Marshal M. V. Zakharov signed greeting card, addressed to his comrade in arms Marshal Brayko on the 51st Anniversary of Great October Revolution.
Matvei Vasilevich Zakharov, (August 17, 1898- January 31), 1972 Marshal of the Soviet Uion, Chief General Staff, Deputy Defense Minister. Zakharov joined the Red Guards (precursor to the Red Army) in 1917. He served under Kliment Voroshilov during the Russian Civil War. Zakharov graduated from the Frunze Military Academy in 1928, and from Soviet General Staff Academy in 1937. Zakharov held a number of high-ranking positions before World War II even began. In 1937 he was made the Chief of Staff of the Leningrad Military District, then from 1938-1940 he was the Deputy Chief General Staff, and then the Chief of Staff of the Odessa Military District. When war broke out with the opening of Opration Barbarossa, Zakharov was in command of several armies in the South. However, by the end of 1941, he was moved north, where he was made the Chief of Staff of the Northwestern Theatre. Soon thereafter, he was made the Chief of Staff of the Kalinin Front, a role he held for most of 1942. In 1943, he was made the Chief of Staff of the Steppe Front, which was renamed the 2d Ukrainian Front around mid-year. It was in this capacity that Zakharov proved himself as one of the Soviet Unionís top military commanders. He helped plan a number of brilliant operations against German forces, first as a subordinate to Marshal I. Konev, and then under Marshal R. Malinovsky. After the cessation of hostilities with Germany, Zakharov was transferred east, where he was made the Chief of Staff of the Transbaikal Front, and helped plan the subsequent invasion of Manchuria. After the war, Zakharov held a number of key positions in the army. Between 1945-1960, Zakharov was the Commandant of the General Staff Academy, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Chief Inspector of the Army, Commander in Chief of the Leningrad Military District and Commander in Chief of the Group of the Soviet Forces in Germany. On May 8, 1959, Zakharov was made a Marshal of the Soviet Union. After attaining that rank, Zakarhov was simultaneously made Chief of the General Staff and Deputy Minster of Defence from 1960-63. He then briefly went back to the General Staff Academy where he was once again the commandant until 1964, when he was made the Deputy Minister of Defense, a post he held until his retirement in 1971. Marshal M. V. Zakharov died on Janyary 31, 1972. The urn containing his ashes is buried by the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.