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State Defense Committee: Wikis


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The State Defense Committee (Russian: Государственный комитет обороны, ГКО, Gosudarstvennyj komitet oborony, GKO) was the extraordinary superior organ in the USSR during the Great Patriotic War which held total power in the state. GKO is not to be confused with "NKO", which stood for "Narodny Komissariat Oborony" and was the People's Commissariat (Ministry) of Defence.

GKO existed between June 30, 1941 and September 4, 1945 with Joseph Stalin as its head. Initially, it comprised Lavrenty Beria, Klim Voroshilov (until 1944), Georgy Malenkov, and Vyacheslav Molotov (deputy chairman). After 1942 Stalin added Nikolai Voznesensky, Lazar Kaganovich, and Anastas Mikoyan. In 1944 Nikolai Bulganin joined.

See also


  • Barber, John, and Harrison, Mark. (1991). The Soviet Home Front 1941–1945: A Social and Economic History of the USSR in World War II. London: Longman. ISBN 0582009642, ISBN 0582009650.
  • Werth, Alexander. (1964). Russia at War 1941–1945. New York: Carrol and Graf.

Further reading

Glantz, David M. When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army stopped Hitler. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1995. ISBN 070060899 Overview of Eastern Front from Soviet side.

Roberts, Geoffrey. Stalin's Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939-1953. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006. ISBN 0300112041 Post-revisionist study of Stalin's wartime and post-war leadership.


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