25 April 2023

What is the Red Army? – Learn about the actions and history of the Red Army

By Donald

The events of World War II involved various armies and a large number of troops, each with different names. However, in the battalions that stood out the most, we must mention the Red Army, so, in this article, we explain who they were and what their function was. In the same way, we tell you their story and the most important events in which they participated.

What was the Red Army in the Russian revolution?

The victory of the allies against the axis powers in World War II was achieved thanks to the resistance of Russian troops on the eastern front. Well, the Russian army withstood the Nazi onslaught in Operation Barbarossa and produced the German setback by causing thousands of casualties. These troops received worldwide recognition for these actions, although they already had fame and popularity during the Big war, in which they became known as the red army.

The Red Army is the abbreviated title for the ground and air troops of the Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, that is, the socialist faction of Russia. The full name is the Red Army of Peasants and Workers, a name that the army received after the Russian revolution of the Bolsheviks took place in 1917. These troops had the objective of fighting against the so-called white army in the actions of the civil war From Russia. Then, they became the army of the Soviet Union until the year of their separation in 1991, practicing the red code and communist indoctrination.

General history of the Red Army

The Bolsheviks gained command power in Russia in the Russian Revolution with a militia called the Red Guard. However, these men were not an army as such, on the contrary, they were soldiers, non-commissioned officers and armed workers. When the right wing faction wanted to regain control of the country, Lenin and Leon Trotsky, who were the heads of the communists, decided to create the red army. In that sense, the base was the same red guard, but they integrated trained soldiers who had communist thinking.

In Moscow and Petrograd they accumulated the largest number of troops, since their first movement was to defend the territory of the imperial army of Germany. However, after a couple of months, Lenin dissolved the Constituent Assembly, so he negotiated peace with Austro-Hungarians and Germans in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. This caused Russia to abandon World War I and focus on the internal civil war left behind by the Bolshevik Russian Revolution.

From then on, the Red Army concentrated on attacking the White Army, which is the Tsarist or right-wing faction. In addition, they received the support of the United States, France, Japan and Great Britain. Leon Trotsky He was the one who was in charge of training his soldiers in combat and indoctrinating them in Bolshevik thought. At the end of the civil war, these troops achieved victory over the communists, which allowed the founding of the Soviet Union.

After the end of World War I, the Treaty of Versailles prevented Germany from testing weapons or increasing its army. However, Russia acted as an ally and let German troops will train with those of the Red Army, this after the death of Lenin and the exile of Leon Trotsky.

What did the Red Army stand for?

The most important thing within the Soviet Union and in the Red Army was political thought, since they were looking for people committed to the cause. In this sense, the red code was marked by a deep communist feeling. So, the recruits had to receive an indoctrination and the veterans owed fidelity to the ideology, the commander and the homeland.

Thus, communist thought took root in the troops and intensified in the superiors. However, some brigade leaders and platoon commanders mistrusted many of their men. Well, there were rumors of an armed uprising against the communist state, which led to what is known as the great purge. There, Russian troops shot some people, while others were killed.

These actions left the Red Army very weak, as they lacked a large military force. It is estimated that by the beginning of the Second World War these troops had half the number of people they originally had. However, the time would soon come to defend the most important thing, the motherland, Russia.

What were the actions that the Red Army carried out?

In June 1941, during World War II, Adolf Hitler decided to violate Nazi Germany’s non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union. So, in a plan known as Operation Barbarossa, he sent about 80% of the axis forces with the intention of invading Russia. From there begins what the Russians called the Great Patriotic War.

To the surprise of the Soviets, Nazi Germany began to gain ground, causing several defeats for the Red Army. Thus, the Soviets let in everyone who wanted to defend the territory, so they got a lot of national volunteers, regardless of the red code. Similarly, some 5 million Ukrainians and one million more joined, counting the Uzbeks, Belarusians, Kazakhs and even Spanish.

The defeats led Stalin to trust his officers, since they were people with better preparation in the military field. In this way, the officer Tukhachevsky gave instructions to the red army to prepare the defense of the key cities of the country. Thus, the Soviet troops managed to stop the attacks of the blitzkrieg or lightning war and took the offensive.

The first great victory was in the battle of Moscow, since they achieved the defense at the city gates, at the same time that they finished off several Nazi platoons. However, the most important blow of the Red Army was in the battle of Stalingrad, which is the bloodiest fight of the conflict. With this victory, Nazi Germany began to lose ground and retreat, so the Russians kept their country.

Following this, the Red Army won another victory in the battle of kurks, one of the greatest fights in history. From here, the Soviets were the invaders in the German lands and were the first to enter Berlin. Therefore, much of Hitler’s surrender is due to the efforts of the Red Army. They nailed their red flag to the parliament, the Reichstag building and approached the führer’s bunker.

Common armament of the Red Army

The Red Army’s weaponry was at a disadvantage to that of the Nazis at the start of the war, as they had less technology. However, with the passage of time and with the quick work of their scientist they managed to create new weapons that helped in the defense of the country. In addition, they also received support from the allies with the shipment of ammunitionweapons and strategic plans that ended the German advance.

However, the best weapon of these troops came with the creation of the KV-1, which is a thought tank who could fight with the German panzer. In that sense, the Nazis had the best war chariot of the moment, which was an advantage in the blitzkrieg tactic. The Russians modified old tanks and produced one that was slower and heavier, but with greater endurance and range.

  • The Russians used various types of tanks, from the T-18 to the T-80 version.
  • Katyusha rocket launcher.
  • anti-aircraft guns 85mm.
  • Tractors with armor T-20 Komsomolets.
  • Shotguns, pistols and machine guns.
  • armored car FAI.
  • Anti-tank guns of different calibers.