Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevsky (February 16 [O.S. February 4] 1893 – June 12, 1937) was a Soviet military commander, chief of the Red Army (1925–1928), and one of the most prominent victims of Stalin's Great Purge of the late 1930s. In 1935 Tukhachevsky was made a Marshal of the Soviet Union, aged only 42. It was subsequently alleged that during these visits he contacted anti-Stalin Russian exiles and began plotting against Stalin. Tukhachevsky was arrested on May 22, 1937, and charged with organization of "military-Trotskyist conspiracy" and espionage for Nazi Germany. After a secret trial, Tukhachevsky and eight other higher military commanders were convicted, and executed on June 12, 1937.
- I am convinced that all that is needed in order to achieve what I want is bravery and self-confidence. I certainly have enough self-confidence...I told myself that I shall either be a general at thirty, or that I shall not be alive by then.
- 1914. Quoted in "The Red Army" - Page 111 - by Michel Berchin, Eliahu Ben-Horin - 1942
- Many desire it. We are a slack people but deeply destructive. Should there be a revolution, only God knows where it will end. I think that a constitutional regime would mean the end of Russia. We need a despot!
- Speaking about revolution in Russia. Quoted in "The Red Army" - Page 112 - by Michel Berchin, Eliahu Ben-Horin - 1942
- There can be no doubt that if we had been victorious on the Vistula, the revolutionary fires would have reached the entire continent.
- Quoted in "A century's journey: how the great powers shape the world" - Page 175 - by Robert A. Pastor, Stanley Hoffmann - Political Science - 1999
- I am also pretty sure that the purge in the Red Army had a great deal to do with Stalin's belief in an imminent war with Germany. What did Tukhachevsky stand for? People of the French Deuxieme Buereau told me long ago that Tukhachevsky was pro-German. And the Chechs told me the extraordinary story of Tukhachevsky's visit to Prague, when towards the end of a banquet - he had got rather drunk - he blurted out that an agreement with Hitler was the only hope for both Czechoslovakia and Russia. And he then proceeded to abuse Stalin. The Czechs did not fail to report this to Kremlin, and that was the end of Tukhachevsky - and so many of his followers.
- Alexander Worth in his book Moscow 41. Quote from Harpal Brar's Perestroika - The complete collapse of revisionism, page 161.
- Tukhachevsky was an especially damaging loss for the army and the state.
- Andrei Gromyko
- Lenin sensed that Tukhachevsky was a kindred spirit. He delegated the most responsible jobs to the obscure lieutenant.
- Dmitri Shostakovich
- Tukhachevsky hid Napoleon's baton in his rucksack.
- Lazar Kaganovich -- Quoted in "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar," - page 222 - by Simon Sebag Montefiore.