How many times did Stalin travel to the front during World War II?

Pavel Sokolov-Skalya/Yaroslavl Art Museum
Unlike Hitler, the Soviet leader did not plan his trips to the front in advance.

There is an erroneous belief that Supreme Commander Joseph Stalin never went to the front and preferred to lead the troops without leaving the comfort of his office in the Kremlin.

In fact, Stalin actually traveled many times to the various locations of the Red Army. Because of the top-secret nature of such trips, their exact number is unknown, however it ranges from four to ten times.

“During the defense of Moscow, Stalin went to the front twice,” recalled Sergo, son of Lavrenty Beria, Commissar of Internal Affairs of the USSR: “No one and they were never planned in advance. For example, when he was traveling to the Volokolamsk area, he suddenly called Zhukov and my father and said that, together with them, he intended to visit one of the front lines on that day… Two companies of the NKVD regiment accompanied him… The Supreme spent some time at the command post, examined the German front line and we went back to Moscow.” 

It is also known about Stalin’s trip to the headquarters of the Kalinin front of General Andrey Eremenko in Rzhev (230 km from Moscow) in early August 1943. The visit of the Commander-in-Chief was connected with preparations for operation ‘Suvorov’ to liberate Smolensk and defeat the left wing of the German Army Group Center.

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