Little Bits of History

Victory Parade

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 24, 2011

Moscow Victory Parade

June 24, 1945: The Moscow Victory Parade of 1945 takes place. The Soviets called World War II by a different name. It was not just a world war, but for them it was called the Great Patriotic War. It ended for them on May 9 when Germany surrendered to the Soviet commanders. With the war over, Marshal of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin issued Order 370 of the Office of the Supreme Commander in Chief, Armed Forces of the USSR. This order called for a victory parade in the capital city of Moscow. Troops from the Army and Navy would participate in the parade held at Moscow’s Red Square.

Marshal Georgy Zhukov [who had formally accepted Germany’s surrender] was joined by Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky with the men riding on white and black stallions respectively. These two men led the parade. There is a debated story about Stalin meaning to lead the parade atop the white stallion. However, Stalin was not a horseman and when he tried to ride the horse, he was thrown and therefore gave the horse to Zhukov. Stalin watched the parade standing tall atop Lenin’s Mausoleum.

The parade included two military bands. A Ground Column in which marched Army, Navy, and Air Force members followed.  In this group were members of military schools as well. A Mounted Column displayed Cavalry and Horse Artillery. Also included was the Mobile Column containing Air Defense Forces and Tank Forces. The men and their armaments were proudly displayed.

Soviet forces were mercilessly assaulted with far greater technologies at the beginning of the war. Germany had some of the most sophisticated tanks made at the time and these were employed against cavalry troops. The onslaught of German troops into Russian territory was relentless. However, the Soviet soldiers did not give up, did not surrender, defended Moscow, and eventually prevailed. Their tactics and technology improved. They took back their lands and chased the German Army back from whence it came. This was not without a terrible human cost. The Soviet losses for World War II are at least 10,600,000. That is over ten million dead, 6,829,437 were either killed or missing in action. Another 5,200,000 Soviets were taken as prisoners by the Axis and of those, 3,300,000  died while in captivity. Polish, Romanian, and Bulgarian troops also fought alongside the Soviets and they lost another 51,000 in combat with unknown thousands more dying as prisoners of war. A Russian source claims 27 million Soviets were lost during the war.

“A sincere diplomat is like dry water or wooden iron.”

“Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach.”

“History shows that there are no invincible armies.”

“If any foreign minister begins to defend to the death a ‘peace conference,’ you can be sure his government has already placed its orders for new battleships and airplanes.” – all from Joseph Stalin

Also on this day:
The Cynic – In 1842, Ambrose Bierce was born.
UFO – In 1947, Kenneth Arnold saw something strange in the sky.

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