Military academies in Russia
Russia has a number of military academies of different specialties. This article lists institutions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation rather than those of the Soviet Armed Forces. Russian institutions called "academy" are post-graduate professional military schools for experienced, commissioned officers who have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree. Upon graduation, officers receive the equivalent of a master's degree and, if trained in military leadership are appointed as battalion commanders or higher from Lt. Colonel and up. Graduates with non-command training are appointed to various staff positions equivalent to Major or Lt. Colonel. Commissioned officers can study on the Kandidat Nauk level, equivalent to a Ph. D. degree. This research-oriented degree is required for faculty positions in military schools and defense research institutes. Selected experienced researchers in military academies hold limited-term positions as senior scholars leading to the prestigious post-doctoral Doktor Nauk degree, the equivalent of a habilitation at Central European universities where it is a prerequisite for full professor positions in institutions of higher learning.
There are a number of "officer commissioning schools" for various services known as Higher Military Schools or Institutes. As of 2010, a major reorganization of Russian military officer education, spanning the range from General Staff Academy to officer commissioning school, was underway. Previous names include: Marshal Voroshilov Military Academy of the WPRA General Staff, it has been the senior Russian professional school for officers in their late 30s. The "best and the brightest" senior commissioned officers of all forces are selected to attend this most prestigious of all Soviet military academies. Students are admitted to the Academy in the ranks of lieutenant colonel and Major General. Most are newly promoted generals; the precedence and grouping of these academies are drawn from Michael Holm's site. In 1918 the Frunze Military Academy in Moscow was established as the academy of the General Staff, which became the RKKA Military Academy in 1921, it is named after Mikhail Frunze USSR Minister of Defense in mid-1920s.
It is the equivalent of the US army's Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas or the British army's Staff College, Camberley. Officers in their late twenties up to thirty-two years at the rank of Captain or Major enter if they pass the competitive entry examinations. In the 1930s, higher academic courses were added to the Frunze curriculum as an advanced training program for previous graduates. On, this program became the basis for the "Voroshilov General Staff Academy" and the Frunze Academy refocused upon combined arms ground warfare training at the tactical level; as of 1979, "..within the Academy are'chairs of operational-tactical disciplines, Marxism-Leninism, history of the CPSU and Party-political work, history of war and military art, foreign languages, other subjects and scientific research sections' the Frunze library had about two million volumes of books. In September 1998 the Frunze Academy and the "Malinovsky Academy" were amalgamated into the Combined Arms Academy of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, on the site of the former Frunze Academy, which since 2010 is known as Military Educational and Scientific Center.
The Military Educational and Scientific Center has been the site of a number of Russian-Western joint military activities, including an IISS conference in February 2001, U. S.-Russian exercises. After graduation from Military Educational and Scientific Center, every graduate officer receives a diploma and a silver diamond-shaped badge which has to be worn on the right side of his uniform or civilian clothes above all other military or civilian decorations or ribbon bars; as of 2004, the commander was Colonel General Vladimir I. Popov; the Lenin Military-Political Academy specialized in training political officers for the Soviet Armed Forces, until 1942, political commissars for the Armed Forces. After a number of reorganizations, it was in 1994 merged with the "Military Institute of Foreign Languages" and the "Armed Forces Humanities Academy" into the Military University of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation which offers cadets various courses and postgraduate studies. Malinovsky Military Armored Forces Academy was established in 1932 in Moscow as the "J.
V. Stalin Academy of the WPRA Mechanization and Motorization Program", it was named after Marshal Rodion Malinovsky in 1967. Its mission was to train Soviet and Warsaw Pact commanders, staff officers, engineers for armored and mechanized units; the best-qualified graduates were selected for the" centralized operations division" of the General Staff. Students entered as captains and majors, some as lieutenant colonels, about on an intermediate level with the Army's Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Commanding and staff officers underwent a three-year program while engineers were taught for 4 years. In 1998 the Academy merged with the Frunze Academy to become the "Combined Arms Academy". Mikhailovskaya Military Artillery Academy in Saint Petersburg dates back to 1698. In 1849 it was named Mikhailovskaya after Grand Duke
Soviet invasion of Manchuria
The Soviet invasion of Manchuria, formally known as the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation or the Manchurian Operation, began on 9 August 1945 with the Soviet invasion of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. It was the last campaign of the Second World War, the largest of the 1945 Soviet–Japanese War, which resumed hostilities between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Empire of Japan after six years of peace. Soviet gains on the continent were Manchukuo and northern Korea; the Soviet entry into the war and the defeat of the Kwantung Army was a significant factor in the Japanese government's decision to surrender unconditionally, as it made apparent the Soviet Union had no intention of acting as a third party in negotiating an end to hostilities on conditional terms. Since 1983, the operation has sometimes been called Operation August Storm after U. S. Army historian David Glantz used this title for a paper on the subject; as agreed with the Allies at the Tehran Conference in November 1943 and the Yalta Conference in February 1945, the Soviet Union entered World War II's Pacific Theater within three months of the end of the war in Europe.
The invasion began on 9 August 1945 three months after the German surrender on May 8. Although the commencement of the invasion fell between the American atomic bombing of Hiroshima, on 6 August, only hours before the Nagasaki bombing on 9 August, the timing of the invasion had been planned well in advance and was determined by the timing of the agreements at Tehran and Yalta, the long-term buildup of Soviet forces in the Far East since Tehran, the date of the German surrender some three months earlier. At 11pm Trans-Baikal time on 8 August 1945, Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov informed Japanese ambassador Naotake Satō that the Soviet Union had declared war on Japan, that from 9 August the Soviet government would consider itself to be at war with Japan. At one minute past midnight Trans-Baikal time on 9 August 1945, the Soviets commenced their invasion on three fronts to the east and north of Manchuria: the Khingan–Mukden Offensive Operation. Though the battle extended beyond the borders traditionally known as Manchuria—that is, the traditional lands of the Manchus—the coordinated and integrated invasions of Japan's northern territories has been called the Battle of Manchuria.
It has been referred to as the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation. The Far East Command, under Marshal of the Soviet Union Aleksandr Vasilevsky, had a plan to conquer Manchuria, simple but huge in scale, calling for a massive pincer movement over all of Manchuria; this was to be performed by the Transbaikal Front from the west and by the 1st Far Eastern Front from the east. The only Soviet equivalent of a theater command that operated during the war, Far East Command, consisted of three Red Army fronts; the Transbaikal Front, under Marshal Rodion Malinovsky, included: 17th Army 36th Army 39th Army 53rd Army 6th Guards Tank Army Soviet Mongolian Cavalry Mechanized Group under Issa Pliyev 12th Air Army. The Transbaikal Front was to form the western half of the Soviet pincer movement, attacking across the Inner Mongolian desert and over the Greater Khingan mountains; these forces had as their objectives firstly to secure Mukden to meet troops of the 1st Far Eastern Front at the Changchun area in south central Manchuria, in doing so finish the double envelopment.
Amassing over one thousand tanks and self-propelled guns, the 6th Guards Tank Army was to serve as an armored spearhead, leading the Front's advance and capturing objectives 350 km inside Manchuria by the fifth day of the invasion. The 36th Army was attacking from the west, but with the objective of meeting forces of the 2nd Far Eastern Front at Harbin and Tsitsihar; the 1st Far Eastern Front, under Marshal Kirill Meretskov, included: 1st Red Banner Army 5th Army 25th Army 35th Army 10th Mechanized Corps 9th Air Army. The 1st Far Eastern Front was to form the eastern half of the pincer movement; this attack involved the 1st Red Banner Army, the 5th Army and the 10th Mechanized Corps striking towards Mudanjiang. Once that city was captured, this force was to advance towards the cities of Jilin and Harbin, its final objective was to link up with the forces of the Transbaikal Front at Changchun and Jilin thus closing the double envelopment movement. As a secondary objective, the 1st Far Eastern Front was to prevent Japanese forces from escaping to Korea, invade the Korean Peninsula up to the 38th parallel, establishing in the process what became North Korea.
This secondary objective was to be carried out by the 25th Army. Meanwhile, the 35th Army was tasked with capturing the cities of Boli and Mishan; the 2nd Far Eastern Front, under General Maksim Purkayev, included: 2nd Red Banner Army 15th Army 16th Army 5th Separate Rifle Corps Chuguevsk Operational Group Amur Military Flotilla 10th Air Army. The 2nd Far Eastern Front was deployed
Order of the Red Banner
The Order of the Red Banner was the first Soviet military decoration. The Order was established on 16 September 1918, during the Russian Civil War by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, it was the highest award of Soviet Russia, subsequently the Soviet Union, until the Order of Lenin was established in 1930. Recipients were recognised for extraordinary heroism and courage demonstrated on the battlefield; the Order was awarded to individuals as well as to military units, ships and social organizations, state enterprises. In years, it was awarded on the twentieth and again on the thirtieth anniversary of military, police, or state security service without requiring participation in combat; the Russian Order of the Red Banner was established during the Russian Civil War by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of September 16, 1918. The first recipient was Vasily Blyukher on September 28, 1918; the second recipient was Iona Yakir. During the Civil War, there existed named orders and decorations established by the Soviet communist governments of several other constituent and nonconstituent republics.
The August 1, 1924, decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee established the all-Soviet Order of the Red Banner for deserving personnel of the Red Army. Other nonmilitary awards used the phrase "Order of the Red Banner" in their title. From 1918 till the late 1930s there was a Soviet collective variant - the Revolutionary Red Banner of Honor; this was in the form of a special military color awarded to distinguished Red Army, Soviet Air Force, Soviet Navy units. It was older than the Order of the Red Banner, having been established on August 3, 1918, a month and several weeks before; as a military decoration, the Order of the Red Banner recognised heroism in combat or otherwise extraordinary accomplishments of military valour during combat operations. Before the establishment of the Order of Lenin on April 5, 1930, the Order of the Red Banner functioned as the highest military order of the USSR. During World War II, under various titles, it was presented to both individuals and military units for acts of extreme military heroism.
In some ways, the Order of the Red Banner was more prestigious, as it could only be awarded for bravery during combat operations whereas the Order of Lenin was sometimes awarded to non-military personnel and political leaders. Nearly all well-known Soviet commanders became recipients of the Order of the Red Banner; when the Order was awarded to whole formations, the prefix "Red Banner" was added to their official designations. Naval vessels flew a special ensign; the Order of the Red Banner was used as a "long service award" between 1944 and 1958 to mark twenty and thirty years of service in the military, state security, or police. Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of September 14, 1957, emphasised the devaluation of certain Soviet high military Orders used as long service awards instead of their intended criteria; this led to the joint January 25, 1958, decree of the Ministers of Defence, of Internal Affairs, of the Chairman of the Committee on State Security of the USSR establishing the Medal "For Impeccable Service," putting an end to the practice of awarding long service variants of the Order of the Red Banner.
The Order consisted of a white-enamelled badge, which had a golden Hammer and Sickle badge surrounded by two golden panicles of wheat on a Red Star, backed by crossed hammer, torch, a red flag bearing the motto Proletarians of the World, Unite!. The whole was surrounded by two golden panicles of wheat. Additional awards of the Order bore a white enamelled shield with a silver sequence number at the bottom of the obverse. A recipient of multiple Orders of the Red Banner would wear a basic badge of the Order with a numeral corresponding to the sequence of the award on a cartouche over the wheat at the bottom of the badge; the early variants of the Order were screw back badges to allow wear on clothing. Variants hung from a standard Soviet pentagonal mount with a ring through the suspension loop; the mount was covered with an overlapping 24mm wide red silk moiré ribbon with 1.5mm wide white edge stripes and a 7mm wide white central stripe. The Order of the Red Banner was worn on the left side of the chest and when in the presence of other Orders and medals of the USSR, was placed after the Order of the October Revolution.
If worn in the presence of Orders or medals of the Russian Federation, the latter have precedence. Baltic Fleet Soviet Northern Fleet Pacific Ocean Fleet Far Eastern Military District First Army First Guards Tank Army Second Guards Tank Army 1st Rifle Division 6th Rifle Division 24th Rifle Division 45th Rifle Division 27th Guards Rifle Division 39th Guards Rifle Division 19th Motor Rifle Division 76th Guards Airborne Division 85th Rifle Division 100th Guards Rifle Division 106th Guards Tula Airborne Division 17th Rifle Regiment, 32nd Rifle Division 72nd Mechanized Brigade French fighter squadron Normandie-Niemen Feats of valour worthy of the award of the Order of the Red Banner were as much against internal as against external enemies of the USSR, as detailed below: Stalin's Chief Executioner Va
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
The Russian Empire known as Imperial Russia or Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917. The third largest empire in world history, at its greatest extent stretching over three continents, Europe and North America, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires; the rise of the Russian Empire coincided with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the Golden Horde, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire. It played a major role in 1812–1814 in defeating Napoleon's ambitions to control Europe and expanded to the west and south; the House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, its matrilineal branch of patrilineal German descent the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov ruled from 1762. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Russian Empire extended from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea in the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean, into Alaska and Northern California in America on the east.
With 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics and religion. There were numerous dissident elements. Economically, the empire had a predominantly agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs, Russian peasants; the economy industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways and factories. The land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged, he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, laid the foundations of the Russian state. Emperor Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an huge empire into a major European power, he moved the capital from Moscow to the new model city of St. Petersburg, led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political mores with a modern, Europe-oriented, rationalist system.
Empress Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. Emperor Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861, his policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. That connection by 1914 led to Russia's entry into the First World War on the side of France, the United Kingdom, Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires; the Russian Empire functioned as an absolute monarchy on principles of Orthodoxy and Nationality until the Revolution of 1905 and became a de jure constitutional monarchy. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917 as a result of massive failures in its participation in the First World War. Though the Empire was only proclaimed by Tsar Peter I following the Treaty of Nystad, some historians would argue that it was born either when Ivan III of Russia conquered Veliky Novgorod in 1478, or when Ivan the Terrible conquered the Khanate of Kazan in 1552. According to another point of view, the term Tsardom, used after the coronation of Ivan IV in 1547, was a contemporary Russian word for empire.
Much of Russia's expansion occurred in the 17th century, culminating in the first Russian colonization of the Pacific in the mid-17th century, the Russo-Polish War that incorporated left-bank Ukraine, the Russian conquest of Siberia. Poland was divided in the 1790 -- 1815 era, with much of the population going to Russia. Most of the 19th-century growth came from adding territory in Asia, south of Siberia. Peter I the Great played a major role in introducing Russia to the European state system. While the vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns; the class of kholops, close in status to slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation. Russian agricultural kholops were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679. Peter's first military efforts were directed against the Ottoman Turks.
His attention turned to the North. Peter still lacked a secure northern seaport, except at Archangel on the White Sea, where the harbor was frozen for nine months a year. Access to the Baltic was blocked by Sweden. Peter's ambitions for a "window to the sea" led him to make a secret alliance in 1699 with Saxony, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Denmark against Sweden, resulting in the Great Northern War; the war ended in 1721. Peter acquired four provinces situated east of the Gulf of Finland; the coveted access to the sea was now secured. There he built Russia's new capital, Saint Petersburg, to replace Moscow, which had long been Russia's cultural center. In 1722, he tur
Order of the October Revolution
The Order of the October Revolution was instituted on October 31, 1967, in time for the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. It was conferred upon individuals or groups for services furthering communism or the state, or in enhancing the defenses of the Soviet Union and civil, it is the second-highest Soviet order, after the Order of Lenin. The insignia of the Order consisted of a badge, a red star with golden rays between the arms. Above this was a red flag bearing the words "October Revolution" in Russian. A Hammer and Sickle emblem was placed at the bottom; the badge was worn on the left chest with a red ribbon bearing five blue stripes at the centre. The Aurora was itself awarded the Order, the only ship to have received the award. Military units and institutions receiving the award applied the order name to their title upon its reception. Order of the October Revolution at the Directory of the orders and signs of the USSR. Order of the October Revolution Reference Page
Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov, popularly known as Klim Voroshilov, was a prominent Soviet military officer and politician during the Stalin era. He was one of the original five Marshals of the Soviet Union, along with Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army Alexander Yegorov, three senior commanders, Vasily Blyukher, Semyon Budyonny, Mikhail Tukhachevsky. Voroshilov was born in the settlement of Verkhnyeye, Bakhmut uyezd, Yekaterinoslav Governorate, Russian Empire, into a railway worker's family of Russian ethnicity. According to the Soviet Major General Petro Grigorenko, Voroshilov himself alluded to the heritage of his birth-country, to the previous family name of Voroshilo. Voroshilov joined the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1905. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Voroshilov became a member of the Ukrainian Council of People's Commissars and Commissar for Internal Affairs along with Vasiliy Averin, he was well known for aiding Joseph Stalin in the Revolutionary Military Council, having become associated with Stalin during the Red Army's 1918 defense of Tsaritsyn.
Voroshilov was active as a commander of the Southern Front during the Russian Civil War and the Polish–Soviet War while with the 1st Cavalry Army. As Political Commissar serving co-equally with Stalin, Voroshilov was responsible for the morale of the 1st Cavalry Army, composed chiefly of peasants from southern Russia. Voroshilov headed the Petrograd Police during 1917 and 1918. Voroshilov served as a member of the Central Committee from his election in 1921 until 1961. In 1925, after the death of Mikhail Frunze, Voroshilov was appointed People's Commissar for Military and Navy Affairs and Chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR, a post he held until 1934, his main accomplishment in this period was to move key Soviet war industries east of the Urals, so that the Soviet Union could strategically retreat, while keeping its manufacturing capability intact. Frunze's political position adhered to that of the Troika, but Stalin preferred to have a close, personal ally in charge. Frunze was urged by a group of Stalin's hand-picked doctors to have surgery to treat an old stomach ulcer, despite previous doctors recommendations to avoid surgery and Frunze's own unwillingness.
He died on the operating table of a massive overdose of an anaesthetic. Voroshilov became a full member of the newly formed Politburo in 1926, remaining a member until 1960. Voroshilov was appointed People's Commissar for Defence in 1934 and a Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1935, he played a central role in Stalin's Great Purge of the 1930s, denouncing many of his own military colleagues and subordinates when asked to do so by Stalin. He wrote personal letters to exiled former Soviet officers and diplomats such as commissar Mikhail Ostrovsky, asking them to return voluntarily to the Soviet Union and falsely reassuring them that they would not face retribution from authorities. Voroshilov signed 185 documented execution lists, fourth among the Soviet leadership after Molotov and Kaganovich. During World War II, Voroshilov was a member of the State Defense Committee. Voroshilov commanded Soviet troops during the Winter War from November 1939 to January 1940 but, due to poor Soviet planning and Voroshilov's incompetence as a general, the Red Army suffered about 185,000 casualties.
When the leadership gathered at Stalin's dacha at Kuntsevo, Stalin shouted at Voroshilov for the losses. Voroshilov followed this retort by smashing a platter of roast suckling pig on the table. Nikita Khrushchev said it was the only time he witnessed such an outburst. Voroshilov was nonetheless made the scapegoat for the initial failures in Finland, he was replaced as Defense Commissar by Semyon Timoshenko. Voroshilov was made Deputy Premier responsible for cultural matters. Voroshilov argued that thousands of Polish army officers captured in September 1939 should be released, but he signed the order for their execution in the Katyn massacre of 1940. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Voroshilov became commander of the short-lived Northwestern Direction, controlling several fronts. In September 1941 he commanded the Leningrad Front. Working alongside military commander Andrei Zhdanov as German advances threatened to cut off Leningrad, he displayed considerable personal bravery in defiance of heavy shelling at Ivanovskoye.
However, the style of counterattack he launched had long since been abandoned by strategists and drew contempt from his military colleagues. Stalin had a political need for popular wartime leaders and Voroshilov remained as an important figurehead. In an embarrassing incident at the 1943 Tehran Conference, during a ceremony to receive the "Sword of Stalingrad" from Winston Churchill, he took the sword from Stalin but allowed the sword to fall from its scabbard onto his toes in the presence of the Big