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Marshal Chuikov’s Performance Evaluations

Pictured: Lieutenant-General Chuikov in Stalingrad, 1943. Note the Order of Suvorov star above his left pocket. He received this medal for his actions during the Battle for Stalingrad on 28 January 1943.

In organizations, supervisors take on the task of performance evaluations of team members, whether this is on a semi-annual or annual basis. The effectiveness of employee performance reviews depends on the way they are conducted. Leaders can help personnel identify their strengths and development areas with a well-executed review. Performance reviews are also given in the military, both in the US and beyond. Marshal Chuikov was given numerous evaluations over the course of his long career in the Red Army, and translations for two of his wartime attestations are provided below.

As one reads his reviews, it is easy to gain a sense of Vasily Ivanovich’s depth of resolve, ability to connect with his soldiers, decisive leadership, personal courage, and ability to motivate others. In short, he was a very effective leader—and a worthy model of authenticity. A couple of weaknesses are mentioned, which indicates his performance reviews were conducted honestly, without bias. In the first characteristic conducted in 1944, General Malinovsky mentions an incident where he counseled Chuikov on perceived conceit and complacency. However, Vasily Ivanovich demonstrated his humility and teachable nature in how he responded to such instruction to reflect upon the weakness and address it appropriately. Moreover, Zhukov’s review in 1945 mentions his “irascible” temperament, which will be further explored in a future blog post. But as one can clearly see, both Malinovsky and Zhukov shared many words of praise for Chuikov’s leadership of the 8th Guards Army.

Combat Characteristics of 20 May 1944

“He exercises leadership of the troops skillfully and competently. Operational-tactical training is good. He knows how to rally his subordinates around him, mobilizing them for the firm performance of combat missions. Personally energetic, decisive, brave and demanding general. Recently, Comrade Chuikov found a manifestation of elements bordering on conceit and disdain for the enemy, which led to complacency and a loss of vigilance. But, having received strict instructions on this matter, Comrade Chuikov decisively overcame these weaknesses. In general, Colonel-General Chuikov is a fighting and decisively offensive army commander, who knows how to organize a modern breakthrough of the enemy's defense and develop it to operational success.”

Front Commander, Army General Malinovsky

Member of the Military Council, Lieutenant General Zheltov

Attestation dated 28 July 1945

“Comrade CHUIKOV is a well-rounded and cultured general. Under his command, the army passed a glorious military path from Stalingrad to Berlin [and] won a number of serious victories on the river Northern Donets, after the liberation of Zaporozhye, in the battles for the crossing of the rivers Southern Bug, Vistula, Oder, and [...] the Elbe. In the past battles, the army showed high organization, swiftness in pursuit, stubbornness in defense and courage in storming fortified positions. Comrade CHUIKOV in battles, regardless of the complexity of the combat situation, boldly makes risky decisions. In battles, he shows exceptional courage.

During the difficult periods of the battle, he was always in the most critical sectors of the military operations of the army. Is persistent, disciplined, has initiative, and is energetic, demanding of himself and his subordinates, brave, firm in character, irascible. Shows concern for subordinates. He enjoys well-deserved authority and respect among the personnel. Loyal to the party of LENIN-STALIN and the Socialist Motherland.”

Commander-in-Chief of the Group of Soviet Occupation Forces in Germany, Marshal of the Soviet Union Zhukov

Member of the Military Council, Lieutenant General Telegin


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