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Like the red army a red star
Material posted: Publication date: 31-01-2017
The history of national victories and military achievements of the twentieth century are inseparable from the main character of red, later Soviet army red star. Concise and simple, easy to remember and visible from afar, the identification mark of Russian soldiers of the twentieth century, known around the world. Red star has become as famous a symbol of victory in the great Patriotic war, T-34 tank or attack aircraft "Il-2", and so universally recognizable symbol of the postwar power of the Soviet Union as a Kalashnikov or a MiG-21.

The story of the red star, it would seem, is inseparable from Soviet history of Russia. After all, it began to be used almost immediately after the October Bolshevik revolution, and ended shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But in reality, the military history of the "star Mars", as they called this sign, in Russia began slightly earlier.

At the end of the October revolution, before Bolsheviks raised the question of armed protection of their gains, the only real military force on which they could rely, was the red guard detachments. These heterogeneous formation, which became the main striking force in St. Petersburg and Moscow, consisted mainly of the most conscious workers and soldiers who left their units, not for fleeing from the war, and with the idea that life in the country really needs a serious shake-up.

But in the beginning of the civil war, the armed forces of the new government were forced to use the same weapon, based on the same military statutes and to dress in the same uniforms as their enemy. The only way to distinguish friend from foe steel special characters. The red, as expected, made a bet on red, long and firmly associated with the revolutionary movement in Russia. Initially treated with red armbands and red stripes on their caps and hats. But by December 1917 the Petrograd red guards, as the most organized of all these groups have decided that they want more convenient and not as easily counterfeited mark.

They became Krasnaya Zvezda, December 15, 1917, by order entered in the Petrograd red guard commander of the Petrograd military district Konstantin Yeremeyev. And five days later, on December 20, new logo discussed the Main headquarters of the red guards of Petrograd and encouraged to use it throughout the revolutionary military units — both existing and emerging.

But to believe that that is the Petrograd red guards were the inventors of the stars is incorrect. As it is a military symbol denoting, however, not so much the nationality of the units, as the rank of commander, five-pointed stars appeared on the uniforms of the Republican French army during the great French revolution. Then they can be seen on hats, epaulettes, scarves, on the coattails of his uniform. Later, in the great army of Napoleon I, the stars were only on the General's epaulettes. That's probably where they in January 1827 by order of Emperor of Russia Nicholas I — a big fan of the Napoleonic army and moved to the epaulettes of Russian officers and generals. The size of the asterisks were equal, and class rank was determined by the presence or absence of fringe and its thickness. And when in 1854 epaulettes began to take the position of the straps, and on them the title was still determined by the stars and is still the same size: the category rank represents the number and presence of gaps.

Almost at the same time but not at the other end of Europe — in the throes of the revolutionary fire of a Garibaldi of Italy — appears for the first time and the red star as a symbol of the revolutionary army. In 1849, put on the peak of a five-pointed red sign began to wear along with a banner in front of the columns of supporters of Giuseppe Garibaldi. Given the popularity of this revolutionary in Russia, it is easy to assume that the symbolism was probably well-known Russian socialists, and other subversives of the monarchy.

Finally, the idea to use the star as a military identification mark of the Bolsheviks could have made their predecessors of the Provisional government. It is known that on April 21, 1917, the military and sea Minister Alexander Guchkov its order No. 150 introduced for sailors new cockade: a rosette with an anchor, over which was placed a star.

So star as a military symbol was by 1917, already well known in Russia — and it only remained to decide how to transform it into a symbol of the new revolutionary worker-peasant army. The answer was obvious: make it red, like all the old insignia of the red guards.

The first official sketch of the red star as a sign of the red army, was approved in the spring of 1918. 19 April, the newspaper "Izvestia of the all-Russian Central Executive Committee of Soviets of peasants', workers', soldiers 'and Cossacks 'deputies" there was a correspondence, which stated that the Commissariat for military Affairs approved the drawing of the badge for soldiers of the red Army in the form of a red star with a Golden image of the plow and the hammer in the center. Itself a star, which, by the way, in the article, and for some time after the official adoption was called a "Mars star", represented, on the one hand, the God of war Mars, on the other, due to its red color — the protection of the revolution. And the symbolism of the hammer and the plough to read it was even simpler: they, of course, represented the "worker-peasant" character of the new army.

Interestingly, one of the preliminary sketches, drawn and proposed by the Commissioner of the Moscow military district Nikolay Polyansky, except the plow and the hammer, was present and the book — as a symbol of intelligentsia. But the book refused, arguing that it overloads the sign and makes it difficult to read. In itself the idea of combining in one sign symbols of the workers and peasants was first implemented in March 1917, when the banner of the workers of the Moscow factory of Faberge has an image of crossed hammer, the plow and rifle.

With the approval by order Narcomoeba Republic No. 321 of may 7, 1918, the new sign of the red army was called "the Mars star with the plough and sickle" and was worn on the left breast. By the way, many soldiers, especially the commanders of the red, preferred to wear the badge on the belt — that it did not cling to it and not closed, turning red warrior in an unknown armed man. And this consideration, in July of 1918 forced the revolutionary military Council of the Republic to give the order to move the red star from his chest to the rim of the cap is a place that became familiar to several generations of the Soviet soldiers. And on 15 November of the same year came the RVS order No. 773, which the red star was finally placed on headgear, and not only the red army, the red fleet.

The first enamel red star, named "Mars", had a characteristic shape. Its beams were thicker than we're used to seeing, and their faces were slightly convex, causing the star it seemed more voluminous. In this form — with raised thick rays, the hammer and the plow — it lasted four years. 13 APR 1922 the plow, which was considered a symbol of wealthy peasants, the kulaks that is, replaced poor a sickle (although, most likely, this change was more down to earth explanation of design: the hammer easier is portrayed and easier to read). Three months later, on July 11, and changed the shape of the rays of the stars — they were straightened, giving a sign familiar to us.

Very soon the symbol of the red army main force, designed to protect the world's first state of workers and peasants — became and defenders, and their opponents to personify itself in Soviet Russia. So there is nothing surprising in the fact that in 1923, the red star, but without the hammer and sickle, that is, in the most General form, appeared as the closing element on the coat of arms of the USSR. Through the year a red star appeared on the flag of the Soviet Union, in 1928, she became familiar oktyabryatskoy organization (instead of a hammer and sickle on it put the image of the young Volodya Ulyanov), and in 1942 — the pioneer and icon.

As for the red army, the red star was not only a distinctive sign, which was placed on headgear — caps, forage caps, helmets and hats-"budenovka", but also a part of shoulder sleeve insignia. From 1919 to 1924 red star adorned on the sleeves of the red army, separated from the commander and ending with the commander of the front. After 1924 the red stars remained only on the lapels of the commanders of the youngest category — To-1 (the leaders and offices in the army and Junior mechanics in the air force), and after 1940 — only the senior officers, starting with major General. The sailors of the red Navy red stars on the cuffs of the sleeves remained much longer: before 1991, are gradually replaced by gold at all ranks except Admiral.

However, in 1969 the badge of the star in the Soviet army returned, but not in the form of the insignia and the shoulder patches of the element, pointing to the kind or species of troops in which is their owner. It is noteworthy that such stripes were worn only by military personnel of conscription and long service and cadets of military schools officers did without them.

Andrey Samoilov


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