Chuikov, Vasily Ivanovich

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(19001982), Marshal of the Soviet Union (1955), twice Hero of the Soviet Union, and Red Army commander renowned during World War II for his stoic and ruthless defense of Stalingrad and vital role in the capture of Berlin.

Josef Stalin routinely employed Vasily Chuikov as a "shock commander" in the most difficult sectors of the front. A regimental commander during the Russian civil war, Chuikov graduated from the Frunze Academy (1925) and the Red Army's Academy of Motorization and Mechanization (1936).

Elevated to command the 9th Army after its notorious defeat during the SovietFinnish War (19391940), on Stalin's orders Chuikov executed all commanders, commissars, and officers involved in the defeat. After serving as attaché to China (19391942), Chuikov commanded the 64th Army during the bitter fighting en route to Stalingrad and, later, the 62nd Army in its bloody and tenacious defense of the ruined city, for which his army earned the designation "8th Guards." Chuikov commanded the Eighth Guards Army from 1943 through the war's end, fighting in all major battles in the Ukraine and Poland, and spearheading the final Red Army drive on Berlin in April 1945. After the war Chuikov served successively as commander of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, the Kiev Military District, and the Soviet Ground Forces; Deputy Minister of Defense of the USSR; and Chief of the USSR's Civil Defense. After his retirement in 1972, Chuikov authored seven memoirs related to his military exploits.

See also: world war ii


Chuikov, Vasily Ivanovich. (1985). The End of the Third Reich. Moscow: Progress.

Woff, Richard. (1993). "Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov." In Stalin's Generals, ed. Harold Shukman. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

David M. Glantz