Grigori Tokaty

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Grigori Tokaty
Born (1909-10-13)13 October 1909
Seker, Terek Oblast, Russian Empire
Died 23 November 2003(2003-11-23) (aged 94)
Surrey, UK
Ethnicity Ossetian
Known for aerodynamic and rocket technology.
Spouse(s) Aza Baeva

Grigori Aleksandrovich Tokaev (Russian: Григорий Александрович Токаев; Ossetian: Токаты Ахмæты фырт Гогки; also known as Grigory Totakty; born October 13, 1919) was a rocket scientist and long-standing critic of Stalin's USSR.[1] During World War II he served as Head of Aeronautics Laboratory, Zhukovsky Academy 1938-41. After receiving his doctorate in technical sciences in 1941, he continued to lecture at the Zhukovsky Academy while simultaneously working as Acting Head of the Department of Aviation at the Moscow Engineering Institute. One of his tasks was to study the possibility of developing a medium-range winged rocket, but when Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa in 1941 and rapidly overran the Soviet front-line forces, the Academy's staff was evacuated to Sverdlovsk in the Urals.

Great Patriotic War[edit]

Tokaty returned to Moscow during the Battle of Moscow, and later flew in bombing raids over Stalingrad, using American bombers delivered through lend-lease. By the end of the Second World War, he had become a leading Party representative and academic at the Zhukovsky Academy (now back in Moscow) and the Moscow Engineering Institute.

Shortly after the German capitulation in May 1945, the following month in June, he was sent to Berlin in order to serve on the Soviet Control Commission, working directly under Marshals Georgi Zhukov and Vasily Sokolovsky. As such, he gained access to top-secret communications between the General Staff and the Kremlin.

Later life[edit]

He moved to Britain shortly after the war in 1948 and later became Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Space Technology at the City University in London from 1967 to 1975. He regularly appeared in the New Scientist magazine.[2] He also appeared in the now famous TV series The World at War where he gives a recollection of his experiences.[3]


  1. ^
  2. ^ New Scientist Feb 20, 1975, New Scentist Jul 8, 1971, New Scientist Jan 20, 1973
  3. ^ The World at War, Episode 5; Barbarossa originally broadcast 21 November 1973