We left the digs at 04:45 for 35th Battery and from there convoyed to Ulitsiya Lenina, then down to the base of the feeder road from near train station. At roughly 08:30 Red Army began to drive up to Lenina, where we sat until Parade started at 10:00 sharp. Thousands and thousands of guests passed through us on their way down to the main viewing areas near Nakhimov Square and Ulitsiya Nakhimov, many of them stopping to talk and admire the machines and uniforms, and photo and be photoed.
Vid of machines and Red Army. All of the period armored vehicles are from the Diorama Museum on Sapun Mountain, overlooking both Balaklava and the Valley of the Shadow of Death from Light Brigade fame. Starting 3 years ago with the T34/85, the machines were pulled off the plinths where they had sat since 1955. For diesel powered units, it was found that purging of fuel lines, injectors and fuel tanks with new batteries and the beasts started and moved on their own. The petrol vehicles, including Katyushya, SU 76 and the truck pulling the anti aircraft machine gun and searchlight, did get an engine overhaul if needed, but most didn’t even need that, just a major tune up, fuel line purges and fire up they did. All work on all the vehicles was performed by Black Sea Fleet units. Red Army, we own all our vehicles, as in privately owned and we maintain those vehicles from our pockets, not a kopek comes from anyone for upkeep and repairs. Some are stored and on display at 35th Battery, some in a lager near Balaklava.
The Parade itself? Worth every aching hour of work, the cheers for Red Army are continuous and at times deafening.
Vid of the entire parade, less Red Army.