Skip to main content

Shaposhnikov, Boris Mikhailovich

SHAPOSHNIKOV, BORIS MIKHAILOVICH

(18821945), marshal (1940), general staff officer, military theorist, and chief of the Red Army General Staff.

Originally a career officer in tsarist service, Shaposhnikov graduated in 1910 from the Nicholas Academy of the General Staff, then served in Turkestan, where he possibly contracted malaria, and in the Warsaw Military District. He attained regimental command during World War I, joined the Red Army in 1918, and occupied high staff positions during the Russian civil war, usually as planner or intelligence officer. He next served on the Worker's and Peasants' Red Army (RKKA) staff, then from 1925 to 1928 commanded the Leningrad and Moscow military districts. From 1928 to 1931 he was RKKA chief of staff, followed by a tour as commander of the Volga Military District. From 1933 to 1935 he headed the Frunze Military Academy, after which he commanded the Leningrad Military District. From 1937 to 1940 he served as second chief of the newly created Red Army General Staff, followed by appointment after the Winter War (19391940) as deputy Defense Commissar. At the end of July 1941, despite ill health, he replaced Georgy Zhukov to serve as chief of the General Staff until May 1942. While recovering from either nervous exhaustion or malaria, he reverted to assignment as deputy defense commissar, followed in 19431945 by tenure as chief of the Academy of the General Staff.

An officer of intellect and experience, Shaposhnikov left his mark on nearly every important military organizational and doctrinal innovation of the 1920s and 1930s. His most important scholarly work was Brain of the Army (published in three volumes, 19271929), in which he studied the Austrian model of Conrad von Hoetzendorf and the tsarist experience in 1914 to argue for the creation of a modern Soviet general staff headed by an "integrated great captain." The consummate general staff officer, Shaposhnikov was one of the few officers who enjoyed Josef Stalin's open respect, and nearly every subsequent chief of the Red Army/Soviet General Staff considered himself Shaposhnikov's disciple.

See also: military, soviet and post-soviet

bibliography

Erickson, John. (1962). The Soviet High Command. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Bruce W. Menning

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Shaposhnikov, Boris Mikhailovich." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Shaposhnikov, Boris Mikhailovich." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/shaposhnikov-boris-mikhailovich

"Shaposhnikov, Boris Mikhailovich." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved October 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/shaposhnikov-boris-mikhailovich

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.