Now and Then - Leningrad Guards Parade

Nevsky prospekt Leningrad siege war eastern front Guards parade

Today, 76 years ago - Leningrad Guards' Parade.

Nevsky prospekt, Leningrad. July 8, 1945 / Nevsky prospekt, St. Petersburg. July 8, 2021

Soldiers of the 30th Guards Rifle Corps marching along Nevsky prospekt for their parade on the Palace square. The Battle Standard of the Leningrad Front, which was previously carried across the Red Square in Moscow on June 24, can be seen in the background. The Corps marched to the Palace square in 3 columns, and the one on the picture was led by Major General Afanasy Stcheglov.

From an article from the "Leningrad Pravda" by the correspondent Mikhalyov:

"The wounded from the hospital on Old Nevsky prospekt rose from their beds to meet the Guardsmen. All those who were able to walk left their wards and climbed onto the fence. Bandaged, wearing gowns and slippers instead of boots, they silently watched the rows of soldiers who marched along the pavement in triumph. And suddenly, having noticed them, the commander of one battalion uttered a command: "Attention! Column right, march!"

The officers gave their hand salute while the soldiers saluted their comrades in arms by the turn of their heads. There was something unusually exciting in how soldiers greeted other soldiers. A veritable tempest broke out among the wounded. They jumped up, applauded and shouted "Hurrah!"

From the memoirs of Gennady Charushev, Leningrad siege survivor:

"Screams of joy (and even gunfire) erupted in the morning, and during the day the troops of the Leningrad Front marched to their parade on the Palace square in their field uniforms. It was very hot. The soldiers were exhausted but joyous. They marched right through the crowd of Leningraders (to be precise, Leningrad women and children). Right in front of me one woman bought a full cart of ice cream and handed it to the passing soldiers. Some lads and lasses of my age and older sat on soldiers' hands and climbed on guns and vehicles. Sometimes shrieks could be heard when some woman hurled herself towards a soldier, having recognised her husband, brother or father. And I kept standing and hoping for a miracle: what if some soldier comes to me and tells me he is my father!"

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