Trotsky Authorizes Soldier To Take Charge Of His Train, 1919
One of the most remarkable trains in history was "the train of the Predrevoyensoviet" - the train of the Chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council, which for two and a half years carried Leon Trotsky, War Commissar of the new government of the Soviet Union, from one battle front to another during the chaotic civil war years of 1918 to 1920, when the Bolsheviks were fighting for their survival. The train became more than a mobile supreme command post for the Red Army, and more than Trotsky's permanent home for two and a half years. It also acquired an almost mystical significance for the commanders and men of the Red Army, as it streamed into critical sectors of the fluctuating front line, bringing trained officers and specialists, fresh supplies, news of other sectors, and above all the reassuring and sometimes terrifying presence of the War Commissioner himself, who harangued and inspired the slack - and sometimes had them shot. This important document dated February 10, 1919 is an authorization which reads: "A bearer of this document, Comrade Pukhin is in charge of movement of Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic's train and is entrusted with overseeing of correct and timely movement of the train. All railroad organizations are to offer complete assistance to Comrade Pukhin in fulfillment of his rsponsibilities." Signed, "Trotsky"