Army HQ, November 1st, 1943
Based on my observations, I came to the conclusion that a significant portion of soldiers do not understand the difficulties that we unavoidably encounter on the fifth year of this war that are caused by the situation with raw materials, production, and supplies. The following are only a few examples of violations that keep repeating, despite numerous directions on this issue:
- It is widely known that brass is a deficit metal. However, brass casings are still used as alarm bells, for crafting of flower vases, ashtrays, and mugs.
- Cable, the production of which declined due to bombings, is used in production of mattresses, affixing planks, hanging signs, and as packing material, where it can easily be replaced by old wire.
- Signal flags for indication of the front lines and swastika flags for air identification are used as carpets, curtains, tablecloths, lampshades, and even as clothing by Russian women and children.
- Gasoline, the delivery of which is achieved through a whole row of hardships, is often used for heat treatment of furniture, as a result of which the fibers in the wood look nicer.
These examples are evidence of continuing violations of orders on this subject. Considering the improper use of materials across the whole Eastern Front, the losses constitute many tons of ammunition and fuel, hundreds of kilometers of cable, and enough signal flags to equip an entire corps. Perhaps not everyone understands the consequences of their actions, but I expect commanders of all ranks to set a good example and use all available means to execute the orders issued on this subject.
Distribute down to companies and batteries.