To this end the new Naval Commissariat, which had last enjoyed independent existence in 1918, was reformed.

The new Commissar for the Navy was not, however, V. M. Orlov, who had been head of the naval forces in 1937, but P. A. Smirnov, who had been a rather obscure officer of the Naval Inspectorate. The appointment of Smirnov in January 1938 signalled the disgrace of Orlov and his command group. Muklevich had been seized in May 1937 and presumably executed in the summer. Orlov was not shot at once; his biographical entry ends on 28th July, 1938.2 Orlov's former deputy Ludri (who had been superseded in January 1937), the Baltic Fleet commander Zivkov, Black Sea Fleet commander Koshchanov, Northern Fleet commander Dushkenov, Kadostkii of the Amur Flotilla, Aleksandrov, Stashevich and Petrov of the Naval Academy were liquidated in the course of 1938. Naval officers were seized and removed from ships, naval installations and educational institutions. Only Viktorov survived the purge of fleet commanders. As an 'agent of Fascism', Tukhachevsky's name was finally dragged in to complete the

vilification of the Orlov-Muklevich-Ludri group, and Tukhachevsky was to be charged with preventing' ... the addition to the navy of new surface ships'.3 This was the extreme of nonsense. In 1936 Tukhachevsky had spoken with approval of the measures taken to increase the strength of Soviet surface forces, to bring the navy on to rather than lmder the sea.