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Banners of the Red Army and Navy During the Great Patriotic War (1941–1945). P. 25–32

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Section: History




Dmitriy V. Shunyakov
Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin; ul. Mira 19, Yekaterinburg, 620002, Russian Federation;


This article dwells on the establishment of banners as a collective award for military units and their effect on improving combat skills, cohesion, mobilization and self-sacrificing struggle of soldiers with the enemy during the Great Patriotic War. The research aimed to reveal a correlation between the chronology of the introduction of Guard and Combat Banners of the Red Army and Navy and the needs of the field forces and events at the battlefront. In accordance with the purpose, the study is based on the problem-chronological approach. Within its framework, awarding banners to military units during the Great Patriotic War is considered as an integral part of the entire Red Army and Navy award system during that period. The sources for the article include materials kept in the State Archives of the Russian Federation (resolutions of the Council of People’s Commissars) and the Russian State Military Archives (orders of the People’s Commissar for Defence). Another important source is constituted of memoirs of war veterans. The research indicates that awarding Guard Banners was an extremely important part of military unit rewarding, just as decoration with military orders or giving honorary names. The introduction of banners along with orders and medals, as well as the new uniform with shoulder marks – all this changed the Red Army beyond recognition, and made the soldiers forget about the defeats and losses of the early war period, instilling confidence in their final victory over the enemy. It should be noted that the banners of the Red Army and Navy were evolving simultaneously; having a number of common features, they retained their unique elements.


Great Patriotic War, Red Army, Navy, award system, Guard Banners, Red Banners
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