Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Tolbukhin, Fedor Ivanovich (1894–1949)

Soviet Army marshal who commanded a succession of fronts during the war years. Born in the village of Androniki, Yaroslavl Province, Russia, on 16 June 1894, Fedor Tolbukhin entered the Russian army in 1915 during World War I and rose to the rank of captain by war's end. He joined the Red Army in 1918 and was a divisional chief of staff in the Russian Civil War. He attended service schools and graduated from the Frunze Military Academy in 1934. Tolbukhin was then chief of staff, first of a division and then of a corps. He next held the same post with the Transcaucasian Military District in 1938, when he also joined the Communist Party.

Promoted to major general in June 1941, Tolbukhin continued as chief of staff in what became the Transcaucasian Front following the German invasion of the Soviet Union. From late 1941, he was chief of staff of the Caucasian Front and then the Crimea Front. He commanded Fifty-Seventh Army at Stalingrad from July 1942. Promoted to lieutenant general, Tolbukhin led the main effort in the Soviet counteroffensive. He took command of the Sixty-Eighth Army on the Northwestern Front in February 1942 and the Southern Front in March. He was promoted to colonel general in April and to General of the Army in September. Tolbukhin's army was redesignated the 4th Ukrainian Front in October.

Along with General Andrei Yeremenko, Tolbukhin led the Soviet offensive that retook the Crimea in May 1944. Thereafter, he commanded the 3rd Ukrainian Front, which liberated Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Austria and also pushed into Yugoslavia. He was named a marshal of the Soviet Union in September 1944. At the end of the war, Tolbukhin commanded the Southern Group of armies in Bulgaria and Romania. His final army assignment was to command the Transcaucasian Military District. He died in Moscow on 17 October 1949.

Spencer C. Tucker


Further Reading
Beevor, Antony. Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942–1943. New York: Viking, 1998.; Bialer, Seweryn, ed. Stalin and His Generals: Soviet Military Memoirs of World War II. New York: Pegasus, 1969.; Seaton, Albert, and Joan Seaton. The Soviet Army: 1918 to the Present. New York: New American Library, 1987.
 

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