The Second World War is receding from the minds of the younger generation. It is becoming more and more distant, but some events of that period can even now rouse the spirits of old soldiers. One of the famous events was Stalin’s victory parade at the end of the war. The parade took place on 24 June 1945 more than a month after the surrender of Nazi Germany to Russian commaqnders. it was a stupendous victory achieved at great human cost. The Russians lost 20 million dead and their contribution to the cause of allied victory was substantial. It was fitting thta a parade be held to commomorate this great victory
The order for the parade was issued by Josef Stalin himself. Earlier as per noted historian Anthony Beevor Stalin himself wished to lead the parade, but then gave up the idea as the horse on which he was to ride unseated him. After that he commented that let Zhukov lead the parade as he is from the cavalry.
Zhukov leading the parade Stalin thus in his operational order appointed Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov as the parade inspector and MarshalKonstantin Rokossovsky as the parade commander. The organization of the parade was the prerogative of Colonel General Pavel Artemyev.
The parade took place on a rainy day and later the fly past was cancelled. Stalin himself took the salute standing atop Lenin’s mausoleum. Units of all Russian federation groups as well as a small Polish contingent took part in the parade.
The parade commenced with both Zhukov and Rokossovsky riding down Red Square on a white and Black chargers. A statue of Zhukov on a horse adorns the state historical museum in Moscow.Columns of Soviet soldiers and tanks sped past Stalin atop the mauseleum of lenin. The vigor and energy displayed by teh troops was exemplary. The high point of the parade was when at the end some 200 captured banners of the German army army were placed at the entrance of Lenin’s mausoleum. These included a personal banner of Hitler’s body guards. The parade highlighted the hold of Stalin and the contribution of the Russians to the Allied victory.