Ivan Konev

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Ivan Konev

Ivan Stepanovich Konev (28 December [O.S. 16 December] 1897May 21, 1973), was a Soviet military commander, who led Red Army forces on the Eastern Front during World War II, liberated much of Eastern Europe from occupation by the Axis Powers, and helped in the capture of Germany's capital, Berlin. Later, as the Commander of Warsaw Pact forces, Konev led the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 by Soviet armed divisions. Konev remained one of the Soviet Union's most admired military figures until his death in 1973. Marshal of the Soviet Union, and Twice Hero of the Soviet Union, he was buried in the Kremlin Wall with the greatest heroes of the USSR, which can be visited today.


  • As for me, I had to know exactly what the situation was in Dukla Pass. Moscow had demanded it.
    • Quoted in "The Last Six Months: Russia's Final Battles with Hitler's Armies in World War II" - Page 312 - by Sergeĭ Matveevich Shtemenko - History - 1977
  • We plan alone but we fulfill our plans together with the enemy, as it were, in accordance with his opposition.
    • Quoted in "How Wars End: Eye-witness Accounts of the Fall of Berlin" - by Vladimir Sevruk - History - 1974 - Page 27
  • I do not want to give any orders to the airmen, but get hold of a Komsomol air unit, and say I want volunteers for the job.
    • Quoted in "Russia at War, 1941-1945" - Page 779 - by Alexander Werth - 1964
  • Our neighbors use searchlights, for they want more light. I tell you, Nikolai Pavlovich, we need more darkness.
    • Quoted in "The Last Battle" - Page 354 - by Cornelius Ryan - History - 1966


  • The plans of NATO are defensive because they assume we are aggressive. NATO is aggressive as it is the alliance of capitalist countries.
Ivan Konev

About Konev

  • Konev was a tall, gruff, vigorous man with a shrewd twinkle in his blue eyes. He was 48 years old, a year younger than Zhukov, and in some respects his career had paralleled the other man's.
    • Cornelius Ryan
  • Konev was a mental robot, saying only what had been written for him, as though his tongue moved only when wound by a key in the Kremlin.
    • General Mark Wayne Clark, New York Times, June 5, 1955.
  • Konev was a Russian who had begun his military career as a commissar, and he was a strong brutal character of great energy but limited education, unable to express himself well on paper. He realized his own limitations and sorted out operative and tactical problems on the spot, leaving all other matters to his staff.
    • Albert Seaton
  • Like his rival Zhukov, Konev was a man of iron will, but he did not hail from such a disadvantaged background, and he was unique among Soviet high commanders in having begun his military career as a political officer.
    • Christopher Duffy

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