Antonov, General Alexei I, 1896-1962

Antonov was made the Soviet Chief of General Staff at the end of the war (February 1945). Antonov was one of a group of officers who came to the force after the Soviet Purges of 1938-39 thanks to the protection of SHAPOSHNIKOV. When Germany invaded the USSR in June 1941 Antonov was made Chief of Staff on the South and North Caucasus and Transcaucasus Fronts in quick succession. VASILIEVSKY chose him to be his representative in Moscow but because STALIN did not like him he was posted to the Voronezh Front. His distinguished services led to his appointments as Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations Department. His job was to plan military operations and liaise with front commanders. He took part in the planning of the Kursk, Belorussian and Berlin offensives. In 1944-45 he was chief spokesman on military affairs at the Moscow, Potsdam and Yalta Conferences. He co-ordinated with US and British Chiefs of Staff and at the end of the war he was involved in a brisk interchange with EISENHOWER over which army should invade Czechoslovakia. Eisenhower had to restrain PATTON from occupying the country and the Red Army liberated Prague. After the war he fell from favor and was sent to the Caucasus.

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