purchase New Year’s gifts, as well sewing and collecting warm clothes for the Red Army.
The work considers the experience of using a 75-mm reactive propaganda mine during the Second World War, Germany first used this ammunition on the Eastern Front in 1944.
The author used as materials, the documents of the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (Podolsk, Russian Federation), introduced for the first time into scientific research. Methodologically, the work is based on such principles as the principle of historicism, consistency and objectivity. Due to this, the paper was constructed using the maximum number of sources on the stated topic, systematized in chronological order, which allowed us to summarize the information and come to the appropriate conclusions.
In conclusion, the author notes that during 1944, on the Eastern Front, Germany used 75-mm reactive propaganda mines against the advancing soviet units. The work of such ammunition was recorded on the Narva direction against Soviet troops in June 1944, as well as against the 1st Shock Army of the Red Army in December 1944. It is difficult to judge the effectiveness of such attacks, but the fact of the use of such ammunition has been documented.