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Old 08-15-2004, 06:10 PM   #11
Lapa
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Doug and Vadim,

I personally find this thread highly interesting, but I must say that I am somewhat uneasy with its tone.

I'd like to point out a few things here, and please realize that I am NOT taking anybody's side:
. Regarding the coat and its boards, I think that it is conceivable that Kuznetsov had it made at the date Doug mentioned, with the old 4 star boards. When the new regulation came into effect, that coat was not very old, and as such, Kuznetsov would have wanted to keep using it, and therefore replaced the older boards with the newly designed ones.
. Autobiographies are a valuable source of information; however, they are not always 100% accurate or reliable. Most historians and researchers will confirm that, on occasions, their authors, either wilfully or through bad recollection, make mistakes as they write about events that happened years ago.
Here, we have one concrete fact: the Supreme Soviet Decree of May 25, 1945 that created the new boards. On the other hand, we have Kuznetsov writing that his boards were changed in May 1944. It could very well be a case of "right month-wrong year".
In historical research, we must rely and rest on ascertained facts only. In this case, we have a choice between a dated and published state document on one hand, and a personal recollection on the other hand. Research methodology dictates to accept the former as true (it can be verified concretely and independently) until a concrete, verifiable proof (based on actual evidence) can be obtained for the latter, and therefore invalidate the former. In other words, we need a separate proof to confirm what Kuznetsov wrote; until such time, we must consider that it is likely that he made a mistake in recalling the year.

Again, I want to point out the high interest that exists among Forum members for constructive, instructive, contradictory debate. Please, don't spoil it for the rest of us by taking a defensive personal tone.

Marc
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Old 08-16-2004, 08:20 PM   #12
vvadim
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As far as memuars of Kuznetsov, one shoulde be very careful with them and check aganst other sources of information. I’m not going to discuss all of them, but only part that Doug took from here
http://marshals.narod.ru/admiren.html
<i>“In 1944, Stalin, quite unexpectedly for me, raised in Supreme Headquarters a question about conferring on me the next military rank. At the moment we had no rank higher than Admiral*, so there were no corresponding shoulder straps**. I reported that foreign Navies had a rank of Admiral of the Fleet. "To what would it correspond in our Armed Forces?", Stalin asked. I answered that if the same consequence as in the Army was to be held, Admiral of the Fleet had to have shoulder straps with four stars, but in this case it would not be the highest rank held by Ground Forces commanders, i.e. the one of Marshal.
This time it was decided to institute the rank of Admiral of the Fleet, with four stars on the shoulder straps**, without any mention about correspondance with Ground Forces. So I obtained the next rank of Admiral of the Fleet, with shoulder straps unusual for the Navy. I wore them for a relatively short period. In May, 1944, it was decided to replace them by a Marshal's ones, with one big star. And when the question with the Regulations was discussed, and it was necessary to determine in the table of ranks the equal correspondance of Admiral of the Fleet, it was written in black and white: "Marshal of the Soviet Union***".</i>

Memory betraying Nikolay Gerasimovich.
*Rank Admiral of the Fleet was instituted on May 7 1940. In original order (as you can see few messages up) that was promoting Kuznetsov and Isakov it’s stated clearly <b>to the rank instituted on May 7 1940.</b>
If necessary I can post original decree instituting this rank too.

**Here is facsimile of original order establishing shoulder boards for the navy as it was published on February 16 1943. You can see clearly that memory once again betraying him.

***Rank admiral of the fleet was never equal to the rank marshal of soviet union, memory one again playing strange things with famous admiral.
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Old 08-17-2004, 05:26 AM   #13
DougD
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memory v. regs.

Well, then Kuznetsov's memory conflicts with regulations. I tend to go with his memory, as it deals only with him and his rank, you tend to go with the regulations. To each his own. DD
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