Marhsal of Soviet Union G. Kulik resolution in red pencil on WWII document (8x 12"). Dated July 30, 1940. The document the Secretary of Defence Committee of USSR asking to delay the time of preparation for fragmentation-lanmine bombs and armour-piercing bombs. Kulikov wrote: "To Comrade Konukov. Follow by the last terms of order's preporation. Kulik. The Soviet Union was prepared to defence the country from Nazi Germany.
G. I. Kulik (1890 - 1950) was a Soviet military commander and Marshal of the Soviet Union. A soldier in the army of the Russian Empire in World War I, he joined the Bolshevik Party in 1917 and the Red Army in 1918. During the Russian Civil War he become a commander in the Soviet artillery, seeing action at Kharkov and other battles. In 1937 Kulik became head of the Red Army's Main Artillery Directorate, and remained commander of the Soviet artillery forces until 1941. He was both a loyal Stalinist and a military conservative, opposed to the radical reforms proposed by Mikhail Tukhachevsky during the 1930s. For this reason he survived Stalin's Great Purge of the Red Army in 1937-38, and in 1939 he became Deputy People's Commissar of Defence, also taking part in the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland in September. He led the Soviet's artillery attack on Finland at the start of the Winter War. He was awarded the title of "Hero of the Soviet Union" in recognition of "outstanding services to the country and personal courage. On May 8, 1940, Kulik was named a Marshal of the Soviet Union, along with Semyon Timoshenko and Shaposhnikov. He had a reputation as an incompetent officer and a bully, but his closeness to Stalin put him beyond criticism. He could not protect his wife though, Kira Simonich, who two days before Kulik's promotion had been arrested on Stalin's order. She was subsequently executed. Kulik used his position to oppose Timoshenko's campaign to develop the Red Army's mechanized forces and to use minefields as a defensive measure, regarding mines as "a weapon of the weak." This resistance to reform had severe consequences for the Soviet Union. Kulik also underestimated the role of submachine guns in the contemporary warfare, dubbing them "a pure police weapon" because of their relative (compared to the rifle) inaccuracy when fired. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Kulik took command of the 54th Army on the Leningrad front.Here his incompetence caught up with him, and he presided over heavy Soviet defeats that resulted in the city of Leningrad being surrounded. In March 1942 he was court-martial and demoted to the rank of Major-General. His status as one of Stalin's cronies saved him from the firing squad that was the fate of other defeated Soviet generals. In April 1943 he became commander of the 4th Guards Army. From 1944 to 1945 he was Deputy Head of the Directory of Mobilization, and Commander of the Volga Military District. After a respite during and immediately after the war, Stalin and his police chief Lavrenty Beria began a new round of military purges due to Stalin's jealousy and suspicion of the generals' public standing. Kulik was dismissed from his posts in 1946 after NKVD telephone eavesdroppers overheard him grumbling that politicians were stealing the credit from the generals. Arrested in 1947, he remained in prison until 1950, when he was condemned to death and executed for treason. He was rehabilitated by Nikita Khrushchev in 1956, and posthumously restored to the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union.