Moscow Victory Parade of 1945

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Moscow Victory Parade of 1945, June 24.

The Moscow Victory Parade of 1945 (Russian: Парад Победы, tr. Parad Pobedy) also known as the Parade of Victors (Russian: Парад победителей, tr. Parad pobediteley) was a victory parade held by the Soviet Armed Forces (with the Color Guard Company representing the First Polish Army) after the defeat of Nazi Germany. This, the longest and largest military parade ever held on Red Square in the Soviet capital Moscow, involved 40,000 Red Army soldiers and 1,850 military vehicles and other military hardware. The parade lasted just over two hours on a rainy June 24, 1945, over a month after May 9, the day of Germany's surrender to Soviet commanders.

Stalin's order for the observance of the parade[edit]

The parade itself was ordered by Joseph Stalin on June 22, 1945, by virtue of Order 370 of the Office of the Supreme Commander in Chief, Armed Forces of the USSR. This order is as follows:

Order #370 of the Supreme Commander in Chief, Armed Forces of the USSR and concurrent People's Commissar of State for Defense

To mark the victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War, I order a parade of troops of the Army, Navy and the Moscow Garrison, the Victory Parade, on June 24, 1945, at Moscow's Red Square.

Marching on parade shall be the combined regiments of all the fronts, a People's Commissariat of National Defense combined regiment, the Soviet Navy, military academies and schools, and troops of the Moscow Garrison and Military District.

My deputy, Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov will be the parade inspector. Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky will command the Victory Parade itself. I entrust to Col. Gen. Pavel Artemyev, the preparations and the supervision of the parade organization, due to his concurrent capacities as the Commanding General of the Moscow Military District and Commanding Officer in charge of the Moscow City Garrison.

June 22, 1945
Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Armed Forces of the USSR
And concurrent People's Commissar of Defense of the USSR

This was preceded by another letter by General of the Army Aleksei Antonov, Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces to all the participant fronts in attendance on the 24th of the previous month which is as follows:

Order to the Fronts who will participate in the Victory Parade

The Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has ordered that:

1. In order for the front to participate in the Moscow City parade in honor of the victory over Germany, each front will be represented by a combined regiment which is to be raised among them.
2. The following pattern will form the combined front regiment as follows:

  • 5 two-company battalions with 100 men in the company (10 squads of 10 men each) will be the basis, accompanied by:
    • 19 command staff officers from the front
    • One regimental commander
    • Two deputy regimental commanders for drill and ceremony and political training respectively
    • One regimental chief of staff
    • 5 Battalion commanders
    • 10 company commanders
    • 36 color bearers and 4 escorting officers.

All in all the regiment will be composed of 1,059 male active personnel and 10 additional reserve personnel.
3. A combined regiment for the parade will have the following companies:

  • 6 infantry companies
  • 1 artillery company
  • 1 tank company
  • 1 air company
  • and 1 combined company (composed of cavalrymen, sappers and signalmen respectively).

4. The companies in attendance will be manned so as to have the middle-ranked officers commanding the squads, which are then composed of privates and sergeants.
5. The combined regiment will be armed in the following pattern on the parade:

  • 3 infantry companies with rifles,
  • 3 infantry companies with sub-machine guns,
  • the artillery company with slung carbines,
  • the tank company and the air company both armed with pistols,
  • and the combined cavalry, signals and sapper company also with slung carbines and with sabres for the cavalrymen in attendance.

6. The Front Commanders and all commanders including air and tank army commanders will arrive in Moscow for the Parade.
7. On June 10 of this year, the combined regiment of the front will arrive in Moscow having 36 combat colors from selected Front units that are the most distinguished in action, and all the captured enemy standards, whatever the number, selected to be carried in the parade proper.
8. The full dress uniform will be issued in Moscow for use on the parade by the regimental staff.

May 24, 1945
Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces

Parade training[edit]

Intensive preparations for the parade took place in late May and early June in Moscow. The preliminary rehearsal of the Victory Parade took place at the Central Airfield, and the general rehearsal on Red Square on June 22.[1]

Marshals Georgy Zhukov, who had formally accepted the German surrender to the Soviet Union, and Konstantin Rokossovsky, rode through the parade ground on white and black stallions, respectively.[2] The fact is commemorated by the equestrian statue of Zhukov in front of the State Historical Museum, on Manege Square. Zhukov's stallion was called Кумир ("Idol") while Rokossovsky's was called Столб ("Pole"). The General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, stood atop Lenin's Mausoleum and watched the parade alongside other dignitaries present.

According to certain editions of Zhukov's memoirs, Stalin had intended to ride through the parade himself, but he fell from the horse during the rehearsal and had to yield the honor to Zhukov, who used to be a cavalry officer. However, this story is disputed by former Soviet spy Viktor Suvorov. He claims that the story was inserted into Zhukov's memoirs as a counterargument to his theory, (although it apparently was in circulation earlier)[3] that Stalin didn't lead the parade because he considered the war's results not worthy of the effort invested.[4] Suvorov notes several inconsistencies in the story, along with numerous evidence that Zhukov was intended all along for the role of leading the parade; for example, the memoirs of Sergei Shtemenko, the man responsible at the time for the preparation of the parade, state that the roles were decided from the start,[5] and Igor Bobylev (who took part in the preparations) claims that the story never happened and that Stalin never visited the Manege at that time. Another planned part of the parade was the march of the Victory Banner, which was delivered to Moscow from Berlin on June 20 and was supposed to begin the procession of troops. Despite this, the weak drill training of Mikhail Yegorov, Meliton Kantaria and Stepan Neustroev forced Marshal Zhukov to not go ahead with this portion of the parade.[6]

The parade[edit]

Displays of the Red Army vehicles were some of the focal points of the ceremony. It was one of the few times in which Cossacks took part in a victory parade, with personnel from the 4th Guards Cossacks Cavalry Corps taking part in the procession of troops as part of the 2nd Ukrainian Front's combined regiment.[7] One of the most famous moments at the end of the troops parade took place when various NKVD soldiers carried the banners of Nazi Germany and threw them down next to the mausoleum. One of the standards that was tossed down belonged to the LSSAH, Hitler's personal bodyguard.

The next day, a reception was held in the Grand Kremlin Palace in honor of the participants in the Victory Parade.[1] Due to the bad weather that day the flypast segment and the planned civil parade were cancelled; if the weather had improved, the flypast would have been led by Chief Marshals of Aviation Alexander Novikov and Alexander Golovanov. Nonetheless, this historic two-hour parade remains the longest and largest military parade in Red Square's history, and involved 40,000 soldiers and 1,850 military vehicles and other military hardware.

Band and Music[edit]

The procession had musical accompaniment that was provided by the massed bands of the Moscow Garrison, led by Major General Semyon Tchernetsky, Senior Director of Music. The combined band consisted of 38 military bands coming from Moscow military schools, as well as military units of the Red Army and the NKVD. The combined band numbered 1,220 musicians under the direction of 50 bandmasters.[8] In total,the parade saw the participation of 1,313 musicians, the youngest of whom was 13 years old.[9]

The parade repertoire was finalized for approval on 5 June 1945. The final list included 36 tracks, including the Soviet anthem, fanfares and slow marches. Twenty works that were performed at the parade were written by Tchernetsky himself. The inspection part of the parade commenced with Tchernetsky's Jubilee Slow March "25 Years of the Red Army"[10] and ended with the performance of Slavsya.[11] The first song after the conclusion of the inspection was the Moscow ceremonial fanfare under the direction of conductor Vasily Agapkin. The parade was opened by the young drummers of the Corps of Drums from the Moscow School of Musicians, wearing uniforms similar to those of the Moscow Suvorov Military School and led by a bandmaster, which after marching past soon took its place behind the massed bands to provide additional support. The parade ended with the Glory to the Motherland march. Additional marches have included Jaeger March, March of the 92nd Pechersk Regiment, March of the Leningrad Guards Divisions, March "Joy of Victory", March "Hero".[12]

Parade participants[edit]

Ground Column[edit]

Mounted Column[edit]

Mobile Column[edit]


The historical part of the 2020 parade dressed in uniforms dating back to the 1945 parade.
  • Outside the 1945 parade, the only parade to be held on 24 June was organized on in 2020 in honor of the 75th anniversary of the victory.[14][15] Elements of the 1945 parade were included in the 2020 parade, the most notable of which being the bands playing the Jubilee Slow March "25 Years of the Red Army" at the outset of the inspection stage.[16]
  • A statue of Zhukov on his parade horse is located near the State Historical Museum on Manezhnaya Square.[17] There was an original debate over where to place the statue, with many saying that it should be located at the site of the parade, Red Square.[18]
  • During the 2010 Moscow Victory Day Parade, the contingent from Turkmenistan, upon request from the government of Turkmenistan, was led by an officer riding on horseback, with the horse being a descendant of the horse used during the 1945 parade.[19]
  • In 2008, during the celebrations of the Independence Day of South Ossetia, the annual military parade in Tskhinvali saw Georgian flags being thrown to the ground by South Ossetian militiamen, resembling how Soviet soldiers threw German flags on Red Square during the parade of 1945.[20]
  • In 2020, during a Victory Parade in the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinval, equestrian team from the Russian FSB took part, with the equestrian ranks being led by an officer on a stallion called Brilliant, a direct descendant of Idol.[21]
  • In the 2017 Moscow Victory Day Parade, officers wore the new standing-collar tunic for the first time, which was supposed to resemble the uniforms officer corps in the 1945 Parade of Victors.[22] At the 2020 parade, the Mongolian contingent wore a modified version of those uniforms[23] and later that year, officers of the Korean People's Army wore uniforms based on those worn at the 1945 parade at a military parade on Kim Il-sung Square.[24]
  • In June 1994, the Union of Participants of the Parade on Red Square on 24 June was registered, chaired by retired Colonel Valentin Privalov. The same year, a competition was announced to create a badge for the participant of the parade. As attributes of the union, the breastplate and certificate of a participant in the parade were approved.
  • In the Kazakh city of Almaty, there is a street near Abay Avenue on called 24 June Street, named in honor of the first Victory Parade.[25]
  • At different times, postage stamps depicting the parade on Red Square were issued.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Состоялся Парад Победы на Красной площади". Президентская библиотека имени Б.Н. Ельцина.
  2. ^ Movie about Victory Parade, 1945 on YouTube
  3. ^ Святое Дело (in Russian). Viktor Surorov. Retrieved 2011-07-17.
  4. ^ Последняя Республика (in Russian). Retrieved 2011-07-17.
  5. ^ "ВОЕННАЯ ЛИТЕРАТУРА --[ Мемуары ]-- Штеменко С.М. Генеральный штаб в годы войны".
  6. ^ "The first victory parade of the year. Victory Parade History: How It Was".
  7. ^ "Кубанские казаки - участники парада Победы в Москве 24 июня 1945 года".
  8. ^ Черток 2015, p. 1.
  9. ^ Черток 2015, p. 2.
  10. ^ Кузнецов, Дмитрий (June 2, 2020). "Парад Победы в Москве начнется с исполнения «Юбилейного встречного марша»". Daily Storm.
  11. ^ Черток 2015.
  12. ^ "Музыка : Министерство обороны Российской Федерации". Главная (in Russian). 2016-09-05. Retrieved 2021-02-04.
  13. ^ "Дука Михаил Ильич".
  14. ^ "Russia to hold Victory Day Parade on June 24 — Putin". TASS. 2020-05-26. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  15. ^ "Putin Orders June 24 Victory Day Parade as Russia Flattens Virus Curve". The Moscow Times. 2020-05-26. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  16. ^ Кузнецов, Дмитрий (June 2, 2020). "Парад Победы в Москве начнется с исполнения «Юбилейного встречного марша»". Daily Storm.
  17. ^ "Marshal Zhukov monument". izi.TRAVEL. 1945-06-24. Retrieved 2021-02-04.
  18. ^ "Fifty Years Later, Russia Finally Honoring World War II Hero". AP NEWS.
  19. ^ "Гундогар :: Россия-Туркменистан: 65-летию Победы в Великой Отечественной войне посвящается".
  20. ^ Georgia, Civil. "Civil.Ge | Tskhinvali Celebrated 'Independence Day'". Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  21. ^ "В Цхинвале в параде примут участие более тысячи военнослужащих". Яндекс.Новости. June 23, 2020.
  22. ^ Степовой, Александр Круглов, Богдан (2018-06-22). "Парадная стойка". Известия (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  23. ^ "ТЭД УЛААН ТАЛБАЙД ..."
  24. ^ Rogoway, Tyler. "Kim Jong Un Just Showed The World The War Machine He Built While Feinting Diplomacy". The Drive.
  25. ^ "Казахстан, Алматы, улица 24 Июня". Яндекс.Карты.

External links[edit]