Golikov saw service during the Russian Civil War. Immediately before the outbreak of the German-Soviet War, he commanded the 6th Army during the Soviet invasion of Poland, and was later in charge of the Soviet Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) (1940-41), personally leading Soviet military missions in Great Britain and United States. During the World War II, he commanded the Bryansk Front (1942) and Voronezh Front (1942-43), before being appointed Assistant Minister of Defense (April 1943), at which post he was responsible for the repatriation of Soviet POW. The war over, he held various offices in the Ministry of Defense.
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