Konstantin Rokossovsy
Historical Figure
Nationality: Citizen of Soviet Union and Poland, born in the Russian Empire
Date of Birth: 1896
Date of Death: 1968
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Occupation: Soldier
Spouse: Julia Barminan
Children: Ariadna
Military Branch: Imperial Russian Army (World War I)
Red Army (Russian Civil War, World War II)
Political Party: Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Political Office(s): Minister of Defense of the Polish People's Republic
Turtledove Appearances:
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away;
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Military Branch: Polish Army (World War III)
Konstantin Konstantinovich (Xaverevich) Rokossovsky (Polish: Konstanty Ksawerowicz Rokossowski, Russian: Константи́н Константи́нович (Ксаве́рьевич) Рокоссо́вский; December 21 [O.S. December 9] 1896 – August 3, 1968) was a Soviet officer of Polish origin who became Marshal of the Soviet Union, Marshal of Poland and served as Poland's Defense Minister from 1949 to 1956. He was among the most prominent Red Army commanders of World War II, especially renowned for his planning and executing of Operation Bagration, one of the most decisive Red Army successes of the Second World War.

Rokossovsky was born in Warsaw when it was part of the Russian Empire. He joined the Russian Army, and rose through ranks. In 1917, he joined the Bolsheviks and entered the Red Army. He acquitted himself well during the Russian Civil War. In the 1930s, he was caught up in the Great Purge when he was accused of being a Polish traitor. Rokossovsky was one of the handful of people accused during the purge who managed to survive torture and mock trials without being executed. The outbreak of World War II effectively rescued him, as the desperate Red Army needed experienced officers. He distinguished himself throughout, culminating in Operation Bagration.

After the war, Poland was firmly a Soviet satellite, Rokossovsky became Poland's Defense Minister in October 1949. His connections to Poland were tenuous, and the Polish people perceived him as a Russian emissary. He spent the first years of his term cracking down on anti-Soviet activity. In 1956, the Polish government arranged for his exile from Poland to the USSR. He maintained various positions in the Soviet military until his death in 1968.

Konstantin Rokossovsky in The Hot WarEdit

Konstantin Rokossovsky was Poland's Defense Minister during World War III. He was in fact the Soviet Union's choice for the position, and was not well liked in Poland proper.[1]

When U.S. President Harry Truman proposed to Secretary of Defense George Marshall that the U.S. use atomic bombs against the Soviets' satellite countries in the hope that the governments of those countries might reconsider their loyalty to Russia, Marshall was dubious, citing Marshal Rokossovsky as an example of the devout Stalinists who ran these countries.[2]

Rokossovsky held the position for the duration of the war, until the armistice of 1952. When he was unable to quell the anti-Soviet uprisings that took place throughout Poland in the immediate aftermath of the war, Rokossovsky officially resigned in August 1952, most likely on the orders of Stalin's successor, Vyacheslav Molotov.[3]


  1. See, e.g., Armistice, loc. 1728, ebook.
  2. Bombs Away, pg. 137, ebook.
  3. Armistice, loc. 3996, ebook.
Political offices
Preceded by
Michał Żymierski
Minister of Defense of the Polish People's Republic
Succeeded by
Wojciech Jaruzelski
Political offices
(The Hot War)
Preceded by
Michał Żymierski
Minister of Defense of the Polish People's Republic
Succeeded by