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Aleksei Innokentievich Antonov Edit Profile

general , military

Aleksei Innokentievich Antonov was a General of the Soviet Army, awarded the Order of Victory for his efforts in World War II.


Aleksei Antonov was born in 9 September, 1896 in Grodno in a family of Kryashen


In June 1941 he was promoted to general major, one of the “new men” filling the vacuum created by the Great Purges. After being an assistant to Vatutin and deputy in the Kiev Special MD for two months, Antonov was CofS of the Southern Front (Aug 1941 -July 1942). Promoted in Dec 1941, Gen Lt Antonov was CofS North Caucasus Front (July-Aug 42), of the Black Sea Group of Forces, and of the Transcaucasus Front (Nov-Dec 1942).

Ordered to Moscow, he was first deputy CGS and chief of operations under Vasilevsky from Dec 42 until relieved by Shtemenko on 25 May 1943. He was promoted to General of the Army (No. 8) on 27 Aug 1943. During the frequent absences of Vasilevsky, who spent 22 of the 34 war months at the front, Antonov bore full responsibility as CGS. On 17 Feb 1945 he replaced Vasilevsky as CGS, serving also as a Stavka member.

Antonov, Shaposhnikov, Vasilevsky, and Zhukov were the officers whose judgment Stalin most respected. Antonov frequently signed orders in his own name. But he never became a marshal (MSU), remaining a general of the army for almost 19 years, until retirement, and was passed over by some 20 officers once junior to him. Part of this may be explained by his social background and early service as a tzarist officer, but Volkogonov believes that Beria carried out a whispering campaign that caused Stalin to withhold promotion although the dictator probably knew the charges were bogus.

In 1946 Antonov was demoted to his former post as Vasilevsky’s deputy. Two years later he was further reduced to 1st Deputy Commander of the Transcaucasus MD but stepped up to be commander in 1950. After the deaths of Stalin and Beria, Antonov once again was first deputy CGS (Apr 54). The next year, when the Warsaw Pact was formed, he served as its CofS as an additional duty. Antonov died in office on 18 June 1962 at the age of 66 and was buried in the Kremlin Wall.


ecause he was not of peasant origin, was an ex-Tzarist officer, and perhaps also because he was believed to be Jewish, Antonov was not allowed to join the CP until 1928. That year he was admitted to the Frunze MA, graduating from there in 1931 and from the Military Academy of the GS in 1937. Meanwhile Antonov had held high staff positions in the Kharkov MD (1933-36) and was a lecturer at the Frunze MA, 1938-40. (Bialer, 628.)


Olga Vasiliyevna Lepeshinskaya