Central Armed Forces museum

Red Army museum/ Central museum of the USSR Armed Forces (CAFM), Russian Federation

In October 1917 there was a revolution, and the Communists took power in Russia. February 23, 1918 the new, Red Army – was created. On the outskirts of Russia formed the anti-communist resistance and the “White Army” (who wanted to return to the old government). The Russian civil war began. The Red Army fought against the Russian army (the “White Army”) and the interventionist troops (US, UK, France, Japan, etc.)
The new Communist government did not need the old military museums. The main Museums of the Imperial Russian Army were destroyed or have been looted. While the White Army was advancing on the red Soviet Moscow (location of the new government), the Soviet government was not interested in the museums.
At the end of 1919 the Red Army under the leadership of Comrade Trotsky has won the battle against the White Army of General Denikin and continued to attack. The first Exhibition – Museum “Red Army and Navy life” was organized for the celebration of the 2 anniversary of the Red Army.

Red Square, Red Army, Leo Trotsky and the first exhibition-museum

Red Square, Red Army, Leo Trotsky and the first exhibition-museum

In April 1920, the exhibition was housed in the building “Shopping arcade” (now the supermarket GUM, Red Square)
The summer of 1920, the exhibition was expanded and dedicated to the discovery of 2-d Comintern Congress. Many great exhibits (military vehicles and artillery – the trophies) were placed on the Red Square.
14.07.1921 The exhibition was officially renamed to the “Museum of the Red Army and Navy.”
In March 1922, an exhibition museum moved to Prechistenka Street (now the building of the Museum of Literature)
At the beginning of the 1923 civil war ended with the victory of the Red Army. The Commissar and Chairman RVSR * Comrade Leon Trotsky decided to celebrate 5 years of the Red Army and to make a special exhibition “The train RVSR chairman Leon Trotsky” **. This exhibition made in the same building of the Military Academy (street Vozdvizhenka, 6) The exhibition opened February 23, 1923 and runs until 1 November.

Leo Trotsky train, Red Army and Navy exhibitions, the new buildings of the museum

Leo Trotsky train, Red Army and Navy exhibitions, the new buildings of the museum

In 1924, the Museum subordinated to the Military Academy
19/06/1925 Museum returned to the subordination of the Staff of the Red Army ( “Office for the exploration and use of the experience of the war”)
17.01.1926 was opened a large exhibition “Posters and leaflets of the Civil War.”
05.02.1927 the museum again transferred to the PUR (Political Management) and moved into the building of the Central House of the Red Army (CDKA) Catherine Square (now Square. Suvorov). The museum is located in the left wing of the building 38 years, until 1965
A permanent exhibition on the themes and periods has been established, composed of the sections:
– The armed forces of the proletarian revolution 1905-1917
– Russian Civil War,
– The period of the peaceful construction of the Red Army.
In 1937 it began mass repression against the former leaders of the revolution and the commanders of the Red Army. They were killed (as Polish spies) or imprisoned as “enemies of the people.” NKVD found in all 1000 000 “Polish” spies. and many “Japanese” spyware it found. All personal belongings were destroyed by the Red commanders in the museum. It also destroyed a military banner of Comrade Trotsky’s train.
Later . new exhibitions were created:
Technical reconstruction of the Red Army,
– battles on the CER against China (Zhang Suelyan government)
– fighting at Lake Khasan against Japan,
– fights on Khalkhin Gol against Japan
– War with Finland.(“winter” war)

The Second World War and the Museum
In autumn 1941 the museum was evacuated from Moscow and was located until 1944 in Kazan city, in the local House of the Red Army. The main task of the museum was propaganda (education) and the collection of the exhibits from the front. The use of the museum’s collection for the education of the soldiers, all the people in the spirit of Marxism-Leninism and love for Stalin, the Soviet Motherland, friendship of peoples through the creation of the exhibition, mobile and stationary exhibitions;
-collection relic materials that perpetuate the feat of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War and in the rear, including the trophies..;
-providing in wartime conditions of the preservation of historical and artistic treasures, the museum accumulated in the preceding period.

– special missions officers and employees of the museum at the front;
– assistance to the front in the organization of the exhibitions, with the subsequent reception of the exhibits in the museum;
– written communication of the museum with the fronts, getting them exhibits parcels and couriers
– obtaining items through the Heads PU Red Army in the state, Party organizations, institutions of Moscow and private individuals.

Museum staff worked on Volhovsky, Karelian, Don fronts in the defense and protection of Odessa, Leningrad and Stalingrad Sevastopole, during the Kursk battlefields, in Orel, Bryansk, Belgorod, Voronezh, Rostov-on -Don, Minsk, Vilnius, Bialystok, Warsaw, wherever battles were fought. Working in a combat situation for the collection of exhibits had a very risk of the life.
From November 1943 to April 1945 20 expeditions to the fronts was conducted. In collecting work involved the whole museum staff.

The new place of the museum in the Central Red Army House at Commune square and the WWII

The new place of the museum in the Central Red Army House at Commune square and the WWII

At the end of the Second World War as a trophy to the museum has got a large number of German Nazi flags and banner, uniforms, awards. Personal belongings of the Red Army. Many trophies were received from China after the defeat of the Japanese Kwantung Army.

The postwar period
In the history and activities of the Central Red Army Museum postwar period can be divided into two major phases: the first – 1946-1956. and the second – 1957-1964
At the first stage the museum (November 1944.) Was an independent department of the Central House of the Soviet Army named after Frunze and exposure, overhead, stock premises remained at the same territorial area of the first floor.
In March 1947, changes have taken place in the museum:
1. Changed the name of the Museum – TSMVS USSR (Central museum of Armed Forces of USSR)
2. Offered to find the new premises, which would allow to deploy a TSMVS USSR.
3. the new Regulations on TSMVS USSR.
4. Approve under the chief of the Museum of the Academic Council.
5. To strengthen the scientific management of the Museum to strengthen its highly qualified officers – scientists with a degree at least, “Histjrical PHD.” level

The second phase was characterized by the expansion of the scope of tasks, development and improvement of the main directions of military-museum work, the increase in stock-building collections. The museum has become a leader in the USSR and has been recognized internationally.
In 1957, the leadership TSMSA write a letter to the Minister of Defence of the USSR Marshal of the Soviet Union Zhukov. The need for a new separate building for the Museum of the Soviet Army area of 10 – 15 thousand square meters. Construction was carried out in the park CDSA them. Frunze and was completed by May 8, 1965.
May 8, 1965 – a memorable date in the cultural life of the Armed Forces throughout the country. 20th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, the USSR Central Museum of the Armed Forces was presented in a new building.

he new building since 1965, the new open air exhibition of tanks, artillery, aircrafts and ships

he new building since 1965, the new open air exhibition of tanks, artillery, aircrafts and ships

In 1966 it was created a movie photo archives, an outdoor pool of the small arms, in 1967 – an outdoor art fund. Created exhibition of military equipment on the open ground. It was established during the year ten artillery guns, BM-13 ( “Katyusha”), the T-28.
In 1989 the museum received a lot of artifacts from the war in Afghanistan

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the restructuring of the museum 1991-2009
After the state changes and the armed forces has been a change in the work of the museum.
Landmark abroad for TSMVS, cause serious adjustment of its management views on the content of the museum exhibition as a whole, were the events that took place in the country in 1991-1993. The Soviet Union collapsed, there was a withdrawal of troops from the country and abroad, started reforming the Armed Forces. Before the scientific staff of the museum there was a task – develop an appropriate concept to be defined with its architectural and artistic solution to identify the size of the exhibition area, to collect the necessary material on these events and to reflect them in the exhibition. In a short time it has created a group, consisting of the scientific staff of the museum, which began this work.
Since 1993 he has been allowed to show the history of the army before the revolution of 1917 (in the absence of the exhibits).

In 1996, the society of “Rodina” (USA) were obtained exhibits unique Russian army until 1917. These exposure existed until 2007, when they were closed (repair facilities)
The 199X years many unique items were stolen: premium weapons of famous Soviet marshals and generals, the rare awards of the red commanders, the banners of Nazi Germany and more.
The museum exhibitions and new exhibitions are held periodically

to be continued…

* People’s Commissioner and Chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council (= in-Chief of the Armed Forces)
** Mobile command post of the Red Army, train protection where Trotsky led all fronts of the civil war.