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Timoshenko file photo [9210]

Semyon Timoshenko

SurnameTimoshenko
Given NameSemyon
Born18 Feb 1895
Died31 Mar 1970
CountryRussia, Ukraine
CategoryMilitary-Ground
GenderMale

Contributor:

ww2dbaseSemyon Konstantinovich Timoshenko was born into a peasant family in Furmanivka, Bessarabia, Russian Empire (now in Ukraine). In 1915, he was drafted into the army and served as a cavalry soldier during WW1. In 1917, during the Russian civil war, he sympathized with the communist revolutionaries, joining the communist forces in 1918 and the Bolshevik Party in 1919. During the civil war, he met Joseph Stalin in Tsaritsyn (later Stalingrad and then Vogograd), which was to be the foundation for his steady rise in the chain of command as Stalin rose to power later. In the 1920s, Timoshenko between the commander of all cavalry forces in the Russian Army. In 1933, he was named the commanding officer of the Russian Army in Byelorussia. In 1935, he became the commanding officer of the forces in Kiev, Ukraine. In 1937, he was named the commanding officer of forces in the northern Caucasus, and then of Kharkov, Ukraine. In 1938, he returned to Kiev as the commander. In 1939, he was given command of the entire western region of Russia.

ww2dbaseWhen the European War began in Sep 1939, Timoshenko led Russian forces in the invasion of Poland. In Jan 1940, he was assigned to the north to join the already commenced Winter War with Finland; Russian troops turned the tide and pushed through the Finnish defensive Mannerheim Line and led to the Russian victory. In May, he was made a Marshal of the Soviet Union for the victory against Finland, and was made a Hero of the Soviet Union. Between 1940 and 1941, as the People's Commissar for Defense, he was responsible for the introduction of the harsh discipline reminiscent of the Tsarist Army into the military, and also for the modernization of the army by mechanization. When German invaded Russia in Jun 1941, Stalin took over the role of People's Commissar for Defense and sent Timoshenko to the front lines to conduct a fighting retreat toward Smolensk, Russia, where he was able to lead a bulk of the routed army for the defense of Moscow. In Sep, he was transferred to Ukraine to hold the lines against the German onslaught, which he was able to do rather successfully. In May 1942, he led a counter-offensive at Kharkov, Ukraine which saw initial success, but ultimately was defeated with extremely high casualties (at least 200,000 wounded, killed, or captured); he was blamed for the defeat, although some secretly thought that the defeat should have been attributed to Stalin, who underestimated German strength in the region when he ordered the offensive. He was transferred to Stalingrad in Jun 1942; his previous role as the commanding officer of the west was taken over by Georgy Zhukov. In Oct 1942, he was named the commanding officer of the northwest, followed by an appointment to Leningrad, Russia in Jun 1943. He returned to the Caucasus in Jun 1944, and then served in the Russian-occupied Baltic states in Aug 1944.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Timoshenko became the commanding officer in Byelorussia between Mar and May 1946. In Jun 1946, he served in the southern Ural Mountains. He returned to Byelorussia in Mar 1949. In 1960, he was appointed the Inspector General of the Defense Ministry, which was largely a ceremonial post without much responsibility. In 1961, he became the State Committee Chairman for War Veterans. He was named Hero of the Soviet Union a second time in 1965. He passed away in Moscow, Russia in 1970.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jan 2010

Semyon Timoshenko Timeline

18 Feb 1895 Semyon Timoshenko was born in Furmanivka, Bessarabia Governorate, Russia.
25 Jul 1920 Semyon Timoshenko was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for the first time.
28 Nov 1920 Semyon Timoshenko was awarded the honorary sword to his Order of the Red Banner.
11 May 1921 Semyon Timoshenko was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for the second time.
22 Feb 1930 Semyon Timoshenko was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for the third time.
22 Feb 1938 Semyon Timoshenko was awarded the Order of Lenin for the first time.
21 Mar 1940 Semyon Timoshenko was made a Hero of the Soviet Union for the first time and the Order of Lenin for the second time.
8 May 1940 Semyon Timoshenko was appointed the Soviet commissar for defense.
21 Jun 1941 Semyon Timoshenko belatedly ordered the manning of fortifications along the Molotov Line in Soviet-occupied Poland, but only some would be ready for fighting when the German invasion commenced in few hours time.
16 Jul 1941 Anatoliy Mikheev accused Semyon Timoshenko was being a traitor. Joseph Stalin did not order Timoshenko's arrest, but he would relieve Timoshenk as the defense commissar (NKO) several days later and would assume the title himself.
12 Aug 1941 Semyon Timoshenko drafted an order calling for the execution of deserters; it would be revised by Joseph Stalin and issued as Order No. 270 four days later.
12 Dec 1941 Semyon Timoshenko of Soviet Southwestern Front and Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Military Council ordered the arrest of the head of the Special Department of the 1st Tank Brigade and the assistant to the Technical Department of the Tank Regiment for "overreaching their authority" and "unauthorized shootings" for the execution, while intoxicated, of a lieutenant of the 1st Tank Brigade without reason.
9 Oct 1943 Semyon Timoshenko was awarded the Order of Suvorov 1st Class for the first time.
27 Apr 1944 Semyon Timoshenko was awarded the Order of Suvorov 1st Class for the third time.
12 Sep 1944 Semyon Timoshenko was awarded the Order of Suvorov 1st Class for the second time.
3 Nov 1944 Semyon Timoshenko was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for the fourth time.
18 Feb 1945 Semyon Timoshenko was awarded the Order of Lenin for the third time.
4 Jun 1945 Semyon Timoshenko was awarded the Order of Victory.
6 Nov 1947 Semyon Timoshenko was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for the fifth time.
18 Feb 1965 Semyon Timoshenko was made a Hero of the Soviet Union for the second time and the Order of Lenin for the fourth time.
22 Feb 1968 Semyon Timoshenko was awarded the Order of the October Revolution and a sword bearing a gold emblem of the Soviet Union.
18 Feb 1970 Semyon Timoshenko was awarded the Order of Lenin for the fifth time.
31 Mar 1970 Semyon Timoshenko passed away in Moscow, Russia.

Photographs

Semyon Timoshenko and Georgy Zhukov observing the autumn field exercises of the Kiev Military District, Ukraine, 1940




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More on Semyon Timoshenko
Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of Poland
» The Winter War
» Operation Barbarossa
» Second Battle of Kharkov

Semyon Timoshenko Photo Gallery
Semyon Timoshenko and Georgy Zhukov observing the autumn field exercises of the Kiev Military District, Ukraine, 1940


Famous WW2 Quote
"Since peace is now beyond hope, we can but fight to the end."

Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937