20 February 1881|
Trikāta parish, Valka District, Latvia
|Died||8 August 1965
Saulkrasti, Latvian SSR,
Jānis Balodis (February 20, 1881 in Trikāta parish – August 8, 1965 in Saulkrasti) was an army general and politician who was a principal figure in the foundation and government of independent Latvia. Prior to independence, he served in the Imperial Russian Army until his capture by the Germans in 1917.
Balodis was commander-in-chief of the army during the Latvian war of independence. He later served as minister of war from 1931 until the Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940. He was subsequently arrested by the Soviet authorities and deported to Siberia, and was only allowed to return to Latvia in 1956.
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