First Conference of the Military and Combat Organizations of the
First Conference of the Military and Combat Organizations of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP)
a conference that took place in Tammerfors (Tampere), Finland, Nov. 16–22 (Nov. 29-Dec. 5), 1906. The conference was called by the St. Petersburg and Moscow military organizations with the goal of joining all the military and combat organizations of the RSDLP into one united military-combat organization subordinate to a common party center.
In July 1906 an organizational bureau was set up to handle the convocation of the conference; the bureau became a link with the Bolshevik Center. The Menshevik majority of the Central Committee of the RSDLP was against such a union and in October 1906 called a conference of only the military organizations. The Menshevik-supported conference was not well attended—delegates from only eight organizations were present—and it did not solve its urgent problems.
The RSDLP conference was attended by 19 voting delegates and nine nonvoting delegates. The delegates came from 11 military and eight combat organizations, representing military organizations in St. Petersburg, Kronstadt, Riga, Moscow, Finland, Sevastopol’, Libava, Nizhny Novgorod, Kaluga, Voronezh, and Kazan, and combat organizations in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Saratov, and the Urals. There were also representatives of the Southern Technical Bureau; the Moscow and St. Petersburg Committees of the RSDLP; revolutionary sections of the Finnish Social Democratic party; and, without the sanction of the Central Committee of the RSDLP, a representative of the Technical Bureau of the Central Committee. The delegates included Em. Iaroslavskii, R. S. Zemliachka, M. N. Liadov, I. Kh. Lalaiants, M. A. Trilisser, I. S. Kadomtsev, and E. S. Kadomtsev. I. A. Sammer was sent to the conference as the reresentative of the Bolshevik Center; he brought a letter from V. I. Lenin, which was read at one of the meetings.
The agenda of the conference included a report from the organizational bureau, a report from the delegates, a discussion of previous attempts at armed rebellion, and an evaluation of the state of affairs of the moment. Other subjects on the agenda were the nature of a possible armed uprising; the tasks of the military and combat organizations; the nature of the work of a military organization; the party attitude toward the military and combat organizations of other parties and toward those with no party affiliation; the creation of military-combat centers in connection with the organization of an armed uprising; the relation of the military-combat organizations to general proletarian organizations; a report to the party congress; the representative base of the congress; a central press organ and literature; the attitude toward the conference of military organizations convoked by the Central Committee; and elections.
The conference rejected Lalaiants’ proposal to divide all party organizations into military, combat, and proletarian organizations. In accordance with Lenin’s instructions, the conference supported the creation of an all-Russian military-combat organization and the total subordination of all military-combat work to the political leadership of party-wide organizations. The conference elected the Provisional Bureau of Military and Combat Organizations, whose members included Lalaiants, Iaroslavskii, V. A. Kostitsyn, E. S. Kadomtsev, and Zh. A. Shepshte (Miller). It also adopted a resolution to make the newspaper Kazarma the Provisional Bureau’s main press organ.
Lenin considered the conference to be very important. It reflected the urgent necessity, after the experience of 1905, of centralizing all the military-combat work of the party—creating social democratic organizations in the army and fighting druzhinas (detachments of armed workers) under the party committees.
REFERENCESLenin, V. I. “Po povodu protokolov noiabr’skoi voenno-boevoi konferentsii RSDRP.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 15.
Pervaia konferentsiia voennykh i boevykh organizatsii RSDRP, Noiabr’ 1906 g: Protokoly. Moscow, 1932.
KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s”ezdov, konferentsii i plenumov TsK, 8th ed., vol. 1. Moscow, 1970.
Istoriia KPSS, vol. 2. Moscow, 1966.
Liadov, M. N. Iz zhizni partii v 1903–1907 gg: Vospominaniia. Moscow, 1956.
I. L. MAN’KOVSKAIA