Moscow Victory Parade of 1945

A victory parade held by the Soviet army (with a small squad from the Polish army) after the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War

A USSR stamp of 1946. Victory Parade on June 24, 1945 in the Red Square
pinterest button

This, the longest and largest military parade ever held on Red Square in the Soviet capital of Moscow, involved 40,000 Red Army soldiers and 1,850 military vehicles and other military hardware

First Ukrainian Front in Victory Parade.
pinterest button First Ukrainian Front in Victory Parade. неизвестен, Public Domain

The parade transpired 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

The parade itself was ordered by Marshal of the Soviet Union Joseph (Iosif) 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 at follows:

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:

Postage stamp, Victory Parade with Marshal Zhukov riding a white horse. Russia, 1995
pinterest button Postage stamp, Victory Parade with Marshal Zhukov riding a white horse. Russia, 1995 Почта России, Public Domain

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.

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») 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.

Marine Guards - 1945 Victory Parade participants.
pinterest button Marine Guards — 1945 Victory Parade participants. lol, CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

 Kuban Cossacks at Victory Parade, Red Square, June 24 1945
pinterest button Kuban Cossacks at Victory Parade, Red Square, June 24 1945 rkka.ru, CC BY-SA 3.0

Displays of the Red Army vehicles were some of the focal points of the ceremony.

One of the most famous moments at the end of the troops parade took place when various Red Army 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 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, Hitler's personal bodyguard.

A USSR stamp of 1946. Victory Parade on June 24, 1945 in the Red Square. Lenin's Mausoleum
pinterest button A USSR stamp of 1946. Victory Parade on June 24, 1945 in the Red Square. Lenin's Mausoleum   В. Андреев, Public Domain

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.

From: 24 June 1945

Period 1940s, Joseph Stalin (1924-1953), Soviet era (1917-1991)

Useful Information

Victory Parade of 1945
Russian: Парад Победы
tr. Parad Pobedy

Parade participants

  • Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov (parade inspector)
  • Marshal of the Soviet Union Konstantin Rokossovsky (parade commander)
  • Military bands
  • Massed Military Bands of the Moscow Military District
    • Conductor: Major Gen. Semen Chernetsky, Senior Director of Music of the Central Military Orchestra, People's Commissariat of National Defense
  • Moscow A. Surovov Military Music School Corps of Drums

Ground Column

  • Fronts of the Soviet Army, Navy and Army Air Forces and Air Defense Forces composed of:
    • Ground Troops and Air Force officers and personnel of the following fronts:
      • Karelian - led by Regimental Commanders Maj. Gen. Grigory Kalinovsky and Marshal Kirill Meretskov
      • Leningrad - led by Regimental Commanders Maj. Gen. Andrei Stuchenko and Marshal Leonid Govorov
      • 1st Baltic- led by Regimental Commanders Guards Lt. Gen. Anton Lopatin and General of the Army Ivan Bagramyan
      • 1st Belorussian - led by Regimental Commanders Maj. Gen. Ivan Rosly and Col. Gen. Kusma Trubnikov
      • 2nd Belorussian - led by Regimental Commanders Lt. Gen. Kosntantin Erastov and General of the Army Vasily Sokolovsky
      • 3rd Belorussian - led by Regimental Commander Marshal Aleksandr Vasilevsky
      • 1st Polish Army Color Guard Company led by Chief of the Army General Staff, General Władysław Korczyc (the only foreign army squad invited for the parade)
      • 1st Ukrainian - led by Regimental Commanders Maj. Gen. Gleb Baklanov and Marshal Ivan Konev
      • 2nd Ukrainian - led by Regimental Commanders Lt. Gen. Ivan Afonin and General of the Army Andrei Yeremenko
      • 3rd Ukrainian - led by Regimental Commanders Guards Maj. Gen. Nikolai Biryukov and Marshal Rodion Malinovsky
      • 4th Ukrainian - led by Regimental Commanders Guards Lt. Gen. Andrei Bonddarev and Marshal Fyodor Tolbukhin
    • Fleet, Land and Air personnel of the Soviet Navy, under Navy Contingent Commander Vice Adm. Vladimir Fadeev
      • Northern Fleet
      • Baltic Fleet
      • Dnieper River Flotilla
      • Danube Flotilla
      • Caspian Flotilla
      • Black Sea Fleet
      • Marine Infantry Command (Naval Infantry (Russia))
      • Coastal Defense Forces
      • Soviet Naval Aviation Service
      • Coastal Artillery Command
    • Flag Disposal regiment of the 1st Internal Troops Division of the USSR NKVD "Felix Dzerzhinsky" composed of captured enemy standards and colors carried by the fronts
  • Moscow Military District, Armed Forces of the Soviet Union contingent under Garrison and District Commander Col. Gen. Pavel Artemyev
    • Military Schools and Academies Combined Joint Division
      • M. V. Frunze Military Academy
      • Suvorov Military School
      • Military Armored Troops Service School
      • Military Engineering Academy
      • F. Dzerzhinsky Military Artillery School
      • V. I. Lenin Political-Military Academy
      • Moscow City Soviet Border Protection Superior College
      • Moscow Military Infantry Training School
    • Infantry Units
      • 1st Moscow Rifle Division
      • 14th Rifle Division
      • 27th Rifle Division
      • 16th Rifle Division
      • 84th Tula Rifle Division
      • 55th Rifle Division
      • Kremlin Regiment
      • OMSDON 1st NKVD Internal Troops Mechanized Rifle Division (Special Duties) "Felix Dzerzhinsky"
    • Border Protection and Security Service of the NKVD
    • K-9 Units (engineering, medical troops, anti-tank)

Mounted Column

  • Army Cavalry Command and Cavalry Mechanized Groups Command
  • Army Horse Artillery
    • M1927
    • Canon de 76 M(montagne) modele 1909 Schneider
    • 152 mm howitzer M1909/30
    • 122 mm howitzer M1910/30 (also used by the regular artillery)
  • Army Horse Tachanka Brigades

Mobile Column

  • Army Air Defense Forces Command
    • Anti-aircraft guns (towed and truck-mounted)
    • AA Gun tachankas
      • 72-K
      • 61-K
      • 52-K
  • Armed Forces Rear Services and AADFC Rear Services
    • Searchlight trucks
    • Acoustic range finders
  • Army Artillery Forces
    • Field guns
      • 76 mm divisional gun M1942 (ZiS-3)
      • 100 mm field gun M1944 (BS-3)
      • 76 mm divisional gun M1936 (F-22)
    • Anti-tank guns
      • 53-K
      • M-42
      • ZiS-2
    • Mountain guns
      • 76 mm mountain gun M1938 (also used by the Airborne)
    • Katyusha rocket launchers of the Army Artillery Guard Mortars Corps
    • Howitzers
      • D-1
      • M-10
      • ML-20
      • M-30
      • B-4
      • A-19
  • Army Infantry Commands - Motorized Forces
    • Dnepr M-72 motorcycles
    • BA-64 armored cars
    • BA-20
  • Army Airborne Troops
  • Army Tank Forces Command
    • T-34 (Victory tanks)
    • T-34/85
    • IS-2
    • T-44
    • T-50
    • T-60
    • T-70
    • T-26
    • Kliment Voroshilov tanks (KV-1 and KV-2)
  • Army Artillery Forces Self-Propelled Artillery Corps
    • SU-76
    • SU-100
    • ZSU-37
    • SU-152
    • ISU-152
    • ISU-122
    • SU-85
    • SU-122