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Best Soviet Minister of Defense

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Post 21 Feb 2009, 07:06
Who in your opinion do you think was the greatest Minister of Defense of the USSR? I'm willing to bet most here will probably say Georgi Zhukov because of his Great Patriotic War career. But, my personal favorite has always been Dmitri Ustinov. I liked his mechanical engineering background, and he was the first civilian defense minister since Leon Trotsky. During the Great Patriotic War, he was one of the main supervisors of Stalin's initiative to move the industrial factories Eastward, away from the main fighting to ensure continued production of the Red Army war machine. His managerial and mechanical engineering skills to work in the Soviet Space Program and helped ensure Yuri Gargarin would be the first man in space. When he became defense minister he also became a key player in Kremlin politics (I heard it was his support that allowed Yuri Andropov to succeed Brezhnev over Konstantin Chernenko). During Chernenko's leadership he was a decisive player, making up for the Soviet leader's serious health problems, and inexperience in military affairs. He also holds the record for being awarded the most Orders of Lenin at eleven!
Post 23 Feb 2009, 06:55
Pinning 11 Orders of Lenin on his chest doesn't make him look good. If anything (given the corrupt nature of the system at the time) it's a sign of vainglory and corruption.
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