Party-Komsomol Relations in the Soviet Military, 1918-1924

Andrew Juricic


During the Russian Civil War many Communist Youth League (Komsomol) military recruits loyally supported the Bolshevik Party on the civilian and military fronts. With the cessation of hostilities the Komsomol attempted to consolidate control over its members in the armed forces by creating Komsomol military cells. Party leaders, believing that Komsomol recruits were politically unreliable, denied all Komsomol requests for autonomy and forced League members to subordinate themselves to military Party organs and to undergo intensive political indoctrination. The Party hoped that these measures would raise the political qualifications of Komsomol recruits. As the number of Komsomol members in military units grew, the strict subordination of Komsomol members proved untenable. The Party therefore created Komsomol "groups assisting the Party" in 1924. Their establishment effectively purged the Party of politically immature Komsomol members and reorganized the Parry's military control apparatus.

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