Admiral Kuznetsov held the high position of People’s Commissar (Minister) of the Soviet Navy throughout World War II.
On this day in 1904, Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov was born, the admiral after whom the only Russian aircraft carrier is named today. It is interesting that Kuznetsov was one of only three admirals in the history of the USSR who reached the highest naval rank in that state – that of admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union. Others with the rank were Ivan Isakov (of Armenian descent) and Sergei Gorshkov. The rank of admiral of the Soviet Union fleet was equivalent to the rank of marshal of the Soviet Union.
Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov was born in 1904 in Medvedki, almost 800 kilometers northeast of Moscow, in the direction of the northern Urals. He was only 13 at the time of the October Revolution. As a young man, he joined the Soviet Navy and then the Bolshevik Party. During the Spanish Civil War, he was sent to the Republicans as a naval adviser.
In 1938, Kuznetsov became an officer of admiral rank and commander of the Pacific Fleet. Before the outbreak of World War II, he even became the People’s Commissar (Minister) of the Navy of the Soviet Union, a position he held there throughout the war. At the time of the German attack on the USSR, the navy was, thanks to him, the only one ready to defend itself, unlike other branches of the Soviet armed forces.
In 1944, Kuznetsov became Admiral of the Fleet, and the above-mentioned highest rank of Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union was created only in 1955, after Stalin’s death. In the meantime, Admiral Kuznetsov was proclaimed a hero of the Soviet Union. He died in Moscow in 1974, at the age of 70. The last Soviet class of aircraft carriers, Admiral Kuznetsov, was named after Kuznetsov, of which the carrier of the same name is now active in the Russian Navy, while another carrier from that class was sold to the Chinese in unfinished condition.