Generalissimus of the Soviet Union

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Generalissimus of the Soviet Union
Генералиссимус Советского Союза
Rank insignia of генералиссимус Советского Союза.svg
Proposed uniform epaulette
Country Soviet Union
Service branchRed star with hammer and sickle.svg Soviet Armed Forces
RankGeneral officer
NATO rankOF-11
Non-NATO rankSix-star rank
Next higher rankNone
Next lower rank

Generalissimus of the Soviet Union (Russian: Генералиссимус Советского Союза; Generalissimus Sovyétskovo Soyuza) was a proposed military rank created on 27 June 1945, following the tradition of the Imperial Russian Army (the rank in question was held 4 times. The first was held by the Russian Statesman Aleksei Shein and the last was held by Count Aleksandr Vasiliyevich Suvorov ). It was granted to Joseph Stalin following World War II; however, Stalin refused to officially approve the rank and died with the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union. It would have been the highest military rank in the Soviet Union.


This military rank was specifically created for Joseph Stalin. However, according to Stalin biographer Robert Service, Stalin regretted allowing himself the ostentatious military title, and asked Winston Churchill to continue to refer to him as a marshal instead.[1] Stalin also rejected any kind of distinctions between his military rank and the other Soviet marshals, and kept using the original Marshal of the Soviet Union insignia and uniform like the other Soviet marshals.[2]

The matter about Generalissimus of the Soviet Union was mentioned again after the war, when a draft of a decree about the Soviet military ranks was presented to Stalin. Then, General Andrey Khrulyov – director of the General Department of Logistics – was given the task to design the uniform of the Soviet Generalissimus for Stalin to use in the victory parade on 9 May 1947. The uniform was finished and presented to Stalin one week before the parade.

After examining it, Stalin again expressed dissatisfaction. Then he took hold of the decree about the Generalissimus rank and declared: "I will never sign this decree. The Soviet Red Army only has Marshal as its highest rank." Thereafter, the subject of new rank was never raised again.[2]

Fabricated samples were rejected by Stalin, who considered them to be too luxurious and old-fashioned. Currently they are stored in the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic war located in Moscow at Poklonnaya Gora.

Proposed shoulder insignia[edit]

Below are proposed designs of the shoulder insignia of Generalissimus of the Soviet Union.

Sequence of ranks
Lower rank:
Marshal of the Soviet Union
(Маршал Советского Союза)
Red Army Badge.svg
Generalissimus of the Soviet Union
(Генералиссимус Советского Союза)
Higher rank:
Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union
(Адмирал Флота Советского Союза)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Service, Robert (2005). Stalin: A Biography. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. p. 548. ISBN 978-0-674-01697-2.
  2. ^ a b Shtemenko, Sergey M (1985). Генеральный штаб во время войны. 2-е издание-е. (in Russian). Moscow: Воениздат. pp. 587–588. ISBN 5-9713-0069-5.

External links[edit]