- Historical date:
- 7. March 1943
On this day in 1943 Stalin became Marshal of the Soviet Union. He took this formerly highest rank relatively late. Namely, in 1943 Stalin was already in power almost twenty years. Since the year 1922, he held the position of the General Secretary of the Communist Party. Since 1941 he was also the People’s Commissar for Defense, as well as the prime minister of the Soviet Union (with the title of Chairman of the Council of Ministers).
The rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union was created back in 1935, when first five marshals were appointed (Tukhachevsky, Budyonny, Voroshilov, Yegorov, and Blyukher). Later, Timoshenko, Kulik, Shaposhnikov, Zhukov, and Vasilevsky also became marshals before Stalin. Thus, Stalin was only the 11th consecutive Marshal of the Soviet Union. However, in 1945 after the end of World War II, Stalin was granted a more senior rank – Generalissimus of the Soviet Union. He was the first and only man in the USSR to hold that rank. However, he refused to officially approve the rank.