Admiral of the Fleet (Soviet Union)

Admiral of the Fleet (Soviet Union)

The rank of Admiral of the Fleet (Russian: "Admiral Flota", Адмирал флота ) was the highest naval rank of the Soviet Union from 1940 to 1955 and second-highest from 1962.

The rank has a rather confusing history. It was first created by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in 1940 as an equivalent to General of the Army, but was not used until 1944, when Ivan Isakov and Nikolai Kuznetsov were promoted to the rank.

The 1944 insignia featured four Nakhimov stars, but when the rank was declared equivalent to the Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1945, they were replaced with a single, bigger star to look similar to Marshal's shoulder boards. The two existing Admirals of the Fleet were given this new 'big' "Marshal's Star". So from 1945 to 1962, there was no intermediate rank equivalent to Generals of the Army in between Admiral and Admiral of the Fleet.

The rank was abolished in March 1955 with the creation of the rank of Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union but restored in 1962 as the second-highest navy rank. Holders of the ranks were given a smaller "Marshal's Star" since then.


According to Kuznetsov, the rank was conferred on him by Joseph Stalin in May 1944.

"In 1944," Kuznetsov wrote, "Stalin, quite inexpectedly 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. I reported that foreign Navies had a rank of Admiral of the Fleet. [So] it was decided to institute the rank of Admiral of the Fleet, with four stars on the shoulder straps. So I obtained the next rank of Admiral of the Fleet."

In 1948 Kuznetsov was demoted two grades to the rank of Counter Admiral. Soon before Stalin's death, however, Kuznetsov was again restored as an "Admiral of the Fleet" and was among the two Admirals to receive the rank of "Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union" upon its official creation in 1955, the other being Ivan Isakov.

ee also

* Admiral of the Fleet (Russia)
* Russian military ranks
* Admiral of the Fleet

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