Vasilii Chuikov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chuikov, Vasilii Ivanovich


Born Jan. 31 (Feb. 12), 1900, in the village of Serebrianye Prudy, now an urban-type settlement in Moscow Oblast. Soviet military leader; Marshal of the Soviet Union (1955). Twice Hero of the Soviet Union (Mar. 19, 1944, and Apr. 6,1945). Member of the CPSU since 1919.

Chuikov, the son of a peasant, joined the Red Army in April 1918. He fought in the Civil War of 1918–20 as deputy commander of a company and a regiment and as commander of a regiment. He graduated from the M. V. Frunze Military Academy in 1925 and the eastern department of the academy in 1927 and completed the academic courses at the Military Academy of Mechanization and Motorization of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army in 1936. He commanded a mechanized brigade, a rifle corps, the Bobruisk Army Group of Troops, and finally an army. During the liberation of western Byelorussia and during the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939–40, he commanded an army. From December 1940 through March 1942 he was a military attaché in China.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), Chuikov was commander of the First Reserve Army (later renamed the 64th Army) from May to August 1942, the Sixty-second Army from September 1942 to April 1943, and the Eighth Guards Army from April 1943 until the end of the war on the Stalingrad, Don, Southwestern, Third Ukrainian, and First Byelorussian fronts.

After the war, Chuikov was a deputy and first deputy of the Group of Soviet Troops in Germany between May 1945 and March 1949 and commander in chief from March 1949 to May 1953. Beginning in May 1953, he was commander of the troops of the Kiev Military District. Beginning in April 1960, he was commander in chief of the ground forces and deputy minister of defense and at the same time, from July 1961, head of Civil Defense of the USSR. Beginning in June 1964, he was head of the Civil Defense of the USSR. In July 1972 he became inspector-general of the Group of Inspectors-general of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR.

Chuikov was a candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPSU from 1952 to 1961. Since 1961 he has been a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU. A deputy to the second through ninth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, he has been awarded eight orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, four orders of the Red Banner, three orders of Suvorov First Class, the Order of the Red Star, an honorary saber, and various medals of the USSR. He has also been awarded many foreign orders and medals.


180 dnei v ogne srazhenii. [Moscow, 1962.]
Gvardeitsy Stalingrada idut na Zapad. [Moscow, 1972.]
Konets, tret’ego reikha. Moscow, 1973.
Srazhenie veka. Moscow, 1975.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.