Central Museum of the Armed Forces of the USSR

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Central Museum of the Armed Forces of the USSR


a museum in Moscow, at 2 Sovetskaia Armiia Street. It was founded Dec. 23, 1919, by an order of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic as the permanent museum exhibit The Life of the Red Army and Navy. The exhibit became the Museum of the Red Army and Navy on July 14, 1921. It was renamed the Central Museum of the Red Army and Navy on Sept. 2, 1924, and the Central Museum of the Soviet Army in February 1951; the present name was adopted Dec. 23, 1964.

The museum is the chief scientific research and instructional center for museum work in the Soviet armed forces. The exhibits, which occupy 26 halls, chronicle the history of the Soviet armed forces from the time of their founding. Special sections are devoted to the military cooperation of the armies of socialist countries.

Wall carvings in the Victory Hall list the names of the fronts and fleets of the Great Patriotic War and the names of servicemen kept in perpetuity on the rolls of military units and ships. The hall also contains memorial books with the names of those honored with the title “Hero of the Soviet Union” and the names of enterprises that distinguished themselves during the war. The exhibits include the Banner of Victory and combat banners of military units and ships of the Soviet Army and Navy, as well as captured fascist German banners. The exhibition yard of the museum has examples of Soviet combat equipment and weapons.

The museum has a total of 570,000 exhibits, including 7,000 weapons and pieces of equipment, 200,000 documents, 120,000 orders and badges of various types, 150,000 photographs, motion pictures, and sound recordings, 35,000 works of art, 30,000 artifacts, and 28,000 combat banners of deactivated units of the Soviet Army and Navy, gift banners, and flags. There is also a collection of captured banners. The museum’s specialized library has more than 80,000 volumes. The museum also has a reading hall, a conference hall, motion picture auditoriums, a sound-recording room, a photographic laboratory, and an instructional office.

A military history society is affiliated with the museum. The museum publishes Soobshcheniia i materialy (News and Materials, since 1959) as well as guides, catalogs, albums, and brochures. The museum was awarded the Order of the Red Star in 1975.


V pamiati narodnoi: Putevoditel’. Moscow, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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