Stavka

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The Stavka (Russian : Ставка) was the high command of the armed forces in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. In Imperial Russia Stavka refers to the administrative staff, and to the General Headquarters in the late 19th Century Imperial Russian armed forces and subsequently in the Soviet Union. In Western literature it is sometimes written in uppercase (STAVKA), which is incorrect since it is not an acronym. Stavka may refer to its members, as well as to the headquarter location (its original meaning from the old Russian word ставка – Tent).

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, over two decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.

Russian Empire Former country, 1721–1917

The Russian Empire, also known as Imperial Russia or simply Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 30 December 1922 to 26 December 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk.

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Stavka of the Commander-in-chief during World War I

Alexandra Fyodorovna, Tsarevitch Alexei and Nicholas II arriving at the Stavka Bulla TsarFamilyinStavka.jpg
Alexandra Fyodorovna, Tsarevitch Alexei and Nicholas II arriving at the Stavka

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, with Mikhail Alekseyev as his chief of staff. In the years 1915–1917 Stavka was based in Mogilev and the Tsar, Nicholas II, spent long periods there as Commander-in-Chief.

The military history of the Russian Empire encompasses the history of armed conflict in which the Russian Empire participated. This history stretches from its creation in 1721 by Peter the Great, until the Russian Revolution (1917), which led to the establishment of the Soviet Union. Much of the related events involve the Imperial Russian Army, Imperial Russian Navy, and from the early twentieth century, the Imperial Russian Air Service.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Tsar title given to a male monarch in Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia

Tsar, also spelled czar, or tzar, is a title used to designate East and South Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers of Eastern Europe, originally Bulgarian monarchs from 10th century onwards. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism. The term is derived from the Latin word Caesar, which was intended to mean "Emperor" in the European medieval sense of the term—a ruler with the same rank as a Roman emperor, holding it by the approval of another emperor or a supreme ecclesiastical official —but was usually considered by western Europeans to be equivalent to king, or to be somewhat in between a royal and imperial rank.

The Stavka was divided into several departments:

The Stavka was first established in Baranovichi. In August 1915, after the German advance, the Stavka re-located to Mogilev.

Mogilev Place

Mogilev is a city in eastern Belarus, about 76 kilometres from the border with Russia's Smolensk Oblast and 105 km from the border with Russia's Bryansk Oblast. As of 2011, its population was 360,918, up from an estimated 106,000 in 1956. It is the administrative centre of Mogilev Region and the third largest city in Belarus.

Chiefs of staff

Nikolai Yanushkevich Nikolai Yanushkevich.jpg
Nikolai Yanushkevich
Nikolai Yanushkevich Russian general

Nikolai Nikolaevich Yanushkevich 13 May [O.S. 1 May] 1868 – 1918) was a Russian General who served as Chief of Staff of the General Headquarters (Stavka) of the Imperial Russian Army from August 1914 to September 1915.

Mikhail Alekseyev russian general of infantery

Mikhail Vasilyevich Alekseyev was an Imperial Russian Army general during World War I and the Russian Civil War. Between 1915 and 1917 he served as Tsar Nicholas II's Chief of Staff of the Stavka, and after the February Revolution, was its commander-in-chief under the Russian Provisional Government from March to May 1917. He later played a principal role in founding the Volunteer Army in the Russian Civil War and died in 1918 of heart failure while fighting the Bolsheviks in the Volga region.

Vasily Gurko Russian general

Vasily Iosifovich Romeyko-Gurko served for a brief period as a Chief-of-Staff of the Imperial Russian Army before being forced out of the country in exile following the October Revolution of 1917.

Stavka of the RKKA during World War II

The Stavka of the Soviet Armed Forces during World War II, or the headquarters of the "Main Command of the Armed Forces of the USSR" (Stavka Glavnogo Komandovaniya) (Russian: Ставка Главного Командования Вооруженных Сил Союза ССР), was established on 23 June 1941 by a top-secret decree signed by Joseph Stalin in his capacities both as the head of government and as the leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. According to this decree Stavka was composed of the defence minister Marshal Semyon Timoshenko (as its president), the head of General Staff Georgy Zhukov, Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Marshal Kliment Voroshilov, Marshal Semyon Budyonny and the People's Commissar (Narkom) of the Navy Admiral Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov.

Red Army 1917–1946 ground and air warfare branch of the Soviet Unions military

The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, frequently shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution. The Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; taking the official name of "Soviet Army", until its dissolution in December 1991.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Joseph Stalin Soviet leader

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician. He led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and Premier (1941–1953). While initially presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, he ultimately consolidated enough power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin helped to formalise these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies became known as Stalinism.

The same decree organized at Stavka "the institution of permanent counsellors of Stavka" : Marshal Kulik, Marshal Shaposhnikov, Kirill Meretskov, head of the Air force Zhigarev, Nikolay Vatutin, head of Air Defence Voronov, Mikoyan, Kaganovich, Lavrenty Beria, Voznesensky, Zhdanov, Malenkov, Mekhlis.

Grigory Kulik Marshal of the Soviet Union

Grigory Ivanovich Kulik was a Soviet military commander and Marshal of the Soviet Union.

Boris Shaposhnikov Marshal of the Soviet Union

Boris Mikhaylovich Shaposhnikov was a Soviet military commander, Chief of the Staff of the Red Army, and Marshal of the Soviet Union.

Kirill Meretskov Soviet military commander

Kirill Afanasievich Meretskov was a Soviet military commander. Having joined the Communist Party in 1917, he served in the Red Army from 1920. During the Winter War, he was responsible for penetrating the Mannerheim Line as commander of the 7th Army. He was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union shortly afterwards.

Very soon afterwards, the deputy defence minister of the army, Meretskov, was arrested following false charges made by Beria and Merkulov. Meretskov was subsequently released from jail on the same day, at the end of the first week of September 1941, which was called for by Stalin.[ clarification needed ]

Stavka's Main Command was reorganized into the Stavka of the Supreme Command (Stavka Verkhovnogo Komandovaniya) [1] on 10 July 1941. This action occurred after Stalin was named Supreme Commander, and replaced Timoshenko as head of Stavka. On 8 August 1941 it was again reorganized into Stavka of the Supreme Main Command (Stavka Verkhovnogo Glavnokomandovaniya).

On the same day Strategic Directions commands were instituted.

A 17 February 1945 decree set out the membership of Stavka as Stalin (President), Zhukov, Aleksandr Vasilevsky, Aleksei Antonov, Nikolai Bulganin and Kuznetsov.

See also

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