Ivan Isakov

Ivan Isakov

Infobox Military Person
name=Hovanness Stepanee Isakov
lived=August 22, 1894 - October 11, 1967
placeofbirth=Hadjikhend, Kars Oblast, Russian Empire
placeofdeath=Moscow, Soviet Union

caption=Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union, Ivan Isakov.
allegiance=Soviet Union
rank=Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union (March 3, 1955)
branch= Soviet Navy
commands=Baltic Fleet
awards=-Order of Lenin (6)
-Order of the Red Banner (3)
-Order of Ushakov, First Class (2)
-Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class
-Order of the Red Star
-Hero of the Soviet Union (May 7, 1965)

Hovhanness Stepanee Isakov (Armenian: Հովհաննես Սթեփանի Իսակով, Russian: Иван Степанович Исаков) (OldStyleDate|22 August|1894|August 10 - October 11, 1967) was a Soviet Armenian military commander, chief of staff and Admiral of the Fleet in the Soviet Navy. He played a crucial role in shaping the Soviet navy, particularly the Baltic and Black Sea flotillas during the Second World War. Asides from his military career, Isakov became a member and writer of the oceanographic committee of the Soviet Union Academy of Sciences in 1958 and in 1967, became an honorary member of that of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic's Academy of Sciences.

Early life

Isakov was born in the family of an Armenian railway worker in the village of Hadjikhend in the Kars Oblast in the Russian Empire (currently the Kars vilayet of Turkey). He went to Tiflis, Georgia where he studied and graduated in mathematical and science studies in 1913.

Military career

Early service

In 1917, Isakov traveled to Petrograd, Russia and entered the "guardmarineskee" of the Imperial Russian Navy and graduated as a warrant officer in March of that year. He continued his service after the Russian Revolution in the Baltic Sea fleet where he served on several warships including the "Izyaslav", the "Riga", the "Kobchik" and the "Korshun". In 1918, he took part in several battles against the German Imperial Navy until the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which effectively ended the war between Russia and Germany, granting the Baltic Sea to the latter. In March 1918, Isakov participated in the Ice Cruise of the Baltic Fleet from the naval base at Helsingfors where Russian warships and icebreakers were transferred from the Baltic to the naval base in Krondstadt near Petrograd.

In 1920, Isakov was transferred and served on the destroyer "Deyatelnee" which patrolled from the Volga River down to the Caspian Sea and later shelled the positions of Allied interventionist forces in the midst of the Russian Civil War. Noted for his distinction during the battles, in 1921 he was made the gun battery commander of the destroyer "Izyaslav". From 1922 to 1927, he served as a "shtap operative", or a member of the deputy chief of staff, of naval forces in the Black Sea Fleet. In 1928, Isakov completed advanced courses on senior officer training from the Leningrad Naval Academy.

World War II

In 1932, Isakov became the professor and the overall art department head of the Soviet Naval Military Academyand taught as a professor for five years until being promoted commander of the Baltic Fleet. In 1938, he was made a "podpolkovnik" or lieutenant colonel and chief of main naval headquarters. During the Winter War, he coordinated not only the movement of naval warships in the Baltic Sea but also the Red Army in the Soviet war against Finland.

With the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the Soviet Navy's manpower decreased substantially due to a need of men needed to help stave off advances made by Nazi Germany. Nevertheless, Isakov temporarily served in the Soviet Red Banner Northern Fleet until 1942 where he became a commander in the North Caucasus front where German forces were attempting to penetrate the oil fields of Baku. There, he was a member of the North-Caucasian Directive, a military council which planned operations and directed naval forces defending in the region. He was responsible for the successful naval landing by Soviet forces on the Kerch peninsula, then held by German forces. On October 4, 1942, Isakov was injured in a German bombing raid in Tuapse and had his foot amputated, spending the remainder of the war in a field hospital.


On May 31, 1944, Isakov was promoted to the service rank of Admiral of the Fleet.

cholarly work

After becoming a professor in 1932, Isakov spent much of his time researching military naval tactics and strategy. From 1932 to 1933, he participated in a Soviet military report which examined German naval tactics used during battles in the First World War. In 1937, he received his doctorate after defending his dissertation on the routing of German forces by the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Battle of Tsingtao in 1914.


*hy icon Bagdasaryan A. and Haroutyounyan A. "Isakov, Hovhanness". Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia. vol. IV Yerevan: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, 1978. pp. 389-390
*ru icon [http://www.warheroes.ru/hero/hero.asp?Hero_id=1466 Heroes of the Soviet Union: Ivan Isakov] . Accessed December 28, 2006.
*Åselius, Gunnar. "The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Navy in the Baltic 1921-1941". New York: Routledge, 2005

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