Parade of Troops

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Parade of Troops


the passing of troops with combat matériel in ceremonial march on official holidays or for various celebrations.

Troop parades were held in the armies of ancient Egypt, Persia, Rome, and other states. In the period of feudalism, mo-narchs in Russia and elsewhere gathered their vassals with their troops for review. Parades for troop inspection and drill became very common in the 18th century in Prussia and elsewhere in Western Europe. In Russia, parades of troops, called vakhtparady, became especially frequent in the late 18th century. Every year in St. Petersburg a large winter parade was held in Palace Square and a large spring parade in the Field of Mars (Marsovo Pole). In addition, a summer parade was held in Krasnoe Selo. Large-scale military maneuvers ended with big parades involving the troops of several military districts.

In the USSR, troop parades are held in garrisons to mark revolutionary holidays and important state and military events. To hold a parade, the garrison commander issues an order setting forth the troop composition, the time and place of the parade, the uniform and march route of the units, the unit formation order and position, and the firing order for the artillery salute, if there is to be one. A parade commander is appointed to command the troops assigned for the parade.

At the set time, the units and subunits fall into parade formation. After the report of the parade commander, the person reviewing the parade tours the troops, salutes them, and congratulates them. A combined band plays the “Meeting March.” The troops respond to the parade reviewer’s salute with a loud hurrah. When the reviewer returns to the reviewing stand after touring the troops, the band plays the song “Glory” (music by M. I. Glinka). Then the trumpeters and cornetists in the band sound the fanfare “Hear Ye All.” The reviewer reads an order or delivers a speech, after which the band plays the state anthem of the Soviet Union while an artillery salute is being fired. When the band has finished the anthem, the troops pass in ceremonial march. The parade ends with the passing of the band.

The parade in Moscow on Nov. 7, 1941, during the battle of Moscow of 1941–42 and the Victory Parade of June 24, 1945, have had special significance in Soviet history.

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