Efim Smirnov

Smirnov, Efim Ivanovich


Born Oct. 10 (23), 1904, in the village of Ozerki, in what is now Kovrov Raion, Vladimir Oblast. Soviet public-health official; colonel general of the medical service (1944). Academician of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR (1948). Hero of Socialist Labor (1978). Member of the CPSU since 1929.

The son of a worker, Smirnov began serving in the Soviet Army in 1928. He graduated from the Military Medical Academy in 1932 and from the M. V. Frunze Military Academy in 1938. He became director of the health department of the Leningrad Military District in April 1938 and head of the health directorate of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army in May 1939. During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), he was chief of the Main Health Directorate of the Red Army (August 1941 to April 1946). In 1946 and 1947 he served as chief of the Main Military Medical Directorate of Armed Forces of the USSR. He served as Minister of Health of the USSR from February 1947 to January 1953 and as director of the S. M. Kirov Military Medical Academy in 1953. He was chief of the Main Military Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR from 1955 to 1960 and has been chief of a directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR since November 1960.

Smirnov has written works dealing mainly with the organization and tactics of the military medical service and history of military medicine. He developed and introduced into practice a system of specialized medical care that enabled 73 percent of the wounded and more than 90 percent of the sick to return to duty. The sanitary measures for epidemic control developed under his direction prevented epidemics among the field forces.

Smirnov is an honorary member of the Canadian Medical Association, the Royal Society of Medicine, and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology of the USA. He has been awarded six Orders of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of Kutuzov First Class, two Orders of the Red Star, various medals, and foreign orders and medals.


Voprosy organizatsii i taktiki sanitarnoi sluzhby. Moscow, 1942.
Voennaia meditsina i Nikolai Ivanovich Pirogov. Leningrad, 1945.
Sovetskie voennye vrachi ν Otechestvennuiu voinu. Moscow, 1945.
Nikolai lvanovich Pirogov. Moscow, 1960 (co-author).
Voina i voennaia meditsina 1939-1945 gg. (Mysli i vospominaniia). Moscow, 1976.