Vasily Chuikov

Vasily Chuikov
Василий Иванович Чуйков
Vasily Chuikov
Lieutenant General Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov (prior to 1943)
Nickname "The Man of Iron Will"
"The Stone"
Born February 12, 1900
Serebryanye Prudy, Tula oblast, Russian Empire
Died March 18, 1982(1982-03-18) (aged 82)
Moscow, Soviet Union
Allegiance  Soviet Union
Years of service 1917–1972
Rank Marshal of the Soviet Union
Unit Soviet 8th Guards Army (formerly designated 62nd Army)
Commands held Red Army flag.svg Red Army Ground Forces, Civil Defense
Battles/wars World War II
Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Berlin
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union Hero of the Soviet Union, Distinguished Service Cross
Other work 1961 until his death, he was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov (Russian: Васи́лий Ива́нович Чуйко́в) (February 12, 1900 – March 18, 1982) was a Russian lieutenant general in the Red Army during World War II, twice Hero of the Soviet Union (1944, 1945), who after the war became a Marshal of the Soviet Union.


Early life and career

Born into a peasant family in the village of Serebryanye Prudy, he joined the Red Army during the Russian Revolution of 1917[citation needed] and later attended the Frunze Military Academy. Chuikov commanded the 4th Army in the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, and during the Russo-Finnish War of 1940. He was then sent to China as an advisor to Chiang Kai-shek. In May 1942 the USSR recalled their military advisor, according to Chuikov's memoirs this was due to Nationalist China claiming the USSR was providing military aid as part of an attempt to draw the USSR into the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Second World War

On returning to Moscow, Chuikov was placed in command of the 64th Army (later 7th Guards), on the West bank of the Don river. The 64th Army took part in the fighting withdrawal to Stalingrad, and shortly before the Battle of Stalingrad itself began, Chuikov was made commanding general of the more important 62nd Army, which was to hold Stalingrad itself, with the 64th on its Southern flank.

It was at Stalingrad that Chuikov developed the important tactic of “hugging the enemy,” by which under-armed Soviet soldiers kept the German army so close to them as to minimize the superior firepower enjoyed by the Wehrmacht. Chuikov had witnessed firsthand the Blitzkrieg tactics the Nazis had used to sweep across the Russian steppe, so he used the Germans' carpet-bombing of the city to draw panzer units into the rubble and chaos where their progress was impeded. Here they could be destroyed with Molotov cocktails and Russian artillery operating at close range. This tactic also rendered the German Luftwaffe ineffective, since Stuka dive-bombers could not attack Red Army positions without firing upon their own forces.[1][2]

After the victory at Stalingrad, the 62nd was redesignated as the Soviet 8th Guards Army. Chuikov then commanded the 8th Guards as part of 1st Belorussian Front and led its advance through Poland, finally heading the Soviet offensive which conquered Berlin in April/May 1945.

Chuikov's advance through Poland was characterized by massive advances across difficult terrain (on several occasions, the 8th Guards Army advanced over 40 miles in a single day). On May 1, 1945, Chuikov, who commanded his army operating in central Berlin, was the first Allied officer to learn about Adolf Hitler's suicide, being informed by General Hans Krebs who came to Chuikov's headquarters under a white flag. He accepted the surrender of Berlin's forces from General Helmuth Weidling.

Chuikov appeared in the documentary film Berlin (1945), directed by Yuli Raizman.

Later life

After the war ended Chuikov stayed in Germany, later serving as Commander-in-Chief of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany from 1949 until 1953, when he was made the Commanding General of the Kiev Military District. While serving at that post, on March 11, 1955 he was promoted to Marshal of the Soviet Union. From 1960 to 1964 he was the Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Army's Ground Forces. He also served as the Chief of the Civil Defense from 1961 until his retirement in 1972. From 1961 until his death, he was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

He was a major consultant for the design of the Stalingrad battle memorial on Mamayev Kurgan, and was buried there after his death at the age of 82.

Memoirs in translation

  • The Beginning of the Road: The Story of the Battle for Stalingrad, London, 1963.[3]
  • Chuikov, Vasili; David P. Barrett (translator) (2003). Mission to China: Memoirs of a Soviet Military Adviser to Chiang Kaishek. Eastbridge. ISBN 978-1891936104. 
  • Chuikov, Vasili (1978). The end of the Third Reich. Moscow: Progress. ISBN 978-0828504539. 

In popular culture

  • Chuikov was briefly featured in the 2004 German-Austrian movie Downfall (Der Untergang), dealing with the fall of Berlin in 1945. He was portrayed by a Russian actor Aleksandr Slastin.
  • Dana Kramer-Rolls' novel, Home is the Hunter, has Star Trek character Pavel Chekov refer to Chuikov as his ancestor (although "Vasily" is spelled as "Vassili").
  • Chuikov is a character in Robert Conroy's Red Inferno: 1945. The novel follows his career alongside Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov in a fictional situation where the Soviet Union attacks America and the remaining Allied nations. Towards the end of the novel an American Boeing B-29 Superfortress dropped a nuclear bomb near the city of Paderborn, Germany, where he was stationed. The fictional bomb killed him, Zhukov, and a large portion of the Soviet military's elite forces.

Honours and awards

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Russian Wikipedia.
Soviet Union

Awards of other countries

See also


  1. ^ Craig, William (1973). Enemy at the Gates: the Battle for Stalingrad. New York: Penguin Books (ISBN 0-14-200000-0 & ISBN 1-56852-368-8).:90, 91
  2. ^ Beevor, Antony (1998). Stalingrad. New York: Viking (ISBN 0-14-024985-0).:128, 129
  3. ^ Keegan, John. The Battle for History: Re-fighting World War Two (Barbara Frum lecture series), Vintage Canada, Toronto, 1995. Republished by Vintage Books, New York, 1996.:121

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vasily Chuikov — General Tschuikow gratuliert Wilhelm Pieck, 1953 Wassili Iwanowitsch Tschuikow (russisch Василий Иванович Чуйков, wiss. Transliteration Vasilij Ivanovič Čujkov, engl. Schreibweise Vasily Chuikov, * 31. Januarjul./ 12. Februar 1900 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vasily Chuikov — Vassili Tchouïkov Vassili Ivanovitch Tchouïkov Naissance 12 février 1900 Oblast de Toula Décès 18 mars 1982 (à 82 ans) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chuikov — General Tschuikow gratuliert Wilhelm Pieck, 1953 Wassili Iwanowitsch Tschuikow (russisch Василий Иванович Чуйков, wiss. Transliteration Vasilij Ivanovič Čujkov, engl. Schreibweise Vasily Chuikov, * 31. Januarjul./ …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chuikov, Vasily Ivanovich — ▪ Soviet general born Feb. 12 [Jan. 31, Old Style], 1900, Serebryannye Prudy, near Moscow, Russian Empire died March 18, 1982, Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R.       Soviet general (and later marshal) who in World War II commanded the defense at the… …   Universalium

  • Vasily — (as used in expressions) Chuikov Vasily Ivanovich Golitsyn Vasily Vasilyevich Prince Kandinsky Vasily Vasilievich Tikhomirov Vasily Dmitrievich Vasily II Vasily the Blind Vasily Varilyevich Vasily I Vasily Dmitriyevich * * * …   Universalium

  • Chuikov, Vasily (Ivanovich) — born Feb. 12, 1900, Serebryannye Prudy, near Moscow, Russian Empire died March 18, 1982, Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R. Soviet general. He joined the Red Army at age 18. In World War II he commanded the defense at the Battle of Stalingrad, joined in… …   Universalium

  • Vasili Chuikov — Vasili Ivánovich Chuikov Василий Иванович Чуйков El Mariscal de la Unión Soviética Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov …   Wikipedia Español

  • Battle of Stalingrad — Coordinates: 48°42′N 44°31′E / 48.7°N 44.517°E / 48.7; 44.517 …   Wikipedia

  • Helmuth Weidling — Infobox Military Person name=Helmuth Otto Ludwig Weidling lived=2 November 1891 ndash; death date and age|1955|11|17|1891|11|2 placeofbirth=Halberstadt, Saxony Anhalt, Germany placeofdeath=Vladimir, Soviet Union caption= nickname=… …   Wikipedia

  • Liberation (film series) — Liberation A 1970 poster of Liberation. Directed by Yuri Ozerov co director: Julius Kun …   Wikipedia

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