The State Defense Committee (Russian: Государственный комитет обороны - ГКО, romanized: Gosudarstvennyĭ komitet oborony - GKO) was an extraordinary organ of state power in the Soviet Union during the German-Soviet War, also called the Great Patriotic War, with complete state power in the country.
State Defense Committee
Государственный комитет обороны
|Established||30 June 1941|
|Disbanded||4 September 1945|
The Soviets set up the GKO on 30 June 1941, a week after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, by a joint decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, the Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom), and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The war situation at the front lines required a more centralized form of government. The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, however, continued unsuspended. On 18 June 1942, over a thousand members attended the 9th session of the Supreme Soviet in Moscow.
Geoffrey Roberts sees the GKO as "a sort of war cabinet".
The initial composition of the committee was such:
- Chairman - Joseph Stalin
- Deputy Chairman - Vyacheslav Molotov (until May 16, 1944)
- other members - Lavrentiy Beria, Kliment Voroshilov, Georgy Malenkov (Aviation Industry)
On February 3, 1942, the chairman of the Gosplan, Nikolai Voznesensky, as well as Anastas Mikoyan were made members of the committee, and on February 20, 1942 Lazar Kaganovich (Narkom of Transportation) was appointed as a member. On November 22, 1944, Nikolai Bulganin (Chairman of Gosbank) replaced Voroshilov in the committee.
- ^ Compare: Handbook on the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union: "Верховный Совет СССР, сессии [:] I созыв [:] всего 1143 депутата, 569 в Совете Союза и 574 в Совете Национальностей [...] 18.6.1942 [:] IX сессия (Москва)"
Roberts, Geoffrey (2006). Stalin's Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939-1953. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 95. ISBN 9780300112047. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
The State Defence Committee, or GKO, stood at the pinnacle of Stalin's decision-making system during the war [...]. As a sort of war cabinet chaired by Stalin, it was a political body charged with directing and controlling all aspects of the Soviet war effort.
- ^ Handbook on the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
- 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 0-582-00964-2, ISBN 0-582-00965-0.
- Werth, Alexander. (1964). Russia at War 1941–1945. New York: Carrol and Graf.
Glantz, David M. When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army stopped Hitler. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1995. ISBN 978-0-7006-0899-7 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 0-300-11204-1 Post-revisionist study of Stalin's wartime and post-war leadership.