Mikhail Tukhachevsky was nicknamed the “Red Napolean”, that is to say, he was a popular Soviet military leader in Stalin’s Red Army. Mikhail didn’t know that soon ideology would be more important to the Soviet military than its strength, leading to its deteriorated state after over a million soldiers were purged from the ranks.
Tukhachevsky became one of many victims of the 1936–1938 Great Terror, a brutal campaign by Stalin against political dissension in the Soviet Union. Stalin was never described as a benevolent leader, in fact, he was supposedly once plucking a live chicken in front of his generals to explain how stupid people are.
Tukhachevsky was promoted to Marshall of the Soviet Union by Joseph Stalin and given command of the entire armed forces. He should have been concerned about the promotion, it was a position not far from that of Stalin’s thus putting him in danger of being killed. Eventually that did happen.
In 1936 Mikhail was arrested under suspicion of being a German spy and for plotting to overthrow Stalin. Guards coerced a confession from him during his captivity, and he was executed.
NY Times bestseller Rod Dreher gives the accounts of Soviet-era dissidents in his masterpiece Live Not By Lies, check the price on Amazon.
The Russian Great Terror
The execution of the Soviet army’s Marshal meant everyone was fair game in the witch hunt that came next during the Great Terror. In reaction to the dangers of being branded a traitor, the judges themselves professed a vehement desire to punish wrongdoers. They quickly set out to make themselves different from those they were passing judgement down on.
One such judge was General Ivan Belov. Belov was one of the judges at the trial of Mikhail Tukhachevsky. In his own words, “When I saw those scoundrels in the courtroom, I was shivering. A beast was in me. I didn’t want to judge them, but beat and beat them in a wild frenzy.”
Mikhail described his experience in the trail as the following, “I feel I am dreaming.”
Ivan Belov commented on the trail saying, “Tomorrow I shall be put in the same place.” Belov was right, he was arrested on January 7, 1938 and later executed.
On the death and destruction of the Great Terror one Soviet general said it best, “This is worse than when artillery fires on its own troops,” said Konstantin Rokossovsky.
By Dmitry Borko – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=84978336
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Stalin’s Ideological Purge Of The Military Was Pure Madness was first posted on June 2, 2021 at 6:51 pm.