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a military title or rank of the higher command staff of the armed forces. The rank of general was first introduced in France in the 16th century. In the prerevolutionary Russian Army there were the ranks of major general, lieutenant general, general of the infantry, general of the cavalry, general of the artillery, general of the engineers, and field marshal general. The following general ranks were established in the Soviet Army by the May 7, 1940, Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR: major general, lieutenant general, colonel general, and general of the army (for combined-arms commanders). For all branches and combat arms there exist titles from major general to colonel general with the addition of a corresponding designation (for example, major general of aviation).
common, universal, principal. The general party line is a guiding line established by higher party authorities (for example, by convocations of the CPSU and plenums of the Central Committee). It determines in concrete terms what the policy of the party will be at a given stage.