Military Review

Fourteen Parades of the Middle Kingdom

Fourteen Parades of the Middle Kingdom

September 3 The 2015 of China held a grand military parade to commemorate the 70 anniversary of the liberation of the country from the Japanese invaders. The parade in this format was held for the first time, however, Chinese military events of this kind have a very rich history.


In 1949, the emerged New China could not do without a military parade, designed to demonstrate military force to an unconquered completely internal enemy - by that time the Chiang Kai-shek army continued to control a large part of mainland China and most coastal islands, as well as its opponents abroad.

The Preparatory Committee of the People’s Political Consultative Conference of China in July 1949 decided to hold a large military parade with 16 400 fighters and commanders of the People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA) during the ceremonial events on the occasion of the creation of the People’s Republic of China. The country has created a committee to prepare a military parade led by Zhou Enlai. The command headquarters of the parade was headed by the commander of the 20 th combined arms army Yang Cheng.

For the CPC troops who had fought with the Japanese and the Kuomintang for a long time, holding parades was a new, unusual thing. The troops of the Chinese Communists were a semi-guerrilla type of army, in which there was no single “Forward Charter”.

Yang Cheng turned for help to the commander Liu Bocheng, who in 1927 – 1930 studied at the infantry school and the Military Academy. Mv Frunze in Moscow and had an idea of ​​how such events are held. He told Yang Chenu in detail how the parades were held in Moscow, and made a summary in a popular form: “A parade is nothing but a ceremonial with special content, it is only one form. Well complete the form - and the goal is achieved. In a word, “horse manure - only looks brilliantly outwardly, but inside there is no content.” After these words of Liu Bocheng, all the listeners laughed out loud. Chinese commanders were just emerging from a long period of wars, in which there was no place for drill, and even more so for such parades.

Liu Bocheng found a Soviet pamphlet on the preparation of parades, which he studied at the academy, as well as instruction on the combat training of infantry of the Kuomintang army 1935 of the year of publication. Based on these materials, a parade scenario was drawn up. In August, troops were selected for the parade and assembled in the vicinity of Beijing for training. Classes went on 15 – 16 hours per day. Parade participants changed their shoes every few days with heavy footwork, but were proud of the honor they were awarded.

The ceremony began at 15 on 1 in October 1949 of the year. Later time was not chosen by chance. There was a threat of a Chiang Kai-shek bombers raid, but since the airfield of their home base was far away, they would not have time to return to the base before dark.

Pushing the electric button, Mao Zedong raised a new 5-star state flag. The 28 salute was fired by volleys produced by 54 guns (28 is the number of years the CCP has been struggling since it was created in 1921, and 54 is the number of nationalities in China). After that, Mao Zedong read out the declaration of the Central People’s Government on the formation of the People's Republic of China, and a military parade was launched, which was received by the PLA Commander Zhu De. He drove to the square in an open car and, after accepting the report of the commander of the North China Military District, Nie Rongzhen, who commanded the parade, drove around the troops lined up on Tiananmen Square.

Units and units of the PLA passed successively along the stands. The front column was opened by sailors - cadets of the naval school and sailors of the East China fleet. They carried for the first time the public PLA banner - a red banner with a star and two hieroglyphs “Ba and” (digits 8 and 1), which meant the 8th month of the year and the 1st, that is, August 1 was the start date in 1927 Nanchang uprising, considered the day of the formation of the PLA.

The ground forces in the parade were represented by the 199 Infantry Division, the 619 Regiment of the 207 Infantry Division, the temporary 4 Artillery Division, the 1 Division of the combat vehicles and the 3 Cavalry Division. In total, 40 parade calculations were created. The participants of the parade were equipped with dissimilar trophy fighting equipment and vehicles, mainly Japanese and American. In order to make the equipment look better, it was repaired, re-painted and painted on its sides with the colorful emblems of the PLA (a red star with “Ba and” hieroglyphs and yellow stripes to the right and left of the star). The outer side of the car wheels was painted white.

An important part of the event was an air parade. It involved 17 aircraft flying in formation in the sky of Beijing. They were selected from the 29 aircraft available. Visiting the Museum in April 2015 aviation in a suburb of Beijing, I saw a stand dedicated to this event. The air column was led by a link of fighters. They were followed by bombers. Four aircraft had ammunition on board to repel a possible enemy attack from the air. According to Yang Cheng, this was a great confidence for the pilots, since usually parade participants do not have ammunition in order to prevent the threat of firing on the leadership of the country present at the parade.

To create an impression of the impressive power of the air fleet, such a maneuver was invented. First, at the height of 920, three P-9 Mustang fighters flew three links, followed by a link from 51 Mosquito light bombers, then a link from 2 C-3 transport, and the sixth link from 46 training RT-2 and a communication plane L-9. While these planes were flying, the first group of fighters managed to quickly turn around and re-fly over the square. Thus, it seemed that 5 aircraft participated in the air parade.

The parade, which was observed over 300 thousand people, lasted two and a half hours and caused a great public outcry, including abroad. By the way, a special group came from the USSR to film the parade. She was shooting from different points from morning until late evening. There was a lot of footage. However, a few days later, in a hotel where the group lived, there was a fire that destroyed most of the footage.


The second parade on the occasion of the formation of the People's Republic of China was held on October 1 1950 of the year. Before the beginning of the ceremony, the PLA Commander-in-Chief announced an order in which he demanded that the troops increase their combat readiness in connection with the ongoing war in Korea and the situation around Taiwan. For the first time, Soviet military advisers participated in the preparation of the parade. For the Chinese, this business was still difficult, since the drill in the army had received little attention before. This year, public security troops, engineering troops, aviation, armored and artillery units were created in the country. This is reflected in the parade. The decoration of the parade was the PLA cavalry. 1900 riders on white horses, built in a column on the 6, bravo progartsevali by Tiananmen.

The third parade, held in 1951, was prepared ahead of time. Two temporary headquarters were created, one responsible for ground forces, the other for an air parade. All work was carried out with the active participation of Soviet advisers. The government of the People's Republic of China and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China set the following tasks for the troops: to demonstrate the growing power of the PLA and show its combat skills, coordination in movement, and an exemplary external state. Infantry and cavalry divisions, 6 battalions from military schools, battalion of the airborne brigade, 8 combined artillery battalions, 8 battalions of tank and mechanized troops, searchlight battalion and up to 200 aircraft were involved in the parade.

To prepare the parade was given six weeks. At this time, all troops were relieved of their duties, except for combatants. Despite intense training, the parade participants could not stand in the ranks of the 20 people. It was impossible to pass the column with rifles in the "weapon on hand ", that is, with a weapon at the ready in front of you. Therefore, the soldiers carried a rifle in the "weapon on the belt" position, that is, behind their backs. Much attention was paid to the moral and political training of troops, the alignment of the party-Komsomol activists, in order to prevent any anti-government manifestations and emergencies. The command was especially suspicious of the Mongol horsemen, who, as it turned out, had little desire to participate in the parade.

In the first parade, there was a box of 400 people (20х20) made up of senior officers who studied at the Nanjing Military Academy. They personally participated in many wars and battles and had military awards. In addition, for the first time, a large militia unit was formed in the parade - the 20 Battalion, armed with old rifles. To the sound of a quick march squadrons of the cavalry division rode on small Mongolian horses. I drove a column of motorized infantry on 48 cars on 20 people in each. 150 anti-tank, cannon and howitzer artillery guns passed along the tribune on a mechanical thrust - cars and tractors.

An armored column consisting of heavy and medium ones passed under the powerful rumble of engines and the clang of tracks. tanksas well as self-propelled guns. The demonstration of over 60 combat vehicles made a great impression on those present. At the same time, it should be noted that during the training the tankers did not succeed in showing the harmonious movement of the columns, although 25 hours of training were allocated for each tank. However, driver mechanics could not achieve the necessary coherence. Since on the way to Tiananmen Square it was necessary to overcome the East Gate, which had three passages, it was decided to have only 3 tanks in each row, and only 15 units in the battalion.

The air parade, which attracted only the Soviet technology, set in China, opened the Tu-2 bomber, accompanied by two fighters. Then three navy bombers flew in a clear line of “forward angle”, followed by four squadrons of Il-10 attack aircraft. Then three squadrons of La-11 and La-9 fighters passed at a higher altitude. With a roar rushed jet MiG-15. The air parade of the 134 aircraft became an impressive sight for those present.


Preparations for the fourth parade in 1952 began a month earlier than the previous time. Soviet military advisers also actively participated in this work. Like the 1951 of the year, it was planned to bring the 20 battalions to the parade. True, they had a smaller composition: in each battalion - 12 ranks of 20 people, that is, 240 people. There was a replacement of several military schools. The cadets marched without weapons. The forces of the infantry division were slightly reduced. Instead of 12 battalions, 9 came out. The first battalions were armed with Soviet machine guns, the second and third - with rifles. The general column was closed by the battalion 2 of the people's militia. The parade of the national militia included not only the faces of the titular Chinese Han nation, but also representatives of national minorities. They were dressed in colorful motley costumes, but in their hands they held weapons of the new type.

Cavalry and artillery remained about the same composition, only the "Mongol division" was replaced by another cavalry unit. The total number of tanks and SPGs has been increased from 60 to 100 units. The number of aircraft on the parade increased to 156 units. For the first time, public security troops took part in the parade. Attention of the public was also attracted by a column of motorized infantry on 160 motorcycles.

Personnel were carefully chosen, including the growth of military personnel within 162 – 175, including the difference in each battalion should not be greater than 5, see. At the request of Mao Zedong, the size of the military orchestra from 750 people to 1 thousand musicians was increased. Musical instruments were purchased in Czechoslovakia. Thrice nightly parade rehearsals were held on Tiananmen Square.

As in the previous year, the passage of tanks was hampered by the Eastern Gate. On the approaches to the gate, the driver mechanics had to rebuild from a column of four to a column of three, and after passing the gate again to take the same marching order. At the same time, the alignment was lost both on the front and in depth, despite the fact that the training time for each tank had already reached 40 – 45 hours. To solve the problem of passing a tank column as part of 100 combat units, literally on the eve of the parade, the government at the evening meeting decided to demolish the Eastern Gate. The old Chinese objected, insisting on preserving the historical centuries-old monument. But in the end, the point of view of the military, who in New China had indisputable authority as victors in the war, won. In addition, almost all members of the government and leaders of the CCP were from the army. A group of workers who had been prepared beforehand dismantled the gate at night, and by the morning they had disappeared.

The parade took the commander in chief of the PLA Zhu De, who was brought a new car from the USSR. The first in the column of military units were paratroopers with parachutes and assault rifles on their chest. Then part of public security, armed with Mauser. The infantry battalions followed them: the submachine gunners had weapons “on their chests”, and the shooters had lightweight rifles with fixed bayonets in the “on the belt” position. Behind the cavalry passed artillery on a mechanical thrust. This was followed by battalions of anti-aircraft, anti-tank, more powerful cannon, howitzer and rocket artillery. Tank units were represented by T-34 and EC-2 tanks, as well as SAU-72 and SAU-122 tanks. The military parade completed the ceremonial passage of the consolidated orchestra as part of 1 thousand military musicians.

The military parade showed that the Chinese commanders in general learned the science of preparing and holding such events, taking as a basis the experience of the “elder brother”. In the image and likeness were held and subsequent parades in the 1950-ies, although each had something new or special. Thus, at the fifth parade in 1953, a column of soldiers and commanders from among the Chinese national volunteers who fought in Korea passed in a solemn march. In 1954, a “box” with paratroopers appeared on the sixth parade. This was a demonstration of the new kind of PLA troops, although the real possibility of China to deploy large landings for a long time was very limited due to the small number of military transport aircraft. The last time on parade galloped cavalry. It became clear that under the conditions of mechanization and modernization of the Armed Forces of the People's Republic of China, this ancient branch of the military gave way to more modern and technical branches and forces of the troops.

At the seventh parade in 1955, the appearance of the military differed radically. As a result of the PLA reform, the fighters and commanders moved into the category of soldiers and officers. Military ranks were introduced, a new form of clothing with shoulder straps, buttonholes and stripes. 10 military leaders became marshals of the PRC, 20 - army generals. It was the shape of the generalissimo and Mao Zedong. But at the last moment he refused such a rank and continued to walk in civilian clothes. This did not prevent him from controlling the armed forces, since the CCP chairman acted according to the principle “the party commands a rifle”. The system of military ranks lasted only 10 years.

October is the best time of the season in Beijing. Usually it is warm and dry weather. However, October 1 1956 was the exception. The parade was held under heavy rain. Some units that participated in the parade drove through the square in cars “Zefang” (“Liberation”). These were the first Chinese-made cars manufactured at an enterprise created with the help of Soviet specialists in Changchun. The assistance of the Soviet Union in creating a heavy and defense industry was significant. The USSR contributed to the construction of a large number of aviation, shipbuilding, automotive and other industries, including 100 military enterprises. Samples of new technology began to be gradually shown in parades. For example, October 1 1957 for the first time participated Chinese-made bombers and fighters manufactured according to Soviet designs.


The tenth parade in China 1 October 1958 was marked by the wide participation in it of students of military academies and cadets of military schools of infantry, artillery, tank and engineering troops, as well as the Air Force and the PLA Navy.

October 1 The 1959 Parade was held in the Chinese capital on the occasion of the 11 anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in the Chinese capital. It is clear that he was distinguished by a special solemnity. Many foreign guests arrived in Beijing, including a USSR delegation led by Nikita Khrushchev. Spectators settled on the 10 viewing stands. On the central podium stood the chairman of the PRC, Mao Zedong, on whose right hand was the Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, and on the left was Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. The event was covered by foreign journalists from 16 countries.

The event was attended by the largest in the history of parades the number of troops. 700-thousandth demonstration of civilians gathered. The troops were equipped with the latest models of Soviet weapons and military equipment made in Chinese enterprises. The parade was supposed to show the results of the reforms carried out in the PLA, and, of course, reflect the scale of the “big leap” course.

At 10 in the morning, Beijing Mayor Peng Zhen opened the festivities. To the sounds of the Chinese national anthem and volleys of guns, a military parade consisting of 24 columns began. Ahead were representatives of the PLA Navy. Then advanced mechanized troops of infantry and paratroopers advanced. The infantrymen were wearing helmets, they held automatic rifles and carbines in their hands. The gunners who demonstrated 144 guns of various calibers passed. Most of the artillery was already domestic production. Awesome roar was made by the 59 model, towed large-caliber artillery mounts and 99 powerful new Soviet-made tanks. As soon as the ground units passed, 155 bombers and PLA Air Force fighters flew in the sky over Tiananmen Square. For the servicemen followed the columns of the national militia, which were supposed to show the effectiveness of the course "all the people - soldiers", launched by Mao Zedong 29 September 1958 of the year. In a short time, 5175 divisions and 44 205 national militia regiments were created in the country. The total number of militia has increased to 220 million people, that is, up to 35% of the total population. But in fact it was a “paper tiger”, as military training had only about 30 million militia, including 20 million demobilized soldiers. Many militia units had unusable weapons and low training. Some militias existed only on paper. Subsequently, the militia system had to be reorganized in order to turn it into an effective auxiliary part of the Chinese Armed Forces.

It should be noted that the policy of the "three red flags" ("new general line", "big leap" and "people's communes"), proclaimed by Mao in 1958, turned out to be a great adventure that caused heavy damage to the national economy of the PRC, including industry and military construction. In the 1960 year, famine arose in the country due to natural disasters and perverse agricultural policies. In such a complex socio-political situation, military parades became impossible and inappropriate. In September 1960 of the year, the CPC Central Committee decided to make grandiose demonstrations held annually during 10 years much simpler, and military parades were canceled altogether.

And only a quarter of a century later the next military parade on Tiananmen took place on 12. It was the 35 anniversary of the founding of the PRC. The country has entered a period of serious reform since 1979, and by the year 1984 had some positive results. The parade was the largest and largest in the history of China. 8 was spent months on its preparation. Command during the preparation of the parade demanded the movement of the line step size 75, see. The distance along the tribune of Tiananmen was 743,25 m. It was necessary to cover this distance in 8 minutes 54 seconds. At the 991 step, it was necessary to exit the main entrance area.

The parade was received by Deng Xiaoping, chairman of the Central Military Council of the People's Republic of China, “reform architect”. In the parade, along with the traditional parts of the ground forces, the Navy, the Air Force, weapons of the “second artillery,” that is, the Strategic Missile Forces, were demonstrated for the first time. For the first time, the troops of the People’s Armed Police (reorganized units of the internal forces) also participated in the parade - a new component of the Armed Forces, but not part of the PLA. The total number of participants in the parade exceeded 18 thous. Military and militia - 18 foot and 24 mechanized columns. In the air parade participated 117 aircraft. Particular attention was attracted by the public parade calculations, which included naval cruise missiles, anti-aircraft missile defense systems and strategic missiles. Last seen the world for the first time.

Since the parades were now planned to be held every 5 years, the next parade was to take place in the 1989 year (40 anniversary of the PRC). But in May-June of this year in the Chinese capital and a number of other cities widespread anti-government protests of young people, mainly students, took place for democratic changes in society, against corruption and deterioration of the economic situation. Unable to stop the riots by peaceful means, the Chinese authorities imposed martial law and used troops against demonstrators. Blood was shed, many people died and suffered. The victims were not only among civilians, but also among the military. The carnage was called "the events on Tiananmen Square in 1989 year." The pacification of the "counter-revolutionary rebellion" lasted for more than 7 months. In such a situation, military parades in China were forgotten again for a long time. The next, 13, parade was held only after 10 years, when the PRC celebrated its 50th anniversary.


China celebrated its 50 anniversary in a favorable environment, when the country achieved significant success in the socio-political, and most importantly, the country's economic life, gaining prestige in the international arena. Over the years, the combat capability of the Chinese Armed Forces, which, despite Western sanctions that have imposed an embargo on the export of military products to the PRC after the “events on Tiananmen in 1989”, have been able to modernize their weapons have strengthened. This, of course, was promoted by China’s military-technical cooperation, primarily with Russia, as well as with some CIS countries, especially Ukraine and Belarus, which began in the early 1990s.

China’s increased military power was demonstrated at the October 1 October 1999 parade in Beijing. Being at this time on a business trip in the Chinese capital, the author of the article personally saw the parade training, when military equipment was advanced from different directions to the main highway of the Chinese capital, Changanjie Street. The ceilings of the underground passages were reinforced with metal supports to withstand the pressure of modern armored and rocket technology.

The parade in the open car was received by the chairman of the Central Military Meeting of the People's Republic of China Jiang Zemin. He traveled lined up troops and delivered a speech. 17 foot parade calculations were gathered at the parade, representing all types and branches of the armed forces of the PRC. 25 ceremonial "boxes" consisted of mechanized parts. The 132 aircraft and helicopter 9 types and 15 modifications participated in the aerial parade, forming 10 air groups flying at different heights.

The parade demonstrated the important changes that occurred in the image of the Chinese army over half a century, especially in the last 20 years of reforms in the country. 95% of the types of equipment and weapons were new samples. Ground-based equipment was represented by tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, SAU, MLRS, rocket launchers in a total number of 409 units. Many weapons were shown in public for the first time.

The next parade, 14, was the 1 of October 2009 of the year. The country celebrated 60-th anniversary of the founding of the PRC. The solemn ceremony began in the morning 10. To the sound of music and artillery salute from the monument to the Fallen Heroes, at the pedestal of which stood a portrait of Sun Yat-sen, the guard of honor handed out the flag of the country in front of the tribune of Tiananmen Square. Chairman of the PRC, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, Chairman of the Central Military Assembly of the PRC Hu Jintao received a report from the commander of the Beijing Military District, Lieutenant-General Fan Feihui, who commanded the parade, made 10-minute detour of 44 of the parade calculations, lined up along Changanjie street at a distance of 9 pm

56 ceremonial calculations took part in the military parade. Of these, 14 passed on Tiananmen Square on foot, 30 traveled on military equipment, 12 flew in the sky over Tiananmen on airplanes and helicopters. The movement of the columns was headed by a standard bearer with two assistants armed with machine guns. They were followed by a company of an honor guard of servicemen in the form of the SV, Navy and Air Force.

The first on the square were parade march about 5 thousand soldiers. They walked in “boxes” of 14 rows of 25 people in each row. Behind pedestrian columns, the vehicles moved: tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled guns, mobile missile systems and other combat vehicles.

Part of the military marched in helmets and field uniform with guns. Marine and airborne troops were dressed in their uniforms, and the aviators wore blue overalls and white flight helmets. Particularly nice looked female column, dressed in the colors of the three types of the sun. Elegant hats with flat margins on the sides, mini-skirts, black shoes and white socks looked very elegant and did not at all contrast with the menacing expression of the faces of female military personnel who were ready to carry out any order. But their immaculate appearance and sovereign pitch was certainly blocked by the female column of the people's militia closing the procession. Militiamen were dressed in bright crimson suits and held automatic rifles on their chests. White berets and white boots in combination with mini-skirts successfully emphasized the attractiveness of the proportions of the golden section. The appearance of the Chinese Amazons caused a special stir in the stands, and Hu Jintao greeted them with a wave of his hand.

The walking columns lasted 12 minutes. Then, during 20 minutes, mechanized columns were moving: tanks, amphibious assault armored vehicles, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled artillery of various calibers on tracked and motorized vehicles, as well as the MLRS. Behind them, cars and armored vehicles were moving, equipped with anti-tank guided missiles, air defense systems of the land forces and air defense systems of the country. The representation of various mobile radars and communication systems has become noticeable. For the first time a rear technology was demonstrated. Attention attracted cruise missiles Navy and coastal defense.

The air parade was led by the DRLO KJ-2000 aircraft, accompanied by eight fighters. They were flown by an ARLO aircraft KJ-200, then fighters of various types, 9 bombers Hong-6H, and also fighters-bombers JH-7A. I closed the column of fighters five J-10, and then helicopters appeared in the sky. First heavy Z-8, then - fighting Z-9. Closed the air parade five TCB Jiao-8 with colored smoke. In total in the sky above the stands, more than 150 units of flight vehicles raced. For the first time, women pilots participated in the parade. The parade was demonstrated 52 new types of military equipment of domestic development, and 90% weapons were shown to the public for the first time.

If the modern military parade on the square looked late Marshal Liu Bocheng, he would hardly have said that this is only a form, “horse manure”, which only glitters externally. Who looked at the current military parade on Tiananmen, immediately realized that behind his ostentatious form lies a very real menacing content.
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  1. thinker
    thinker 13 September 2015 09: 48 New
    The militiamen were dressed in bright crimson-colored suits and held machine guns on their chests. White berets and white boots in combination with miniskirts successfully emphasized the attractiveness of the golden ratio. The appearance of Chinese Amazons caused a special stir in the stands, and Hu Jintao greeted them with a wave of his hand.

    Here, I found a photo. Amazons are good!
  2. yuriy55
    yuriy55 13 September 2015 10: 58 New
    That added ... Beauty !!!
  3. Kibalchish
    Kibalchish 13 September 2015 11: 31 New
    The parade in China became the actual embodiment of the rift that once again divided humanity. The leaders who arrived in the capital of the People's Republic of China clearly indicated their belonging to one of the parties to the impending global conflict. Another league of nations is negotiating an Atlantic and Pacific partnership led by the United States. The fact that the world is going to war became obvious about fifteen years ago, but very clear signals sounded two years ago. The question is only in terms and in the form that the conflict will take.
    1. Andrey77
      Andrey77 13 September 2015 11: 41 New
      The world becomes bipolar again. Nobody canceled the old man of Newton - for every action ... The Chinese alone in the USA cannot resist, Russia is the same. But together, very much so.
  4. kav669
    kav669 14 September 2015 01: 20 New
    Lovely beautiful parade. They go exactly beautifully as one.