The re-enactment is above, but join me after the break for video of the original parade on Nov. 7, 1941, a march through Moscow as Soviet troops left to combat the approaching Nazi war machine only miles away…
Here’s footage of the march:
And here’s Stalin delivering his rousing pep-talk.
According the the infinitely-trustworthy website ibiblio (think poor man’s Wikipedia), Stalin stood before his troops and said:
Comrades, Red Army and Red Navy men, commanders and political instructors, men and women workers, men and women collective farmers, intellectuals, brothers and sisters in the enemy rear who have temporarily fallen under the yoke of the German brigands, our glorious men and women guerrillas who are disrupting the rear of the German invaders!
On behalf of the Soviet Government and our Bolshevik Party I greet you and congratulate you on the 24th anniversary of the great October Socialist Revolution.
Comrades, today we must celebrate the 24th anniversary of the October Revolution in difficult conditions. The German brigands’ treacherous attack and the war that they forced upon us have created a threat to our country. We have temporarily lost a number of regions, and the enemy is before the gates of Leningrad and Moscow.
The enemy calculated that our army would be dispersed at the very first blow and our country forced to its knees. But the enemy wholly miscalculated. Despite temporary reverses, our army and our navy are bravely beating off enemy attacks along the whole front, inflicting heavy losses, while our country-our whole country-has organized itself into a single fighting camp in order, jointly with our army and navy, to rout the German invaders.
There was a time when our country was in a still more difficult position. Recall the year 1918, when we celebrated the first anniversary of the October Revolution. At that time three-quarters of our country was in the hands of foreign interventionists. We had temporarily lost the Ukraine, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Urals, Siberia and the Far East. We had no allies, we had no Red Army-we had only just begun to create it-and we experienced a shortage of bread, a shortage of arms, a shortage of equipment.
At that time 14 states were arrayed against our country, but we did not become despondent or downhearted. In the midst of the conflagration of war we organized the Red Army and converted our country into a military camp. The spirit of the great Lenin inspired us at that time for the war against the interventionists.
And what happened? We defeated the interventionists, regained all our lost territories and achieved victory.
Today our country is in a far better position than it was 23 years ago. Today it is many times richer in industry, food and raw materials. Today we have allies who jointly with us form a united front against the German invaders. Today we enjoy the sympathy and support of all the peoples of Europe fallen under the yoke of Fascist tyranny. Today we have a splendid army and a splendid navy, defending the freedom and independence of our country with their lives. We experience no serious shortage either of food or of arms or equipment.
Our whole country, all the peoples of our country, are backing our army and our navy, helping them smash the Nazi hordes. Our reserves in manpower are inexhaustible. The spirit of the great Lenin inspires us for our patriotic war today as it did 23 years ago.
Is it possible, then, to doubt that we can and must gain victory over the German invaders? The enemy is not as strong as some terror-stricken pseudo-intellectuals picture him. The devil is not as terrible as he is painted. Who can deny that our Red Army has more than once put the much-vaunted German troops to panicky flight?
If one judges by Germany’s real position and not by the boastful assertions of German propagandists, it will not be difficult to see that the Nazi German invaders are facing disaster.
Hunger and poverty reign in Germany. In four and a half months of war Germany has lost four and a half million soldiers. Germany is bleeding white; her manpower is giving out. A spirit of revolt is gaining possession not only of the nations of Europe under the German invaders’ yoke, but of the Germans themselves, who see no end to the war.
The German invaders are straining their last forces. There is no doubt that Germany cannot keep up such an effort for any long time. Another few months, another half year, one year perhaps-and Hitlerite Germany must collapse under the weight of its own crimes.
Comrades, Red Army and Red Navy men, commanders and political instructors, men and women guerrillas!
The whole world is looking to you as a force capable of destroying the brigand hordes of German invaders. The enslaved peoples of Europe under the yoke of the German invaders are looking to you as their liberators. A great mission of liberation has fallen to your lot.
Be worthy of this mission! The war you are waging is a war of liberation, a just war. Let the heroic images of our great ancestors-Alexander Nevsky, Dmitri Donskoi, Kusma Minin, Dmitri Pozharsky, Alexander Suvorov, Mikhail Kutuzov-inspire you in this war!
Let the victorious banner of the great Lenin fly over your heads!
Utter destruction to the German invaders!
Death to the German armies of occupation!
Long live our glorious motherland, her freedom and her independence!
Under the banner of Lenin-onward to victory!
Details on the upcoming event from AFP:
The event will take place on November 7, marking the 71st anniversary of a historical parade of 1941, when soldiers left for a front line just after marching here, as Nazi German troops were fighting with Soviet soldiers a few kilometers from Moscow.
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