Modelling a Red Banner

Modelling a Red Banner

Modelling a Red Banner
with James Brown

As well as providing a powerful motivation to ensure your Soviet troops fight their very hardest, a Red Banner is a great way to add a splash of colour to your army.

I have made a new selection of paper flags for you to download and print, based on the nine 'Victory Banners' sent into the Battle of Berlin with the 3rd Shock Army.

Check out the Red Banner Warriors spotlight here...

Berlin: Soviet
By April 1945 the Soviet Red Army had pushed to the Oder River, just on the doorstep of the German Capital, Berlin. On 16 April 1945 the Soviets launched the Berlin Offensive across the Oder.

However, the Germans had not been idle and withdrew from the Oder River and took up positions on the Seelow Height on the most direct route to Berlin. Eventually the Soviet weight of numbers and firepower told and three German were thrown back from the Oder.

Berlin: Soviet

The War Council of the 3rd Shock Army met and ordered nine banners to be given to the Army's nine rifle divisions to carry into the assault on the Reichstag and the surrounding area.

Famously, it was banner Number 5, belonging to the 150th Rifle Division, that was raised atop the Reichstag by three soldiers of the 756th Rifle Regiment: Alexei Berest, Mikhail Yegorov, and Meliton Kantaria. This is the only official 'Victory Banner' which now survives, and is now on display in the Central Museum of the Armed Forces, in Moscow.

However, your Red Banner Colour Party can represent any one of the official Victory Banners given to the assaulting divisions, or indeed an unofficial Red Banner, if that is what you prefer.

Modelling a Red Banner

Above: Red Banner #5 reads: '150th Rifle Division, Order of Kutuzov 2nd class, Idrista Division, 79th Rifle Corps, 3rd Shock Army, 1st Byelorussian Front'.

Modelling a Red Banner I have created a printable PDF with banners suitable for each of the rifle divisions in the 3rd Shock Army (listed below), as well as a couple of generic Red Banners for those who would rather field a force from another formation. Download the Red Banner Colour Party PDF here...
3rd Shock Army, 1st Byelorussian Front 
7th Rifle Corps
  • 146th 'Ostrov' Rifle Division
  • 265th 'Vyborg' Rifle Division
  • 364th 'Tosno' Rifle Division
12th Guards Rifle Corps
  • 23rd 'Dno' Guards Rifle Division - Order of the Red Banner
  • 52nd 'Riga' Guards Rifle Division - Order of Lenin, Order of Suvorov
  • 33rd 'Kholmsk' Rifle Division - Order of the Red Banner
79th Rifle Corps
  • 150th 'Idritsa' Rifle Division - Order of Kutuzov 2nd degree
  • 171st 'Idritsa' Rifle Division - Order of Kutuzov 2nd degree
  • 207th Rifle Division (tasked with clearing the Kroll Opera House, opposite the Reichstag)

Attaching a paper Red Banner

Modelling a Red Banner Modelling a Red Banner
Above: Download and print the PDF at full size on any colour laser printer. Above: Once you have selected the flag you want to use, carefully cut it out with a sharp hobby knife.
Modelling a Red Banner Modelling a Red Banner
Above: Fold the flag in half and dry-fit it around the flag-pole, squeezing it firmly together to curve it into the right shape. Above: Apply PVA white glue sparingly to one half of the flag, right up around the curve, leaving space on the other end to hold it without getting gluey fingers.
Modelling a Red Banner Modelling a Red Banner
Above: Carefully manoeuvre the flag into place around the flagstaff and squeeze the two halves together, trying to get them to line up as best you can. If you wish, you can bend the flag into flowing curves, which will be locked in place when the glue dries. Above: Leave the glue to dry. There will inevitably be a little white showing at the edges, which you can touch up with some Artillery Red (380). I also mixed in Devil Red (381) to dull the colour down a little, and to add a suggestion of shadow on the inside of the flag's curves.
Modelling a Red Banner Modelling a Red Banner

Happy modelling, Comrade!

~ James.