Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Voronov, Nikolai Nikolaevich (1899–1968)

Soviet army marshal who became the commander of artillery in 1943. Born in Saint Petersburg on 5 May 1899, Nikolai Voronov joined the Red Army in 1918 and the Communist Party in 1919. A specialist in artillery, he rose to command a battery during the Russian Civil War. He was taken prisoner during the 1920 war with Poland. Voronov then held a variety of assignments that included both battalion and regimental commands.

Voronov graduated from the Frunze Military Academy in 1930 and served as director of the Leningrad Artillery Officers' School from 1934 to 1936. He was a military adviser to the Republican side in the 1936–1939 Spanish Civil War and commanded the artillery of a front during the 1939–1940 Finnish-Soviet War (the Winter War). A favorite of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, Voronov served as chief of artillery of the Soviet army, deputy commander of the artillery directorate, and commander of national air defense forces, as well as assistant commissar of defense.

As commander of artillery from 1943, Voronov played a key role in planning all major Soviet campaigns. To maximize artillery effectiveness, he insisted on concentrating artillery rather than scattering it among smaller units. Voronov introduced both artillery divisions and artillery brigades for assault divisions, and he pushed mechanization. He was the first of three officers promoted during the war to the rank of marshal of artillery in 1943.

Following the war, Voronov became a strong advocate of military missiles and, as president of the Academy of Artillery Sciences between 1950 and 1953, he oversaw the development of strategic nuclear weapons. He then commanded the Artillery Academy until his retirement in 1958. Voronov died in Moscow on 28 February 1968.

Spencer C. Tucker


Further Reading
Bellamy, Christopher D. Red God of War: Soviet Artillery and Rocket Forces. Elmsford, NY: Brassey's Defence Publishers, 1986.; 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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