Military parade of 1941 in Moscow

The famous parade of 1941 in Moscow was a turning point in the battle for the city. For several months the Soviet troops retreated to the capital, and the situation became critical. For the army and all the people who worked in the rear, a spirit-lifting feast was needed.

Moscow in the autumn of 1941

The day of November 7 was chosen not accidentally. It is this date that is the anniversary of the October Revolution - the main holiday of the entire Soviet Union. In 1941, there was the 24th anniversary of the events in Petrograd, when the Winter Palace was taken under the volley of the Aurora. And in past peaceful years, state events dedicated to this event were filled with ideology.

In 1941, this message was necessary, as air. The enemy was very close to the capital, and most of the residents were already evacuated to the rear. Nevertheless, the party leadership remained in the Kremlin. The 1941 parade in Moscow could not pass without the military and state leaders of the Soviet Union.

The organizers of the event understood that it would not be just a demonstration of equipment and a march of soldiers. Prepared teams of operators who were supposed to capture an unprecedented performance. Based on these materials, propaganda films were later mounted, which showed both at the front and in the rear.

Start cooking

Preparation for the parade began in late October, when Moscow was already in a state of siege. The streets were ransacked and filled with defensive structures. Since the 16th the mass evacuation of civilians to the east has been going on. The stations were besieged by dissatisfied and frightened residents, someone could not find relatives. The state of minds in the capital was the most depressed.

In order to put an end to these sentiments, on October 24, Stalin met with Pavel Artemiev (commander of the troops in the Moscow Military District), as well as Pavel Zhigarev (commander of the Air Force). They had to prepare everything necessary for the approaching holiday, while not violating the regime of secrecy.

Meeting of the Moscow City Council

The parade on Red Square on November 7, 1941 in Moscow remained secret until the anniversary of the October Revolution. In peacetime, on the eve of the holiday, a traditionally arranged session of the Moscow City Council was held, which was one of the most informal. It took place at the Bolshoi Theater. However, the building of this cultural institution was already mined in case of appearance of Germans in the city. Therefore, we decided to hold a festive session right on the platform of the underground metro station. On Mayakovskaya, a table and chairs were prepared for the highest officials of the Soviet state.

In the same place, Stalin was to appear, who, as a rule, read the annual speech. There were rumors in the city that all party leaders had long since left the city and moved to Kuibyshev, which was to become the new capital in the event of the fall of Moscow. However, Stalin nevertheless appeared on the "Mayakovskaya". He wanted to announce to members of the Politburo that the next day the military parade of the Red Army was to take place. November 7, 1941 was a public holiday, but no one knew what would happen in Moscow at this alarming time.

Until the day of the meeting of the Moscow Soviet, Stalin tried to avoid public appearances. Even the famous appeal to the inhabitants of the Soviet Union at the very beginning of the war was read not by him, but by Molotov. However, on November 6, the situation was already such that further seclusion would be considered a sign of weakness.

Stalin understood this. He delivered a speech to the political elite, in which he tried to explain the causes of the defeats of the first months of the war. The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU (B.) And the People's Commissar of Defense announced a shortage of tanks and new aircraft. This speech was also broadcast on the radio, and then it was printed on numerous leaflets.

The night before

At the end of the meeting, Stalin, in closed session, announced to members of the Politburo that the next day the 1941 parade would be held in Moscow. For all those present, this news was a complete surprise. Even later (at night) commanders of units who were supposed to participate in the march along Red Square learned about this. But the parade also had to have a civilian audience. They collected it with the help of trade unions, representatives of factories and other enterprises. All of them were invited to the parade in the morning. Conspiracy was associated with a well-founded fear that information about the event would seep into the camp of the enemy. Most organizers were afraid of German aviation, which could bomb the parade on November 7, 1941 in Moscow. To confuse the Wehrmacht, on the eve of the event, the time of the beginning of the entry into Red Square (from 10 to 8 am) was postponed.

On the 6th the weather forecasters reported that the next day the clouds will be low and dense, and also promised a snowfall. This made the bombing of aviation impossible. In addition, the USSR Air Force had conducted a special operation the day before, attacking the enemy airfields, which were in close proximity to the front. All these measures reassured the party leadership: the parade in November 1941 in Moscow was to take place without victims and unnecessary for the image of the country's events.

Preparation of the Red Square

The besieged Moscow looked little like a peaceful city, in which a holiday should take place. Red Square was not an exception . In October, everything that could be destroyed by enemy aviation was cleaned from it. The mausoleum of Lenin became a special concern of the city authorities , which can not be transferred, and leave it as it is - especially. Therefore, the structure was disguised as a special camouflage. These measures were effective - during the German bombardment the mausoleum was not damaged.

On the night before the parade on November 7, 1941 in Moscow was to take place, Stalin ordered to remove the disguise concealing this ideologically important building. In addition, as an exception, the red stars on the spiers of the Kremlin were lit. All this was done for the sole purpose - to show that, despite the war and the approach of the enemy, everything was exactly the same in the capital as in peacetime, and the defenders of the city did not lose courage.

The beginning of the parade

On November 7 at 8 o'clock in the morning the parade of 1941 began in Moscow. He was commanded by Pavel Artemiev, who was also responsible for the preliminary organization of the event. Troops received Semyon Budyonny. In the Soviet Army it was a legendary figure. One of the first five marshals, he went through a civil war, experienced great terror in the troops and remained at the very top of the state. The country's leadership is located on Lenin's mausoleum, which has just got rid of disguise.

The first artillery cadets marched through the Red Square. They were followed by soldiers from infantry units. The silence in the center of the city was interrupted by the music of battle marches performed by the orchestra of the Ministry of Internal Affairs under the leadership of the famous conductor Vasily Agapkin. Even in the tsarist army he wrote the epoch-making "Farewell of the Slav".

Next came sailors and anti-aircraft gunners. After these parts cavalry, machine gun carts, and tanks, including T-34 models, moved, which became a symbol of the whole war and Soviet victories. The parade in November 1941 in Moscow was an unprecedented spectacle. It has never been conducted in such conditions. With strict secrecy in the capital arrived parts from Arkhangelsk and Murmansk (they were reserve tank battalions).

The speech of Stalin

The military parade on Moscow's Red Square in 1941 was marked by Stalin's speech, although it was contrary to tradition (as a rule, it was pronounced by the receiving parade). In his speech, the People's Commissar of Defense compared Soviet troops with the armies of past generations led by such generals as Alexander Nevsky, Dmitry Donskoy, Alexander Suvorov, and so on.

Stalin turned to the Russian past, but the success of resistance to the enemy was primarily connected with the case of Lenin. The communist ideals were to break down the Nazis who attacked the Soviet Union without declaring war, treacherously destroying cities and killing civilians.

Security measures

In order for Stalin to be able to read his speech, the organizers had to take unprecedented security measures. All the soldiers who participated in the parade were deprived of ammunition. The technique traveled along the cobbles of the Red Square without shells. The leadership was afraid of sabotage and betrayal. One way or another, but everything went according to plan, and no freelance situations did not arise.

There were no German air raids, which could spoil the military parade of 1941 in Moscow. Photos of the marching soldiers were immediately sent to all Soviet newspapers. An unprecedented propaganda campaign was launched to raise the morale of soldiers at the front and workers in the rear. An unprecedented feature of the parade was that the units that took part in it immediately went west to repel the Germans. The enemy was already tens of kilometers from the capital, so the soldiers were at the front the next day.


So the parade of 1941 in Moscow took place. The photo of this unprecedented event became a symbol of persistent resistance of the inhabitants of the USSR to a fascist threat. Despite the organizational mistakes of the leadership at the beginning of the war, just a month after the march of soldiers across Red Square (December 5), the famous counteroffensive began, which threw the Wehrmacht back to the west.

A very important contribution to this first strategic victory was made by the 1941 military parade in Moscow. Contemporaries of those events left numerous memoirs and memories of how people, after learning about the events in Red Square, were inspired and again took to fighting the Nazis. All this was done in the parade of 1941. Moscow soon got rid of bombing, and the city began to return to peaceful life.

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