Kliment Voroshilov

Kliment Voroshilov

Infobox Military Person
name=Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov

caption=Marshal of the Soviet Union Kliment Voroshilov
born= birth date|1881|2|4
died= death date and age|1969|12|2|1881|2|4
placeofbirth=Dnipropetrovsk, Russian Empire
placeofdeath=Moscow, Soviet Union
placeofburial=Kremlin Wall Necropolis
serviceyears=1903 — 1960
rank=Marshal of the Soviet Union
branch=Red Army
battles=Russian Civil War
Polish-Soviet War
Winter War
Great Patriotic War
awards=Hero of the Soviet Union (2)
Hero of Socialist Labor
Order of Lenin (8)
Order of the Red Banner (6)
Order of Suvorov, 1st Class
Medal For the Victory Over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945
Audio|ru-Kliment Voroshilov.ogg|Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov ( _ru. Климе́нт Ефре́мович Вороши́лов, "Kliment Efremovič Vorošilov", _uk. Климент Єфремович Ворошилов), popularly known as Klim Voroshilov ( _ru. Клим Вороши́лов, "Klim Vorošilov") (OldStyleDate|February 4|1881|January 23 – December 2, 1969) was a Soviet military commander and politician.

Voroshilov was born in Verkhneye, near Yekaterinoslav (now Dnipropetrovsk), Ukraine, under the Russian Empire. He joined the Bolshevik party in 1905. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917 he was a member of the Ukrainian provisional government and Commissar for Internal Affairs. In the Soviet defense of Tsaritsyn during the civil war, he became closely associated with Joseph Stalin. He was well known for aiding Stalin in the Military Council (led by Leon Trotsky). He was instrumental in the Southern Front of the Russian Civil War and the Polish-Soviet War while with 1st Cavalry Army.

Voroshilov was elected to the Central Committee in 1921 and remained a member until 1961. In 1925, after the death of Mikhail Frunze, Voroshilov was appointed People's Commissar for Military and Navy Affairs and Chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR, a post he held until 1934. Frunze's position was Troika compatible (Zinoviev, Kamenev, Stalin), but Stalin preferred to have a Stalinist in charge (as opposed to Frunze, a "Zinovievite"). Frunze was urged to have surgery to treat an old stomach ulcer. He died on the operating table of an overdose of chloroform, an anesthetic. Stalin's critics charge that the surgery was used to disguise the assassination of Frunze. Voroshilov was made full member of the newly formed Politburo in 1926, remaining a member until 1960. He was heavily involved in Stalin's Great Purge of the late 1930s.

Voroshilov was appointed People's Commissar for Defence in 1934 and a Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1935. During World War II, Voroshilov was a member of the State Defense Committee. Voroshilov commanded Soviet troops during the Winter War from November 1939 to January 1940, but due to his poor planning and overall incompetence the Red Army suffered tremendous casualties. He was later replaced by Semyon Timoshenko.

After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Voroshilov was made commander of the shortlived Northwestern Direction, controlling several fronts. He displayed considerable personal bravery - at one point he personally led a counter-attack against German tanks armed only with a pistol - but also grave incompetence and failed to prevent the Germans from surrounding Leningrad, was dismissed from that post, and replaced by the far abler Georgy Zhukov. In 1945-47 he supervised the establishment of the communist regime in Hungary.

In 1952, Voroshilov was appointed a member of the Presidium of the Central Committee. Stalin's death prompted major changes in the Soviet leadership and in March 1953, Voroshilov was approved as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (i.e. the head of state) with Nikita Khrushchev as First Secretary of the Communist Party and Malenkov as Premier of the Soviet Union. Voroshilov, Georgy Malenkov and Khrushchev brought about the arrest of Lavrenty Beria after Stalin's death in 1953.

On May 7, 1960, the Supreme Soviet granted Voroshilov's "request for retirement" and elected Leonid Brezhnev chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council (the head of state). The Central Committee also relieved him of duties as a member of the Party Presidium (as the Politburo had been called since 1952) on July 16, 1960. In October 1961, his political defeat was complete at the 22nd party congress when he was excluded from election to the Central Committee. A curious story surrounds Voroshilov's last days as the head of state. During one dinner meeting with the Central Committee, every one else present ignored Voroshilov and gave him the cold shoulder. Their snubs made Voroshilov realize that all his colleagues had already decided to fire him, so he decided to preempt them and just "retire".

After the downfall of Khrushchev, Brezhnev returned Voroshilov to politics, in a figurehead role. He was re-elected to the Central Committee in 1966 and was awarded a second medal of Hero of the Soviet Union 1968. He died in 1969 in Moscow and was buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. The KV series of tanks, used in World War II, was named after him. Two towns were named after him: Voroshilovgrad in Ukraine (now changed back to the historical Luhansk) and Voroshilov, in the Soviet Far East (now renamed Ussuriysk after Ussuri river), as well as the General Staff Academy in Moscow. Stavropol was called Voroshilovsk from 1935 to 1943.

ee also

* OSOAVIAKhIM badges: "Voroshilov Sharpshooter" ( _ru. Ворошиловский стрелок) and "Voroshilov Horse Rider" ( _ru. Ворошиловский всадник) etc.
* Kliment Voroshilov tank, KV-1 and KV-2
* Voroshilov Kirov class cruiser

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