In 1943, Britain had been at war with Nazi Germany for over three years. The USSR had become a rather unlikely British ally in 1941, and after two years of brutal conflict had begun to gain an advantage against German troops, who were demoralized by the fierce Russian winter and a lack of supplies. With this as a backdrop, on 21 February 1943, more than two thousand participants performed a large-scale pageant called Salute to the Red Army at the Royal Albert Hall in London to commemorate Red Army Day and celebrate the Soviet–British alliance against Nazi aggression. British cities such as Cardiff, Manchester, and Bristol also honored Britain's Russian allies with marches, rallies, and other celebrations. The pageant was London's contribution to these nationwide festivities. Although the audience at the Royal Albert Hall event comprised selected and invited guests, enormous crowds attended other regional events, as did prominent military dignitaries, members of local councils, local members of Parliament, and Russian military guests. This multicity event is one demonstration of how the extremes of war produce unlikely bedfellows.