Vasily Blyukher

Soviet marshal

Vasily Konstantinovich Blyukher (December 1, 1889November 9, 1938), also spelled Blücher, was a Russian-Soviet military commander and Marshal of the Soviet Union from 1935 until his death (under torture by the NKVD) in 1938.



  • War as a whole, and each operation taken separately, are first of all mathematics and calculations.
    • Quoted in Jonathan Fenby; Chiang Kai Shek: China's Generalissimo and the Nation He Lost
  • War is not included in the Second Five-Year Plan.
    • Blyukher at the XVII Congress of the CPSU(b), 8 February 1934 [1]
  • A shark has appeared and he wants to devour me. Either he devours me or I eat him. The latter is very unlikely.
    • Blyukher describing Lev Mekhlis to his wife, shortly before his arrest in 1938. Quoted in Simon Sebag Montefiore, Stalin: Court of the Red Tsar.
  • What dirt, what bitterness, what meanness...
    • Blyukher during his interrogation by the NKVD in 1938. Quoted in Paweł Wieczorkiewicz, Noty biograficzne w: Fenomen Stalina, Warsaw, 1988.

Quotes about Blyukher

  • An outstanding Russian general as well as a reasonable man and a good friend. What was most unusual about him was that he had none of the traits associated with Bolsheviks.
    • Chiang Kai-shek, quoted in Jonathan Fenby; Chiang Kai Shek: China's Generalissimo and the Nation He Lost
  • Thousands of miles from Moscow, commanded - apparently with a free hand - by the most capable of all Soviet generals, Marshal Vasili Galen-Blücher, the Far Eastern Army is easily the most efficient and the most formidable military force at the command of the Soviet government.
  • The raid made by Comrade Blyukher's forces under impossible conditions can only be equated with Suvorov's crossings in Switzerland.
    • Citation for Blyukher's decoration and promotion after his division's successful crossing of the Urals during the Russian Civil War.
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