Ivan Susloparov
Ivan Alekseyevich Susloparov (19 October 1897 — 16 December 1974) was a Soviet general who served as the Military Liaison Mission
Military Liaison Missions
The Military Liaison Missions arose from reciprocal agreements formed immediately after the Second World War between the Western allied nations and the USSR...

 Commander with the French government and the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe in 1944-45. He is mostly known as the person who signed for the Soviet Union the German Instrument of Surrender on May 7, 1945. However, since he did not have an authorization from Moscow to do so, the Soviet Union insisted on signing another Act of Military Surrender near Berlin two days later.


Ivan Alekseyevich Susloparov was born in the village of Krutikhintsy, in what's today Kumensky District of Kirov Oblast
Kirov Oblast
Kirov Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Kirov. Population: -History:In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Vyatka remained a place of exile for opponents of the tsarist regime, including many prominent revolutionary figures.In 1920, a number of...

 in north-eastern European Russia.
He fought in the First World War as a non-commissioned officer, participated in the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 of 1917, and fought in the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 on the Eastern and Southern Fronts of the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

. After the Reds' victory, Susloparov stayed in the army. While in service, he graduated from Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

's Joint Military School in 1925, and from Engineering Command Department of Dzerzhinsky Military Academy in 1938.

In 1939 Susloparov was appointed as the Soviet military attaché
Attaché is a French term in diplomacy referring to a person who is assigned to the diplomatic or administrative staff of a higher placed person or another service or agency...

 in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, where, it is said, he also was in charge of the Soviet military intelligence network in Western Europe, including the so-called Rote Kapelle organization.

When General Officer ranks were introduced in the Red Army, Susloparov was made Major General; the commission was reported in the Red Star
Krasnaya Zvezda
Krasnaya Zvezda is an official newspaper of Soviet and later Russian Ministry of Defence. It was founded on January 1, 1924. Today its official designation is "Central Organ of the Russian Ministry of Defence."...

on July 12, 1940.

After the invasion of the Soviet Union by Germany in 1941, Susloparov served in the headquarters of the Red Army's artillery; from 1942 until the middle of 1944 he was the commander of the artillery of the 10th Army
10th Army (Soviet Union)
The 10th Army of the Soviet Union's Red Army was a field army active from 1939 to 1944.The Army was formed in September 1939 in the Moscow Military District, and then deployed to the Western Special Military District...

 of the Western Front.
In the summer of 1944 Susloparov was posted to recently liberated Paris again, as the chief of the Soviet liaison mission with the French Government and the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force
Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force
Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force , was the headquarters of the Commander of Allied forces in north west Europe, from late 1943 until the end of World War II. U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was in command of SHAEF throughout its existence...

. His moment of fame came on May 6, 1945, when Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 informed him of the arrival of German general Alfred Jodl
Alfred Jodl
Alfred Josef Ferdinand Jodl was a German military commander, attaining the position of Chief of the Operations Staff of the Armed Forces High Command during World War II, acting as deputy to Wilhelm Keitel...

 with the proposal of Germany's surrender. Although initially planning to surrender only to the Western Allies, the German emissary had to agree to surrender the rump Nazi forces to all allies. As Eisenhower suggested, Susloparov forwarded the proposed text of the surrender instrument to his superiors in Moscow, and started to wait for the authorization to sign it in the name of the USSR. No response, however, came by the scheduled signing ceremony time (2:30 AM on May 7), and General Susloparov made what, in retrospect, was the right decision: sign the document, but with the caveat that a new surrender ceremony may take place elsewhere if any of the allies request it.

As Susloparov went to report on his actions to Moscow, he saw a freshly arrived order not to sign the act.

Just as Susloparov expected, the Soviet Government indeed requested a second surrender ceremony, which took place in Karlshorst
Karlshorst is a locality in the borough of Lichtenberg in Berlin. It houses a harness racing track and the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin , the largest University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, and the German-Russian Museum Berlin-Karlshorst.-History:Established in 1895 as the...

 near Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 late on May 8. General Susloparov was present there as well.

After the war, General Susloparov worked in the Military Diplomatic Academy (Военно-дипломатическая академия) in Moscow, an institution that trained military attachés and intelligence officers.
His job title was described as nachalnik kursa, i.e. the officer in charge of all cadets who entered the academy in a particular year. He died on December 18, 1974 in Moscow and was buried in Vvedenskoye Cemetery.
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