Konstantin Rokossovsky

Soviet and Polish military commander (1896-1968)

Konstantin Konstantinovich Rokossovskiy (December 21, 1896August 3, 1968) was a Soviet military commander and Polish Defence Minister, best known for his prominent role in planning and executing Operation Bagration in summer 1944. He died in August 1968, aged 74, and lies buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis on Red Square

The German army is a machine, and machines can be broken!


  • Has a strong will. Decisive and firm. Often demonstrates initiative and skillfully applies it. Disciplined. Demanding and persistent in his demands. A somewhat ungracious and not sufficiently sympathetic person. Rather stubborn. Painfully proud. In professional terms well trained. Broadly experienced as a military leader... Absolutely cannot be used in staff or teaching jobs because constitutionally he hates them.
    • Assessment of Georgy Zhukov, as quoted by Andreĭ Afanas'evich Kokoshin,Soviet Strategic Thought, 1917–1991 (1998): MIT Press, p. 43.
  • The German army is a machine, and machines can be broken!
    • Quoted in "Current Biography" - Page 562 - by H.W. Wilson Company - 1945
  • In Russia, they say I'm a Pole, in Poland they call me Russian.
    • Quoted in "Rokossowski - How Much of a Pole? - by Wiesław Białkowski, 1994.
  • The troops of the Don Front at 4pm on February 2nd, 1943 completed the rout and destruction of the encircled group of enemy forces in Stalingrad. Twenty-two divisions have been destroyed or taken prisoner.
    • February 1943. Quoted in "Russia at War, 1941-1945" - Page 543 - by Alexander Werth - 1964
  • I have been placed under surveillance, and I can't take a step without it being known to the Polish minister of internal affairs.
    • Quoted in "Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev" - by Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev - Heads of state - 2007
  • I am a citizen of the Soviet Union and I think sharp measures need to be taken against anti-Soviet forces that are trying to make their way into the leadership. In addition, it is vitally important to maintain the lines of communication with Germany through Poland.
    • Quoted in "Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev" - by Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev - Heads of state - 2007

Quotes about Konstantin Rokossovsky

  • The policy of large-scale repression against military cadres led also to undermined military discipline, because for several years officers of all ranks and even soldiers in Party and Komsomol cells were taught to “unmask” their superiors as hidden enemies.
It is natural that this caused a negative influence on the state of military discipline in the initial stage of the war.
And, as you know, we had before the war excellent military cadres which were unquestionably loyal to the Party and to the Fatherland. Suffice it to say that those of them who managed to survive, despite severe tortures to which they were subjected in the prisons, have from the first war days shown themselves real patriots and heroically fought for the glory of the Fatherland. I have here in mind such [generals] as: [Konstantin] Rokossovsky..."
    • Nikita Khrushchev -- February 24 1956[1]
  • Rokossovsky was a different type of general from Zhukov. Although a good soldier, he was not exceptionally brilliant.
    • Boris I. Nicolaevsky
  • He was tall, blond and handsome, every inch the dashing half-Polish cavalry officer.
    • Anthony Read
  • Rokossovsky was an imposing figure, tall, very good-looking, and well dressed; I understand he was a bachelor and was much admired by ladies.
    • Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery
  • I have no Suvorov, but Rokossovsky is my Bagration.
    • Joseph Stalin


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