Main Political Directorate of the Soviet Army and Navy

Main Political Directorate of the Soviet Army and Navy

 

(GLAVPU), the body that directs party political work in the Soviet armed forces.

GLAVPU has the status of a department of the Central Committee of the CPSU. It is responsible for directing political bodies and party and Komsomol organizations in the armed forces; ensuring party influence on all aspects of the life and activity of the troops and raising their combat preparedness; strengthening the discipline and political-morale condition of the personnel; developing proposals on the most important questions of party building and Komsomol work in the armed forces, in accordance with the Program and Party Rules of the CPSU and the decisions of the Central Committee of the party; ensuring the implementation by political bodies and party organizations of the directives of the Communist Party and the Soviet government and the orders and directives of the minister of defense; organizing all ideological work in the army and navy, including the generalization and dissemination of the most advanced experience in combat and political troop training and party political, educational, and mass work; and selecting and placing political cadres. Directives on questions of political party work in the armed forces are issued over the signature of the minister of defense and the head of GLAVPU, with the approval of the Central Committee of the CPSU. GLAVPU administration includes party organizational work, propaganda, and agitation; it has cadre, Komsomol work, and other divisions. GLAVPU has a Party commission.

The history of GLAVPU is inseparably bound up with the development of the Soviet armed forces and the party political apparatus. Following the directions of V. I. Lenin, the eighth Party Congress (1919) adopted a decision on the creation of a central military-political body, charged with directing all party political work in the armed forces. The All-Russian Bureau of Military Commissars, which had already been created in April 1918, was reorganized on Apr. 18, 1919, into the Political Department of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic; on May 15, 1919, it was renamed the Political Directorate of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic (PUR). During the Civil War (1918-20), the PUR carried on major work in directing political bodies (fronts, navies, armies, flotillas, and divisions), mobilizing the army Communists to defeat the White Guard and interventionists. At this time, the integrated system of the party political apparatus in the army and navy took shape. With the transition to peacetime, the PUR came to be called the Political Directorate of the Red Army (PURKKA).

The system of the direction of party bodies formed in the armed forces was affirmed in the Party Rules of the RCP (Bolshevik) of 1919. In connection with the formation of the People’s Commissariat of the Navy in December 1937, the Political Directorate of the Navy (PURKKF) was created alongside PURKKA. In July 1940, PURKKA was transformed into the Main Directorate for Political Propaganda of the Red Army. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War (July 16, 1941), it was reorganized into the Main Political Directorate of the Red Army (GlavPURKKA). In 1946, in connection with the unification of the People’s Commissariat of Defense and the People’s Commissariat of the Navy into one body— the People’s Commissariat of the Armed Forces of the USSR— the single Main Political Directorate was formed, which since April 1958, in accordance with the decision of the Central Committee of the CPSU, has been called the Main Political Directorate of the Soviet Army and Navy.

REFERENCES

KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s”ezdov, konferentsii iplenumov TsK, 7th ed., part 1. Moscow, 1954.
KPSS o Vooruzhennykh Silakh Sovetskogo Soiuza: Dokumenty. Moscow, 1969.
Petrov, Iu. P. Stroitel’stvo politorganov, partiinykh i komsomol’skikh organizatsii Armii i Flota. Moscow, 1968.

M. KH. KALASHNIK

References in periodicals archive ?
However, the problems they will be called upon to solve are huge: how to house the troops being removed from the East European countries and those that will have to be removed from the three Baltic states; control over strategic and tactical nuclear weapons; dealing with the tens of thousands of former political officers from the Main Political Directorate of the Soviet Army and Navy; establishment of "national guards" in the individual republics; and arms control verification at home and abroad just to mention the main ones that come to mind.