Generalissimus of the Soviet Union

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 Stateman 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. Yet in all the eastern countries Stalin used after 1945 to be called also Generalissimus Stalin.

Generalissimus of the Soviet Union
Генералиссимус Советского Союза
Rank insignia of генералиссимус Советского Союза
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


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.[3]

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

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

Generalissimus 1.svg
Generalissimus 2.svg
Project of the Generalissimo of the USSR's rank insignia - Variant 5
Project of the Generalissimo of the USSR's rank insignia - Variant 4
Project of the Generalissimo of the USSR's rank insignia - Variant 1
Rank insignia of генералиссимус Советского Союза

This insignia was a part of the uniform which was presented to, but rejected by, Stalin.

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


  1. ^ Service, Robert (2005). Stalin: A Biography. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. p. 548. ISBN 978-0-674-01697-2.
  2. ^ S. M. Shtemenko. The General Staff in the War Years. Moskva. 1985. Vietnamese version (vol. 2) . pp. 587–588.
  3. ^ S. M. Shtemenko. The General Staff in the War Years. Moskva 1985. Vietnamese version (vol. 2). pp. 587–588.

External links

16th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks)

The 16th Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) was held during 26 June - 13 July 1930 in Moscow. The congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) was attended by 1,268 voting delegates and 891 delegates with observer status. It elected the 16th Central Committee.

An exercise of devotion to Joseph Stalin, this is the last congress to be dominated by the original leadership of the Soviet Union.

19th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

The Nineteenth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was held from 5 to 14 October 1952. It was the first party congress after World War II and the last under Joseph Stalin's leadership. It was attended by many dignitaries from foreign Communist parties, including Liu Shaoqi from China. At this Congress, Stalin gave the last public speech of his life. The 19th Central Committee was elected at the congress.

Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union

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Batumi Stalin Museum

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Da yuan shuai

Da yuan shuai (ta yuan shuai; Chinese: 大元帥; pinyin: dà yuán shuài; Wade–Giles: ta4 yüan2 shuai4) was a Chinese military rank, usually translated as grand marshal or generalissimo.

During the early Republic of China, the rank of "grand marshal of the army and navy" (陸海軍大元帥 lù hǎijūn dàyuánshuài) was assumed by Yuan Shikai in 1913, Sun Yat-sen in 1917 and Zhang Zuolin in 1927.The rank was replaced by the Nationalist Government with the "general special class" or "generalissimo" (特級上將 Tèjí shàng jiàng) and awarded to Chiang Kai-shek in 1935.

The rank of "grand marshal of the People's Republic of China" (中華人民共和國大元帥 Zhōnghuá rénmín gònghéguó dàyuánshuài) was proposed after the establishment of the People's Republic (perhaps for Mao Zedong), but was never conferred.


Generalissimo is a military rank of the highest degree, superior to field marshal and other five-star ranks in the countries where they are used.

Highest military ranks

In many nations the highest military ranks are classed as being equivalent to, or are officially described as, five-star ranks. However, a number of nations have used or proposed ranks such as generalissimo which are senior to their five-star equivalent ranks. This article summarises those ranks.

Konstantin Kuzakov

Konstantin Stepanovich Kuzakov (1911–1996) (Russian: Константин Степанович Кузаков) was a Soviet journalist and politician who claimed that he was an illegitimate child of Joseph Stalin. Konstantin's mother was Maria Kuzakova, who was Stalin's landlady during his 1911 exile in Solvychegodsk, with whom he had an affair. According to Simon Sebag-Montefiore his mother was still pregnant when Stalin left his exile.Konstantin was enrolled into Leningrad University, possibly with the discreet help of his father. In 1932, the NKVD forced him to sign a statement promising never to reveal the truth of his parentage.For a while, he taught philosophy at the Leningrad Military Mechanical Institute. Afterward, he got a job in the Central Committee's apparat in Moscow. He served as a colonel during World War II. In 1947, while working for Andrei Zhdanov, a very close ally of Stalin, he and his deputy were accused of being American spies. While he was never officially introduced to his possible father, Konstantin claimed that on one occasion while working in the Kremlin he said, "Stalin stopped and looked at me and I felt he wanted to tell me something. I wanted to rush to him, but something stopped me. He waved his pipe and moved on." Simon Sebag-Montefiore claimed that altought Stalin prevented his arrest, he was nonetheless dismissed from the Communist Party.After Stalin's death and the arrest of Lavrentiy Beria, he was restored in the Party and in Soviet "apparat", holding various positions associated with culture, a member of the collegium of Gosteleradio, chief of a department in the Ministry of Culture and other posts. He died in 1996.

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Marshal of the Soviet Union (Russian: Маршал Советского Союза; Russian pronunciation: [ˈmarʂəɫ sɐˈvʲɛtskəvə sɐˈjuzə]) was the highest military rank of the Soviet Union.

The rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union was created in 1935 and abolished in 1991, and forty-one people held this rank. The equivalent naval rank was until 1955 Admiral of the fleet and from 1955 Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union. Both ranks were comparable to NATO rank codes OF-10, and to the five-star rank in anglophone armed forces.

While the supreme rank of Generalissimus of the Soviet Union, which would have been senior to Marshal of the Soviet Union, was proposed for Joseph Stalin after the Second World War, it was never officially approved.

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Military ranks of the Soviet Union

The military ranks of the Soviet Union were those introduced after the October Revolution of 1917. At that time the Imperial Russian Table of Ranks was abolished, as were the privileges of the pre-Soviet Russian nobility.

Immediately after the Revolution, personal military ranks were abandoned in favour of a system of positional ranks, which were acronyms of the full position names. For example, KomKor was an acronym of Corps Commander, KomDiv was an acronym of Division Commander, KomBrig stood for Brigade Commander, KomBat stood for Battalion Commander, and so forth. These acronyms have survived as informal position names to the present day.Personal ranks were reintroduced in 1935, and general officer ranks were restored in May 1940. The ranks were based on those of the Russian Empire, although they underwent some modifications. Modified Imperial-style rank insignia were reintroduced in 1943.

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Kureika house,Siberia, where Stalin spent his final exile in 1914-1916.

Stalin's apartment in Moscow Kremlin


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Though the American white collar workers received special treatment there, the blue collar laborers often had to suffer the same deplorable conditions as Soviet workers. As one testified: "Men froze, hungered and suffered, but the construction work went on with a disregard for individuals and a mass heroism seldom paralleled in history."

The program examines both how the Soviets spun the facts and how American industry concealed the help it provided to the Soviet Union.

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