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Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov

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My whole life is linked with the Soviet Navy. I made my choice when I was young and never regretted it.

Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov was born on July 24, 1904. In 1919 he joined the Northern Dvina Naval Flotilla, adding two years to his age to be accepted. His military service records accordingly give the year of his birth as 1902, but Kuznetsov later freely admitted that he lied. In 1924, as a member of a naval unit he attended the funeral ceremony of Vladimir I. Lenin[?]. That same year he joined the Communist Party.

Upon completion of the Frunze Naval School in 1926, Kuznetsov served in the cruiser Chervona Ukraina[?], first as watch officer and then as First lieutenant.

When Kuznetsov then completed the operations department of Naval College in 1932, roblems bearing on the development of the navy and operational-tactical employment of naval forces were no longer of an abstract character to him. Upon graduation he was offered the option of a staff job or commanding officer of a ship. Believing that it would be unwise to skip the job of executive officer, he requested and received the position of executive officer of the cruiser Krasny Kavkaz[?]. One year later he earned early promotion. In the beginning of 1934 he became commanding officer of his first ship, Chervona Ukraina.

From September 5, 1936 to August 15, 1937, Kuznetsov was naval attache and chief naval advisor in Spain, where developed a loathing for fascism. When he returned home, he was appointed deputy commander and then commander of the Pacific Fleet. On April 28, 1939, not yet 35 years old, he became the People's Commissar (Minister) of the Navy, a post he would hold through the Great Patriotic War. At the end of the war, he was made a Hero of the Soviet Union at 41 years old. From March 21, 1946 to February 19, 1947 he was the Deputy Minister of the USSR Armed Forces and Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Forces. On July 20, 1951 he rose to Minister of the Navy of the USSR, and on March 16, 1953 became the First Deputy Minister of Defence of the USSR and Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Forces.

On December 8, 1955, after the loss of the battleship Novorossiisk in the harbor of Sevastopol. Kuznetsov was removed from his post, and in February 1956, he was demoted to the rank of vice-admiral and retired.

Even after retirement he continued to serve the Navy. He wrote excellent memoirs and many articles and essays which were published in a number of journals. In these works he gave insight into the development of the Soviet Navy[?], its problems, and the role it played in the destruction of fascism.

He died 1974.

On July 26, 1988 the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet reinstated Kuznetsov in his former rank of Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union.

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