Tolbukhin was Commander of the Armies which forced the Germans out of the Crimea, the Ukraine, Rumania, Yugoslavia and Hungary. A graduate of the Frunze Military Academy in 1934, from 1942 to 1943 he was Commander of the 57th Army defending Stalingrad. In 1943 as Commander of the South Front he was responsible for capturing a number of towns at the mouth of the Donets. In April 1944 Tolbukhin in conjunction with YEREMENKO led the offensive which recaptured the Crimea and took 67,000 German and Rumanian prisoners by 13 May. In August 1944 Tolbukhin and MALINOVSKY with 38 divisions between them were charged with clearing out the Balkans. Together they defeated a German Army of 200,000 at Jassy-Kishinev and Tolbukhin was made a Marshal. They now cleared Rumania and Tolbukhin went on to Yugoslavia to recapture Belgrade with the help of TITO’s partisans in October 1944. He then turned north to meet Malinovsky in Hungary and settle down to the long winter siege of Budapest. In the spring he led the offensive which drove the fanatical Sixth SS Panzer Army out of the west of Hungary into Austria (March 1945).
After the war Tolbukhin was made Supreme Commander of troops in Bulgaria and Rumania.