Wassili Danilowitsch Sokolowski

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Sokolowski with the rank of Colonel General
Postage stamp with Sokolowski's likeness

Vasily Sokolovsky ( Russian Василий Данилович Соколовский * July 9 . Jul / 21st July  1897 greg. In Kosliki in Białystok , Russian Empire ; †  10. May 1968 in Moscow ) was a Marshal of the Soviet Union .


Sokolowski joined the Red Army in 1918 and took part in the Russian Civil War 1918-20. During the civil war he was the commander of a rifle regiment, a rifle brigade and chief of staff of a division. In 1921 he graduated from the Academy of the General Staff . After graduation, Sokolowski became an assistant to the chief of operational administration of the Turkestan Front. From 1922 to 1930 he was chief of staff of a rifle division and a rifle corps.

In 1931 Sokolowski was accepted into the CPSU . From 1930 to 1935 he worked as a division commander. Following this activity, Sokolovsky was chief of staff in the Volga, Urals and Moscow military districts until he became deputy chief of the general staff in February 1941 . After the German invasion of the Soviet Union, he held the posts of chief of staff and supreme commander of the Soviet Western Front from 1943 to 1944 . From 1944 to 1945 he was Chief of Staff of the 1st Ukrainian Front of the Red Army. After that, Sokolowski became Zhukov's deputy in the leadership of the 1st Belarusian Front .

Sokolowski (front right) signing the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht in Berlin-Karlshorst

From June 9, 1945, he was first deputy and from 1946 to April 1949 Supreme Chief of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany and Supreme Commander of the Group of Soviet Armed Forces in Germany . His successor in both functions was Vasily Ivanovich Tschuikow . In 1946 he was promoted to Marshal of the Soviet Union .

From 1949 to 1960 he was First Deputy Minister of Defense of the Soviet Union , and from 1952 to 1960 also Chief of the General Staff. In 1960 he was appointed to the group of inspectors general of the Soviet Ministry of Defense . Sokolowski was a candidate from 1952 to 1961 and a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU from 1961 to 1968. After his death, his urn was buried on the Kremlin wall in Moscow.

He was the author and co-author of numerous papers on military strategy , including:

  • "Military Strategy" (1965)
  • " The smashing of the German fascist armies near Moscow" (1964)


Web links

Commons : Wassili Sokolowski  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files