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Sergey Gorshkov
Born (1910-02-26)February 26, 1910
Died May 13, 1988(1988-05-13) (aged 78)
Place of birth Kamianets-Podilskyi, Russian Empire
Place of death Moscow, Soviet Union
Allegiance  Soviet Union
Service/branch  Soviet Navy
Years of service 1927-1985
Rank Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union
Commands held Black Sea Fleet, Soviet Navy
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union Hero of the Soviet Union
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Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Sergey Georgiyevich Gorshkov (Russian: Серге́й Георгиевич Горшков) (February 26, 1910 - May 13, 1988) was a Soviet naval officer during the Cold War who oversaw the expansion of the Soviet Navy into a global force.


Born in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Gorshkov grew up in Kolomna. Gorshkov joined the Soviet Navy in 1927. He graduated from the Leningrad M.V. Frunze Higher Naval School in 1931, and gained command of surface boats in the Black Sea in 1932. During World War II he distinguished himself in landings on the Kerch Peninsula and commanded a destroyer squadron at the end of the war. In 1948, he became Chief of Staff of the Black Sea Fleet, soon he assumed its full command. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Navy by Nikita Khrushchev in 1956, and under Leonid Brezhnev oversaw a massive naval build-up of surface and submarine forces, creating a force capable of challenging Western naval power by the late 1970s.

Gorshkov is often associated with the phrase "'Better' is the enemy of 'Good Enough'" ("Лучшее - враг хорошего") which is reputed to have hung on the wall of his office as a motto. Similar sentiments have been attributed to Clausewitz and Voltaire. The motto appears in the Tom Clancy novel, The Hunt For Red October. The phrase is also attributed to Admiral Gorshkov in Norman Polmar's Guide to the Soviet Navy (1983, 3rd edition).[1] That is one year prior to Clancy's first published date for "Hunt" by the Naval Institute Press.

Honours, Awards and Decorations

Soviet awards

Gorshkov has been commemorated by various monuments and namings:

  • Monuments installed in Kolomna (author - sculptor L. Kerbel) and Novorossiysk
  • Memorial plaque on the Russian Navy Headquarters building in Moscow
  • Memorial plaque on the headquarters building of the Black Sea Fleet
  • Central Hospital of the Navy
  • School number 9 in Kolomna, from which he graduated in 1926, street and school in the district
  • the Railway Kupavna, Moscow Oblast[Clarification needed]
  • Feasibility of the Lyceum[Clarification needed]
  • A neighbourhood of Novorossiysk
  • Central Sports Club of the Navy
  • The Admiral Gorshkov award (Russian Navy, 2006)
  • A Kiev-class aircraft carrier (Admiral Gorshkov, renamed Vikramaditya and due to be transferred to India)
Foreign awards
  • Gold Patriotic Order of Merit (East Germany)
  • Scharnhorst Order (East Germany)
  • Gold Order of the Partisan Star (Yugoslavia)
  • Order of Sukhbaatar (Mongolia)
  • Order of the Hungarian People's Republic, 1st class (Hungary)
  • Order of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, 1st class (Bulgaria)
  • Grand Cross of the Order of St. Alexander, with swords (Bulgaria)
Military offices
Preceded by
Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov
Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Navy
Succeeded by
Vladimir Nikolayevich Chernavin


  1. Polmar, N: Guide to the Soviet Navy, p. xii (upper left corner), 1983.

External links

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