Soviet Air Forces
The Soviet Air Forces was the official designation of one of the air forces of the Soviet Union. The other was the Soviet Air Defence Forces, the Air Forces were formed from components of the Imperial Russian Air Service in 1917, and faced their greatest test during World War II. The groups were involved in the Korean War, and dissolved along with the Soviet Union itself in 1991–92. Former Soviet Air Forces assets were divided into several air forces of former Soviet republics. March of the Pilots was its anthem, the All-Russia Collegium for Direction of the Air Forces of the Old Army was formed on 20 December 1917. This was a Bolshevik aerial headquarters initially led by Konstantin Akashev and it became the Directorate of the USSR Air Forces on 28 March 1924, and the Directorate of the Workers-Peasants Red Army Air Forces on 1 January 1925. Gradually its influence on aircraft design became greater, from its earliest days, the force mimicked ground forces organization especially in the 1930s, by which time it was made up of air armies, aviation corps, aviation divisions, and aviation regiments.
At first, the I-16 proved superior to any Luftwaffe fighters, the Soviets refused to supply the plane in adequate numbers, and their aerial victories were soon squandered because of their limited use. Later, Bf-109s delivered to Francos Spanish Nationalist air forces secured air superiority for the Nationalists, on 19 November 1939, VVS headquarters was again titled the Main Directorate of the Red Army Air Forces under the WPRA HQ. Between 1933 and 1938, the Soviet government planned and funded missions to break numerous world aviation records, not only did aviation records and achievements become demonstrations of the USSRs technological progress, they served as legitimization of the socialist system. With each new success, Soviet press trumpeted victories for socialism, Soviet media idolized record-breaking pilots, exalting them not only as role models for Soviet society, but as symbols of progress towards the socialist-utopian future. The early 1930s saw a shift in focus away from collectivist propaganda.
In the case of aviation, the government began glorifying people who utilized aviation technology instead of glorifying the technology itself. Pilots such as Valery Chkalov, Georgy Baydukov, Alexander Belyakov, in May 1937, Stalin charged pilots Chkalov and Belyakov with the mission to navigate the first transpolar flight in history. On 20 June 1937, the aviators landed their ANT-25 in Vancouver, a month later, Stalin ordered the departure of a second crew to push the boundaries of modern aviation technology even further. The public reaction to the flights was euphoric. The media called the pilots Bolshevik knights of culture and progress, Soviet citizens celebrated Aviation Day on 18 August with as much zeal as they celebrated the October Revolution anniversary. Literature including poems, short stories, and novels emerged celebrating the feats of the aviator-celebrities, feature films like Victory, Tales of Heroic Aviators, and Valery Chkalov reinforced the positive hero imagery, celebrating the aviators individuality within the context of a socialist government
Order of the Red Banner
The Order of the Red Banner was the first Soviet military decoration. The order was established on 16 September 1918, during the Russian Civil War by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and it was the highest award of Soviet Russia, subsequently the Soviet Union, until the Order of Lenin was established in 1930. Recipients were recognised for extraordinary heroism and courage demonstrated on the battlefield, the order was awarded to individuals as well as to military units, ships and social organizations, and state enterprises. In years it was awarded on the twentieth and again on the thirtieth anniversary of military service without requiring participation in combat. The Russian Order of the Red Banner was established during the Russian Civil War by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of September 16,1918, the first recipient was Vasily Blyukher on September 28,1918. The second recipient was Iona Yakir, during the Civil War there existed similarly named orders and decorations established by the Soviet communist governments of several other constituent and nonconstituent republics.
The August 1,1924 decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee established the all-Soviet Order of the Red Banner for deserving personnel of the Red Army, from 1918 till the late 1930s there was a collective variant - the Revolutionary Red Banner of Honor. This was in the form of a military color awarded to distinguished Red Army, Soviet Air Force and it was more older than the order, having been established on August 3, a month and several weeks before. As a military decoration, The Order of the Red Banner recognised heroism in combat or otherwise extraordinary accomplishments of military valour during combat operations. Before the establishment of the Order of Lenin on April 5,1930, during World War II, under various titles, it was presented both to individuals and to units for acts of extreme military heroism. Nearly all well-known Soviet commanders became recipients of the Order of the Red Banner, the order was awarded to individuals as well as whole formations, which added the prefix Red Banner to their official designations.
Naval vessels flew a special ensign, the Order of the Red Banner was used as a long service award between 1944 and 1958 to mark twenty and thirty years of service in the military, state security, or police. This was surrounded by two golden panicles of wheat, at the bottom were the letters SSSR, additional awards of the Order bore a white enamelled shield with a silver sequence number at the bottom of the obverse. A recipient of three Orders of the Red Banner would wear a badge of the order followed by his second award bearing a number 2. The early variants of the Order were screw back badges to wear on clothing. Later variants hung from a standard Soviet pentagonal mount with a ring through the suspension loop, the mount was covered with an overlapping 24mm wide red silk moiré ribbon with 1. 5mm wide white edge stripes and a 7mm wide white central stripe. The Order of the Red Banner was worn on the side of the chest. If worn in the presence of Orders or medals of the Russian Federation, pavel Dybenko won 3 Orders of the Red Banner, his first in the 1921 bloody suppression of the naval rebellion in Kronstadt, his 2 others in 1922 in the suppression of peasants uprisings
The Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik was a ground-attack aircraft produced by the Soviet Union in large numbers during the Second World War. To Il-2 pilots, the aircraft was simply the diminutive Ilyusha, to the soldiers on the ground, it was the Hunchback, the Flying Tank or the Flying Infantryman. Its postwar NATO reporting name was Bark, the Il-2 aircraft played a crucial role on the Eastern Front. The idea for a Soviet armored ground-attack aircraft dates to the early 1930s, Soviet engines at the time lacked the power needed to provide the heavy aircraft with good performance. Il-2 was designed by Sergey Ilyushin and his team at the Central Design Bureau in 1938, TsKB-55 was a two-seat aircraft with an armoured shell weighing 700 kg, protecting crew, engine and the fuel tank. Standing loaded, the Ilyushin weighed more than 4,700 kg, the prototype TsKB-55, which first flew on 2 October 1939, won the government competition against the Sukhoi Su-6 and received VVS designation BSh-2. The prototypes - TsKB-55 and TskB-57 - were built at Moscow plant #39, the BSh-2 was overweight and underpowered, with the original Mikulin AM-351,022 kW engine designed to give its greatest power outputs at high altitude.
Because of this it was redesigned as the TsKB-57, a lighter design, with the more powerful 1,254 kW Mikulin AM-38 engine. The TsKB-57 first flew on 12 October 1940, the production aircraft passed State Acceptance Trials in March 1941, and was redesignated Il-2 in April. Deliveries to operational units commenced in May 1941, the 23 mm armament of Il-2 was subject to a competition. One of the first 1940 photographs of the Il-2 show it equipped with two MP-623 mm autocannons developed by Yakov Taubin at OKB-16, the MP-6 gun weighed 70 kg and developed an initial muzzle velocity of 900 m/s. It operated on the short recoil principle and had a rate of fire of about 600 rpm, factory trials of the MP-6 gun on the Il-2 were conducted in August 1940. In the early Il-2 prototypes, these guns were fed by 81-round clips, in flight, these clips sometimes became dislodged because of their large surface, which caused them to experience significant aerodynamic pressure. The VYa-23 was declared the winner at this trial, subsequently, in May 1941, development of the MP-6 gun was terminated and Taubin was arrested and summarily executed in October that year.
The Il-2 is a single-engine, propeller-driven, low-wing monoplane of mixed construction with a crew of two, specially designed for assault operations and its most notable feature was the inclusion of armor in an airframe load-bearing scheme. Production early in the war was slow because after the German invasion the aircraft factories near Moscow and his engineers had time to reconsider production methods, and two months after the move Il-2s were again being produced. The tempo was not to Premier Stalins liking, and he issued the following telegram to Shenkman and Tretyakov, As a result, the production of Shturmoviks rapidly gained speed. Stalins notion of the Il-2 being like bread to the Red Army took hold in Ilyushins aircraft plants, the first use in action of the Il-2 was with the 4th ShAP over the Berezina River days after the invasion began
Battle of Berlin
The Battle of Berlin, designated the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviet Union, was the final major offensive of the European theatre of World War II. Following the Vistula–Oder Offensive of January–February 1945, the Red Army had temporarily halted on a line 60 km east of Berlin, on 9 March, Germany established its defence plan for the city with Operation Clausewitz. The first defensive preparations at the outskirts of Berlin were made on 20 March, under the newly appointed commander of Army Group Vistula, General Gotthard Heinrici. When the Soviet offensive resumed on 16 April, two Soviet fronts attacked Berlin from the east and south, while a third overran German forces positioned north of Berlin. Before the main battle in Berlin commenced, the Red Army encircled the city after successful battles of the Seelow Heights, on 23 April General Helmuth Weidling assumed command of the forces within Berlin. The garrison consisted of several depleted and disorganized Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS divisions, along with poorly trained Volkssturm, over the course of the next week, the Red Army gradually took the entire city.
Before the battle was over, Hitler and a number of his followers committed suicide. Starting on 12 January 1945, the Red Army began the Vistula–Oder Offensive across the Narew River, from Warsaw, an operation on a broad front. On the fourth day, the Red Army broke out and started moving west, up to 30 to 40 km per day, taking East Prussia and Poznań, drawing up on a line 60 km east of Berlin along the Oder River. The newly created Army Group Vistula, under the command of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, attempted a counter-attack, the Red Army drove on to Pomerania, clearing the right bank of the Oder River, thereby reaching into Silesia. In the south the Siege of Budapest raged, three German attempts to relieve the encircled Hungarian capital city failed, and Budapest fell to the Soviets on 13 February. Adolf Hitler insisted on a counter-attack to recapture the Drau-Danube triangle, the goal was to secure the oil region of Nagykanizsa and regain the Danube River for future operations, but the depleted German forces had been given an impossible task.
By 16 March, the German Lake Balaton Offensive had failed, on 30 March, the Soviets entered Austria, and in the Vienna Offensive they captured Vienna on 13 April. Between June and September 1944, the Wehrmacht had lost more than a million men, and it lacked the fuel and armaments needed to operate effectively. On 12 April 1945, who had decided to remain in the city against the wishes of his advisers. No plans were made by the Western Allies to seize the city by a ground operation, the major Western Allied contribution to the battle was the bombing of Berlin during 1945. The Soviet offensive into central Germany, what became East Germany, had two objectives, but the overriding objective was to capture Berlin. The two goals were complementary because possession of the zone could not be won quickly unless Berlin were taken, another consideration was that Berlin itself held useful post-war strategic assets, including Adolf Hitler and the German atomic bomb programme
Sergei Rudenko (general)
Serhi Gnatovich Rudenko was a Soviet Marshal of the aviation. A shoemakers son, Rudenko volunteered into the Red Army in 1923, at 1926 he completed his studies in the Leningrad Military Theoretical Flight School and graduated from the Crimea Military Flight Academy a year later. At 1928 he joined the Communist Party, from 1932, Rudenko commanded a reconnaissance squadron. At 1936 he matriculated from the Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy, on January 1941, Rudenko was put in charge of the 31st Air Division of the Western Special Military District, an office he held when Germany invaded the Soviet Union. On November 1941 he was transferred to command the 20th Air Army, on January the following year, Rudenko was made chief of the air component in the Kalinin Front. From April to June he headed the 1st Air Operations Group at the Stavka, on October 1942, Rudenko assumed command over the 16th Air Army. On 11 May 1944 Rudenko was promoted to Colonel-General, on 19 August that year, he was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
Rudenko remained in charge of the 16th Army until February 1947, from December 1948, Rudenko commanded the Soviet Airborne Troops. On September 1949, he became Chief of Staff and First Deputy to the Supreme Commander of the Air Force, at 11 March 1955, he received his final promotion to Marshal of the Aviation. From May 1968 to August 1973, Rudenko headed the Gagarin Military Academy and he was a deputy in the 2nd and 6th Convocations of the Supreme Soviet, and candidate member of the Central Committee in the years 1961-66. Rudenko died on 10 July 1990 and he was buried at Novodevichy Cemetery
Wittstock/Dosse is a town in the Ostprignitz-Ruppin district, in north-western Brandenburg, Germany. It is located in the eastern Prignitz region on the Dosse River near the confluence with its Glinze tributary, Wittstock is situated in a terminal moraine landscape south of the Mecklenburg Lake District. After the incorporation of several villages in December 1993 and again in October 2003. Both districts were still under the overview of the department of Wittstock, since 2005, Herzsprung and Königsberg are parts of the commune Heiligengrabe, so the size of the town decreased. The current districts of Wittstock/Dosse, Wittstock resulted from a Slavic settlement and was first mentioned in the deed of formation for the Bishopric of Havelberg in 946. Obtaining the Stendal town charter on 13 September 1248 from the hands of the Havelberg Prince-bishop Henry I, in 1251, Wittstock received an imprint of the town seal, which was one of the oldest in Brandenburg, too. The Havelberg eraa ended with the Protestant Reformation and the death of the last Catholic Prince-bishop Busso von Alvensleben at Wittstock Castle in 1548, followed by the outbreak of a plague epidemic two years later, Wittstock remained devastated and lost about the half of its population.
The redevelopment of the town was launched by the Great Elector Frederick William in 1658, about 1750, numerous colonists descending from Württemberg and the Palatinate settled the region. Significantly enlarged as a church in the late 13th century and repleted with a carved altar by Claus Berg. The Bishops Castle was greatly restored in the 1990s and today houses a Thirty Years War museum. Much of the late medieval defences still surround the old centre, including a 13th-century gate tower, the Daberburg bergfried north of the town. The walls height, originally 11 metres, today is about 4 to 7 metres
Ribnitz-Damgarten is a town in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, situated on Lake Ribnitz. Ribnitz-Damgarten is in the west of the district Vorpommern-Rügen, the border between the historical regions of Mecklenburg and Pomerania goes directly through the town, with Damgarten being the eastern and Pomeranian part and Ribnitz being the Mecklenburgian. The town is situated between the two Hanseatic cities Rostock and Stralsund, on the mouth of the river Recknitz, the Ribnitzer See, into which the Recknitz empties, is a bay of the Saaler Bodden. The Saaler Bodden in turn is the end of a chain of bays leading to the Baltic Sea. Touristically relevant is Ribnitz-Damgartens situation at the end of the Fischland. The towns name derives in the Slavic settlements Rybanis and Damgor, in ancient times, the Recknitz formed the border between Mecklenburg and Pomerania. At the ford a castle was built about 1200 on the Mecklenburg side, the Danish princes of Rügen responded by erecting a fortress on the opposite side that became the town of Damgarten.
Ribnitz as a town is first documented in 1233, documents point to town privileges under Lübeck law being established before 1257, Damgarten was granted such privileges in 1258 by Jaromar II, Duke of Rügen, as Damechore. In 1934, Walter Bachmann moved his airplane repair and production business from Rostock to Ribnitz, the company was specialized in seaplanes, for which nearness to open water was essential. The Walter-Bachmann-Flugzeugbau KG, as it was called, turned the fishers and farmers town into a seat of war-essential production. The influx of workers for the factory, among other factors, at the same time as the Bachmann works in Pütnitz, near Damgarten, an air force base was built. Like the Bachmann works for Ribnitz, so did they increase Damgartens population, primarily it was a training center for seaplane personnel. After World War II, this became one of the major deployments of the Soviet Air Forces in East Germany. 16th Guards Fighter Aviation Division of 16th Air Army was headquartered at the base from the 1950s until 1993, on the 5th of July,1950, the former towns of Ribnitz and Damgarten were merged.
As both towns councils had previously voted against the merger, it can be supposed that this decision was made under political pressure, Ribnitz-Damgarten calls itself the Bernsteinstadt, due to its history of manufacturing jewelry and other things from amber. With the adoption of said title came the introduction of a new logo, the Bernsteinlogo. It can be seen on the Stadtblatt, an informational paper issued by the town council, the coat of arms shown in the information box is based on the blazon found in the Hauptsatzung of Ribnitz-Damgarten. Today, amber is processed in the so-called Schaumanufaktur, where its processing can be watched by visitors, the resulting jewelry can be bought
4th Air and Air Defence Forces Army
The 4th Air Army was a Soviet Air Force formation and from 1992 to 2009 was part of the Russian Air Force. From 1998 the army was designated the 4th Army of Air Forces and it was first established on 22 May 1942 from the Air Forces of the Soviet Southern Front, and fought on the Eastern Front until 1945. In 1949 it was redesignated the 37th Air Army and it was reformed on 4 April 1968 in Poland, and was active there with the Northern Group of Forces for over twenty years, shifting to the North Caucasus Military District in August 1992. The arrival of the Sukhoi Su-24 drastically changed its tasking in the 1980s, in February 1943 it was reorganized into 46th Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment and in October 1943 it became the 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment. In 1943, the Army supported the Kerch-Eltigen Operation and assisted in the battle for air superiority over the Kuban, two regiments that formed part of the Army, the 57th GIAP and 821st IAP, flew lend-lease Supermarine Spitfires in 1943 for a period.
Alexander Pokryshkin was one of its members, and one of the most successful aces of WW2, on 17 July 1943 the 216 SAD/IAD was redesignated the 9th Guards Fighter Aviation Division. It was commanded by Colonel Alexander Pokryshkin from April 1944 to May 1945, in summer 1944 the Army covered the Separate Coastal Army during the Battle of the Crimea. It was reassigned to the 2nd Belorussian Front and participated in Operation Bagration, the East Prussian Offensive, the East Pomeranian Offensive, overall during the war it flew about 300,000 sorties. After World War II the 4th Air Army remained in Poland, on 22 February 1968, in accordance with a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR the 37th Air Аrmy was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. On 4 April 1968 the 37th Air Аrmy was redesignated again into the 4th Air Army which the army had during the Second World War. After the Su-24s started arriving, as part of General Nikolai Ogarkovs reforms,4 VA became an independent army with operative designation, the 24th Air Army of the South-Western Direction shared that status.
Those were the air force armies with Su-27 fighters, tasked with cover of the Fencers. Over the border in the Kaliningrad Oblast, but still part of the Army, was the 132 Bomber Sevastopol Red Banner Air Division at Chernyakhovsk, following withdrawal from Poland from 1992 it became the aviation component of the North Caucasus Military District. On 22 August 1992, the headquarters of the 4th Red Banner VА was relocated to the city of Rostov-on-Don, on 16 June 1997 the President of the Russian Federation signed the decree About prime measures on reforming Armed forces of the Russian Federation and perfection of their structure. According to that decree, on the basis of the 4th Air Army, the 10th Bombardment Aviation Division, headquartered at Yeysk with up to 90 Su-24s in three regiments was part of the army during the 1990s. At some point between January 2001 and September 2005 the division headquarters disbanded, Yeysk airfield, the previous home of a training aviation institute directing around three regiments of L-39s, was turned over to Russian Naval Aviation in September 2009.
In February 2004 regional command staff trainings took place in Kabardino-Balkaria,02.2006 comd staff exercises jointly with the 58th Army of the North Caucasus Military District. 8 Su-25 took part in Peace Mission 2007 joint Russia-Sino exercises, the commanding officer of the 4th Air Army from February 2007 was Lieutenant General Igor Miroshnichenko
Group of Soviet Forces in Germany
The Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, known as the Group of Soviet Occupation Forces in Germany and the Western Group of Forces were the troops of the Soviet Army in East Germany. The Group of Soviet Occupation Forces in Germany was formed after the end of the Second World War from units of the 1st, the group helped suppress the Uprising of 1953 in East Germany. After the end of occupation functions in 1954 the group was renamed the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, the group represented Soviet interests in East Germany during the Cold War. After changes in Soviet foreign policy during the late 1980s, the group shifted to a defensive role. Russian forces remained in Eastern Germany after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Group of Soviet Occupation Forces, Germany was formed after the end of the Second World War from formations of the 1st and 2nd Belorussian Fronts, commanded by Georgy Zhukov. The 89th Rifle Division was not disbanded and instead transferred to the Caucasus, in January 1946, the 2nd Shock Army left the Soviet Zone.
A month later, the 47th Army was disbanded, with its units withdrawn to the Soviet Union, in October the 5th Shock Army was disbanded. In 1947 the 3rd and 4th Guards Mechanized Divisions, former mechanized armies, in 1954 the 3rd Shock Army became the 3rd Red Banner Combined Arms Army. The 3rd Guards Mechanized Army became the 18th Guards Army on 29 April 1957, on the same day, the 4th Guards Mechanized Army became the 20th Guards Army. After the abolition of the functions in 1954, the Group of Soviet Occupation Forces in Germany became known as the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany on 24 March. The legal basis for the GSVGs stay in East Germany was the Treaty on Relations between the USSR and the GDR of 1955, withdrawals from East Germany in 1956 and 1957/58 comprised more than 70,000 Soviet army personnel, including 18th Army Staff. The GSFG had the task to ensure for the adherence to the regulations of the Potsdam Agreement, they represented the political and military interests of the Soviet Union.
It was specified that the Soviet armed forces were not to interfere into the affairs of the GDR. In the course of Perestroika the GSFG was realigned as a defensive force regarding strength, structure. This entailed a reduction of the tank forces in 1989. The GSFG was renamed the Western Group of Forces on 1 June 1989, the withdrawal of the GSFG was one of the largest peacetime troop transfers in military history. Despite the difficulties, which resulted from the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the same period, between the years of 1992 and 1993, the Western Group of Forces in Germany, halted military exercises. The return of the troops and material took place particularly by the sea route by means of the ports in Rostock, the Russian Ground Forces left Germany on 25 June 1994 with a military parade of the 6th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade in Berlin
East Germany, formally the German Democratic Republic, was an Eastern Bloc state during the Cold War period. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin, but did not include it, as a result, the German Democratic Republic was established in the Soviet Zone, while the Federal Republic was established in the three western zones. East Germany, which lies culturally in Central Germany, was a state of the Soviet Union. Soviet occupation authorities began transferring administrative responsibility to German communist leaders in 1948, Soviet forces, remained in the country throughout the Cold War. Until 1989, the GDR was governed by the Socialist Unity Party, though other parties participated in its alliance organisation. The economy was centrally planned, and increasingly state-owned, prices of basic goods and services were set by central government planners, rather than rising and falling through supply and demand. Although the GDR had to pay war reparations to the USSR. Nonetheless it did not match the growth of West Germany.
Emigration to the West was a significant problem—as many of the emigrants were well-educated young people, the government fortified its western borders and, in 1961, built the Berlin Wall. Many people attempting to flee were killed by guards or booby traps. In 1989, numerous social and political forces in the GDR and abroad led to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the following year open elections were held, and international negotiations led to the signing of the Final Settlement treaty on the status and borders of Germany. The GDR was dissolved and Germany was unified on 3 October 1990, the GDR bordered the Soviet sector of Allied-occupied Berlin known as East Berlin which was administered as the states de facto capital. It bordered the three sectors occupied by the United States, United Kingdom and France known collectively as West Berlin. The three sectors occupied by the Western nations were sealed off from the rest of the GDR by the Berlin Wall from its construction in 1961 until it was brought down in 1989, the official name was Deutsche Demokratische Republik, usually abbreviated to DDR.
West Germans, the media and statesmen purposely avoided the official name and its abbreviation, instead using terms like Ostzone, Sowjetische Besatzungszone. The centre of power in East Berlin was referred to as Pankow. Over time, the abbreviation DDR was used colloquially by West Germans. However, this use was not always consistent, for example, before World War II, Ostdeutschland was used to describe all the territories east of the Elbe, as reflected in the works of sociologist Max Weber and political theorist Carl Schmitt
Stavka is the term used to refer to the high command of the armed forces in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. It was used in Imperial Russia to refer to the administrative staff, in western literature it is sometimes written in uppercase, which is incorrect since the term is not an acronym. The term may be used to refer to its members, as well as to the headquarters location, the commander-in-chief of the Russian army at the beginning of World War I was Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaievitch, a grandson of Tsar Nicholas I. Appointed at the last minute in August 1914, he played no part in formulating the military plans in use at the beginning of the war, Nikolai Yanushkevich was his chief of staff. In the summer of 1915 the Tsar himself took personal command, in the years 1915–1917 Stavka was based in Mogilev and the Tsar, Nicholas II, spent long periods there as Commander-in-Chief. In August 1915, after the German advance, the Stavka re-located to Mogilev, very soon afterwards the deputy defence minister army Meretskov was arrested following the false charges by Beria and Merkulov.
Meretskov was subsequently released from the jail and on the day at the end of the first week of September 1941 was called for by Stalin. Stavka of the Main Command was reorganised into the Stavka of the Supreme Command on 10 July 1941 after Stalin was named Supreme Commander, on 8 August 1941 it was again reorganised into Stavka of the Supreme Main Command. On the same day Strategic Directions commands were instituted, a 17 February 1945 decree set out the membership of Stavka as Stalin, Aleksandr Vasilevsky, Aleksei Antonov, Nikolai Bulganin and Kuznetsov. Creation of the Main Command of the Armed Forces of the Union of USSR