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Sergei Galadzhev
Lieutenant General Sergei Galadzhev.
Native name

Armenian language: Սարգիս Գալաջյան

Russian: Сергей Федорович Галаджев
Birth name Sarkis Galajyan
Born (1902-04-17)17 April 1902
Died 23 December 1954(1954-12-23) (aged 52)
Place of birth Nor Nakhichevan, Russian Empire
Place of death Moscow, Soviet Union
Buried at Novodevichy Cemetery[1]
Allegiance  Soviet Union
Service/branch Red Army flag.svg Soviet Army
Years of service 1919–1950
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Red Army
Battles/wars Russian Civil War
World War II
Awards Order of Lenin Order of Lenin Order of Lenin
see below

Sarkis Theodorosi Galajyan (Armenian language: Սարգիս Թեոդորոսի Գալաջյան , Russian: Сергей Федорович Галаджев [Sergei Fedorovich Galadzhev], also Сергей Теодоросович Галаджев [Sergei Teodorosovich Galadzhev]; 17 April 1902 - 23 December 1954) was an Armenian-Soviet general and a political officer.


Early life

Born to an impoverished Armenian family in the city of Nakhichevan-on-Don, Galadzhev started working in a bricks factory when he was fifteen. In 1919, after his father died of typhus, he joined the Red Army. He fought in the Civil War, participating in the battles against Wrangel and Makhno. He attended a commanders' course, but was transferred to non-combat duty when diagnosed with tuberculosis. After completing his mandatory military service he was dismissed. In 1924, he volunteered again to the Red Army, and was assigned to the 9th Don Division. A year later he became a Politruk, and in 1926 he joined the All-Union Communist Party(Bolsheviks). Galadzhev was transferred to the Political Directorate of the North Caucasus Military District in 1931.[2] He graduated from the Leningrad Military-Political Acadmemy during 1936. After several years as an instructor, he was appointed Military Commissar of the XXXII Corps in autumn 1940.[3]

World War II

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union, he rose through the ranks, becoming the Southwestern Front's Chief of Political Directorate on 5 October 1941. As such, he participated in the Battle of Moscow.[3][4] On 17 November, he was promoted to the rank of Divisional Commissar.[5]

On 12 July 1942, the Front was disbanded and Galadzhev was transferred to the new Stalingrad Front, where he was assigned with the same duty. He remained Chief of Political Directorate when the Front was renamed as the Don Front on 30 September. On 8 December, after the separate ranks of the political officers were abolished, he became a major general.[6] The Don Front was restructured as the Central Front on 15 February 1943, with Galadzhev continuing to hold his position during the Battle of Kursk[7] and with the formation of the 1st Belorussian Front on November that year from the Central's forces. In his memoirs, General Rokossovsky referred to him as 'highly-qualified political officer and good comrade'.[8] He served with the Front throughout the rest of the war, until it captured Berlin,[9][10] attaining the rank of Lieutenant General on 28 July 1944.[3]

Post-war career

Immediately after the Germans' surrender, Galadzhev was involved in organizing cultural life in the Soviet Occupation Zone. On his orders, the newspapers Tägliche Rundschau and Berliner Zeitung were established during May 1945.[11] The general directly supervised the Ulbricht Group when it began forming the basis for a future communist rule.[12][13][14] Galadzhev accompanied the Soviet delegations in several meetings with American officers. He personally spoke with Frank A. Keating, Alvan Cullom Gillem Jr. and Alonzo Patrick Fox of the 102nd Division.[15] Galadzhev headed the Political Directorate of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany until 9 July 1945, when he was replaced by General Mikhail Pronin.[16] At August, he was put in charge of the Political Directorate of the Central Group of Forces, and in June 1946 he became the Political Directorate's Chief of the Soviet Army,[17] retiring in April 1950.[2] He died of a severe illness two years later on 23 December 1954 in Moscow.[18][19]



  1. A photograph of Galadzhev's tombstone.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ashot Kazarian. Passionate Son of the Party: Lieutenant General Sergei Teodorosovich Galadzhev. Appeared in War, People, Destiny, 1975..
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Galadzhev's entry in the Russian State Archives, p. 658.
  4. Nikita Khruschev. Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev: Commissar (1918-1945). Pennsylvania State University (2005). ISBN 978-0-271-02332-8. p. 380.
  5. Command personnel of the Southwestern Front.
  6. Galadzhev's entry on this list of Soviet officers.
  7. Members of the Central Front's Staff at Kursk.
  8. Konstantin Rokossovsky. A Soldier's Duty. Progress Publishers (1985). ISBN 978-9996498060. p. 134.
  9. Georgy Zhukov. The Memoirs of Marshal Zhukov. Delacorte Press (1973). ASIN B0019BIY84. p. 492.
  10. Marius J. Broekmeyer. Stalin, the Russians, and Their War: 1941-1945. University of Wisconsin Press (2000). ISBN 978-0-299-19594-6. p. 212.
  11. Peter Strunk. Zensur und Zensoren: Medienkontrolle und Propagandapolitik unter sowjetischer Besatzungsherrschaft in Deutschland. Oldenbourg Akademieverlag (1996). ISBN 978-3-05-002850-7. pp. 40, 48, 85.
  12. Wolfgang Zank. Als Stalin Demokratie befahl. Die Zeit. June 16, 1995.
  13. Heinz Höhne. Das ist aber ein Knochen!. Die Welt. April 7, 2001.
  14. Harald Wessel. Eiskalter Spitzengenosse mit Spitzbart. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. April 24, 2001.
  15. Sergei Galadzhev. Document no. 249: Special Report by the Chief of the Political Directorate of the 1st Belorussian Front on Meetings with the Commanders of American Forces. Central Archive of the Russian Ministry of Defence. Can be seen in this collection of documents about the Berlin Offensive.
  16. Joseph Stalin, Aleksei Antonov. Stavka Order no. 311.
  17. Michael J. Deane. Political control of the Soviet armed forces. MacDonald And Jane's (1977). ISBN 978-0-354-01129-7. p. 52
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 18.7 18.8 18.9 Obituary: Sergei Galadzhev. Pravda, 27 December 1954.
  19. Obituary: General Sergei Galadzhev. New York Times, 26 December 1954.

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