Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov
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Kuznetsov, Nikolai Gerasimovich
Born July 11 (24), 1902, in the village of Medvedki, in present-day Kotlas Raion, Arkhangel’sk Oblast. Soviet military figure, vice admiral (1956). Hero of the Soviet Union (Sept. 14, 1945). Became a member of the CPSU in 1925. The son of a peasant.
Kuznetsov joined the navy in 1919 and fought in the Civil War of 1918–20. He graduated from the Naval School in 1926 and from the Naval Academy in 1932. From 1934 to 1936 he commanded the cruiser Red Ukraine. As naval attache and adviser in Spain in 1936–37, he directed Soviet volunteer sailors in the liberation war of the Spanish people. From 1937 to 1939, Kuznetsov was deputy commander and then commander of the Pacific Fleet. From 1939 to 1946, Kuznetsov served as people’s commissar of the navy of the USSR, chairman of the Main Military Council of the Navy (1941), and commander in chief of the navy during the Great Patriotic War (1941–45). Head of the Administration for Naval Schools from February 1947, in June 1948 he was appointed deputy commander in chief of the troops of the Far East in charge of the naval forces, commander of the Pacific Fleet from February 1950, and minister of the navy from July 1951. From March 1953, Kuznetsov was first deputy minister of defense of the USSR and commander in chief of the navy. He retired in February 1956.
A member of the Central Committee of the CPSU from 1939 to 1955, deputy to the first, second, and fourth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, and author of the books On the Eve (1969) and Combat Alert in the Fleets (1971), Kuznetsov has been awarded four Orders of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of the Red Star, two Orders of Ushakov First Class, and medals.