Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Here comes the Red Army!

Glory! Glory! Glory to the Soviet Armed Forces!

Belskij L, Potapov V, 1977

This is a nice poster, created and printed to commemorate the 60 anniversary of Soviet Armed Forces, which were originated as the Red Army in 1917 by the special decree of Vladimir Lenin. The Red Army’s main task was to stop Russian participation in WW1 as this conflict was too much of a burden for the young Soviet republic. Another objective was to fight the opposing White forces which stood for restoration of monarchy. Also domestic affairs were far from quiet, so preservation of order in the country was essential.

All those things were not easy to do, and I should admit, that not all the missions were accomplished properly. Nevertheless, after WW1 the Red Army was getting new ammunition and proper training, its ranks being reinforced with universal conscription.

During the pre-war years Joseph Stalin was executing his brothers-in-arms of the revolution period on suspicion that those talented and popular figures could rival his power. Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky was one of those victims.

During the World War Two Russian Army showed its courage and self-sacrifice leaving more than 7 mln. of soldiers on battlefields. Nevertheless, the victory was won, albeit at a price too high.

During Cold War Red Army (also named Soviet Army by that time) was used to strengthen Soviet presence in the world, by taking part in Hungarian Revolution, Czechoslovakia invasion, Vietnam and Cambodia’s wars and finally the Afghanistan conflict.

Also after the WW2 new weaponry was entering service, including nuclear weapons, supersonic jetfighters and transcontinental missiles, calling for highly trained specialists. Before the collapse of Soviet Union military service was comfortable and prestige occupation in the Soviet Union.

Things changed, when old ideology died, leaving the empty space in minds and no change in pockets. And it took years to replace skilled specialists, who left the service for better living. This reconstruction process goes ever since.