Aksel Berg

Aksel Ivanovich Berg (Russian: Аксель Иванович Берг; 10 November [O.S. 29 October] 1893 – 9 July 1979) was a Soviet scientist in radio-frequency engineering and Soviet Navy Admiral, Hero of Socialist Labour. He was a key figure in the introduction of cybernetics to the Soviet Union.[1]

Aksel Ivanovich Berg
Aksel Ivanovich Berg.jpg
Native name
Аксель Иванович Берг
Born10 November [O.S. 29 October] 1893
Orenburg, Russian Empire
Died9 June 1979(1979-06-09) (aged 85)
Moscow, USSR
Allegiance Russian Empire
 Soviet Union
Service/branchImperial Russian Navy, Soviet Navy
Years of service1914-1953
Commands heldhead of the Soviet Naval Research Institute
Battles/warsWorld War I
Russian Civil War
World War II
AwardsHero of Socialist Labour
SignatureSign of Aksel Berg.png

Early lifeEdit

Berg's father was General Johan (Ivan) Berg, of Finland-Swedish origin, and his mother was Italian. Aksel was 11 when his father died, and Aksel was matriculated to Saint Petersburg navy school. Berg joined the Imperial Russian Navy in 1914 and served as junior navigating officer on the Russian battleship Tsesarevich and as liaison officer on the British submarine HMS E8, which was operating in the Baltic in alliance with Russia.

Soviet timesEdit

Before the German-Soviet warEdit

After the revolution Berg served in the Red Navy 1918–22. In 1918 he participated in the Ice Cruise of the Baltic Fleet. In 1919 he was navigating officer on the submarine Pantera when it sank the British destroyer HMS Vittoria. He subsequently commanded the submarines Rys, Volk and Zmeya. From 1925 Berg was based onshore and completed his education at the Saint Petersburg Polytechnical University. From 1927 he was assigned to the navy radio electronics department and from 1932 to 1937 he headed the Navy Communications Research Institute.

Imprisoned and rehabilitatedEdit

During Stalin's purges, Berg was imprisoned for three years, but was freed and rehabilitated in 1940, when Stalin became interested in developing radar. Berg was immediately appointed as minister of electronic technology of the USSR. He developed the Redut-K air-warning radar which was placed aboard the light cruiser Molotov in April 1941.[2] Molotov´s device enabled her to play a key role in the air defense of Sevastopol in the first stages of Operation Barbarossa.[3]

After the warEdit

After the war Berg directed the Radioelectronics Institute 1947–57 and was a Deputy Minister of Defence 1953–57. Then in 1958 he founded and led the Scientific Council on Complex Problems in Cybernetics.[4] His main interests were radiolocation, microelectronics and cybernetics (i.e. computer science and radio-frequency engineering).


Aksel Berg died in Moscow in 1979 and is buried at Novodevichy Cemetery.

Plaque to commemorate Aksel Berg at the Saint Petersburg State Electrotechnical University

Selected publicationsEdit

Berg A., (1964), 'Cybernetics and Education' in The Anglo-Soviet Journal, March 1964, pp. 13–20 (English language)

Honours and awardsEdit


  1. ^ "Берг Аксель Иванович" [Berg, Aksel Ivanovich]. ETU «LETI» (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  2. ^ Watson, Raymond C. (2009).Radar Origins Worldwide. Trafford Publishing, p. 306. ISBN 1426921101
  3. ^ Yakubov, Vladimir; Worth, Richard (2009). "The Soviet Light Cruisers of the Kirov Class". In Jordan, John. Warship 2009. London: Conway. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-84486-089-0
  4. ^ Vegter, Wobbe. "Axel Ivanovich Berg". Wobbe Vegter. Retrieved November 17, 2012.

External linksEdit