Generalissimo of the Soviet Union STALIN Iosif Vissarionovich (1879-1953) In the years of the Great Patriotic War (1941 -1945), Chairman of the Council of the National Economy (SNK) of the USSR, Chairman of the State Defence Committee (GKO), Chairman of the Supreme Command Headquarters (the 'Stavka'), People's Commissar of Defence of the USSR, and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the USSR. The Stalin-led 'Stavka' and the General Staff as its control body exercised direct control of military operations and planned campaigns and strategic operations. The State Defence Committee and other top state and political bodies headed by Stalin carried out massive efforts to mobilise all the country's reserves to rebuff the aggressor and attain victory. As head of the Soviet government, Stalin took part in the work of the Tehran (1943), the Crimean (1945), and the Potsdam (1945) conferences of the leaders of the three powers - the USSR, the United States and Great Britain. Hero of Socialist Labour, Hero of the Soviet Union; was twice awarded the highest military order of Victory and decorated with many other orders and medals.