I went into the house and gave the order for one of the group of deserters, one of the more insolent, to be singled out. I announced to the division that anybody who crosses the river Zbruch without being ordered to do so will be shot immediately. I then wrote out a personal decree demanding the immediate execution of the deserter. See more
I provisionally told the commander of the division that if my decree was not carried out immediately I would dismiss him from his duties and court martial him for failing to carry out an order. The deserter was shot, and a sign was put up next to the river “Deserter, do not go beyond the river, or you will be shot!” This highly undemocratic measure began to take effect almost immediately: mass desertion has now ceased and we efforts to stabilise our position are going well.