Skip to content

#175 – Lev Mekhlis

#175 – Lev Mekhlis published on No Comments on #175 – Lev Mekhlis

In June 1941 he was newly assigned by the chief of main political administration and the deputy of the Peoples Commissar of Defense. Nicknamed “the Shark” and the “Gloomy Demon”, 1 Mekhlis was named army commissar of the 1st rank, which corresponded to the title of General of the red Army. In 1942 he was the representative of Stavka (headquarters) of the supreme commander-in-chief at the Crimean Front, where he constantly disputed with General Dmitry Timofeyevich Kozlov. The leaders of the starff of the Front did not know whose orders to carry out.

Mekhilis supposedly “strongly advocated concentrating mobilized reserves in direct vicinity of Western borders, which later resulted in the German capture of most of them [ Soviet troops ]” and that “his inspection tours often led to reprisals against military commanders.” 2

Mekhilis also had the power to discharge or execute any soldier or commander that he considered not showing “proper fighting spirit”, although he had no command experience. He would often meddle in the military operations on the Volkhov Front, and his word was law. Any suggestion would have to be regarded as a direct order from Moscow.3