Kliment Voroshilov

Kliment Voroshilov


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Kliment (Klim) Voroshilov, the son of a railway worker, was born in Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine, on 4th February 1881. He found work as a turner and became active in politics. He took part in the 1905 Revolution and soon afterwards joined the Bolsheviks. During this period Voroshilov became a close friend of Joseph Stalin.

Leon Trotsky also got to know him during this period. "The life of Voroshilov illustrates the career of a worker-revolutionist, with its leadership in strikes, underground work, imprisonment, and exile... He was a national revolutionary democrat from among the workers... In the official biographies of voroshilov the years 1914 to 1917 are a great blank, as is true of most of the present leaders. The secret of this blank is that during the war most of these men were patriots, and discontinued their revolutionary work."

After the overthrow of the Provisional Government Voroshilov he became the Head of Leningrad Police. He then became a general in the Red Army and took part in the defence of Tsaritsyn during the Civil War. According to Edvard Radzinsky, the author of Stalin (1996), Voroshilov helped Stalin in his conflict with Trotsky: "The North Caucasian Military District was under the command of Snesarev, a tsarist general who had changed sides. Several other former tsarists officers were working with him. They had all been assigned to Tsaritsyn by Trotsky. So Stalin began playing a game which was sure to please Lenin: he wrote an endless string of complaints against Trotsky. Single combat with Trotsky was, however, dangerous. stalin needed a comrade-in-arms to act for him when risks had to be taken... Stalin knew how to win over such people, and Varoshilov, who was not very bright, became his devoted comrade... They joined in attacking Trotsky's people, accusing them of treason."

Voroshilov was elected to the Central Committee in 1921, where he became a loyal supporter of Joseph Stalin and helped him in his struggle for power after the death of Lenin. It has been argued by Simon Sebag Montefiore, the author of Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar (2003), that an important point of his strategy was to promote his friends, Voroshilov, Vyacheslav Molotov and Gregory Ordzhonikidze: "An outsider in 1924 would have expected Trotsky to succeed Lenin, but in the Bolshevik oligarchy, this glittery fame counted against the insouciant War Commissar. The hatred between Stalin and Trotsky was not only based on personality and style but also on policy. Stalin had already used the massive patronage of the Secretariat to promote his allies, Vyacheslav Molotov, Kliment Voroshilov and Grigory Konstantinovich; he also supplied an encouraging and realistic alternative to Trotsky's insistence on European revolution: 'Socialism in One Country'. The other members of the Politburo, led by Grigory Zinoviev, and Kamenev, Lenin's closest associates, were also terrified of Trotsky, who had united all against himself."

One of Stalin's main opponents was Mikhail Frunze, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council. Frunze died during an operation for stomach ulcers on 31st October, 1925. Some historians have argued that Stalin was involved in arranging Frunze's death. Stalin now replaced Frunze with Voroshilov. The following year he joined the Politburo. Before meetings of Stalin would meet with his supporters. This included Voroshilov, Gregory Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev, Lazar Kaganovich, Vyacheslav Molotov, Gregory Ordzhonikidze and Sergy Kirov. As Robert Service, the author of Stalin: A Biography (2004), has pointed out: "He demanded efficiency as well as loyalty from the gang members. He also selected them for their individual qualities. He created an ambience of conspiracy, companionship and crude masculine humour. In return for their services he looked after their interests."

Voroshilov was appointed People's Commissar for Defence in 1934 and a Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1935. Roy A. Medvedev, has argued in Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism (1971) that Voroshilov, along with Vyacheslav Molotov, Lazar Kaganovich and Georgy Malenkov played an important role in the Great Purge: "Molotov, Kaganovich, Malenkov and Voroshilov not only did not restrain Stalin but actively helped his lawlessness." Research shows that Voroshilov personally signed 185 execution lists.

In September 1939 the Red Army captured thousands of Polish army officers. Voroshilov originally said that they should be released. However, after pressure from Stalin he gave orders for them to be executed. This later became known as the Katyn Massacre. It was later admitted by Mikhail Gorbachev that around 25,700 Polish soldiers in Soviet prison camps had been murdered in the early stages of the Second World War.

Joseph Stalin also became concerned about the Soviet Union being invaded from the West. Stalin argued that Leningrad was only thirty-two kilometres from the Finnish border and its 3.5 million population, were vulnerable to artillery fire from Nazi Germany. After attempts to negotiate the stationing of Soviet troops in Finland failed, Stalin ordered the Red Army to invade on 30th November 1939.

Voroshilov was placed in charge of the operation. Although the advance of Soviet troops was halted at the Mannerheim Line the Finns lost more that 20 per cent of their soldiers in three months. In March 1940 the Finnish government signed a peace treaty in Moscow that surrendered 16,000 square miles of territory to the Soviet Union. Finland's small army of 200,000 men had exposed the Soviet Union's poorly trained and equipped Red Army. Stalin blamed Voroshilov for the poor performance. Nikita Khrushchev agreed with this view: "Stalin was furious with the military, and with Voroshilov - justifiably, in my opinion. Voroshilov had held the post of People's Commissar of Defence for many years. he had been vaunted as our top marksman in order to lull the people into thinking that the country's defences were in capable hands. Voroshilov deserved to bear the brunt of the blame for the way the Finnish war was going, but he wasn't the only guilty party."

Khrushchev was at a meeting when Stalin started berating Voroshilov. In his autobiography, Khrushchev Remembers (1971) he recalled how Voroshilov replied: "You have yourself to blame for all this! You're the one who annihilated the Old Guard of the army; you had our best generals killed!" Khrushchev added: "Stalin rebuffed him, and at that, Voroshilov picked up a platter with a roast suckling pig on it and smashed it on the table. It was the only time in my life I ever witnessed such an outburst. Voroshilov ended up being relieved of his duties as People's Commissar of Defence. For a long time afterwards he was kept around as a whipping boy."

Kliment Voroshilov died on 2nd December, 1969.

The North Caucasian Military District was under the command of Snesarev, a tsarist general who had changed sides. They joined in attacking Trotsky's people, accusing them of treason.

An outsider in 1924 would have expected Trotsky to succeed Lenin, but in the Bolshevik oligarchy, this glittery fame counted against the insouciant War Commissar. The other members of the Politburo, led by Grigory Zinoviev, and Kamenev, Lenin's closest associates, were also terrified of Trotsky, who had united all against himself.


Elprom KB (Kliment Voroshilov Works, Slabotokov zavod) Sofia

Die Firma Elprom KB dürfte Radiogeräte für den Export nach Ungarn und in die DDR hergestellt haben. Beginn um 1963, Ende 1966?. Slabotokov zavod - Schwachstromwerk Sofia: genannt in "Geschichte der Rundfunkindustrie der DDR" (Hein) Seite 195 und "Funkamateur" Heft 10 / 1967. Zumindest Lizenzbauten und Nachbauten von Graetz-Geräten (Deutschland). Known as manufacturer of TV sets as also Radios for export.

"Kliment Voroshilov" - low voltage factory in Sofia in composition of the Scientific Factory in manufacturing telecommunications equipment in Sofia. Created in 1949 by combining all low voltage enterprises in Sofia (Telephone, telegraph factory "Radioprom", "Rodno Radio," "Ring ", etc..). Built in 1949 with the help of the USSR. Originally produced radios, telephones, automatic telephone systems low frequency amplifiers, meters, analog meters (ampermeters, voltmeters). In time digested the production of electro medical equipment and television receivers (1953-57), VHF radiotelephone (1961-65), VHF radios and professional radio-electronic equipment (1966-70).

alternate text:
Weak-current factory "Kliment Voroshilov" In 1949, on the outskirts of Sofia, in periphery of the district "Sugar Factory" on the corn fields and urban landfill it was created an impressive plant that has an important role in the history of industrialization and development of Bulgaria. As an artificial conglomerate, it was gathered together all the equipment, facilities, machinery and staff at all major weak-current enterprises in the capital - the former: TT factory (Telephone-Telegraph factory) (&bdquoТТ фабрика&rdquo), "Radioprom" (&bdquoРадиопром&rdquo), "Native Radio&rdquo (&bdquoРодно радио&rdquo), " Ring " (&bdquoРинг&rdquo) and others. In it, have been developed and manufactured: - Radio - Low frequency amplifiers - TVs - Electric gramophones - Transmitters - HF and VHF radiostations - Manual and automatic telephone exchanges - Telephones - Electrometers and other electrical measuring appliances - X-ray equipment - Medical equipment for physiotherapy - Radio-relay equipment - Sealing phone systems - Radio components and units for the production of the listed nomenclature - resistors, potentiometers, capacitors, relays, magnets, speakers and more.

This manufacturer was suggested by Karl Günther Goldsteiner.

Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
BG 66/67 Melodia M 14-c ECC85 Der Empfänger Melodia M14C hat eine mit der FM- Abstimmung einstellbare Kurzwellenlupe und.
BG 63 Кристал Crystal T59-21 PCC88 This model under type T59-21 and T59-22 was produced for exhibition purposes only with cor.
BG 64 M10-C2 ECC85 drehbare Ferritantenne. KW 16,7 bis 52m mit KW-Lupe, FM 87,5 bis 100 MHz, 2 Selenflachgle.
BG 64&ndash68 Accord A10 ECC85 Plattenspieler mit 3 Geschwindigkeiten.
BG 65 Melodia M10-O ECC85 Es gab mehrere Varianten dieses Gerätes für den Export: Мелодия 10&nb.
BG 64 Sofia RRS602 ECC85 UKW-Bereich 64,5-73 MHz.
BG 61 Opera - Опера 3 PCC88 TV with OIRT VHF I/III Tuner.
BG 67&ndash69 Eho - Ехо 2 SFT317 Coverage MW and SW 25-49 m.
BG 69 Romans - Романс 69 ECH81 2 KW-Bereiche: 5,8-11,6 MHz und 11,5-22 MHz.
BG 65 M 11-0 ECC85 OIRT-FM, Czech inscriptions.
BG 99 Dublette zu >Loudspeaker: oval 19,5×14 cm.
BG 62 Budapest RRG61 ECC85 Loudspeaker: 29×19,5 cm oval 8W 4 Ohm, 2 Stück 16,5×11,5 cm oval 1,5W 8 Ohm.

Further details for this manufacturer by the members (rmfiorg):

1970. Thanks for Mr.Perneky Sándor, Hungary!

Thanks for Mr.Tóth Ferenc, Hungary, Pomáz and Első Zalai Rádiómúzeum Alapítvány, First Zala County Radio Museum Foundation. Thanks for Mr.Zsolt Schenkerik, Hungary and Első Zalai Rádiómúzeum Alapítvány, First Zala County Radio Museum Foundation (radio-muzeum.hu).

VOROSHILOV, KLIMENT EFREMOVICH

(1881 – 1969), leading Soviet political and military figure, member of Stalin's inner circle.

A machinist's apprentice who joined the Bolsheviks in 1903, Kliment Efremovich Voroshilov spent nearly a decade underground and in exile, then emerged in late 1917 to become the commissar of Petrograd. In 1918 he assisted Felix Dzerzhinsky in founding the Cheka, then fought on various civil war fronts, including Tsaritsyn in 1918, where he sided with Josef V. Stalin against Leon Trotsky over the utilization of former tsarist officers in the new Red Army. A talented grass-roots organizer, Voroshilov was adept at assembling ad hoc field units, especially cavalry. Following the death of Mikhail V. Frunze in late 1925, Voroshilov served until mid-1934 as commissar of military and naval affairs, and subsequently until May 1940 as defense commissar. Known more as a political toady than a serious commander, he served in important command and advisory capacities during World War II, often with baleful results. During the postwar era he aided in the Sovietization of Hungary, but at home was relegated to largely honorific governmental positions. To his credit Voroshilov objected to using the Red Army against the peasantry during collectivization, and, despite complicity in Stalin's purges, he occasionally intervened to rescue military officers. Notwithstanding a cavalry bias, he oversaw an impressive campaign for the mechanization of the Red Army during the 1930s, including support for the T-34 tank over Stalin's initial objections. After Stalin's death in 1953 Voroshilov was named chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, a post he held until he was forced to resign in 1960 after participating in the anti-Party group opposed to Nikita Khrushchev.

See also: military, soviet and post-soviet stalin, josef vissarionovich


Kliment Voroshilov

Backgound
Lived 1881-1969. Kliment Efremovich Voroshilov was born in the proletarian Ukrainian family. He became a revolutionary already in 1903. After the revolution he, along with Dzerzhinsky, became one of the founders of Cheka.

Russian Civil War
Voroshilov showed some courage in the Civil War where he was leading the cavalry. He became an active supporter of Stalin against Trotsky at the Russo-Polish war.

Political Career
After the mystical death of Mikhail Frunze in 1925, Voroshilov became the next Comissar for Defence. He steadily rose in the party hierarchy in the shadow of Stalin. He was the member of the Politburo 1926-60.

Voroshilov was the chief executive of Stalin’s Great Purge of the Red Army. He personally signed 185 execution lists.

World War II
Stalin made Voroshilov the chief commander of north-western front during the Winter War (1939-40) with Finland. Voroshilov who “did not understand the idea of modern warfare” did a catastrophic job and Russia lost over 1 million men in a couple of months. Stalin had to replace him with Semyon Timoshenko. Later after Voroshilov’s failed defence of Leningrad against Hitler, he had to be replaced again by Zhukov.

After Stalin
After the death of Stalin, Voroshilov was elected the formal head of state of the Soviet Union. He was although dismissed in 1960 and stripped of his positions by Khrushchev.

Personal
Voroshilov was happily married to Yekaterina Davydovna. They had many children, including the orphans of Mikhail Frunze whom they took good care of. Voroshilov died in 1969.


Russia's 'Political General' Kliment Voroshilov Was A True Soviet Survivor

Joseph Stalin’s crony, Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov, became the disgraced First Marshal of the Soviet Union, but always survived.

In the summer of 1941, as the Nazi German blitzkrieg rolled over the Russian Red Army defenses at the embattled city of Leningrad, today once more St. Petersburg, a short, squat figure with pale blue eyes, cherubic face, and gray-blond hair stood erect atop a parapet, seemingly oblivious to the exploding enemy shell bursts all around him, bullets whizzing by his head.

One amazed soldier in the trench below turned to another and said, “Look! It’s him! Klim! Look how he stands as if he grew out of the earth!” Klim was the derivative Christian name of the legendary commissar of the Russian Civil War of 1918-1920, the Battle of Warsaw that latter year, the disastrous but still victorious Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-40, and now of the German Operation Barbarossa attack on the Soviet Union.

“That Sly Old Bastard”

The renowned Hero of Tsaritsyn (later Stalingrad) with the famed 1st Cavalry Army, the man who quelled the naval uprising at Kronstadt in 1921, the first marshal of the land of the Soviets from 1935, Voroshilov was one of only two from the original five who survived the Stalinist Great Purge of the Red Army in 1937.

He was also a member of Stavka, the Supreme Command, during the Great Patriotic War, the official Russian name for World War II. In addition, Voroshilov was author of the 1937 book Defense of the USSR, which lauded dictator Josef Stalin as a preeminent military genius.

The man who called Stalin by the nickname of Koba and was in turn termed by him the Soviet Union’s “top marksman” for his prowess with firearms was also a member of both the Presidium and Politburo, the ruling bodies of the Communist Party a member of the GKO, or State Committee of Defense and people’s commissar of military and naval affairs from 1925-1940.

Termed “a political general rather than a professional soldier” by noted English Kremlinologist author Edward Crankshaw, “he had a long career, marked by vainglory, folly, and durable good luck.” Within high Communist Bolshevik circles, many called him “the Party boy,” due to his long ties to Stalin, whom he claimed to have met at a Communist Party congress at Stockholm in 1906.

Stalin himself said that he did not remember and, in his more famous paranoid years toward the end of his life, asserted that his deputy had actually been an English spy during the period of 1938-1948. Nikita S. Khrushchev, who rose to lead the Soviet Union, called the assertion “stupidity.”

Nevertheless, Stalin took the man whom Red leader Lazar Kaganovich called “that sly old bastard” with him to the conference at Teheran, Iran, in 1943 where British Prime Minister Winston Churchill presented the Soviet leader with the famed Sword of Stalingrad, given to the Russian people by King George VI in honor of their incredible valor against the Germans.

Stalin picked up the sword with both hands and, holding it horizontally, kissed the scabbard. He then handed it to Marshal Voroshilov, as the blade slid from its sheath and clattered loudly onto the floor. It was considered to be a bad omen, and yet Voroshilov, whose military codename was Yefremov, managed to survive the incident, just as he did everything else over the course of his remarkable career under Stalin and his volatile successors.

Voroshilov’s Wide Renown

The most incredible aspect of Marshal Voroshilov’s meteoric career was that he began it with no military experience at all, having spent World War I during 1914-1916 as an exempt armaments factory lathe worker who was an undercover Bolshevik agent while singing in one company’s choir and working as a machinist at several other locations.

After the Bolsheviks succeeded in taking over the government following the Great October Revolution of 1917, Voroshilov allied himself to Stalin in the Battle of Tsaritsyn during the subsequent Civil War and served as a cavalry commander under his later fellow marshal, Semyon Budenny, another longtime Stalinist crony.

With the breaking of the siege of the rival White Army, Voroshilov found himself an enduring hero of the Civil War, even though he was defeated outside Warsaw in 1920 by Polish Marshal Josef Pilsudski.

Called “the child of Stalin’s military genius,” Voroshilov sang (literally!) his master’s praises and survived along with Budenny long after Stalin’s death in 1953. Their rival Leon Trotsky called Voroshilov “a hearty and impudent fellow, not overly intellectual, but shrewd and unscrupulous, a conscientious worker with an excellent understanding of the organization of the 10th Army.”

The famed first marshal was widely lauded by Soviet propagandists as unafraid of bullets, easy in the company of writers and artists, a Hero of the Soviet Union and Hero of Labor, one of Stalin’s “Magnates,” and hailed as a knight in ballads. The novel The Red Eagle was written about Voroshilov, who was portrayed on Russian trading cards for children like an American baseball star and was touted as “the most popular hero in the Bolshevik pantheon, the most illustrious of the Soviet grandees,” according to Stalin biographer Simon Sebag Montefiore.

British Field Marshal Alan Brooke rightly called Voroshilov “an attractive personality who owed his life to his wits,” and that was definitely true, while his Kremlin colleague Khrushchev admitted, “He certainly was loyal and honest,” particularly with Stalin.

Soviet Foreign Minister Vyachelsav Molotov, who outlived all the old Bolsheviks of the Lenin-Stalin era, asserted that the Soviet dictator never completely trusted Voroshilov, nor anyone else, for that matter, and Voroshilov in turn was never completely sold on Stalin either.

Nevertheless, Molotov concluded, “He performed well at critical moments,” such as being Stalin’s closest aide during the purges against the peasant Kulak class and, later, in decimating the upper officer tiers of the Red Army.

Indeed, First Marshal Voroshilov helped Stalin kill fully 4,000 of his own officer corps, crippling it just before the onset of a series of wars with the fascist powers.

An Incomprehension of Modern Mechanized Warfare

Stalin’s secretary, B. Bashanov, characterized Voroshilov as “Quite a man, full of himself,” and indeed he was that, too, basking in the full glare of the public limelight with his many medals and decorations. The marshal swilled vodka with artists and generally lived the high old life of the former czarist landed gentry.

The first marshal had a huge, ostentatious country home that was modeled on the Livadia Palace at Yalta in the Crimea on the Black Sea, as indeed, all the top Soviet leaders did during the Stalin era.

“Klim” loved being painted on horseback, flashing saber in hand, in full-length, life-sized portraits by the Kremlin’s court painter, Gerasamlinov, and critics charged that he spent more time thus portrayed than doing his job at the Commissariat of Defense.

General Sergei M. Shtemenko, a future chief of staff of the Warsaw Pact alliance, called Voroshilov “a man of education and culture, something of a showman, exuding cordiality and bonhomie, making a parade of his courage, and thinking that he would be better received by the Terek and Kuban Cossack infantry by riding out to inspect them on a horse.”

Like his fellow Marshals Budenny and Stalin, Voroshilov comprehended the infantry, cavalry, and armored-train tactics of the civil war era and Russo-Polish War of 1920 far better than he did that of the mechanized warfare of tanks and armored divisions, and therein lay the seeds of his defeats in both the Russo-Finnish War and World War II.

A successful practitioner in the latter, Marshal Ivan Konev, said of his former chief that he was “a man of inexhaustible courage, but incapable of understanding modern warfare.” Harshly criticized both during and after the wars, Voroshilov always landed on his feet, however, and he was always assigned to other high-level posts.

Loyalty and Results

As a sort of Soviet Hermann Göring and Albert Speer combined, the first marshal in his pre-World War II years was responsible for building up the Army and Navy as well as industry with Stalin to prepare for what both saw as the inevitable war against fascism.

Noted Soviet military writer Dmitri Volkogonov was very critical, defining Voroshilov as mediocre straight out, having but two years of formal schooling, beginning as a Chekist secret policeman during the revolution, and becoming Stalin’s willing stooge and toady, thus being placed in important high military commands “with having never worn a uniform … and lacking the least military knowledge”

What mattered first and always to Stalin was loyalty and getting the desired results. Voroshilov excelled in the former and produced admirably in the latter category, at least until the Japanese killed 3,000 soldiers in the Far East in August 1938, the Soviet Union stumbled badly during the 105-day war with tiny Finland during 1939-1940, and the Red Army was smashed by the German Wehrmacht during 1941-1943.

According to Volkogonov, First Marshal Voroshilov was also the father of both chemical and biological warfare in Russia. His house of cards began collapsing in 1939, though, with the stunning initial defeats of the Red Army by far-outnumbered Finland during the early stages of the Winter War debacle that left 70,000 known dead Red Army soldiers in the frozen snow and ice, a harbinger of what later happened to the German Army in Russia.


Kliment Voroshilov - History

By Blaine Taylor

In the summer of 1941, as the Nazi German blitzkrieg rolled over the Russian Red Army defenses at the embattled city of Leningrad, today once more St. Petersburg, a short, squat figure with pale blue eyes, cherubic face, and gray-blond hair stood erect atop a parapet, seemingly oblivious to the exploding enemy shell bursts all around him, bullets whizzing by his head.
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One amazed soldier in the trench below turned to another and said, “Look! It’s him! Klim! Look how he stands as if he grew out of the earth!” Klim was the derivative Christian name of the legendary commissar of the Russian Civil War of 1918-1920, the Battle of Warsaw that latter year, the disastrous but still victorious Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-40, and now of the German Operation Barbarossa attack on the Soviet Union.

“That Sly Old Bastard”

The renowned Hero of Tsaritsyn (later Stalingrad) with the famed 1st Cavalry Army, the man who quelled the naval uprising at Kronstadt in 1921, the first marshal of the land of the Soviets from 1935, Voroshilov was one of only two from the original five who survived the Stalinist Great Purge of the Red Army in 1937.

He was also a member of Stavka, the Supreme Command, during the Great Patriotic War, the official Russian name for World War II. In addition, Voroshilov was author of the 1937 book Defense of the USSR, which lauded dictator Josef Stalin as a preeminent military genius.

The man who called Stalin by the nickname of Koba and was in turn termed by him the Soviet Union’s “top marksman” for his prowess with firearms was also a member of both the Presidium and Politburo, the ruling bodies of the Communist Party a member of the GKO, or State Committee of Defense and people’s commissar of military and naval affairs from 1925-1940.

Termed “a political general rather than a professional soldier” by noted English Kremlinologist author Edward Crankshaw, “he had a long career, marked by vainglory, folly, and durable good luck.” Within high Communist Bolshevik circles, many called him “the Party boy,” due to his long ties to Stalin, whom he claimed to have met at a Communist Party congress at Stockholm in 1906.

Stalin himself said that he did not remember and, in his more famous paranoid years toward the end of his life, asserted that his deputy had actually been an English spy during the period of 1938-1948. Nikita S. Khrushchev, who rose to lead the Soviet Union, called the assertion “stupidity.”

Nevertheless, Stalin took the man whom Red leader Lazar Kaganovich called “that sly old bastard” with him to the conference at Teheran, Iran, in 1943 where British Prime Minister Winston Churchill presented the Soviet leader with the famed Sword of Stalingrad, given to the Russian people by King George VI in honor of their incredible valor against the Germans.

Stalin picked up the sword with both hands and, holding it horizontally, kissed the scabbard. He then handed it to Marshal Voroshilov, as the blade slid from its sheath and clattered loudly onto the floor. It was considered to be a bad omen, and yet Voroshilov, whose military codename was Yefremov, managed to survive the incident, just as he did everything else over the course of his remarkable career under Stalin and his volatile successors.

Voroshilov’s Wide Renown

The most incredible aspect of Marshal Voroshilov’s meteoric career was that he began it with no military experience at all, having spent World War I during 1914-1916 as an exempt armaments factory lathe worker who was an undercover Bolshevik agent while singing in one company’s choir and working as a machinist at several other locations.

After the Bolsheviks succeeded in taking over the government following the Great October Revolution of 1917, Voroshilov allied himself to Stalin in the Battle of Tsaritsyn during the subsequent Civil War and served as a cavalry commander under his later fellow marshal, Semyon Budenny, another longtime Stalinist crony.

With the breaking of the siege of the rival White Army, Voroshilov found himself an enduring hero of the Civil War, even though he was defeated outside Warsaw in 1920 by Polish Marshal Josef Pilsudski.

Called “the child of Stalin’s military genius,” Voroshilov sang (literally!) his master’s praises and survived along with Budenny long after Stalin’s death in 1953. Their rival Leon Trotsky called Voroshilov “a hearty and impudent fellow, not overly intellectual, but shrewd and unscrupulous, a conscientious worker with an excellent understanding of the organization of the 10th Army.”

The famed first marshal was widely lauded by Soviet propagandists as unafraid of bullets, easy in the company of writers and artists, a Hero of the Soviet Union and Hero of Labor, one of Stalin’s “Magnates,” and hailed as a knight in ballads. The novel The Red Eagle was written about Voroshilov, who was portrayed on Russian trading cards for children like an American baseball star and was touted as “the most popular hero in the Bolshevik pantheon, the most illustrious of the Soviet grandees,” according to Stalin biographer Simon Sebag Montefiore.

British Field Marshal Alan Brooke rightly called Voroshilov “an attractive personality who owed his life to his wits,” and that was definitely true, while his Kremlin colleague Khrushchev admitted, “He certainly was loyal and honest,” particularly with Stalin.

Soviet Premier Josef Stalin and Marshal Kliment Voroshilov share a lighter moment during a conversation.

Soviet Foreign Minister Vyachelsav Molotov, who outlived all the old Bolsheviks of the Lenin-Stalin era, asserted that the Soviet dictator never completely trusted Voroshilov, nor anyone else, for that matter, and Voroshilov in turn was never completely sold on Stalin either.

Nevertheless, Molotov concluded, “He performed well at critical moments,” such as being Stalin’s closest aide during the purges against the peasant Kulak class and, later, in decimating the upper officer tiers of the Red Army.

Indeed, First Marshal Voroshilov helped Stalin kill fully 4,000 of his own officer corps, crippling it just before the onset of a series of wars with the fascist powers.

An Incomprehension of Modern Mechanized Warfare

Stalin’s secretary, B. Bashanov, characterized Voroshilov as “Quite a man, full of himself,” and indeed he was that, too, basking in the full glare of the public limelight with his many medals and decorations. The marshal swilled vodka with artists and generally lived the high old life of the former czarist landed gentry.

The first marshal had a huge, ostentatious country home that was modeled on the Livadia Palace at Yalta in the Crimea on the Black Sea, as indeed, all the top Soviet leaders did during the Stalin era.

“Klim” loved being painted on horseback, flashing saber in hand, in full-length, life-sized portraits by the Kremlin’s court painter, Gerasamlinov, and critics charged that he spent more time thus portrayed than doing his job at the Commissariat of Defense.

General Sergei M. Shtemenko, a future chief of staff of the Warsaw Pact alliance, called Voroshilov “a man of education and culture, something of a showman, exuding cordiality and bonhomie, making a parade of his courage, and thinking that he would be better received by the Terek and Kuban Cossack infantry by riding out to inspect them on a horse.”

Like his fellow Marshals Budenny and Stalin, Voroshilov comprehended the infantry, cavalry, and armored-train tactics of the civil war era and Russo-Polish War of 1920 far better than he did that of the mechanized warfare of tanks and armored divisions, and therein lay the seeds of his defeats in both the Russo-Finnish War and World War II.

A successful practitioner in the latter, Marshal Ivan Konev, said of his former chief that he was “a man of inexhaustible courage, but incapable of understanding modern warfare.” Harshly criticized both during and after the wars, Voroshilov always landed on his feet, however, and he was always assigned to other high-level posts.

Loyalty and Results

As a sort of Soviet Hermann Göring and Albert Speer combined, the first marshal in his pre-World War II years was responsible for building up the Army and Navy as well as industry with Stalin to prepare for what both saw as the inevitable war against fascism.

Noted Soviet military writer Dmitri Volkogonov was very critical, defining Voroshilov as mediocre straight out, having but two years of formal schooling, beginning as a Chekist secret policeman during the revolution, and becoming Stalin’s willing stooge and toady, thus being placed in important high military commands “with having never worn a uniform … and lacking the least military knowledge”

What mattered first and always to Stalin was loyalty and getting the desired results. Voroshilov excelled in the former and produced admirably in the latter category, at least until the Japanese killed 3,000 soldiers in the Far East in August 1938, the Soviet Union stumbled badly during the 105-day war with tiny Finland during 1939-1940, and the Red Army was smashed by the German Wehrmacht during 1941-1943.

According to Volkogonov, First Marshal Voroshilov was also the father of both chemical and biological warfare in Russia. His house of cards began collapsing in 1939, though, with the stunning initial defeats of the Red Army by far-outnumbered Finland during the early stages of the Winter War debacle that left 70,000 known dead Red Army soldiers in the frozen snow and ice, a harbinger of what later happened to the German Army in Russia.

“His Negligence Was Criminal”

Born Janury 23, 1891, the son of a railway worker and a milkmaid, the future first marshal came out of the Russian Civil War with a strong belief in irregular partisan forces, as opposed to a regular army, and found the means for his resurrection militarily by the end of 1942 by being appointed head of all partisan forces fighting behind the lines of the vast German invasion front that extended across the width of the Soviet Union and for hundreds of miles back toward the borders of the Third Reich.

He had thus reinvented himself once more.

Having concluded the unsuccessful 1939 diplomatic negotiations with the lukewarm British and French for an alliance against Hitler that did not materialize, the first marshal conducted vastly positive Lend-Lease talks with the United States, greatly assisting Russia in the war.

Indeed, in 1954, the then party general secretary, Nikita Khrushchev, included Voroshilov in his first summit talks with the West at Geneva. As Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and head of state, President Voroshilov was present five years later during the famous Moscow “kitchen debate” between Khrushchev and U.S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon, seen worldwide on television.

According to author Anthony Beevor’s Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942-43, during the cataclysmic Winter War against Finland’s Marshal Baron Carl Gustav Mannerheim, Voroshilov showed “an astonishing lack of imagination.”

Khrushchev was an even more vocal, scathing critic in his 1970 memoirs, Khruschchev Remembers: “I put the principal blame on Voroshilov for the Finnish War … His negligence was criminal … As Commissar of Defense, he was ill prepared, careless, and lazy,” much like the later Reichsmarshall Göring, whom Voroshilov closely resembled as a pompous show-off in many respects. Khrushchev, however, was quick to remind his readers that Stalin was equally at fault.

In the end, Voroshilov was relieved of command, and his post of commissar of defense was given instead to Marshal Semyon K. Timoshenko on May 8, 1940, two days before Nazi Germany launched its Western Offensive against the Allies. The Finns were defeated and the war brought to a satisfactory conclusion. Stalin, asserted Khrushchev, kept Voroshilov “around as a whipping boy,” but the latter stood his ground.

Voroshilov in Leningrad

Yet again the first marshal survived. Next, he turned up as chief of the Leningrad High Command during the summer battles with the Germans from July to September 1941. Andrei Zhadanov served as his Communist Party political commissar, the joint commander who had to endorse all his military decisions in a cumbersome dual command process that existed throughout the Red Army at that time.

Thus, the 60-year-old marshal could be found, pistol in hand, personally leading the feared Red Marines, with their famed black wool capes, into repeated actions against the enemy, only to be repulsed by the Germans time and again. Once more Stalin, who generally called Voroshilov’s headquarters at Smolny after midnight, relieved him for what he claimed was his “passiveness,” replacing him with Marshal Georgi Zhukov. In 1975, stated Molotov in an interview, “I dismissed Voroshilov. He spent all his time in the trenches.”

In his swan song, Voroshilov told his staff officers, “Farewell, comrades! They have called me to headquarters. Well, I’m old, and it has to be. This isn’t the Civil War! It has to be fought another way, but don’t doubt for a minute that we are going to smash those fascist bastards right here! Their tongues are already hanging out for our city, but they will choke on their own blood!”

In the end, he was right, and the siege of Leningrad was lifted after 900 days by the resurgent Red Army.

Unrepentant Stalinist, Mass Murderer

Kliment Voroshilov.

Following the end of the war and Stalin’s death in March 1953, Voroshilov played a waiting game to see who would emerge as his successor: NKVD Secret Police Chief Laventi P. Beria, or Khrushchev. In the end, he joined with the latter and Marshal Zhukov, after which the brutal, murderous Beria was removed from power and shot for his crimes.

When Khrushchev denounced Stalinist crimes in his famous “Secret Speech” at the 20th Party Congress in Moscow in 1956, the old first marshal vigorously berated the new leader for fear that the retribution for the former evil would encompass the rest of the Soviet leadership. “We’ll be taken to task!” he wailed. “We’ll still be made to pay!” but no one came to arrest, try, and shoot the former cavalry general. Once again, the wily old first marshal had survived.

Although he was made to admit many of his past “errors” publicly in true Communist Party style and kowtow to Khrushchev in private, Voroshilov remained titular president of the Soviet Union until 1960 and therefore head of state on par with U.S. presidents and the king and queen of England. It was in this capacity that the president of the Soviet Union traveled to confer with Premier Chou En-lai of the People’s Republic of China at Beijing.

In April 1962, President Voroshilov was reelected to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet yet again. He remained to the end an unrepentant Stalinist politically. He was also an unrepentant international mass murderer, since on March 8, 1940, he signed the death warrants of 22,000 murdered Polish officers found by the Nazis in the Katyn Forest in 1943.

A Death of Natural Causes

The old Bolshevik died at age 89 on December 2, 1969, having outlived both Lenin and Stalin and also witnessing the fall of Khrushchev in 1964 in a bloodless Kremlin coup. He had survived them all and died in bed of natural causes so far as is known—no mean feat during his bloody era.

Since his death, historians of both East and West have been uniformly critical of the proud first marshal, who once ordered a cowed subordinate to kiss his boots.

Dmitri Volkogonov had the harshest barbs: “The most mediocre, faceless, and intellectually dim … no intellectual power, genuine civic feeling, vision, or moral stature … An historical accident raised him to the highest level of State power … lacking in the least military knowledge … He blamed others … Had neither strategic thinking, nor operational vision, nor organizational ability.”

During his lifetime, Voroshilov had many mistresses. His wife died in 1959, and at his retirement in 1960 he was succeeded by a later marshal, Leonid Brezhnev. The pensioner retained his Moscow apartment, a country house, chauffered limousines, bodyguards, doctors, and servants.

All things considered, the nonsoldier had not done entirely badly for himself.


Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov

Soviet statesman and marshal. One of the oldest of the Bolsheviks, he became president (1953–60) after Stalin's death.

Born in Verkhne, Dnepropetrovsk, the son of a miner, Voroshilov worked in the mines as a child before attending school. He later worked in a locomotive factory, from which he was dismissed for organizing a strike (1899). In 1903, while employed as an electrical fitter, he became chairman of the Lugansk branch of the Social Democratic Party (1905), joining the Bolsheviks in 1906. He worked in munitions factories during World War I before fighting in the civil war, in which he distinguished himself in 1919 as a commander at Tsaritsyn (now Volgograd). Now settled in a military career, he served in the Polish-Russian war (1920), fought in the Far East (1921), and became military commander of North Caucasus (1922).

Voroshilov was appointed people's commissar for naval and military affairs and chairman of the revolutionary committee in 1925. Elected a member of the Politburo the same year, he became people's commissar for defence (1934–40) and was appointed chairman of the Committee for State Defence (1941–44) during World War II. After the war he continued to be a member of the Politburo, although he gradually lost his influence with Stalin. When Stalin died in 1953, Voroshilov became chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (president), a position he retained until 1960, when he was succeeded by Brezhnev. Although he was implicated in the attempt to oust Khrushchev in 1957, he later published a defence of his foreign policy in Pravda.


Why Soviet people didn't believe Stalin was a murderer and tyrant

Despite the rumors, he was no stranger to common feelings. Joseph Stalin is smiling in this photo taken in the 1930s.

Not quite the usual attire of Soviet leaders. Joseph Stalin with Marshal of the Soviet Union Kliment Voroshilov (L) and Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Molotov are dressed in oriental national costumes from Central Asia.

Even Stalin needed to rest sometimes. The photo was taken in the 1920s.

Joseph Stalin and his second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva (right), are pictured here picnicking with friends in the early 1920s.

Stalin with Felix Dzerzhinsky, nicknamed Iron Felix, director of the OGPU Soviet secret police. The photo was taken in 1924.

Informal communication was very important, and Joseph Stalin had it down to a fine art. He is posing here with a group of delegates to the 1st Congress of Shock Collective Farmers in 1930.

Joseph Stalin and Kliment Voroshilov are dressed in national costumes that were presented to them during a meeting with delegations from the Tajik and Turkmen Soviet Republics in 1935.

Nothing human is alien to me. The Father of Nations is captured on film fooling around.

A laughing Joseph Stalin and Kliment Voroshilov (right) with a troubled-looking delegate from Tajikistan (center) at the 2nd Congress of Shock Collective Farmers. His feelings are easy to understand. It&rsquos not every day you get a chance to meet the mighty leader of the Soviet empire.

Joseph Stalin and Soviet statesman Anastas Mikoyan (right) on vacation.

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Biography

Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov was born on 4 February 1881 in Verkhnye, Yekaterinoslav Governorate, Russian Empire (present-day Lysychansk, Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine) to an ethnic Russian family. He joined the Bolsheviks in 1905 and led the Soviet Southern Front and the Soviet 1st Cavalry Army during the Russian Civil War and the Polish-Soviet War, and he was unable to prevent defeats at the hands of Poland or murderous violence against Jews by the cavalry. Voroshilov was a close ally of Joseph Stalin in the Military Council, which was led by Stalin's rival Leon Trotsky, and he became a Politburo member in 1926. In 1935, he was promoted to Marshal of the Soviet Union by Stalin, and he proceeded to denounce his own colleagues and subordinates during the Great Purge in order to stay in Stalin's good graces.

Voroshilov served as People's Commissar for Defense (Minister of Defense) from 1925 to 1940, but he was removed from command after the Red Army suffered 185,000 losses in the Winter War with Finland. Stalin scapegoated Voroshilov, who retorted by telling Stalin that he had killed the Red Army's greatest generals in the purge, and he smashed a platter of roasted pig in an outburst which cost him his job. Voroshilov became a member of the general headquarters in mid-1941, but his failure to halt the German drive on Leningrad during World War II ended his active field command. He spent the remainder of the war in various staff positions and attending several inter-Allied conferences.

After World War II, Voroshilov survived the anti-Stalinist purges of Nikita Khrushchev, and he retired in 1960. He briefly served as the figurehead leader of the Soviet government from 1953 to 1960, and he died in Moscow in 1969.


Personal life [ edit | edit source ]

Voroshilov was married to Ekaterina Davidovna, born Golda Gorbman, who came from a Jewish Ukrainian family from Mardarovka. She changed her name when she converted to Orthodox Christianity in order to be allowed to marry Voroshilov. They met while both exiled in Arkhangelsk, where Ekaterina was sent in 1906. While both serving on the Tsaritsyn Front in 1918, where Ekaterina was helping orphans, they adopted a four year old orphan boy who they named Petya. ⎛] They also adopted the children of Mikhail Frunze following his death in 1925. During Stalin's rule they lived in the Kremlin at the Horse Guards. ⎜]

His personality as it was described by Molotov in 1974: "Voroshilov was nice, but only in certain times. He always stood for the political line of the party, because he was from a working class, a common man, very good orator. He was clean, yes. And he was personally devoted to Stalin. But his devotion was not very strong. However in this period he advocated Stalin very actively, supported him in everything, though not entirely sure in everything. It also affected their relationship. This is a very complex issue. This must be taken into account to understand why Stalin treated him critically and not invited him at all our conversations. At last at private one. But he came himself. Stalin frowned. Under Khrushchev, Voroshilov behaved badly". ⎝]


Watch the video: Forgotten Leaders. Episode 2. Kliment Voroshilov. Documentary. English Subtitles. StarMediaEN


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