Nikolai Ogarkov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ogarkov, Nikolai Vasil’evich


Born Oct. 17 (30), 1917, in the village of Molokovo, now in Molokovo Raion, Kalinin Oblast. Soviet military commander; marshal of the Soviet Union (1977). Member of the CPSU from 1945.

Ogarkov joined the Red Army in 1938. He graduated from the V. V. Kuibyshev Military Engineering Academy in 1941 and from the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR in 1959. In the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, he served on the Western, Karelian, and Third Ukrainian fronts as regiment and brigade engineer (1941–42), assistant chief of staff of an army’s engineers (1942–43), assistant chief of the operations department of the engineer troops of the Karelian Front (1943–44), and division engineer (1944–45). Ogarkov held responsible staff positions after the war. He became deputy chief of staff of the Far Eastern Military District in November 1955. He served as commander of a motorized rifle division from December 1959, chief of staff and first deputy commander of the forces of the Byelorussian Military District from December 1961, and commander of the forces of the Volga Region Military District from December 1965.

In April 1968, Ogarkov was appointed first deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR, and in March 1974 deputy minister of defense of the USSR. In January 1977 he became chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR. He was a candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPSU from 1966 and a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU from 1971. He was a deputy to the seventh, eighth, and ninth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Ogarkov was awarded the Order of the Red Banner, the Order of the Patriotic War First Class, the Order of the Patriotic War Second Class, two Orders of the Red Star, various medals, and five orders of foreign states.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1983, then-Soviet Minister of Defence Nikolai Ogarkov lamented to the New York Times that in the US, "small children -- even before they begin school -- play with we don't even have computers in every office of the Ministry of Defence." The Soviets were concerned about Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defence Initiative, a land and space-based missile defence system, in part due to its artificial intelligence-enabled battle management system.
If we make comparisons, then the last time maneuvers of a similar size took place was 37 years ago: the West-81 exercises, which took place in 1981 with the participation of the armed forces of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries (at that time the commander of games was marshal Nikolai Ogarkov).
It ended the career of Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, Chief of the General Staff and a hard-liner of the hardest sort, whose inconsistent and unconvincing efforts to justify the downing of the plane proved deeply embarrassing to the Kremlin.
The writings of Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov stressed the RMA in the "reconnaissance strike complexes" being developed by the United States.
Arguing that the emerging RMA was technologically driven, they preferred to use the term "military-technical revolution." Soviet officers, such as Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, claimed that technological breakthroughs were about to give conventional weapons a level of precision that could only be dreamt of in the past and which would provide a level of effectiveness in battle approaching that afforded by tactical nuclear weapons.(3) In short, argued Ogarkov, new technologies would "make it possible to conduct military operations with the use of conventional means of qualitatively new and incomparably more destructive forms than before...."(4)
He and other specialists note that Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, Chief of the Soviet General Staff in the early 1980s, repeatedly urged Soviet armed forces to adjust to the new, more technologically sophisticated, forms of warfare introduced by the U.S.