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Whether a victory march, a commemoration of past conflict or a showy flexing of military muscle, the tradition of soldiers publicly parading with their weapons goes back for millennia. Long designed to stir flag-waving fervor and impress enemies, such lockstep processions have been a favorite vehicle for leaders throughout history.

(Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

(Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Ancient Rome, circa 223 B.C.
As seen in this 1818 engraving by Bartolomeo Pinelli, the Roman military commander Marcus Claudius Marcellus (c.268-c.208 BC) returned to Rome in triumph, having defeated the Insubrian Gauls.

(Credit: DeAgostini/Getty Images)

(Credit: DeAgostini/Getty Images)

France, August 1804
Napoleon at the Boulogne-sur-Mer military parade. This was the site where he assembled his “grand army” to invade Britain.

(Credit: Mathew Brady/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

(Credit: Mathew Brady/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

United States, May 1865
A Civil War infantry unit with fixed bayonets marched on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., followed by ambulances, during the “Grand Review” of the Union Army.

(Credit: AP Photo)

(Credit: AP Photo)

Germany, September 1938
Thousands of marching Nazi stormtroopers paraded before Adolf Hitler in the streets of Nuremberg.

(Credit: Central Press/Getty Images)

(Credit: Central Press/Getty Images)

Soviet Union, May 1965
An intercontinental missile crossed Moscow’s Red Square during the military parade, marking the 20th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe.

(Credit: Terry Ashe/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

(Credit: Terry Ashe/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

United States, June 1991
Battle-fatigue-clad veterans of Operation Desert Storm marched in a Gulf War victory procession, the last military parade held in the U.S. capital.

(Credit: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

(Credit: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

North Korea, July 2013
Rocket launchers passed through Kim Il-Sung Square in the capital of Pyongyang during a military parade marking the 60th anniversary of the end of fighting in the Korean War. Leader Kim Jong-Un presided over the ceremony.

(Credit: Xinhua/Zhu Zheng via Getty Images)

(Credit: Xinhua/Zhu Zheng via Getty Images)

China, September 2015
In one of the largest parades of all time, China held a grand military procession to mark the 70th anniversary of victory in what it called “the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.”

(Credit: Eliot Blondet/Sipa USA/AP Photo)

(Credit: Eliot Blondet/Sipa USA/AP Photo)

France, July 2017
Atmosphere during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, celebrating the uprising that led to the French Revolution.

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