Moonsund Landing Operation
The Moonsund Landing Operation known as the Moonzund landing operation, was an amphibious operation and offensive by the Red Army during World War II, taking place in late 1944. It was part of the Baltic Offensive, was designed to clear German forces of Army Group North from the islands in East Baltic Sea, the West Estonian archipelago; the attacking forces were from the 8th Army of the Leningrad Front. The Estonian islands were occupied by units of the German 23rd Infantry Division, split across the three islands and reinforced with a variety of artillery, coastal artillery, assault engineer detachments; the islands of Saaremaa and Muhu are the largest islands in the archipelago off the Northwest Estonian coast. They dominate the sea lanes to St. Petersburg, Tallinn as well as the bay of Riga, they are completely flat, the highest point rising to about 68 m above sea level. Most of the islands are covered in woods and fields dominate the landscape. Much of the surrounding area of the Baltic Sea is making it unsuitable for major vessels.
The Soviet forces assigned to the attack, the 8th Estonian Rifle Corps and 109th Rifle Corps, were given the order to advance on 29 September 1944. The troops were transported to the first beachhead at Kuivastu on Muhu Island using lend-lease landing craft, including amphibious DUKWs. Many of these troops were Estonians, many conscripted into the ranks of the advancing Red Army as was usual as the Soviets recaptured territories. While boosting the units' strength on paper, these untrained conscripts had limited combat abilities. A Finnish detachment Arho took part in the operations on 4 and 5 October providing logistic support to the Soviet infantry units; the allied controlling committee for Moscow intermediate peace treaty between the Soviet Union and Finland had asked for 100 galeases and 100 motorboats with their Finnish crews, but Finland bargained the number of vessels to half of what was asked, 50 galeases and 50 motorboats. There were a captain, a chief motor operator and two other crew members on every galeas and two crew members on every motorboat.
The initial German response was to withdraw the garrison on Muhu after weak initial resistance, destroying the causeway between Muhu and Saaremaa. The Soviet plan had envisaged clearing the archipelago not than October 5, but bad weather and German resistance interfered with their advance. However, after securing Hiiumaa, Soviet forces landed between Jaani and Keskvere in the north of Saaremaa on the 5 October; the German forces retreated across the island with occasional rearguard actions. They planned to make a stand at the narrow, more defensible Sõrve Peninsula on the south-western side of Saaremaa. Several sharp engagements took place, most notably the Battle of Tehumardi, but by the 8th, all remaining German forces had been forced back to the peninsula; the rest of the island, including the city of Kuressaare, was now in Soviet hands, who now reinforced their attacking units with the 30th Guards Rifle Corps. The Soviet attacks failed to make progress; the Germans had constructed solid defensive positions, built upon remnants of the Soviet 1941 positions.
To provide an observation platform in the flat terrain, the Soviets launched two tethered observations balloons. From these they were able to direct artillery fire against German positions and supply columns; the Soviets tried launching renewed amphibious attacks behind the German lines, but these were repulsed, inflicting severe losses on the attackers. A few days before the end of the battle, the Germans received effective naval gunfire support from flotillas including the heavy cruisers Admiral Scheer and Prinz Eugen; the Soviets had naval support, there were several minor clashes between the respective navies. After several weeks of fighting, the most powerful German formation, the 12th Luftwaffe Field Division was pulled back to Courland on the 12 November, forcing the German units back on successive defensive lines; the number of German combat losses reported in the Soviet literature are up to 7,000 killed and 700 prisoners of war. As the tide of war turned against the Germans, Hitler forbade German forces to retreat from areas of dubious military value.
The Germans clung to the island long after the main front had passed, removing its strategic and tactical value. As winter soon would have set in with full force, the shallow waters in the archipelago would have frozen over as well, making it impossible for the weak forces to hold successfully. By 23 November, the German defences had become untenable, the Army Group commander, Ferdinand Schörner, gave the order to evacuate; this was contrary to an explicit order by Adolf Hitler to fight for the island to the last man. Although Schörner got away with this, most other commanders would have been removed from their posts. Whether this was because of his open Nazi sympathies or Hitler secretly realizing that he had done the right thing is unknown. By the early hours of the 24th, all of the surviving German troops had been shipped out to Ventspils on the embattled Kurland peninsula by a naval force under the command of Major-General Karl Henke, they numbered about 4,500 men including 700 wounded, representing around 25% of the original force.
Previous casualties had been evacuated earlier, along with Soviet prisoners and a large number of Estonian civilian
Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It is on the shore of the Gulf of Finland in Harju County. From the 13th century until 1918, the city was known as Reval. Tallinn occupies an area of 159.2 km2 and has a population of 440,776. Tallinn, first mentioned in 1219, received city rights in 1248, but the earliest human settlements date back 5,000 years; the initial claim over the land was laid by the Danes in 1219, after a successful raid of Lindanise led by Valdemar II of Denmark, followed by a period of alternating Scandinavian and German rule. Due to its strategic location, the city became a major trade hub from the 14th to the 16th century, when it grew in importance as part of the Hanseatic League. Tallinn's Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tallinn is the major political, financial and educational center of Estonia. Dubbed the Silicon Valley of Europe, it has the highest number of startups per person in Europe and is a birthplace of many international companies, including Skype.
The city is to house the headquarters of the European Union's IT agency. Providing to the global cybersecurity it is the home to the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, it has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world. According to the Global Financial Centres Index Tallinn is the most competitive financial center in Northern Europe and ranks 52nd internationally; the city was a European Capital of Culture for 2011, along with Turku in Finland. In 1154, a town called قلون was put on the world map of the Almoravid by the Arab cartographer Muhammad al-Idrisi, who described it as "a small town like a large castle" among the towns of'Astlanda', it was suggested. The earliest names of Tallinn include Kolyvan, known from East Slavic chronicles and which may have come from the Estonian mythical hero Kalev. However, modern historians consider connecting al-Idrisi placename with Tallinn unfounded and erroneous. Up to the 13th century, the Scandinavians and Henry of Livonia in his chronicle called the town Lindanisa.
This name may have been derived from Linda, the mythical wife of Kalev and the mother of Kalevipoeg, who in an Estonian legend carried rocks to her husband's grave, which formed the Toompea hill. It has been suggested that the archaic Estonian word linda is similar to the Votic word lidna'castle, town'. According to this suggestion, nisa would have the same meaning as niemi'peninsula', producing Kesoniemi, the old Finnish name for the city. Another ancient historical name for Tallinn is Rääveli in Finnish; the Icelandic Njal's saga mentions Tallinn and calls it Rafala, based on the primitive form of Revala. This name originated from the adjacent ancient name of the surrounding area. After the Danish conquest in 1219, the town became known in the German and Danish languages as Reval. Reval was in use until 1918; the name Tallinn is Estonian. It is thought to be derived from Taani-linn, after the Danes built the castle in place of the Estonian stronghold at Lindanisse. However, it could have come from tali-linna, or talu-linna.
The element -linna, like Germanic -burg and Slavic -grad / -gorod meant'fortress', but is used as a suffix in the formation of town names. The previously-used official names in German Reval and Russian Revel were replaced after Estonia became independent in 1918. At first, both forms Tallinn were used; the United States Board on Geographic Names adopted the form Tallinn between June 1923 and June 1927. Tallinna in Estonian denotes the genitive case of the name, as in Tallinna Reisisadam. In Russian, the spelling of the name was changed from Таллинн to Таллин by the Soviet authorities in the 1950s, this spelling is still sanctioned by the Russian government, while Estonian authorities have been using the spelling Таллинн in Russian-language publications since the restoration of independence; the form Таллин is used in several other languages in some of the countries that emerged from the former Soviet Union. Due to the Russian spelling, the form Tallin is sometimes found in international publications.
Other variations of modern spellings include Tallinna in Finnish, Tallina in Latvian and Talinas in Lithuanian. The first traces of human settlement found in Tallinn's city center by archeologists are about 5,000 years old; the comb ceramic pottery found on the site dates to about 3000 BCE and corded ware pottery c. 2500 BCE. Around 1050, the first fortress was built on Tallinn Toompea; as an important port for trade between Russia and Scandinavia, it became a target for the expansion of the Teutonic Knights and the Kingdom of Denmark during the period of Northern Crusades in the beginning of the 13th century when Christianity was forcibly imposed on the local population. Danish rule of Tallinn and Northern Estonia started in 1219. In 1285, the city known as Reval, became the northern most member of the Hanseatic League – a mercantile and military alliance of German-dominated cities in Northern Europe; the Danes sold Reval along with their other land possessions in northe
Battle for Narva Bridgehead
This is a sub-article to Battle of Narva. The Battle of Narva Bridgehead was the campaign that stalled the Soviet Estonian Operation in the surroundings of the town of Narva for six months, it was the first phase of the Battle of Narva campaign fought at the Eastern Front during World War II, the second phase being the Battle of Tannenberg Line. A number of volunteer Waffen SS units from Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium fought on the German side. Several Western authors dealing with the foreign national units nickname the campaign as the "Battle of the European SS"; the involved Estonian conscripts fought to defend their country against the looming Soviet reoccupation. The Soviet Estonian Offensive was a follow-on of the Leningrad–Novgorod Offensive, its aim was to reconquer Estonia, annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. Although Narva was not the main direction of the Soviet offensives on the Eastern Front in 1944, the Baltic Sea seemed the quickest way to Joseph Stalin for taking the battles to the German ground and seizing control of Finland.
The Soviet Estonian offensive stalled after securing several bridgeheads over the Narva River and facing the Nazi German Wotan Line. The fierce fighting starting in February stopped at the end of April. With the Narva Offensive, 24–30 July 1944, the Red Army captured the town of Narva, as the German troops retreated 16 kilometres to the southwest to continue fighting at their prepared positions; the German forces managed to block the Soviet advance to the Baltic ports for nearly six months due to the nature of the terrain and the resistance of the international troops. Breaking through the Narva isthmus situated between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Peipus was of major strategic importance to the Soviet Armed Forces; the success of the Estonian Operation would have provided unobstructed advance along the coast to Tallinn, forcing Army Group North to escape from Estonia for fear of being besieged. For the Baltic Fleet trapped in an eastern bay of the Gulf of Finland, Tallinn was the closest exit to the Baltic Sea.
The ejection of Army Group North from Estonia would have made southern Finland subject to air and amphibious attacks originating from Estonian bases. The retreat of Army Group North from the surroundings of Leningrad made the commanders of Finland realise that soon it may be too late to start negotiations with the Soviet Union. On 31 January 1944, General Field Marshal Keitel sent a letter to the Finnish Commander-in-Chief Mannerheim, claiming that the retreat of Army Group North to the Panther Line constituted no danger whatsoever to Finland. Marshal Mannerheim did not share the optimism, expressing his concern that the road in Narva would be open not only to Estonia, but to Finland; as the German condition worsened in the Narva front, President of Finland Juho Kusti Paasikivi was presented with Stalin's peace terms on 8 February. However, Finland resumed in the war. To separate Finland from Germany and make her defence hopeless, Stalin needed to conquer Estonia. Stalin hoped; the perspective of an invasion to East Prussia through Estonia appealed more to the Soviet Main Command, as it appeared bringing German resistance to a collapse.
Stalin gave a short and clear order to the Leningrad Front on 14 February: With the tactical success of Army Group Narwa in late February and April, Finland terminated the negotiations with the Soviet Union on 18 April. The town of Narva is situated along the river of the same name; the river stretches from Lake Peipus northward to the Gulf of Finland. The corridor of land from Lake Peipus to the coast is about forty five kilometres wide, creating a natural choke-point for military operations; the terrain is predominately low-lying with the highest areas being around 100 meters in elevation. Much of the land is swamp and cut by numerous waterways, with other areas forested; this combination of aspects meant the land was by and large well-suited for defence as the waterways and forests tend to channelise an attacker's movements. On 14 January 1944, the Soviet Volkhov and Leningrad Fronts launched operations aimed at forcing the German Field Marshal Georg von Küchler's Army Group North back from its positions near Oranienbaum.
On the third day of the offensive, the Soviets pushed westward. The 109th Rifle Corps had captured Kingisepp by 1 February. Obergruppenführer Felix Steiner's III SS Panzer Corps fought a rearguard action until it reached the eastern bank of the Narva. Army Group Sponheimer blew up the ice on the southern 50 kilometre section of the Narva river from Lake Peipus to Krivasoo swamp. North of the town, the 4th Soviet Rifle Regiment reached the Narva river, establishing a small bridgehead across it on 2 February 1944; the fighting to the east of Narva had left a large number of German troops stranded on the wrong side of the front. The 122nd Rifle Corps crossed the river south of the town in Vääska settlement, establishing a bridgehead in the Krivasoo swamp 10 kilometres south of Narva town; the main brunt of the Soviet attack was where the Germans had least expected it – the III SS Panzer Corps, positioned east of the strategically important town of Narva and holding the German bridgehead on the opposite bank.
The Corps were made up of SS volunteer formations. The Dutchmen of the 4th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Brigade Nederland and the various nationalities of the 11th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division Nordland began frantically digging in along what had become known as the Narva line; the defensive line ran for eleven kilometres, from the estate of Lilienbach
Leonid Aleksandrovich Govorov was a Soviet military commander. An artillery officer, he joined the Red Army in 1920, he graduated from several Soviet military academies, including the Military Academy of Red Army General Staff. He participated in the Winter War as a senior artillery officer. In World War II, Govorov rose to command an army in November 1941 during the Battle of Moscow, he commanded the Leningrad Front from April 1942 to the end of the war. He reached the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1944, was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union and many other awards. Leonid Aleksandrovich Govorov was born into a peasant family of Russian ethnicity in the village of Butyrki in Vyatka Governorate, he attended a technical high school in Yelabuga and enrolled in the shipbuilding department of Petrograd Polytechnical Institute. In December 1916, however, he was mobilized and was sent to the Konstantinovskye Artillery School, from which he graduated in 1917, he became an artillery officer with the rank of podporuchik.
When the Russian Revolution broke out and the Russian Army disintegrated, Govorov returned home, but was conscripted into the White Guard army of Aleksandr Kolchak in October 1918, serving in an artillery battery with the 8th Kama Rifle Division of the 2nd Ufa Army Corps in the Western Army, fighting in the Russian Civil War. Govorov fought in the Spring Offensive of the Russian Army, a general drive westwards by White forces in the east, he deserted in November 1919, fleeing to Tomsk, where he took part in an uprising against White authorities as part of a fighting squad. Govorov joined the Red Army in January 1920, serving in the 51st Rifle Division as an artillery battalion commander. With the division, he fought in the Siege of Perekop in November, during which Soviet forces drove Pyotr Wrangel's White Army out of Crimea. Govorov was wounded twice during the year and was awarded the Order of the Red Banner in 1921 for his actions in Crimea. Govorov obtained further military education, graduating from the Artillery course in 1926, the Higher Academy course in 1930, the Frunze Military Academy in 1933.
In 1936, Govorov was among the first officers who attended the newly founded Military Academy of Red Army General Staff, from which he graduated in 1938. From 1936, he was head of artillery in the Kiev Military District. In 1938 he was appointed as lecturer in tactics at the Dzerzhinsky Artillery Academy. In 1939, he finished his first research publication; this was the period of Joseph Stalin's Great Purge. Govorov was close to being arrested, but in the end survived thanks to the intervention of Mikhail Kalinin and continued to rise in rank. In 1939 the Soviet-Finnish War broke out, Govorov was appointed chief of artillery of the 7th Army, as his research while at Dzerzhinsky Artillery Academy was about assaulting and penetrating fortified enemy positions, he commanded the massive artillery assault that allowed the Soviet breakthrough along the Mannerheim Line in 1940. For this he was promoted to the rank of division commander, he was appointed Deputy Inspector-General of Artillery of the Red Army.
After Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Govorov commanded the Artillery on the Western Front in Belarus from August to October 1941. During the Battle of Moscow, he was appointed Chief of Artillery of the 5th Army, under the command of Major General Dmitri Danilovich Lelyushenko. After Lelyushenko was wounded on 18 October Govorov assumed command of the army. During the Soviet counter-offensives in the winter of 1941–42, his army liberated Mozhaisk; as a result, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general of artillery. In April 1942 Govorov was appointed commander of the Leningrad Group of Forces of the Leningrad Front, which combined the former Leningrad and Volkhov Fronts. In July, the Volkhov Front was re-established, Govorov became the head of the entire Leningrad Front, replacing Lieutenant General M. S. Khosin. Leningrad had been cut off from the rest of the country since September 1941, the Soviet forces were trying to lift the siege of Leningrad, causing colossal damage to the city and suffering to the civilian population.
The Road of Life, the only means of supply to the city, was cut by regular German and Finnish air strikes. Soviet forces launched several offensives in the region in 1942; the Lyuban Offensive Operation resulted in the encirclement and destruction of most of the Soviet 2nd Shock Army. In this situation, Govorov's background as an artilleryman was considered most valuable, since the city was under constant shelling, one of Govorov's tasks was to launch an artillery counter-offensive against the German guns; as soon as he became the commander of the Leningrad Front in July 1942, Govorov mounted local attacks in several sectors of the front, while preparing a much larger offensive. Together with the Volkhov Front, the Leningrad Front would break the blockade of the city by eliminating the German positions south of Ladoga Lake, where only 16 kilometres separated the Leningrad and Volkhov Fronts; this position was called "the bottleneck". At the same time, German forces were planning Operation Northern Light to capture the city and link up with Finnish forces.
To achieve that, heavy reinforcements arrived from Sevastopol, which the German forces had captured in July 1942. Both sides were unaware of the other's preparations; as a result, the Soviet Sinyavino Offensive failed and the 2nd Shock army was decimated for the second time in a year, but the German forces suffered heavy casualties and canceled Operation Northern Light. In late November 1942
Finland the Republic of Finland, is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, Russia to the east. Finland is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia; the capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Tampere and Turku. Finland's population is 5.52 million, the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 88.7% of the population is Finnish and speaks Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union; the sovereign state is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital city of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, one autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one third of the country's GDP. Finland was inhabited when the last ice age ended 9000 BCE.
The first settlers left behind artefacts that present characteristics shared with those found in Estonia and Norway. The earliest people were hunter-gatherers; the first pottery appeared in 5200 BCE. The arrival of the Corded Ware culture in southern coastal Finland between 3000 and 2500 BCE may have coincided with the start of agriculture; the Bronze Age and Iron Age were characterised by extensive contacts with other cultures in the Fennoscandian and Baltic regions and the sedentary farming inhabitation increased towards the end of Iron Age. At the time Finland had three main cultural areas – Southwest Finland and Karelia – as reflected in contemporary jewellery. From the late 13th century, Finland became an integral part of Sweden through the Northern Crusades and the Swedish part-colonisation of coastal Finland, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland.
In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik-leaning Red Guard supported by the new Soviet Russia, fighting the White Guard, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia, Kuusamo and some islands, but retaining their independence. Finland established an official policy of neutrality; the Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era. Finland joined the OECD in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994, the European Union in 1995, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997, the Eurozone at its inception, in 1999.
Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a agrarian country until the 1950s. After World War II, the Soviet Union demanded war reparations from Finland not only in money but in material, such as ships and machinery; this forced Finland to industrialise. It developed an advanced economy while building an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index and as the most stable country in the world during 2011–2016 in the Fragile States Index, second in the Global Gender Gap Report, it ranked first on the World Happiness Report report for 2018 and 2019. A large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution.
The earliest written appearance of the name Finland is thought to be on three runestones. Two have the inscription finlonti; the third was found in Gotland. It dates back to the 13th century; the name can be assumed to be related to the tribe name Finns, mentioned at first known time AD 98. The name Suomi has uncertain origins, but a candidate for a source is the Proto-Baltic word *źemē, meaning "land". In addition to the close relatives of Finnish, this name is used in the Baltic languages Latvian and Lithuanian. Alternatively, the Indo-European word * gʰm-on "man" has been suggested; the word referred only to the province of Finland Proper, to the northern coast of Gulf of Finland, with northern regions such as Ostrobothnia still sometimes being excluded until later. Earlier theories suggested derivation from suomaa or suoniemi, but these are now considered outdated; some have suggested common etymology with saame and Häme, but that theory is uncertain
Marshal of the Soviet Union
Marshal of the Soviet Union was the highest military rank of the Soviet Union. The rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union was created in 1935 and abolished in 1991, forty-one people held this rank; the equivalent naval rank was until 1955 Admiral of the fleet and from 1955 Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union. Both ranks were comparable to NATO rank codes OF-10, to the five-star rank in anglophone armed forces. While the supreme rank of Generalissimus of the Soviet Union, which would have been senior to Marshal of the Soviet Union, was proposed for Joseph Stalin after the Second World War, it was never approved; the military rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union was established by a decree of the Soviet Cabinet, the Council of People's Commissars, on 22 September 1935. On 20 November, the rank was conferred on five people: People's Commissar of Defence and veteran Bolshevik Kliment Voroshilov, Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army Alexander Ilyich Yegorov, three senior commanders, Vasily Blyukher, Semyon Budyonny, Mikhail Tukhachevsky.
Of these, Blyukher and Yegorov were executed during Stalin's Great Purge of 1937–38. On 7 May 1940, three new Marshals were appointed: the new People's Commissar of Defence, Semyon Timoshenko, Boris Shaposhnikov, Grigory Kulik. During World War II, Kulik was demoted for incompetence, the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union was given to a number of military commanders who earned it on merit; these included Ivan Konev and Konstantin Rokossovsky to name a few. In 1943, Stalin himself was made a Marshal of the Soviet Union, in 1945, he was joined by his intelligence and police chief Lavrenti Beria; these non-military Marshals were joined in 1947 by politician Nikolai Bulganin. Two Marshals were executed in postwar purges: Kulik in 1950 and Beria in 1953, following Stalin's death. Thereafter the rank was awarded only to professional soldiers, with the exception of Leonid Brezhnev, who made himself a Marshal in 1976, Ustinov, prominent in the arms industry and was appointed Defence Minister in July 1976.
The last Marshal of the Soviet Union was Dmitry Yazov, appointed in 1990, imprisoned after the failed coup against Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991. Marshal Sergei Akhromeev committed suicide in 1991 during the fall of the Soviet Union; the Marshals fell into three generational groups. Those who had gained their reputations during the Russian Civil War; these included both those who were purged in 1937–38, those who held high commands in the early years of World War II. All of the latter except Shaposhnikov and Timoshenko proved out-of-step with modern warfare and were removed from commanding positions; those who made their reputations in World War II and assumed high commands in the latter part of the war. These included Zhukov, Konev, Malinovsky and Govorov; those who assumed high command in the Cold War era. All of these were officers in World War II, but their higher commands were held in the Warsaw Pact or as Soviet Defence Ministers; these included Grechko, Kulikov, Ogarkov and Yazov. All Marshals in the third category had been officers in World War II, except Brezhnev, a commissar and Ustinov, People's Commissar for Armaments.
Yazov, 20 when the war ended, had been a platoon commander. The rank was abolished with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, it was succeeded in the new Russia by the rank of Marshal of the Russian Federation, held by only one person, Marshal Igor Sergeyev, Russian Defence Minister from 1997 to 2001. Note: All Marshals of the Soviet Union, with the exception of Non-Military Marshals, had at least started their military careers in the Army; the Service Arms listed are the services they served in during their respective tenures as Marshals of the Soviet Union. Generalissimus of the Soviet Union Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union Marshal of the Russian Federation History of Russian military ranks Military ranks of the Soviet Union Marshal of the branch Chief marshal of the branch Field Marshal of Imperial Russia Ranks and insignia of the Red Army and Navy 1935–1940, 1940–1943 Ranks and rank insignia of the Soviet Armed Forces 1943–1955, 1955–1991 Biographies of all the Marshals of the USSR
Tver Oblast is a federal subject of Russia. Its administrative center is the city of Tver. From 1935 to 1990, it was known as Kalinin Oblast, named after Mikhail Kalinin. Population: 1,353,392. Tver Oblast is a region such as Seliger and Brosno. Much of the remaining area is occupied by the Valdai Hills, where the Volga, the Western Dvina, the Dnieper have their source. Tver Oblast is one of the tourist regions of Russia with a modern tourist infrastructure. There are many historic towns: Torzhok, Zubtsov, Vyshny Volochyok, Kalyazin; the oldest of these is Rzhev known for the Battles of Rzhev in World War II. Staritsa was the seat of the last appanage principality in Russia. Ostashkov is a major tourist center. Tver Oblast is located in the west of the middle part of the East European Plain, it stretches for 260 km from north to 450 km from west to east. The area borders Yaroslavl Oblast in the east, Vologda Oblast in the northeast, Novgorod Oblast in the northwest and north, Moscow in the southeast, Smolensk Oblast in the southwest, Pskov Oblast in the west.
The area of Tver Oblast is the 38th of 85 subjects. This is 0.49% of the territory of Russia. The largest area the size of the territory of the Central Federal District. Tver Oblast as a whole is characterized by flat terrain with alternating highlands. In the western part of the province, occupying about one-third of its area is Valdai Hills, with elevations of 200–300 m above sea level, it is surrounded by depressions, lowlands have a height of 100–150 m highest point of the area has a height of 347 m, is located on a hill Tsninsky. The low point - the extreme north-west area of the river's edge Kunya on the border with the Novgorod Oblast. Minerals discovered and developed in the Tver Oblast are deposits of ancient seas and swamps, a consequence of glaciers. Minerals of industrial importance are the seams of brown coal Moscow coal basin; the largest deposit is Bolshoy Nelidovskiy, which gave between 1996 about 21 million tons. Widespread powerful peat deposits totaling 15.4 billion m³. The estimated reserves of peat are 2,051 million tonnes, representing 7% of the stock of European Russia.
On an industrial scale mastered 43 peat deposits with a total area of about 300 hectares, the main exploited stocks are concentrated in five fields located in the central and southern parts of the oblast. From 1971 to 1999, has developed more than 44 million tons of peat. Distributed limestones. Dolomitic limestones are common along rivers Vazuza, Tsna, there are deposits of tile and pottery of clay and quartz sand, sapropel are numerous underground fresh water and mineral formations, open sources; the region is a watershed of the Caspian Baltic Sea. In the south, Belsky district has several tributaries of the upper reaches of the river Vop, the right tributary of the Dnieper River. Go to the Caspian Sea basin owns 70% of the region, the Baltic Sea - 29.7%. In the region of more than 800 rivers longer than 10 km total length of about 17,000 km; the main river - Volga. Its source is in Ostashkov area; the most important tributaries of the Volga: Mologa, Tvertsa. Other important rivers: the Western Dvina and its tributary Meza and Cna.
The climate is humid continental, transitional from continental Russia to the more humid north-western regions. The area lies in a zone of comfort for living and recreation climatic conditions. Average January temperatures range from −8 °C in west to −13 °C in northeast, July from +17 °C to +19 °C °C; the average annual rainfall ranges from 560 to 720 mm, the greatest amount of precipitation falls on the western slopes of the Valdai Hills. The snow cover starts at the mid-November, the period with snow cover lasts 130–150 days, snow depth is about 40–60 cm, with a maximum of 80 cm. There was a settlement on the point of land at the confluence of the Tmaka River and Volga rivers in the 9th and 10th centuries. A fortress was built on the site much during the fighting between the Rostov-Suzdal princes and Novgorod Republic. During the Soviet period, the high authority in the oblast was shared between three persons: The first secretary of the Tver CPSU Committee, the chairman of the oblast Soviet, the Chairman of the oblast Executive Committee.
Since 1991, CPSU lost all the power, the head of the Oblast administration, the governor was appointed/elected alongside elected regional parliament. The Charter of Tver Oblast is the fundamental law of the region; the Legislative Assembly of Tver Oblast is the province's standing legislative body. The Legislative Assembly exercises its authority by passing laws and other legal acts and by supervising the implementation and observance of the laws and other legal acts passed by it; the highest executive body is the Oblast Administration, which includes territorial executive bodies such as district administrations and commissions that facilitate development and run the day to day matters of the province. The Oblast administration supports the activities of the Governor, the highest official and acts as guarantor of the observance of the oblast Charter in accordance with t