Minister of Defence (Soviet Union)

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Standard of the Minister of Defence (1964–1991).

The Minister of Defence of the Soviet Union refers to the head of the Ministry of Defence who was responsible for defence of the communist Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1917 to 1922 and the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1991.

List of ministers[edit]

People's Commissars for Military and Naval Affairs (1917–1934)[edit]

People's Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs Took office Left office Time in office
1
Council
Council
[a]
8 November 191715 November 19177 days
2
Nikolai Podvoisky
Podvoisky, NikolaiNikolai Podvoisky
(1880–1948)
15 November 191713 March 1918118 days
3
Leon Trotsky
Trotsky, LeonLeon Trotsky
(1879–1940)
13 March 191815 January 19256 years, 308 days
4
Mikhail Frunze
Frunze, MikhailMikhail Frunze
(1885–1925)
15 January 192531 October 1925 †289 days
5
Kliment Voroshilov
Voroshilov, KlimentKliment Voroshilov
(1881–1969)
6 November 192520 June 19348 years, 232 days

People's Commissars for Defence (1934–1946)[edit]

People's Commissar for Defence Took office Left office Time in office
1
Kliment Voroshilov
Voroshilov, KlimentMarshal of the Soviet Union
Kliment Voroshilov
(1881–1969)
20 June 19347 May 19405 years, 322 days
2
Semyon Timoshenko
Timoshenko, SemyonMarshal of the Soviet Union
Semyon Timoshenko
(1895–1970)
7 May 194019 July 19411 year, 73 days
3
Joseph Stalin
Stalin, JosephGeneralissimus of the Soviet Union
Joseph Stalin
(1878–1953)
19 July 194125 February 19464 years, 221 days

People's Commissars for the Navy (1937–1946)[edit]

People's Commissar for the Navy Took office Left office Time in office
1
Pyotr Smirnov
Smirnov, PyotrArmy Commissar of 1st rank
Pyotr Smirnov
(1897–1939)
30 December 193730 June 1938182 days
2
Mikhail Frinovsky
Frinovsky, MikhailKomandarm 1st rank
Mikhail Frinovsky
(1898–1940)
8 September 193820 March 1939193 days
3
Nikolay Kuznetsov
Kuznetsov, NikolayVice Admiral
Nikolay Kuznetsov
(1904–1974)
28 April 193925 February 19466 years, 303 days

People's Commissar for the Armed Forces (1946)[edit]

People's Commissar for the Armed Forces Took office Left office Time in office
1
Joseph Stalin
Stalin, JosephGeneralissimus of the Soviet Union
Joseph Stalin
(1878–1953)
25 February 194615 March 194618 days

Ministers of the Armed Forces (1946–1950)[edit]

Ministers of the Armed Forces Took office Left office Time in office
1
Joseph Stalin
Stalin, JosephGeneralissimus of the Soviet Union
Joseph Stalin
(1878–1953)
15 March 19463 March 1947353 days
2
Nikolai Bulganin
Bulganin, NikolaiMarshal of the Soviet Union
Nikolai Bulganin
(1895–1975)
3 March 194724 March 19492 years, 21 days
3
Aleksandr Vasilevsky
Vasilevsky, AleksandrMarshal of the Soviet Union
Aleksandr Vasilevsky
(1895–1977)
24 March 194925 February 1950338 days

Minister of War (1950–1953)[edit]

Minister of War Took office Left office Time in office
1
Aleksandr Vasilevsky
Vasilevsky, AleksandrMarshal of the Soviet Union
Aleksandr Vasilevsky
(1895–1977)
25 February 195015 March 19533 years, 18 days

Ministers of the Navy (1950–1953)[edit]

People's Commissar for the Navy Took office Left office Time in office
1
Ivan Yumashev
Yumashev, IvanAdmiral
Ivan Yumashev
(1895–1972)
25 February 195020 July 19511 year, 145 days
2
Nikolay Kuznetsov
Kuznetsov, NikolayAdmiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union
Nikolay Kuznetsov
(1904–1974)
20 July 195115 March 19531 year, 238 days

Ministers of Defence (1953–1991)[edit]

Minister of Defence Took office Left office Time in office
1
Nikolai Bulganin
Bulganin, NikolaiMarshal of the Soviet Union
Nikolai Bulganin
(1895–1975)
15 March 19539 February 19551 year, 331 days
2
Georgy Zhukov
Zhukov, GeorgyMarshal of the Soviet Union
Georgy Zhukov
(1896–1974)
[b]
9 February 195526 October 19572 years, 259 days
3
Rodion Malinovsky
Malinovsky, RodionMarshal of the Soviet Union
Rodion Malinovsky
(1898–1967)
26 October 195731 March 1967 †9 years, 156 days
4
Andrei Grechko
Grechko, AndreiMarshal of the Soviet Union
Andrei Grechko
(1903–1976)
12 April 196726 April 1976 †9 years, 14 days
5
Dmitriy Ustinov
Ustinov, DmitriyMarshal of the Soviet Union
Dmitriy Ustinov
(1908–1984)
30 July 197620 December 1984 †8 years, 143 days
6
Sergey Sokolov
Sokolov, SergeyMarshal of the Soviet Union
Sergey Sokolov
(1911–2012)
[c]
22 December 198430 May 19872 years, 159 days
7
Dmitry Yazov
Yazov, DmitryMarshal of the Soviet Union
Dmitry Yazov
(born 1924)
[d]
30 May 198723 August 19914 years, 85 days
8
Yevgeny Shaposhnikov
Shaposhnikov, YevgenyMarshal of Aviation
Yevgeny Shaposhnikov
(born 1942)
23 August 199121 December 1991120 days

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The committee of the People's Commissars for Military and Naval Affairs consisted of Vladimir Antonov-Ovseyenko, Pavel Dybenko, and Nikolai Krylenko. On 10 November 1917 Ovseyenko was taken hostage during the Petrograd Junker mutiny and was released next day with the help of American journalist Williams. Later Ovseyenko headed the Petrograd Military District until December when he was dispatched to Ukraine. Dybenko continued to supervise the naval affairs as the Supreme Navy College that was formed sometime in late November. He stayed in charge until 16 March 1918 when he was stripped of all posts and revoked membership in the Bolshevik Party due to desertion. On 25 November 1917 Krylenko was appointed the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Red Army.
  2. ^ Dismissed by Nikita Khrushchev in the aftermath of the Anti-Party Group affair.
  3. ^ Dismissed by Mikhail Gorbachev as a result of the Mathias Rust affair.
  4. ^ Dismissed by Mikhail Gorbachev for being a member of the GKChP during the 1991 coup d'état attempt.

See also[edit]