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The Goose Step

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Post 26 Sep 2012, 22:48
Why did the Red Army, and other armies of Socialist states, adopt that marching tradition?
Post 26 Sep 2012, 22:59
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goose_step

The wiki article is pretty interesting actually.
It's mostly associated with military training, drill and discipline. The fascist connotation is mostly a western thing.
Post 26 Sep 2012, 23:08
I think it was first introduced by Emperor Paul (Pavel) I of Russia in the 1790s as part of an attempt to modernise the Russian army. He enjoyed drills and other military exercises, and believed they would improve discipline and morale in the an army that was pretty ramshackle at the time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_I_of_Russia

Unless the goosestep was abandoned at any time since (which I don't believe it was), the Soviets just adopted it for themselves. I think it's obvious that Russian and later Soviet specialists modified it from the Prussian version (which has itself possibly been reformed -who knows).

By the way, interesting tid-bit: While West Germany switched to American-style marching after WW2, the East German military retained the Prussian style, though renamed, until 1990 when the country was annexed by the West. It seems both the East German leadership and the USSR had no problem with a country retaining important elements of its historical heritage, whereas the West German leadership was less willing to do so.
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