Now and Then - Cavalry at the Red Square parade

Moscow Red square cavalry 1941 parade

Red Square, Moscow. November 7, 1941 / Red Square, Moscow. December 2021

Red Army cavalry at the October Revolution anniversary parade on the Red Square.

From the memoirs of Prikazchikov Alexander Ivanovich. Honorary professor of the Astrakhan State Medical University, participant of the 7th of November Parade in Moscow in 1941.

"It was rather cold and windy, about 15C, it was snowing and at around half past seven, I didn't have a watch then, we all suddenly heard: Stalin is going to speak. There were bell-shaped loudspeakers on the square. Stalin's voice was barely heard, we almost didn't understand anything. Only separate words came through the wind, but he put it well in the end: "May the fair image of out ancestors inspire you in this struggle: Dmitry Donskoy, Alexander Nevsky, Suvorov and Kutuzov! Onwards, to the defeat of German invaders! Death to German occupiers!" A threefold "Hurrah!" resounded across the square. There were Moscow militiamen and the regiments which hadn't yet made it to the front on the square.

The parade was organised without any preparation. The snow was thick and flaky. The infantry marched across the square first, then the cavalry followed. We started riding past the Historical Museum. Just as we rode into the Red Square, our half-wild Mongolian horses became nervous with the sounds of the orchestra, they started dashing sideways and we couldn't rein them in properly. But I still saw Stalin. I remembered he was wearing a military cap and his collar was raised. I thought he didn't dress well enough for the weather, it was too cold to wear a cap alone. We rode along the square and shouted "Hurrah!"

And in the evening we changed our parade uniforms to frontline gear, put on valenki [felt boots - Alexander Shmidke] and took off our shiny polished boots. Some of us were given submachine guns, but most of us had rifles back then, and on that night were were ordered to head along the Leningrad highway past the River Station"

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