Kirill Meretskov file photo [33072]

Kirill Meretskov

SurnameMeretskov
Given NameKirill
Born7 Jun 1897
Died30 Dec 1968
CountryRussia
CategoryMilitary-Ground
GenderMale

Contributor:

ww2dbaseKirill Afanasievich Meretskov was born in 1897 in Nazaryevo, Ryazan Governorate, Russian Empire. In 1909, at the age of 12, he began working at a factory. He joined the Bolsheviks, later the Communist Party, in Aug 1917, and in 1918 joined the Red Army. During the Russian Civil War, he was chief of staff of a regiment, and later a division. In 1921, he graduated from the military academy that would later become the Military Academy Name After M. V. Frunze in Moscow, Russia. In the 1920s and 1930s, he served in various positions in the Red Army, and participated in the Spanish Civil War under the pseudonym of "General Pavlovich".

ww2dbaseIn 1939, Meretskov was made the commanding officer of the Leningrad Military District at the rank of Komandarm 2nd Rank, which was equivalent to lieutenant general. When the Soviet Union invaded Finland during the Winter War of 1939-1940, Leningrad Military District was initially the primary force responsible for breaching the Finnish defenses. When the Soviet progress became far slower than originally planned, Meretskov was demoted in Dec 1939 he lead the 7th Army. He redeemed himself in Feb 1940 when the 7th Army, now heavily reinforced with heavy artillery and additional men, played a main role in the breaching of the Finnish defensive Mannerheim Line; for this, he would be made a Hero of the Soviet Union in Apr 1940. Between Aug 1940 and Jan 1941, he served as the Chief of the General Staff, then he briefly retired from military service, becoming a Deputy People's Commissar. When Germany turned against its former friend, the Soviet Union, in Jun 1941, Meretskov was arrested by the NKVD on the suspicion that he might be a traitor. He was tortured at the Lubyanka Prison in Moscow for about two months, and then signed a confession under duress; his case file was destroyed in 1955. Considered rehabilitated, he was made the commanding officer of the 7th Separate Army, and then made the commanding officer of the 4th Army deployed in defense of Leningrad, Russia. In Dec 1941, his 4th Army played a part in the recapture of Tikhvin, Russia about 180 kilometers east of Leningrad. From 1942 to Feb 1944, he was the commanding officer of the newly formed Volkhov Front; while holding this role he was awarded the Order of Suvorov 1st Class for his role in the opening of the "Road of Life" supply route into Leningrad. In Feb 1944, he was made the commanding officer of the Karelian Front; while in this role, due to his successes at Petrozavodsk, Petsamo, and others, he was promoted to the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union. In Apr 1945, he was made the commanding officer of the 1st Far East Front. In this role, he led the front into Japanese-held northeastern China during the Manchurian Strategic Offensive. Meretskov's decisiveness was a key factor in breaking the Japanese defensive positions near Harbin between 9 and 15 Aug 1945.

ww2dbaseAfter the Japanese surrender, Meretskov remained in northeastern China and assisted the establishment of Chinese and Korean political units; he was quoted as being one of the Soviets that helped built Korean communist Kim Il Sung's future political career. Returning to Russia, he was made the commander of the Moscow Military District between 1947 and 1949, and then went on to serve in similar roles in a number of military districts through 1955. Between 1955 and 1964, he was the Inspector-General Ministry of Defense. He passed away in 1968. His ashes were buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.

ww2dbaseSources:
Vesa Nenye, Finland at War
Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Jun 2024

Kirill Meretskov Interactive Map

Photographs

General Kirill Meretskov speaking to Senior Lieutenant A. P. Silantyev (right) who had shot down a German Bf 109 fighter that had just attempted to attack MeretskovMajor Vladimir Meretskov and Marshal Kirill Meretskov, Russia, Mar 1945Marshals of the Soviet Union Kirill Meretskov, Rodion Malinovsky, and Alexandr Vasilevsky at Zhoushuizi Airfield in Dalian, China, 17 Aug 1945Marshal Kirill Meretskov in the military parade of the 29th anniversary of the October Revolution, Voroshilov (now Ussuriysk), Russia, 1946; the officer behind him was Major Vladimir Meretskov, commanding officer of the 218th Heavy Tank Regiment of Soviet 2nd Tank Division and son of the Marshal

Kirill Meretskov Timeline

7 Jun 1897 Kirill Meretskov was born in Nazaryevo, Ryazan Governorate, Russian Empire. His birth was also recorded as 26 May 1897 in the Old Style calendar.
22 Feb 1928 Kirill Meretskov was awarded his first Order of Red Banner.
3 Jan 1937 Kirill Meretskov was awarded his first Order of Lenin.
22 Feb 1938 Kirill Meretskov was awarded the Twenty Years of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army medal.
2 Mar 1938 Kirill Meretskov was awarded his second Order of Red Banner.
29 Dec 1939 Soviet 163rd Division, trapped in the Finnish village of Suomussalmi for the past 22 days, began evacuating on an ice road over Lake Kiantaj√§rvi; troops of the Finnish 9th Division attacked the rearguard. Meanwhile, in Moscow, Russia, Stalin endorsed Chief of Staff Shaposhnikov's plan for a major attack on Finnish forces on the Karelian Isthmus; Semyon Timoshenko volunteered to lead the offensive as the disgraced Kirill Meretskov was demoted to the commander of the Soviet 7th Army.
21 Mar 1940 Kirill Meretskov was made a Hero of the Soviet Union and was awarded his second Order of Lenin.
14 Jan 1941 Kirill Meretskov briefly retired from military service.
24 Jan 1941 Joseph Stalin met with Kirill Meretskov at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia, and praised his courage but also informing him that he needed to be more decisive and ruthless.
24 Jun 1941 Soviet Deputy Defense Commissar General Kirill Meretskov was arrested by agents of the 3rd NKO Directorate. He would later be cleared of suspicion in Sep 1941 and was given front line command once again.
13 Nov 1941 General Kirill Meretskov attacked German troops at Tikhvin, Russia with Soviet 4th, 52nd, and 54th Armies.
5 Dec 1941 Soviet General Meretskov launched a final assault on German positions in Tikhvin, Russia, which was 110 miles east of Leningrad.
22 Dec 1942 Kirill Meretskov was awarded the For the Defense of Leningrad medal.
27 Aug 1943 Kirill Meretskov was awarded Order of Suvorov 1st Class.
22 Feb 1944 Kirill Meretskov was made the commanding officer of the Karelian Front.
27 Jun 1944 Kirill Meretskov was awarded Order of Kutuzov 1st Class.
26 Oct 1944 Kirill Meretskov was made a Marshal of the Soviet Union.
2 Nov 1944 Kirill Meretskov was awarded his third Order of Lenin.
3 Nov 1944 Kirill Meretskov was awarded his third Order of Red Banner.
5 Dec 1944 Kirill Meretskov was awarded the For the Defence of the Soviet Transarctic medal.
11 Feb 1945 Kirill Meretskov was awarded his fourth Order of Lenin.
9 May 1945 Kirill Meretskov was awarded the For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 medal.
8 Sep 1945 Kirill Meretskov was awarded the Order of Victory.
30 Sep 1945 Kirill Meretskov was awarded the For the Victory over Japan medal.
6 Jun 1947 Kirill Meretskov was awarded his fifth Order of Lenin.
20 Sep 1947 Kirill Meretskov was awarded the In Commemoration of the 800th Anniversary of Moscow medal.
6 Nov 1947 Kirill Meretskov was awarded his fourth Order of Red Banner.
22 Feb 1948 Kirill Meretskov was awarded the 30 Years of the Soviet Army and Navy medal.
16 May 1957 Kirill Meretskov was awarded the In Commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of Leningrad medal.
6 Jun 1957 Kirill Meretskov was awarded his sixth Order of Lenin.
18 Dec 1957 Kirill Meretskov was awarded the 40 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR medal.
7 May 1965 Kirill Meretskov was awarded the Twenty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 medal.
6 Jun 1967 Kirill Meretskov was awarded his seventh Order of Lenin.
26 Dec 1967 Kirill Meretskov was awarded the 50 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR medal.
22 Feb 1968 Kirill Meretskov was awarded the Order of the October Revolution.
30 Dec 1968 Kirill Meretskov passed away in Moscow, Russia.




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More on Kirill Meretskov
Event(s) Participated:
» The Spanish Civil War
» The Winter War
» Siege of Leningrad
» Manchurian Strategic Offensive

Kirill Meretskov Photo Gallery
General Kirill Meretskov speaking to Senior Lieutenant A. P. Silantyev (right) who had shot down a German Bf 109 fighter that had just attempted to attack Meretskov
See all 4 photographs of Kirill Meretskov


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