Source Pravda.Ru

The first Victory parade - reference

The first Victory Parade was held on Red Square /Moscow/ on June 24th, 1945.

On June 22nd, newspapers published an order issued by the Soviet Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief, which read "To celebrate the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War, I command to hold a parade of acting Army, Navy and Moscow Garrison units on June 24th 1945, on Red Square in Moscow - the Victory Parade. The Parade should be reviewed by my Deputy, Marshall of the Soviet Union G.K. Zhukov, troops should be commanded by Marshall of the Soviet Union K.K. Rokossovsky. Soviet Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief, Marshall of the Soviet Union J. Stalin." In late May and early June, troops were preparing hard for the Parade. In the beginning of June, all personnel that was to take part in the event received new dress uniform and started training.

Troops were assigned to composite regiments representing each front fighting in the end of the war, namely 1st Karelian; Leningrad; 1st Baltic; 1st, 2nd, 3rd Byelorussian; 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Ukrainian Fronts, as well as to regiments representing the Soviet Navy, Air Force and People's Commissariat /Ministry/ for the Defence. Units representing military academies, colleges and the Moscow Garrison also took part in the Parade.

Regiments were manned with Heros of the Soviet Union, holders of the Order of Glory, prominent snipers and the best campaignage - soldiers, sergeants, warrant officers and officers. Each regiment included infantry, artillery, armour, air force, cavalry, combat engineer and liaison elements. In addition, regiments had specially trained standard-bearers with assistants who bore 36 colours of the best-fighting units. Each regiment was about 1,000-men strong, composite regiments representing front were led by Front Commanders.

It was also decided to bring from Berlin the Red Banner, which was raised over the Reihstag, as well as colours of Fascist units defeated by the Soviet Army.

At the Parade, regiments were arranged in compliance with the sequence of acting fronts, i.e. from right to left. The 1st Karelian Front was standing on the right flank. Next to it there was standing the Leningrad Front, 1st Baltic Front and so on. The left flank was assigned to the 4th Ukrainian Front and composite regiments representing the Soviet Navy and the Moscow Garrison. Each regiment was to march to the martial Music, which had been specially selected with regard to troops preferences. The last but one rehearsal of the Parade took place on the Central Air Field, the final one - on Red Square. Within a short period of time, all composite regiments were perfectly trained and produced an astonishing impression.

The Victory Parade was reviewed by Marshall of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov, the First Deputy People's Commissioner /Minister/ for the Defence, Deputy Commander-in-Chief and the Commander of the 1st Byelorussian Front. At 10 o'clock sharp, he appeared on Red Square from the Saviour's Tower Gates riding the Tsepky white stallion. The troops heard "Parade, Attention!" which was followed by a thunder of applause. Zhukov heard a report by Parade Commander Konstantin Rokossovsky, which was followed by their joint revision of troops. Later on, people on the square heard "Listen everyone" and the 1,400-strong military band performed the "Glory to the Russian People" anthem by Mikhail Glinka.

Georgy Zhukov held a solemn speech from high of the Mausoleum, which was followed by the anthem of the Soviet Union and the Parade commenced.

Front and Navy regiments were followed by a column of Soviet soldiers carrying 200 pointed down to the ground banners of Fascist units defeated by the Soviet Army on the fields of battle. These banners were thrown to the Mausoleum pedestal. Later on, the composite regiments manned with officers from the People's Commissariat for the Defence and military academies, cadets of military and Suvorov colleges trooped on to the square. They were followed by a composite cavalry brigade and subsequently, military hardware of various armed services.

Zhukov recalls "combat colours, which saw the enemy's defeat, war-burnt brave faces of warriors, their shining eyes, new dress-coats with glittering orders and insignia - that was a fascinating and unforgettable sight. It hurts me thinking of those brave sons of the Motherland who had been slaughtered on the fields of battle and never made it till this glorious day, the day when our cause prevailed!"

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