Shtemenko, Sergei Matveevich
Born Feb. 7 (20), 1907, in the stanitsa (large cossack village) of Uriupinskaia, now the city of Uriupinsk, Volgograd Oblast; died Apr. 23, 1976, in Moscow. Soviet military commander; general of the army (1968). Member of the CPSU from 1930.
The son of a peasant, Shtemenko joined the Red Army in 1926. He graduated from the Sevastopol’ Antiaircraft Artillery School in 1930, the Military Academy of Mechanization and Motorization of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army in 1937, and the Military Academy of the General Staff in 1940. Beginning in 1940, he held high-level posts on the General Staff of the Red Army.
During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, Shtemenko was named deputy axis chief of the Operations Directorate of the General Staff in August 1941. Before becoming first deputy chief of the directorate in April 1943, he served as axis chief. In May 1943, Shtemenko was appointed chief of the Operations Directorate of the General Staff. He was assigned by the General Headquarters of the Supreme Command in 1942 to help organize and conduct the operations of the Transcaucasian Front. He carried out similar assignments for the Black Sea and Northern groups of forces and the Separate Primor’e Army in 1943 and for the First, Second, and Third Baltic fronts, the Western Front, the Fourth Ukrainian Front, and the Second Byelorussian Front in 1944.
After the war, Shtemenko served as deputy chief of the General Staff. He was chief of the General Staff and deputy minister of the armed forces of the USSR from November 1948 to June 1952. Beginning in June, he held high-level troop-command positions. Shtemenko was named chief of staff and first deputy commander in chief of the ground forces in July 1962, deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed forces of the USSR in April 1964, and chief of staff of the Joint Armed Forces of the member countries of the Warsaw Pact in August 1968.
Shtemenko was a candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPSU from 1952 to 1956. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Suvorov First Class, the Order of Kutuzov First Class, the Order of Suvorov Second Class, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, the Order of the Red Star, the Order for Service to the Motherland in the Armed Forces of the USSR Third Class, and various medals and foreign orders. Shtemenko was the author of The General Staff in the War Years (parts 1–2,1968–73).