George IV Bridge – celebrating 50 years

Soviet military material: acquired in 1996

The John and Ljubica Erickson Collection at the National Library of Scotland focuses mainly on the Red Army. Professor Erickson was a renowned authority on the Red Army's history, operation and organisation. The collection consists of more than 7,000 items from the library of his former Department of Defence Studies at Edinburgh University and from his personal collections.

Among them is an illustrated history of the Soviet armed forces. It was written just before the era of 'glasnost' had properly begun and is a typical product of its time. Censorship constraints meant that no mention could be made of Trotsky's role in the creation of the Red Army. Photographs could not be shown of Soviet troops retreating in the early stages of the Great Patriotic War.

The image here is Dmitri Moor's iconic poster from the Russian Civil War, which asks: 'Have you enlisted as a volunteer?'

See also: Soviet posters from the 1920s

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