Soviet Fleet Admiral. He joined the Russian Navy in 1919 and fought in the Russian Civil War. Following graduation from the Frunze Naval Academy in 1932, he served as commander of the cruiser "Chervona Ukraine" from 1934 to 1936, and from 1936 to 1937 he was assigned as a naval attache and adviser to the Spanish Government. Returning to Russia the following year, he was placed in charge of the Pacific fleet. From 1941 to 1945 he served as the people's commissar of the navy, before being promoted to the rank of commander-in-chief of the Soviet Navy. While serving as commander in chief, he organized the naval defenses of Leningrad, Odessa and Sevastopol against German forces during the Second World War, and directed combat operations of the Soviet Navy against the Japanese Imperial Navy in the Pacific Theater. On September 14, 1945 he was awarded the dual titles of Hero of the Soviet Union, and Marshal of the Soviet Union for his leadership and service during the Great Patriotic War. In 1947 he was demoted to the rank of vice admiral after being accused by Joseph Stalin of transferring secret documents to the allies. Following the death of Stalin in March 1953, he was restored to the full rank of admiral of the fleet by the Supreme Soviet, and also served as first deputy minister of defense of the USSR. In 1955 he was reduced in rank for a second time, over accusations by Marshal Gregori Zhukov for alledged deficiencies in the navy, and the unexplained explosion and loss of the Battleship Novorssiysk, and the death of over 600 crewmen. He was the recipient of four Orders of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Star, and several national monuments erected in his honor across the Soviet Union. In 1981 a new class of aircraft carriers were commissioned in his name, and in July 1988 he was posthumously restored to his former rank as Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union, by the governing Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.
Bio by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.