Polish-born Soviet field-marshal. Rokossovsky enlisted in the Tsarist army and joined the Red Army in 1919. Arrested during Stalin's purges, he was released from prison camp to become one of the outstanding generals of World War II, taking part in the battles of Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, and others. His Red Army troops stood by (August–September 1944) on the outskirts of Warsaw without helping in the Warsaw Uprising against the German occupying forces. After the war he was transferred to the Polish army and became Deputy Premier and Minister of Defence under President Bierut. Rokossovsky led the army in a bloody suppression (June 1956) of Polish workers in Poznán, who were demonstrating for “bread and freedom”. On 20 October Polish and Soviet troops exchanged fire; Rokossovsky's troops were recalled to Moscow, and Gomułka's new nationalist government was able to claim some independence from interference by the Soviet Union.
Subjects: World History.