For starters, another Lenin quote: "Revolution is worthy only when it can defend itself".
The instrument of defense (and not only defense) was Red Army, created in January 1918. Above is a 1930s poster, the slogan over French-style steel helmets says: "Red Army is a faithful guardian of October [Revolution] gains". Below, a kind of fairy tale printed to celebrate the second anniversary of the Army in 1920:
An important extension of Soviet armed forces was OSOAVIAKHIM, already mentioned in my previous entries. This voluntary organization helped to train the Army reserve. Here's another 1930 poster dedicated to OSOAVIAKHIM-Red Army joint drill:
A rider (above left) is Kliment Voroshilov, People's Commissioner of Army and Navy. Stalin's personal friend and political ally, he was de-facto commander-in-chief of the armed forces since 1925. Actually, his influence was limited but after 1930 he was turned by the propaganda masterminds into "Leader #2", second only to the People's Best Friend:
The ultimate Soviet heroes of 1930s were military aviators. Every boy dreamed of becoming a pilot who flies a red-starred aircraft. Joining OSOAVIAKHIM was presented as a first step in making this dream true:
Needles to say, 1939/40 Winter War with Finland revealed serious problems in purges-beaten Red Army (the effect of Great Purges is often exaggerated but cannot be ignored). Soviet leadership tried to cure these problems with all kinds of reforms: structural, technical and formal. The Air Force dress uniform has fallen victim of those changes but we see it here, in a poster printed soon after the German invasion (June 22, 1941):
"Proud of my son!" - says the old comrade, hugging his blue-clad pilot boy. Note the golden star on aviator's tunic - it's the Hero of the Soviet Union sign, highest military award quite rare in 1941.
Next week, we'll finally see Soviet wartime posters. In the meanwhile, there's something more in the album. As usual, you're welcome to browse it or to enjoy the slideshow: