A Red Army volunteer in 1918, he served against Kolchak and in the Russo- Polish War of 1920, attended the Frunze Academy, acted as military adviser to CHIANG Kai-shek between 1926 and 1937, served at the Ministry of War in 1941-2, and in 1942 was appointed Commander of the 62nd Army in the defense of Stalingrad. His army held the foothold on the right bank of the Volga throughout the German siege and was the mainstay of the defense. Redesignated the 8th Guards Army, it remained under his command until the end of the war and took part in the Battle of Berlin. In postwar years he commanded the occupation forces in the Russian zone and was later Deputy Minister of Defense. His account of the Battle of Stalingrad, The Beginning of the Road, is a masterpiece of military literature and the most interesting war memoir published by any Soviet General.