Fedor Ivanovich Tolbukhin

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tolbukhin, Fedor Ivanovich


Born June 4 (16), 1894, in the village of Androniki in what is now Tolbukhin Raion, Yaroslavl Oblast; died Oct. 17,1949, in Moscow. Soviet military commander. Marshal of the Soviet Union (Sept. 12, 1944). Hero of the Soviet Union (conferred posthumously on May 7, 1965). Member of the Communist Party from 1938.

The son of a peasant, Tolbukhin graduated from a commercial school in 1912. He was conscripted into the army in 1914 and graduated from ensign school in 1915. Tolbukhin served in World War I as the commander of a company and a battalion and rose to the rank of captain. He was elected chairman of a regimental committee after the February Revolution of 1917. In August 1918 he enlisted in the Red Army. During the Civil War he served on the Western Front as assistant chief of staff and chief of staff of a division and as chief of staff for army operations. Tol-bukhin graduated from a staff service school in 1919, completed advanced courses in 1930, and graduated from the M. V. Frunze Military Academy in 1934. He was chief of staff of a division and a corps and served as a division commander. In 1938 he became chief of staff of the Transcaucasian Military District.

During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, Tolbukhin was chief of staff of the Transcaucasian Front (August to December 1941), the Caucasian Front (December 1941 to January 1942), and the Crimean Front (January to March 1942). He served as deputy commander of troops in the Stalingrad Military District (May to July 1942) and as commander of troops of the Fifty-seventh and Sixty-eighth armies on the Stalingrad and Northwestern fronts (July 1942 to March 1943). He took command of troops on the Southern Front in March 1943, on the Fourth Ukrainian Front in October 1943, and on the Third Ukrainian Front in May 1944. Troops under Tolbukhin’s command took part in the battle of Stalingrad, the liberation of the Ukraine and the Crimea, the Iasi-Kishinev Operation, and the liberation of Rumania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Austria. Tolbukhin became commander in chief of the Southern Group of Forces in July 1945 and commander of troops in the Transcaucasian Military District in January 1947.

Tolbukhin was a deputy to the second convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He was awarded two Orders of Lenin, the Order of Victory, three Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Suvorov First Class, the Order of Kutuzov First Class, the Order of the Red Star, and various medals, as well as foreign orders and medals. He was made an honorary citizen of Sofia in 1946 and of Belgrade in 1947. Tolbukhin is buried on Red Square at the Kremlin wall. A monument to Tolbukhin, designed by G. A. Zakharov and sculpted by L. E. Kerbel’, was erected in Moscow in 1960.


Kuznetsov, P. G. Marshal Tolbukhin [1894–1949]. Moscow, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.