Workers to arms! You are needed for the Red Army

Poster Number: PP 634
Category: Civil War
Media Size: 32x24.5
Poster Type: Lithograph
Publishing Date: c.1919
Sources & Citation: Soviet Posters of the era of the Civil War 1918-1921 by B. S. Butnik-Siverskii (1960), page 322, poster 1793
Catalog Notes: PP 634 Civil War b
Artist: Boichuk, Timofei L'vovich — Бойчук, Тимофей Львович

Timofei Boichuk was a member of ARMU (Association of Revolutionary Art of Ukraine). He produced figurative portraits and genre painting primarily in tempera. His most noted works are, Torgovtsi semechakmi [Sellers of Sunflower Seeds], Gruppovoi portret [Group Portrait] and, Molochnitsa [Milkmaid]. All three paintings are held in the collection of the Ukrainian Museum of Fine Arts in Kiev. In 1919, during the Russian Civil War, Boichuk assisted in the design of murals for the Red Army barracks at Kiev and he worked on decorations for the Kiev Opera House. Throughout the civil war Boichuk produced a number of political and military propaganda posters for the Red Army, signing his works with the initials T.B. He was the younger brother of Mikhail L’vovich Boichuk, a prominent artist in his own right.

Printer: Narkomvoen, Ukraine — Наркомвоена Украины

The People's Commissariat for Military Affairs (Narkomvoen) was formed in late 1917. Its immediate tasks after formation were dealing with the mass demobilization of Imperial Army troops and the formation of a new Red Army and Red Navy. Due to its far-reaching command over the Soviet Military, it utilized its own presses to disseminate literature and propaganda. The Department of Narkomvoen, Ukraine was a branch operating outside the main Narkomvoen headquarters in the RSFSR (Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic).

Publisher: Narkomvoen (People's Commissariat for Military Affairs) — Наркомвоен

When the Bolsheviks took control of the government in 1917 they formed a Committee for Military Affairs to establish their military organization. Soon after, a formal reorganization of the nation's armed forces coincided with the dismantling of the War Ministry that had been part of the Russian Provisional Government prior to Bolshevik control. Staff loyal to the Imperial Russian and White Russian commands was "purged" and in their place, military "specialists" were introduced. Out of reorganization the People's Commissariat for Military Affairs (Narkomvoen) was formed. Narkomvoen's most immediate tasks were dealing with the mass demobilization of Imperial Army troops and the formation of a new Red Army and Red Navy. In addition, it introduced universal military training. In March 1918, Leon Trotsky became the head of Narkomvoen. He led the organization through the Russian Civil War and maintained the post until 1923. Narkomvoen was the central apparatus that managed the Soviet military until the People's Commissariat for Defense (NKO) replaced it in 1934.