Soviet General. He was born in the town of Novaya Golchikha, the son of a poor peasant family. He entered the Red Army in 1915, serving in the First World War, the Russian Civil War, and the Soviet-Polish conflict. He served in a number of command positions during his early years including deputy regimental commander of the 427th regiment, 32nd brigade, 11th division, and commander of the 142nd, 143rd, and 144th rifle divisions. In 1931 he was appointed to the Directorate of Military Training, rising to the position of senior supervisor, and in 1937 he was appointed to the General Staff. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, he was appointed to the positions of Commander of Operations, Directorate of the General Staff and Deputy Chief of the General Staff. In October 1941 he was assigned to the Western Front where he became the chief strategist in organizing the defense of Moscow against advancing German forces. The following year he was assigned the similar task of defending the city of Stalingrad, where he was successful in halting the German advance and in organizing a massive counter-offensive which resulted in a major Soviet victory. In February 1943 he was awarded the rank of "Marshal of the Soviet Union" for his battlefield accomplishments in defending the "Motherland." Between 1943 and 1945 he served on the Baltic and Belorussian Fronts where he was successful in defeating the German occupation armies, ultimately leading to the capture of the East Prussian capital of Koenigsberg. Following the German surrender he was transferred to the Far Eastern Front, where he led the Red Army against Japanese Imperial forces in China and Korea. He was appointed Deputy Minister of Defense in 1948 and Minister of Defense in 1949. He was a two time recipient of the "Hero of the Soviet Union" award, an eight time recipient of the Order of Lenin, and a two time recipient of the Order of the Red Banner. He died in Moscow at the age of 82.
Bio by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.