Took part in World War I. As a soldier in the Russian Expeditionary Corps in France, acted as a Bolshevik organizer. Joined the Red Army, 1919. Active in the Civil War.
Took part in the Spanish Civil War, later taught at the Frunze Academy. Commander of several southern fronts during World War II. Khrushchev’s choice for Minister of Defence after Zhukov’s dismissal, a post he held from 1957-1967.