February 23rd 1918 - Formation of the Red Army


The 23rd of February, 1918 is considered the founding date of the Red Army. Leon Trotsky, the Peoples Commissar for the military matters had led the way. The Red Army emerged out of the Red Guards from the time of the revolution. To emphasize the ideal of the equality of all people and to differentiate itself from the Tsarist military the Red Army was initially a volunteer army without ranks. Commanders were democratically elected. Commands could be discussed and rejected. During the civil war these principles were soon abandoned in order to increase the military efficiency against the White Army their political opponent. There was fierce opposition but Trotsky prevailed with the support of Lenin. In 1918 the hated military service and ranks from the tsarist era were implemented again. Due to a lack of trained Communist officers tsarist officers were recruited some of which served until World War II. This shift however was compensated by assigning political commissars to every military association who were able to suspend the orders of commanders if they contradicted the party line.

Länge: 00:01:26 | O-Ton: nein | Farbe: s/w | Jahr: 1918 | Clip-ID: JHT000299E


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14. April 1949 // Urteil im Nürnberger Wilhelmstraßenprozess
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