On 22nd June, 1941, the German Army invaded the Soviet Union. Stalin went on Soviet radio and gave instructions that when forced to withdraw, the Red Army should destroy anything that could be of use to the enemy.
The scorched earth policy and the formation of guerrilla units behind the German front lines, created severe problems for the German war machine which was trying to keep her three million soldiers supplied with the necessary food and ammunition.
The Red Army, the Red Navy, and all citizens of the Soviet Union must defend every inch of Soviet soil, must fight to the last drop of blood for our towns and villages, must display the daring, initiative and mental alertness characteristic of our people.
In case of forced retreat of Red Army units, all rolling stock must be evacuated, the enemy must not be left a single engine, a single railway truck, not a single pound of grain or gallon of fuel. Collective farmers must drive off all their cattle and turn over their grain to the safe keeping of the state authorities, for transportation to the rear. If valuable property that cannot be withdrawn, must be destroyed without fail.
In areas occupied by the enemy, partisan units, mounted and on foot, must be formed; sabotage groups must be organized to combat enemy units, to foment partisan warfare everywhere, blow up bridges and roads, damage telephone and telegraph lines, set fire to forests, stores and transport. In occupied regions conditions must be made unbearable for the enemy and all his accomplices. They must be hounded and annihilated at every step, and all their measures frustrated.