Choibalsan, Khorlogiin

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Choibalsan, Khorlogiin


Born Feb. 8, 1895, in Tsetsen-khan Aimak (now Eastern Aimak); died Jan. 26, 1952, in Moscow; buried in Ulan Bator. Mongolian political and state figure.

The son of a poor Mongolian arat (livestock-raising serf), Choibalsan in 1912 made his way to Urga (now Ulan Bator), where he worked as a porter and a watchman. After teaching himself to read and write, he entered a school for translators and learned Russian. In 1914 he was sent to Irkutsk to continue his education, and he remained there until 1917.

The revolutionary events in Russia strongly influenced Choibalsan. In 1919, D. Sukhe-Bator organized a revolutionary circle in Urga; Choibalsan formed a similar circle in the city later that year. In 1920 the two groups merged, forming the Mongolian People’s Party (since 1925, the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party). In the summer of 1920, Choibalsan went to Soviet Russia as a member of the first Mongolian delegation sent by the revolutionaries; the delegation requested the government of the RSFSR to render assistance to the Mongolian people in its struggle for liberation from foreign aggressors.

After returning to Mongolia in November 1920, Choibalsan helped organize units of the People’s Revolutionary Army, and he took part in preparations for the First Congress of the Mongolian People’s Party, which was held in March 1921. He served in the Provisional People’s Government, which was established in March 1921, and in July 1921, after the victory of the Mongolian People’s Revolution, he became a member of the People’s Government. In 1924 he was elected for the first of several times to the Central Committee of the Mongolian People’s Party and to the Presidium (Politburo) of the Central Committee.

From 1921 to 1923, Choibalsan served as deputy commander in chief of the Mongolian People’s Army, and in 1923 and 1924 he studied at the Military Academy in Moscow; from 1924 to 1928 he was commander in chief of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Army. Choibalsan served as chairman of the Presidium of the Lesser People’s Khural of the Mongolian People’s Republic from 1928 to 1930, as minister of foreign affairs in 1930, and as minister of land cultivation and livestock raising from 1931 to 1935. Choibalsan was the first deputy premier of the Mongolian People’s Republic from 1935 to 1939, when he became premier. He served as commander in chief of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Army during the joint Soviet-Mongolian operations that defeated the Japanese aggressors in the region of the Khal-kin-Gol in 1939; he was also commander in chief during the Manchurian Operation of 1945.

Choibalsan was given the rank of marshal in 1936. The title of Hero of the Mongolian People’s Republic was conferred on him twice, and a city in Mongolia was named for him. Choibalsan was awarded such Mongolian orders as the Order of Sukhe-Bator and the Order of the Red Banner of Combat; among the Soviet orders he received were two Orders of Lenin.


lltgel ba uguulluud (Speeches and Articles), vols. 1–4. Ulan Bator, 1951–53.
In Russian translation:
Izbr. stat’i i rechi (1921–51). Moscow, 1961.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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