Soviet General. He was drafted into the Imperial Army in 1916 and sent home after the Armie's demobilization following the Russian Revolution in 1917. In 1919 he Joined the Red Army and Bolshevik party. He served in the Russian Civil War fighting anti-Soviet forces in the Far Eastern Province. He received his formal military training from the Frunze Military Academy. Following graduation in 1926 he held a number of senior military commands including commander of the Transbaikal and North Caucasus Military Districts. After successfully surviving the party purges of the 1930's he was appointed Deputy of the Supreme Soviet in 1937 and as a member of the Soviet Central Committee in 1939. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 he was placed in command of the 19th Red Army, successfully defending the City of Smolensk and the Soviet capital of Moscow for which he was rewarded and promoted to the rank of Colonel-General. Following the defense of Moscow he was placed in command of the Western, North Western and Ukrainian Fronts between 1943 and 1945. He played a major role in the battle of Kursk successfully defeating the German Army. Following his victory at Kursk he led a successful offensive liberating the Russian cities of Belgorod, Odessa, Kharkov and Kiev from German occupation. In February 1944 he was promoted to the rank of "Marshal of the Soviet Union." He continued his offensive during the remainder of 1944 successfully driving the German Army from the Ukraine and Byelorussia into Poland and Czechoslovakia earning the title of "Hero of the Soviet Union." In 1945 he led his army with the combined forces of General Georgi Zhukov on the German capital of Berlin before being ordered to the south-west to join forces with the U.S. Army. Following the war he held a number of senior military positions including head of Soviet forces in Germany, Allied High Commissioner for Austria, First Deputy Minister of Defense of the Soviet Union and commander of the Carpathian Military District. He was a seven time recipient of the "Order of Lenin," a three time recipient of the "Order of the Red Banner," a recipient of two Gold and one Red Stars and an award commemorating the October Revolution.
Bio by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.