Gamarnik as head of the Political Administration. As for the senior military commanders, whatever the dissatisfactions and anxieties which existed amongst them as a result of Stalin's policies, no degree of dissaffection had developed which rendered the army totally unreliable from Stalin's point of view. Singular precautions had been taken against such an eventuality. The army was wedged in the vice of the Party and the NKVD. Stalin had evidently not failed to take his own special measures to supervise the loyalty of the high command. As early as 1932 he introduced one of his own picked agents, Tairov, into Voroshilov's Commissariat with the mission of checking on the reliability of senior officers, Voroshilov included.1 Strict centralised control and constant attention to inducing political loyalty at a11levels appeared to have produced the desired results, to judge by the immunity enjoyed by the armed forces during two successive purges. It seemed as if there were two separate policies applied to military and civilian Communist5; the recent concession of immtmity from arrest granted to officers widened the divergence of the laws of the Medes and the Persians, which had hitherto been tacit. Conscious of its growing prestige and basking in privileges newly conferred, the command and the army seemed to be girding itself for a war which loomed ahead, indeterminate in time but unavoidable in circulllStance. In his report to the Central Executive Committee (of which he had been a member since 1930) Tukhachevsky once again in January, 1936, pointed with the fmger of urgency to the rate of German military expansion. The facts and figures which he used to substantiate his argument about the Drang nach Osten were ridiculed as 'sheer fantasy' by the German Military Attache in Moscow.2 Certainly Tukhachevsky produced figures of a German military effort (in tank production, for example) which invested this potential enemy with formidable and even terrifying strength. This was professional admiration of the Wehrmacht, to which substantial sections of the Soviet military command had been addicted and even conditioned, operating in reverse, producing a form of

mesmerism which could not be lightly shaken off. Whatever his exaggerations, there seemed to be little doubt that Tukhachevsky was in earnest about his warnings over German military strength.