Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Novikov, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich (1900–1976)

Soviet army marshal. Born in the village of Kryukovo in Kostroma Province on 19 November 1900, Aleksandr Novikov was called up for the Red Army in 1919 during the Civil War. He joined the Communist Party in 1920. He took part in the bloody suppression of the Kronstadt Revolt in March 1921, where he was impressed with the role of aircraft in a ground-attack role. In 1921, Novikov attended the field academy of the Red Army at Vystrel, and in 1927 he attended the Frunze Academy. In 1933, despite his defective eyesight, Novikov secured a transfer from the infantry to the air force and learned to fly. In 1935, he took command of the 42nd Light Bomber Squadron, and in March 1936 he won promotion to colonel.

Novikov managed to avoid the great purge of the military, although many of his colleagues were arrested and shot in 1937 and 1938. Novikov became chief of staff of the Karelian Front during the 1939–1940 Soviet-Finnish Winter War. As a major general, he commanded aviation in the Leningrad Military District, which became the Northern Front after the June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union.

Novikov became deputy commander of the Red Army Air Force in February 1942. Promoted to lieutenant general in April, he received command of the Red Army Air Force, a post he held until March 1946. In this position, Novikov was responsible for coordinating Soviet air assets in Stalingrad, Kursk, and Operation bagration. Promoted to colonel general in 1943, Novikov was the first Soviet marshal of aviation and one of only two officers to be made chief marshal of aviation in the war. Following the defeat of Germany, Novikov directed air actions against the Japanese Guandong (Kwantung) Army in Manchuria.

Arrested in March 1946 in a purge of the military as Stalin removed war heroes, Novikov was held under strict confinement from 1946 to 1953 but he was released in May 1953 following Josef Stalin's death. Rehabilitated the next month, he held a succession of important posts, including commander of long-range aviation units and deputy chief of staff of the now-independent Soviet air force in 1954–1955. Novikov retired in 1956 because of ill health. He died in Moscow on 3 February 1976.

Spencer C. Tucker


Further Reading
Erickson, John. "Alexandr Alexandrovich Novikov." In Harold Shukman, ed., Stalin's Generals, 155–174. New York: Grove Press, 1993.; Hardesty, Von. Red Phoenix: The Rise of Soviet Air Power, 1941–1945. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1982.
 

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