The Central Armed Forces Museum (Russian: Центральный Музей Вооруженных сил) also known as the Museum of the Soviet Army, is located in northern Moscow, Russia, near the Red Army Theater. The first exposition which showed the military condition of the Soviet Republic and the Red Army was organised in Moscow in the building of today's State Universal Store, and was opened by Vladimir Lenin on the 25 May 1919, following a parade in Red Square.
Over its history the museum has managed to accumulate the most prominent and important military relics of the Soviet period, creating a record of its military past. In total more than seven hundred thousand individual exhibits are now stored at the museum. The most valuable are displayed in the 25 halls of the main building.
The period of the Russian Civil War includes a photocopy of the original decree outlining the creation of the RKKA which includes Lenin's corrections; a banner of the 195th infantry regiment into which Lenin was officially conscripted; weapons, documents, awards and personal belongings of famous Red Army men such as Mikhail Frunze, Grigory Kotovsky, Vasily Chapayev and Vasily Blücher as well as others, all help to re-create the post-revolutionary atmosphere.
The most prized display is that dedicated to the Great Patriotic War, which includes the Victory Banner as well as all of the front banners and the captured Nazi ones that were used during the Victory Parade in 1945. The Great Patriotic War differs from World War II in that it began on 22 July 1941 with the German invasion of the Soviet Union. World War II (in Europe), started on 1 September 1939 with the co-ordinated attacks of Germany and the Soviet Union on Poland.