Clement Efremovich Voroshilov - a happy man. He lived a long life, went through two wars and was not even injured, was not particularly sick, experienced, of course, trouble, but in words he did not sit, was not shot, relatives were not injured.
I must say that Voroshilov was never a military leader at all. That is, to military affairs, he was not suitable. And the point here is not only that he never studied (Voroshilov had two classes of education), but that there was no talent in him. He was not fit for military purposes. Of course, this sounds ridiculous about a man who for a decade and a half was a war minister of a great power. But this is so.
Voroshilov owed Stalin his entire military and state career. First, our hero was from a simple family. Secondly, his political temperament was incredible. Clement Efremovich very early joined the revolutionary movement. In 1903 he joined the Social Democratic Party, became a Bolshevik. Then arrest for arrest, link by reference ...
In 1917, Voroshilov - military commander of Petrograd. In 1918, at the head of the Lugansk detachment, he was sent to fight with the Ukrainian nationalists, as they said. But then to his misfortune ... After all, not only Soviet Russia, but also Ukraine signed peace with the Germans. By virtue of this peace concluded by Kiev, German troops enter the territory of Ukraine, knock Voroshilov out, who, with his detachment, retreats to Tsaritsyn in disgrace. And at this very moment, the commissioner for food procurement, the people's commissar for nationalities, a member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party, Joseph Stalin, arrives in Tsaritsyn.
Clement Voroshilov in the years of exile, 1911
Tsaritsyn - a key place in the biography of Stalin. Why? 1917 He is invisible, not a speaker, no one knows what he does. The post of People's Commissar for Nationalities is not one of the first or important. He is sent to harvest food. There he, with a mandate signed by Lenin, with the title of a member of the Central Committee of the Party, suddenly feels that he is a leader. And he begins to take on the duties of a military leader. And there Krasnov comes, the Cossacks, someone else. There are battles under Tsaritsyn, because this is the key point. This is the Volga, through which food goes to the center of Russia. The key question is to save Tsaritsyn for the Bolsheviks. Professional military resist Stalinist orders. It was then, in Tsaritsyn, that Stalin's hatred of personnel officers arose. He begins to destroy him there. And this contempt for regular officers, for military professionals he will carry through his whole life. And here comes Voroshilov at the head of the defeated squad. He also does not want to obey the officers. Why on earth would he follow orders from gold miners? That is, they found each other.
And this, I must say, was a choice for life. Voroshilov himself was very soft, comfortable, clinging to a strong figure. The latter is key to its political character. If he got to someone else, he would stick to him. But he got to Stalin.
Voroshilov was a good man. He was not mean, evil. For example, he raised children of the early dead Mikhail Vasilyevich Frunze, and Tatiana, and Timur. Stepan Mikoyan, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Lieutenant General, said: “Voroshilov really liked me humanly. He was a very nice, very friendly person ... ".
During the years of the Civil War, under Stalin's pressure from Voroshilov, they sometimes put one or another command post. Every time unsuccessfully. There is a review by Antonov-Ovseenko, who fought on the Ukrainian front, that Voroshilov is credited with victories, which are not, that he failed, and so on. But Voroshilov and Budyonny stand at the head of the First Cavalry Army. And this, as is known, is Stalin's cadres.
Voroshilov became a member of the Central Committee very early. Then Stalin introduced him to the Organizing Bureau, appointed Commissar of Defense. For three and a half decades, Clement Efremovich was a member of the top leadership of the party and the state.
The USSR People's Commissar for Defense, Kliment Voroshilov, meets with Komsomol members who were awarded the Voroshilovsky marksman honorary badge, November 1, 1935. Photo: Ivan Shagin / RIA News
After the Winter War with Finland, which became another military failure for Voroshilov, Stalin removed him from the post of Commissar of Defense. But then, when the war began, when Joseph Vissarionovich fell into complete despair and sent everyone who was to the front, our hero suddenly got a military position again - became commander-in-chief of the troops of the North-Western direction.
The question involuntarily arises: “Why did Stalin forgive Voroshilov again?” There are two explanations for this. First, Clement Efremovich at the time was a legendary figure who entered national mythology. “And the first marshal will lead us into battle!” - this is about Voroshilov. Voroshilovsky breakfast, Voroshilovsky volley, "Voroshilovsky shooter" and so on. It was impossible for Stalin to manage without Voroshilov, so he did not touch him. Until 1944, he symbolically kept him at headquarters, in the defense committee, and then threw him out of the mood, which he had never done before.
After 1945, Voroshilov led the occupational commission in Hungary. Then Stalin made him deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers. That is, the dismissal has already begun. Voroshilov’s wife has an entry in her diary, where she complains, they say, there used to be times when we visited Joseph Vissarionovich, dancing there, music, and now it’s so difficult ... Voroshilov worries: Stalin stopped communicating with him, and besides misses an opportunity to give it around the nose in public.
For example, after (naturally) Stalin's sanctions, Voroshilov signed a decree on the opening of a certain number of Orthodox churches. As soon as he did it - a crushing decree of the Politburo: "How dare?" Who is guilty? Voroshilov, who else?
Khrushchev tried Pepsi during a visit to the United States in 1959. Next to him are Richard Nixon and Clement Voroshilov.
But the worst time for our hero comes after the XIX Congress, although he is elected to the Presidium of the Central Committee (instead of the Politburo). The Bureau of the Central Committee included mostly new people (Salin himself made lists), the old ones were removed. Molotov, Mikoyan at the plenum, the leader mixes with mud. And then, it is fixed, he says, looking at Voroshilov: “And how did this English spy come to our presidium?” They answer him: “Joseph Vissarionovich, Comrade Stalin, that’s what you yourself called his name.” "Yes?" - surprised Stalin.
Of course, today we can only guess what Stalin planned, but, apparently, he was preparing to completely get rid of the old members of the party leadership: Molotov, Mikoyan and Voroshilov as well. Therefore, waiting for Clement Efremovich fate is very sad. But to his happiness in March 1953, the “father of nations” passed away.
Under Khrushchev, Voroshilov was again, as the youth say, in chocolate. Honor, respect ... Although Nikita Sergeevich our hero, most likely, did not like, but clung to him.
Seven years, until 1960, Voroshilov was chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. And, perhaps, it would have been even longer, but ... lost on history with the reception of the ambassador of Iran. Great story! A new Iranian ambassador handed him credentials. Handed over. And here Voroshilov simply says to him: “We, too, until 1917, Nikolashka was. We dropped it and how he healed well. You need to do the same. ”
The shocked ambassador, having returned, wrote a telegram. And how did this become known? Telegrams were intercepted. Our KGB read the Iranian correspondence and put it on the table for Khrushchev. He made a scandal: "Well, what are you doing?" "What do you mean! I know how to talk to this audience, - Voroshilov began to make excuses. “I had a deal with her back to the First Russian Revolution!” Here they got rid of our hero and transferred to the Presidium members. Very much he tired of all.
Voroshilov died in the 89th year of life. He was buried in Red Square near the Kremlin wall.