Fedor Tolbukhin
Historical Figure
Nationality: Russian citizen of the Soviet Union (born in the Russian Empire)
Date of Birth: 1894
Date of Death: 1949
Cause of Death: Complications due to diabetes
Occupation: Soldier
Military Branch: Imperial Russian Army (World War I);
Red Army (World War II)
Political Party: Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Fictional Appearances:
"The Phantom Tolbukhin"
POD: c. 1937
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Occupation: Guerrilla chieftain
Affiliations: Fourth Ukrainian Front (WWII)
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Novel only
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Military Branch: Red Army (World War II)
Political Office(s): Military Governor of North Japan

Fedor Ivanovich Tolbukhin (16 June 1894 – 17 October 1949) was a Soviet military commander. During World War II, Tolbukhin was responsible for invading/liberating much of Eastern Europe, including Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Hungary. Tolbukhin was unusual among Soviet military leaders in that he was careful about planning his operations, with an eye to minimizing Soviet casualties. During the war, he participated the Battle of Stalingrad, for which he received praise for his prowess by his commanding officer. In 1944, as commander of the Fourth Ukrainian Front, he occupied Bulgaria, and then liberated Yugoslavia that winter. 

After the war he was made commander-in-chief of the Southern Group of Forces, which comprised the Balkans. In January 1947, Tolbukhin was made the commander of the Transcaucasus Military District, a post he held until his death.

Fedor Tolbukhin in "The Phantom Tolbukhin"

After the Soviet government collapsed during World War II, Fedor Tolbukhin and the Fourth Ukrainian Front continued daring and desperate guerrilla raids against German positions. His talent for sneaking up on his enemy, dealing a destructive blow, and fading away earned him the nickname "Phantom".

In 1947, Tolbukhin led a very successful raid against the occupied Ukrainian city of Zaporozhye.[1]

Fedor Tolbukhin in Joe Steele

After the Red Army invasion of the Japanese Home Islands, and the formation of the Japanese People's Republic on the island of Hokkaido and parts of Honshu north of the Agano River, the Soviet Union leadership under Leon Trotsky put Field Marshal Fedor Tolbukhin in charge of managing the Japanese Communists the Kempeitai hadn't eliminated, and carrying out Trotsky's policies in Japan. His American counterpart was General Dwight Eisenhower.[2]

Literary comment

Tolbukhin is not mentioned in the short story.


  1. See, e.g., Counting Up, Counting Down, pgs 105-118, pb.
  2. Joe Steele, pg. 325, pb.
Military offices
(Fictional Work)
Preceded by
(as Emperor of Japan)
Military Governor of the Japanese People's Republic
Joe Steele

Succeeded by