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Order No. 227

From Academic Kids

Order No. 227 of July 28 1942 was issued by Joseph Stalin acting as People's Commissar of Defence. It is also known as the "Not one step back!" order (Ни шагу назад!).

No one commander had right to retreat without order. Anyone who did so was subject to military tribunal.

Order No. 227 established that each Front must create 1-3 penal batallions (штрафбат, штрафной батальон, 'shtrafbat', shtrafnoy batallion) made up of soldiers and officers at fault, who did the most dangerous tasks.

It also established that each Army must create 3-5 well-armed barrage troops (заградотряд, заградительный отряд) to shoot the retreaing troops.

Both measures were cited in the preamble of the order as successfully used by the Germans during their winter retreat.

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