Leonid Aleksandrovich Govorov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Govorov, Leonid Aleksandrovich


Born Feb. 10 (22), 1897, in the village of Butyrki, present-day Kirov Oblast; died Mar. 19, 1955, in Moscow. Marshal of the Soviet Union (1944); Hero of the Soviet Union (Jan. 27, 1945). A member of the CPSU from 1942.

Born into the family of a peasant, Govorov joined the army in 1916 and in 1917 graduated from the Konstanin Artillery School. In October 1918 he was mobilized into Kolchak’s army as a second lieutenant. In October 1919 he fled to Tomsk and took part in the uprising against the White Guards. In January 1920 he voluntarily entered the Red Army and fought in the Civil War as the commander of an artillery battalion. He completed advanced artillery courses (1926) and graduated from the Higher Academic Courses (1930), the Frunze Military Academy (1933), and the General Staff Academy (1938). During 1938-39, Govorov was a senior instructor and docent at the Dzerzhinskii Artillery Academy. He took part in the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-40 as chief of staff of the artillery of the Seventh Army, then as deputy inspector general of artillery. From May to July 1941 he was chief of the Dzerzhinskii Artillery Academy. During the Great Patriotic War (1941-45) on July 22, 1941, Govorov became chief of artillery on the Western axis and then chief of artillery of the reserve front. On Oct. 18, 1941, he took command of the Fifth Army, which took part in the battle near Moscow. From Apr. 25, 1942, he commanded the grouping of troops in Leningrad, and from June 1942 to May 1945 he commanded the troops of the Leningrad Front. (From February to March 1945 he was also commander of the troops of the Second Baltic Front.)

After the war Govorov was commander of the troops of the Leningrad Military District and chief inspector of land forces, and from 1948 he commanded the National Air Defense Forces and was deputy war minister. In May 1954 he became commander in chief of the National Air Defense Forces and deputy minister of defense. In 1952 he became a candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPSU, and he was a deputy to the second through fourth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Govorov was awarded five Orders of Lenin, an Order of Victory, three Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Suvorov First Class, an Order of Kutuzov First Class, an Order of the Red Star, three foreign orders, and various medals. He is buried on Red Square by the Kremlin wall.


V boiakh za gorod Lenina: Stat’i, 1941-45. Leningrad, 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.