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Medal of Admiral Kuznetsov


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Instituted by decree of the Defense Minister on 27 January 2003. It is awarded to naval personnel of the Navy of the Russian Federation for excellence in training; for impeccable service on ships, submarines or in a naval air crew for at least 5 years, in other naval formations for at least 10 years; for the successful implementation of tasks from at least 3 armed services; for great personal contribution to the high alert status of ships, submarines, aircraft or shore naval installations; for skilled, competent leadership of subordinate personnel and proactive, decisive actions that contribute to the success of naval combat operations; to other persons for merit in strengthening the combat readiness of the Navy.

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BIO: Kuznetsov, Nikolai G.

Nikolai G. Kuznetsov, born 11 July 1904, Medvedko now Kotlas region Arkangel.

Lied about his age and joined the Navy as a 15-year-old in the Severodvinsk flotilla. Managed to get into the Naval college from 1923 to 1926 graduating with honors. Served in the Black Sea Fleet on the cruiser ?Chervona Ukraine?. Spent 1929 to1932 as a student of the Naval Academy, again graduating with honors. Returned in the Black Sea Fleet, and from 1933 commanded the same cruiser he had previously served on. He brought his crew to the highest standards preaching respect and team work, something never before seen in the Russian navy. Spent 3 years in Spain during the Spanish civil war where he was the principal naval adviser to the Republican Government.

Appointed deputy commander Pacific Fleet on August 1937, then commander on 10 January 1938. He managed to defend many of his subordinates during the Stalinist purges.

The 34-year-old Kuznetsov was appointed People's Commissar of the Soviet Navy on April 29, 1939. He was the youngest Soviet admiral ever to hold this post (both of his predecessors were victims of the pre war repressions). He made remarkable contributions to re strengthening the decimated naval leadership holding a series of major exercises, personally visiting many ships, resolving organizational and personnel matters. He pioneered new techniques in naval training. He acted as he saw fit courageously acting without regard to the opinion of Stalin.

Admiral Kuznetsov was one of the few Soviet military leaders to take effective measures prior to the attack of Germany after the first warnings were received. He disregarded Moscow's orders on doing nothing ?susceptible of being taken for a provocation?. Having put all Soviet naval forces on high alert the very evening prior to the German invasion, Kuznetsov was able to order all the fleets in time for an effective defense. The decision was a risk, because it went against the wishes of Stalin. As a result, on 22 June, the day of the German attack, the Navy did not lose a single ship or a single naval aircraft, and managed to put up an organized front against the enemy.

During the war, Kuznetsov energetically led the fleets, coordinating actions with other operations of the Armed Forces. He was a member of the Supreme high command.

In February 1944, Kuznetsov was awarded the rank of fleet admiral (four stars), and on May 31, 1945 the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union and he was made a hero of the Soviet Union.

After the war, Kuznetsov remained chief of the Navy and Deputy Minister for the Armed Forces, but the position was abolished in January 1947 on the orders of Stalin, he was then appointed chief of naval education institutions in Leningrad.

In 1948, together with a group of admirals, he was put on trial on trumped-up charges; Admiral L. Haller, a comrade of his died in prison. Kuznetsov, now disgraced, was demoted to rear admiral and appointed Deputy Chief of naval forces of the Far East. He was once again commander of the Pacific Fleet as of July 20, 1951. All charges against him were summarily dismissed following Stalin's death (May 11, 1953) and the rank of fleet admiral was returned to him.

From 1953 to 1955, Kuznetsov was Chief of the Navy and Deputy Defense Minister. March 3, 1955 his title changed to ?Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union?, with the rank of Marshall. During this period he devoted most of his attention to upgrading technology in the fleet, in particular, the development of aircraft carriers.

However, his rapports rapidly deteriorated with Defense Minister Zhukov, with whom he did not quite get along even in wartime. In December 1955, Kuznetsov, under the pretext of blame in the explosion on the battleship ?Novorossisk? was removed from office (although on sick leave at the time), and on 17 February 1956 he was once again demoted to vice-admiral and dismissed from the service with the humiliating phrase ? without the right to work in the Navy ?. He died 6 December 1974 in Moscow.

Only 26 July, 1988 Kuznetsov was posthumously reinstated in the rank of Fleet Admiral of the Soviet Union. Prior to that, for 14 years, according to the will of his relatives, his grave displayed no military rank.

Now, one of the largest ships in the Russian fleet has been renamed in his honor, the heavy aircraft cruiser ?Admiral Kuznetsov?. The naval college in the Barnaul area has also been renamed in his honor.

Edited by TacHel
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  • 5 years later...

"Possibly", (and a bit late) in relation to his 1988 official reinstatement to the rank of Fleet Admiral of the Soviet Union, the minister of defense of the Russian Federation, by order 34 of 2013, renamed the medal to: Medal "Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union N.G. Kuznetsov".

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