“Home” is the word illustrated on this page and now the boys, accompanied by two more local lads, march across the top of the page.
The four boys are dressed identically; they all have a wooden rifle slung across their shoulders while one also carries a flag. They march in a perfect formation just as the soldiers had on the preceding pages. The closing image visualizes the hoped-for aim of the military reforms of 1924-25: the “militarization of the civilian population,” as Frunze, military commissar, called it. The defense of the Soviet motherland, Frunze declared, could not just be one borne by a new, disciplined Red Army. Instead, Soviet society itself should embrace military values and mobilize for defense. The imagining of defending the socialist land, as this book and other publications illustrated, was a masculine endeavor. All the soldiers depicted here are men; so too were all the soldiers who graced Soviet propaganda in the 1920s. The illustration here includes boys such as Ivan and Stepan as part of this mobilization: they will grow up to be the men who defend the USSR in the future.