Publication Details

Brown, S. M. (2003). Klim Voroshilov and the Red Cavalry: reassessing the most incompetent man in the Red Army. In C. Leitz & J. Zizek (Eds.), Writing Europe's Pasts: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the Australian Association for European History (pp. 313-323). Unley, South Australia: Australian Humanities Press.


Cavalrymen have not had a good press in the twentieth century, especially when their responsibilities have extended outside their specialist field. In his memoirs, former Prime Minister Lloyd George blamed the 'ridiculous cavalry obsession' of his generals for the needless deaths of British soldiers in World War One. I A variation on this theme is to be found in the literature concerning the Red Army in the lead-up to the Second World War. Here the alleged culprit was KErn Voroshilov (1881-1969), the man chosen by Joseph Stalin to serve as Peoples Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs from 1925 to 1934 and Commissar for Defence from 1934 to 1940.