Joseph Stalin's Height
5ft 6in (167.6 cm)
Infamous Russian Leader. President Truman's white house physician, Wallace H Graham, said in 1989 (trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/grahamw.htm): "Before I met him, I had thought he was a large man. I thought he would be a great big huge person, but no, he wasn't at all. He and Hitler were about the same height, approximately five feet, eight. I saw Hitler many, many times, and Goering and Goebbels. Stalin was a broad fellow, with a very heavily pock-marked face"
Stalin has also been described as 5ft 4,5,6...Harry Truman once commented in Life "I was surprised at Stalin's stature - he was not over 5 feet 5 or 6 inches tall. When we had pictures taken, he would usually stand on the step above me. Churchill would do the same thing."
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Average Guess (17 Votes)
5ft 5.41in (166.1cm)
Rising - 174 cm said on 10/Sep/17
@James: Certainly true the US was nowhere near neutral by 1940 at the very latest. This was obvious towards Germany with us giving locations to the Royal Navy and then gave the ultimatum to Japan(full withdrawal from China + repudiation of Axis alliance) that it was obvious Japan would never accept and it was expected they'd attack, FDR and his men just didn't think the attack would occur in Hawaii or be as devastating as it was. Had FDR been neutral, he wouldn't have smeared Charles Lindbergh and the America First Committee for merely holding them to their public position and the position supported by the vast majority of Americans as shown by all polls pre-Pearl Harbor. FDR was many things, but he was certainly not a stupid politician and obviously wanted to get into the war, but knew most Americans did not support it yet.
@Tunman: Very true, and let's not forget that as much as I criticize FDR, even I can't say he had good information when he opened up relations with the USSR. Walter Duranty admittedly lied about what was going on in the Ukraine and other parts of the rural USSR. Not because Duranty was a sympathizer or fellow traveler like many of the day, but because he wanted access to the show trials of the alleged British spies. In other words, he covered up the murder and genocide of millions for personal gain. Had FDR been given the full picture, I have doubts he'd have opened up relations then and we perhaps would have been more critical and tuned in to the Great Purge in the late 30s, despite some knowledge of it such as the Dewy Commission Report titled "Not Guilty." it is amazing that despite Stalin's claims to the contrary, there was never a plot against him that was a serious threat. Perhaps, Stalin's ruthlessness purging almost everyone--including those like Kirov who challenged his popularity--was effective in deterring most from thinking about it. But the irony is that Stalin's actions and paranoia actually made that paranoia somewhat justified as there were undoubtedly many who wanted him dead and he may have hastened his own demise with his refusal to see doctors he badly needed the last year of his life as well as the fact that people were too afraid to check on him after his stroke due to the risk of disturbing him and angering him since he could be arbitrary enough to suspect someone merely because he thought they had shifty eyes. And while the rumors of Stalin being poisoned are as false as the claims he had killed his second wide Nadezhda, I do believe it's possible Khrushchev, Beria, Malenkov etc. delayed getting him medical help or at least were in no rush to save him. Of course, Beria would have been killed that year or next regardless of whether Stalin lived or died. I'm a bit surprised Beria lasted as long as he did when you remember Yagoda and Yezhov, but then Beria being Georgian probably helped him to some extent as despite Stalin identifying himself as a Russian nationalist, he was often more comfortable with Georgians as he grew older, especially since he never spoke Russian as well. As for Japan, they made major miscalculations in 1940-1941 with all their major strategic moves whether it be the Axis particularly after Barbarossa and their solution to deal with the much-needed oil problem.
Incidentally, I read yet another book recently that described Stalin as 5'4". As I said, I can agree he looked at least an inch taller, but I have to wonder why this is the most repeated figure, especially since while most don't like Stalin for good reason, many historians I see use this figure are pretty accurate in other respects such as dispelling the myths attributed to Stalin such as the claim he murdered his wife as I mentioned above. I think giving Stalin right in the middle of Harry Truman's range at 5'5.5" would be fair. That would make him a half inch taller than the supposedly 5'5" Khrushchev and I have heard he was taller than Khrushchev as I've mentioned on this page.
James said on 26/Aug/17
Many historians have rejected the theory that the Battle of Greece delayed the invasion of the Soviet Union. The heavy thaw meant the rivers and canals were too flooded for armoured units to move before June. The United States was not really neutral before Pearl Harbor - it had imposed an economic embargo against Japan, and was providing the British Empire and the Soviet Union with military and economic aid.
Tunman said on 25/Aug/17
Another important factor is that Stalin had really luck on his side.While Hitler's regime had more and more enemies even before the war began,Stalin's regime was recognized by the west which even started to seek his help which ultimately led to compromises at the expense of eastern Europe.His timely alliance with Hitler made him gain footstep on Europe and made capitalist states destroy each other while he annexed Bessarabia and Baltic states,and the fact that the british never considered peace distracted a considerable part of Hitler's forces in the desert in 1941.On the other hand Japan refused to attack him (but he did in 1945)and finally despite an impressive serie of military disasters in 1941,nobody thought about ousting him.When you think that the Tsar in 1917 was overthrown when the situation was much less catastrophic and military losses still acceptable....
Also,one of Hitler's biggest mistakes was the poor choice in his alliances which if anything caused more damage than it helped.Italy's attack on Greece delayed Barbarossa and ultimately italians switched tides,and Japan attacked US therefore ending their neutrality.
This last point shows why alliances could not be very helpful like you said in one of your former comments:
1)Partners being unreliable (Japan),if not a burden(Italy)
2)Government alliances without strong ties between peoples are easily thrown away at the first occasion (Italy/Romania)
3)Alliance could be perceived by the weak partner as a tool to achieve his own goals (Hungary/Finland).
I'm just surprised that US is still seeking the alliance with countries like Saudi Arabia or Qatar when they're openly favoring terrorism.Even the alliance with Turkey (a member of NATO)is very questionable.The rare constructive alliances could be that with Germany,France,UK,for strong cultural ties and decent economical power.Oh well I may add Albania,the Low Countries and the Baltic States since the belonging for such an alliance was never questioned since they've joined.Small countries with weak military and economical power I reckon but unconditional friends showing an undeniable will to be part of the West working to strengthen the ties and above all very reliable.
James said on 24/Aug/17
Looking at more photographs from the Potsdam Conference I'm not convinced Truman was a full 5'8". Hitler was probably right to invade the Soviet Union as he needed more oil to continue the war against the British Empire. Delaying the invasion would have given Stalin more time to rearm and modernise the Red Army, and in the meantime the Soviets might have attacked Germany.
Rising - 174 cm said on 22/Aug/17
@Tunman: Yeah, Hitler did not have a "Plan B" as far as the bigger picture. As I said a while ago, to him, the war would have been for nothing and he simply could not accept the idea of cutting his losses and salvaging what he could. It's actually quite similar to mistakes some make in business rather than looking at what would be more profitable from that point forward, some insist on looking at it from the time the investment was made. Indeed Hitler had succeeded on a number of gambles and in fact, Operation Barbarossa was almost one of them, but he also couldn't take responsibility for his failures in the strategy based on a severe underestimation of the Soviet Union's capabilities. Hitler had seen them struggle with Finland and in one sense with war clearly inevitable, he may have been right in that the longer time passed, the less any advantage Germany would have as he knew Soviet rearmament was going on, even if he didn't yet know to what degree. It's ironic, but you can see that while Hitler and Stalin expressed mutual admiration on a number of occasions both seemed stunned when one did what the other would. It's actually good for all of us that they couldn't co-exist because as Stalin lamented once, they could have been unstoppable together to paraphrase. Hitler's dream had been decades in the making if you read Mein Kampf so in that sense, his inability to accept his dream slipping away isn't that surprising, but it could also offer us a warning applicable today. While I'm of the opinion that Kim Jong Il wanted to simply maintain in power and did not want an unwinnable war with the US, I don't know enough about Kim Jong Un to make that same statement so we never know what he may do in a desperate effort if he feels he's backed into a corner because he must know as is his father knew that his regime collapsing would mean his death as well. Hitler shows us that not every dictator will take what we may view as the rational course of action when their back is to the wall.
As for Stalin compared to Truman, I've seen about a 2.5" difference. 2" minimum and 3" max, but it depends on Truman's height. Truman does not look as tall as 5'8" to me with Churchill. Often times, they can look pretty close to me, though I once read a rumor about even Churchill wearing lifts. But without considering a possibility of lifts, I wouldn't guess Truman much taller than Churchill with equal posture. On the other hand, Truman didn't look so short to me with MacArthur.
Tunman said on 20/Aug/17
I see your point when you say that Stalin had heavier influence on domestic affairs than Hitler did.As I said he was obsessed with details and he would have controlled how citizens were breathing if he was able.Hitler was more of an adventurer imo.The hardship he knew in his early twenties is quite telling and he allegedly never tried to find stability to the end of his life.He was indeed more interested by what was in relation with the war.Here you can see that his adventurous spirit never left him,after all Rhenania,rearming Germany,Munich...were all risky adventures that may have brought the end of the reich even before the war began had the allies taken the adequate measures.Literally it was all or nothing policy.The attack on the SU a much larger country with endless territory,manpower and resources was the greatest adventure of his life,ultimately that could explain why he never sought peace and instead tried to reverse things in 1943-44 but to no avail.The thing is that he was seeing his dream flying helplessly away but refused the consequences(actually never cared about them),remember that even in the last days with Germany almost entirely occupied he was still thinking about the lebensraum in the east,the adventure of lebensraum was more his obession as there was hardly any german civilians settled in the conquered territories (except wartheland),sure partisans were active but it's more that the project wasn't attractive for the mass of german people who imo was more interested by the material gain the war could potentially bring.
In Potsdam conference I felt he could look anywhere from 5'5.25" up to 5'5.75" with Truman.Possibly the former being more likely but I feel he was a strong 5'5 by 1945 and about 5'6 at peak
Rising - 174 cm said on 19/Aug/17
@Tunman: I am not an expert in psychology either(though I know the criteria for these labels) and I'd agree there's a high probability of both fitting that descrption, but my point was more that Stalin's excesses at times seemed more arbitrary and less focused, like the quotas during the Great Purge/Yezhovshchina while Hitler was more business like or goal-oriented in his atrocities. Ultimately, the results are the same regardless, but just an interesting side discussion. You could say that Stalin was more a micromanager in all areas while Hitler was a relatively lazy dictator in comparison as he almost disregarded domestic issues entirely as the war went on and really focused most of his energy on subjects that interested him like military strategy and architecture. But even as the genocide of the Jews is concerned, Hitler never visited the concentration camps and there's not much record of him referring explicitly to it in the archives. When asked, he'd refer to it as Himmler's affair. He justified his actions, but it appears to be something that developed over time, rather than a goal Hitler set out to accomplish. His goals from his early days just seemed to be to deport Jews out of Germany and said several times, he wasn't concerned with any suffering that took place accomplishing this, but the actual mass murder operations were something that escalated over time and in some cases, Himmler, Heydrich, Eichmann, Goebbels etc. could all be seen as encouraging this policy. Stalin also had willing executioners as evidenced by some NKVD overfulfilling quotas, but it seems the vast majority came from Stalin at the top with his henchmen having less influence. I personally Saddam's actions, the Iraq wars and certainly ISIS. Don't take my comments about Saddam to mean I supported the wars or US involvement there by any stretch, I think ground wars, sanctions and air raids only made things worse, but even so, the mass graves and torture videos are pretty horrific, imo, even if the scale is not what we saw in the 30s and 40s. I agree with you that non-intervention would have been much more preferable. I believe Saddam's Iraq basically presented a choice between a relatively decent life for loyal citizens, but terrible punishment and persecution for dissidents. The same could be said of Khomeini's Iran, though and quite a few other states. I agree about dictators regardless as I believe the freedom to live your life as you please provided you don't hurt or steal from others is a sacred right. In most cases, as bad as abuses may be, the best option is to let the citizens of that country decide how to proceed. I think in all conflicts, you can find atrocities from every side involved. Some are obviously worse than others in most wars, but rarely are all war crimes punished.
@James I agree and I agree with you and Tunman that Stalin looked about 5'5" in 1945, but it is a real question how much he'd have lost by that time in the latter half of his 60s. He looks taller in some photos when he was young, but it could be partially due to people being shorter then. I do still stand by my statement that Churchill had at least an inch on Stalin then and his posture looks pretty horrendous to me. I'm not sure how much taller he'd look without it.
James said on 17/Aug/17
The West basically went to war in 1939 to help Stalin overrun half of Europe and the Baltic States, even though the Soviets supplied all the fuel the Germans used until June 1941. 5'5" in 1945 would seem accurate for Stalin, the question is if his peak height was 5'6".
Tunman said on 13/Aug/17
My knowledge in psychology is quite limited but I think both could be described as psychopaths though everyone in his own way.
Hitler imo follows more the path of a serial killer if you think that the latter has generally obsessions (prost***,virginity,hair,rings or else...)I mean his evolution is quite minimal except for violence,it could correspond enough with Hitler obsessions with jews and pure aryan race,etc and note that both are absolutely unable to fix any limit until getting caught/defeated.Of course there are differences but generally most neighbours of a serial killer can live in relative peace since most aren't his target(but of course they don't know it)
Stalin could be described more as a narcissic pervert in the sense that he's somebody who wants to control everything and takes pleasure to torment others who are really seen as objects on which he could unleash the pain at will and they are of course expandable as you said.
It's true that Stalin was personally more involved in the crimes in SU than Hitler did in Germany (where his crimes are minimal in comparison).But well Stalin's closest circle was literally obliged to commit the crimes,it was a condition for guys like Beria and others to be as bloodthirsty as possible because at the moment they stop nourishing Stalin's paranoia,they become themselves suspects in his eyes.
Also I wouldn't classify Saddam Hussein as having perpetrated real atrocities(the scale is just uncomparable with others mentioned)don't think it's because I'm arab but non interventionism you spoke about in your former comment would have been ideal there.I don't exonerate him from some misdeeds and even crimes but his worst acts are few punitive expeditions which cost hardly some hundreds of lives.I was never a fan of the guy but honestly when seeing the chaos since more than a decade and the number of massacres not to speak of Al Qaeda and more recently ISIS horrors.Many people I know aren't nationalist arabs by any means agree that the guy had the objective to create a strong state,to erase religious,tribal differences which he didn't achieve alas.On a funny note,here is an example which makes me dislike dictators as they steal personal freedom and want to make people similar:did you know that Saddam imposed on fat people to lose weight?I'm myself quite thin but would despise any person deciding on another one to change his/her body.
The more I look to churchill the more I'm convinced he's not much taller than Stalin.It's true his posture isn't great but his hunch isn't that terrible the moreI see.I doubt it took much height maybe 0.5".Also he was able to have better posture at times so he would more likely give a near 5'6 impression.Remember that he lived for another 20 years after 1945,his health wasn't the best but neither the worst.Stalin could have been slightly over 5'5 in 1945 in comparison to him.
Rising - 174 cm said on 11/Aug/17
@Tunman: Of course, Communism in China likely succeeded as well because many Communists and Communist sympathizers, fellow travelers etc. had infiltrated the State Department. This became key in shaping policy, whether the UN charter, Yalta etc. with various people either intentionally or unintentionally pursuing a policy that furthered Communist aims like Harry Dexter White, Laughlin Currie, William Remington, Laurence Duggan Dean Acheson, Alger Hiss, Klaus Fuchs, Julius Rosenberg, Owen Lattimore etc. For instance, refusing the KMT permits even for rifles they were willing to pay for. It's similar with our lackluster support of South Korea. As Owen Lattimore said: "The problem was how to allow them[China] to fall without making it look as if the United States had pushed them." One thing about Japan is, the embargo and the refusal of the United States refusal to give anything in negotiations made it inevitable. This was predicted beforehand and as evil as that Japanese regime was themselves, they would have lost their standing had they agreed. But then I don't think that was the intention at that point. It's amazing how the Allies gave Hirohito a pass considering all the war crimes he authorized and was involved in. As for peace terms, it depends on the time we're referring to. Stalin was naturally more desperate early in the war and would have done more to hold on to power, but Hitler wouldn't have considered it when he was on the verge of winning. I believe we can get an idea of Hitler's views from Christa Schroeder Even from Stalin's end, he treated his soldiers as expendable and because of this, had unbelievable losses, so viewing losses like he would equipment, gave him a real manpower advantage. I think it was clear the Soviets were always aggressors and never liberators, but the propaganda, including Allied propaganda helped them claim to be liberators. You're right, despite Stalin's repeated claims of plots dating back to the Kirov murder, there wasn't anything that got close. Part of it was he terrorized them into submission. He had solidified his power even before the Purge, but the Purge gave him as close to absolute power as you can get, especially since as you mention, he got rid of infamous mass murderers like Yezhov and Yagoda as soon as they had served his purpose. And that's a good point, most would much rather be an ordinary ethnic German living under Hitler than an ordinary Eastern European or Asiatic person living under Stalin. I think Robert Conquest put it best when to paraphrase, he said something like "Hitler killed his avowed enemies, Stalin killed his loyal followers." There were some obvious examples in the show trials of the 30s that proved those charges were false as well and of course, the Doctors Plot was also acknowledged as fabricated shortly after Stalin's death. What also stood out to me is, mass atrocities like Hitler's regime usually occur in a time of war, but Stalin did most of his in a time of peace. Another difference is how much more personally involved Stalin was with the atrocities. We can look at a day like December 12th, 1937 when Stalin ordered more than 3000 executions and then went and viewed a comedy at his private cinema. An early friend said as early as 1901 that blood flow excited Stalin and you can probably say he was a psychopath and in fact, successful people like politicians are more likely to be sociopaths or psychopaths according to some studies. In Hitler's case, he left most of this stuff to Himmler, Heydrich etc. though there was the Soviet commissar order, the Euthanasia order and he certainly justified the Einsatzgruppen mass murders in the occupied territories as necessary pre-emptive killings of partisans and never felt any remorse for these killings so he was certainly a sociopath, but only his reaction to the Night of the Long Knives purge suggested to me he may have been an actual psychopath. In short, if you weren't a persecuted ethnic group or a political opponent, you could have a decent life under National Socialism and probably not worry that much about winding up in a concentration camp, but under Stalin, nobody was safe. Like you, I'm certainly not justifying the atrocities committed by Hitler's regime. To note differences does not exonerate anyone. We could say the same about Imperial Japan, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Idi Amin and most of the Communist regimes.
As for height, I would agree 5'5.5" is fair, but it depends on what you mean by young Stalin and when he shrunk. Young Stalin could give the impression of a 5'6" man in the younger photos well before he took power, but I think he was 5'5" range by the 30s and 40s. I did read Khrushchev was even shorter than Stalin in a biography(I think the one by William Taubman), but his physique may have made him appear even shorter than he was and I don't recall stories of Khrushchev wearing lifts. I'd agree Stalin looked 5'5" or taller(but under 5'6" by WW2 with 5'6.5" Churchill and Tito) but it depends on if Stalin wore lifts in the photos and appearances we see him in.
James said on 11/Aug/17
The attack on Pearl Harbor was inevitable after the economic embargo. However the Axis Powers should have focused on the Soviet Union in 1941.
Stalin was clearly no more than 5'5.5", I think 5'6" would be an exaggeration.
Tunman said on 10/Aug/17
Interesting comment.Best point is that indeed the nature of these regimes makes them respect treaties as long as they are useful,you can mention that USSR attacked Japan in August 1945 and invaded Manchuria,probably to counter americans and to give an advantage to chinese commies.Ironically far-right regimes brought their harshest enemies into power in both cases (commies).Very bad move from Japan was that they attacked a country out of reach and obviously with endless industrial resources and as I said in my former comments Churchill (and even some french)knew the future consequences,they knew that commies would win in China given the support of SU and geographical frontier besides the fact that the Allies were inferior in number and far from their countries (speaking of stalemate in Korea war of course).Non interventionism is indeed a good option but these very specific regimes made US think of themselves as the leaders iof the free world.
As to Stalin I wouldn't be surprised that he planned an attack though we will never know for certain.He was definitely more unpredictable than Hitler.I read that he tried to negociate peace via Bulgaria in August 1941 but circumstances aren't very clear,Hitler would have certainly accepted to have only Belarus,Baltic states and West Ukraine after seeing he underestimated soviet power and especially their T34 but I doubt Stalin seriously considered such peace terms.Anyways it's true that both knew that two expansionist regimes can't cohabit in the same region.Stalin offered Yugoslavia assistance before they were attacked in April 1941,I think that he felt Hitler wanted to dominate Eastern Europe (treaties with Romania,Bulgaria and Finland) and that Europe would escape his control.Nazi attack on SU and its failure was the perfect occasion to dominate the continent as the Red Army was liberating east Europe from Nazism and was therefore able to legitimately dominate these countries without it looking as an agression.
I think a young Staling was somewhere in that 5'5.5-6 range.I would be surprised if he was a sub 5'5.He looks way taller than someone like Krushtchev and like 5-6" taller than 5'Yezhov.
Funny that despite the fact that the regime was literally unhuman with the soviets,nobody tried to kill or overthrow him even during the 1941 disasters.When you think that Hitler was targeted even in 1939 when still dominating it's quite surprising.Actually Stalin own killers NKVD chiefs Yagoda then Yezhov didn't survive.He was way more brutal with his countrymen when you think about deportation of +500,000 Ingush Chechens on false accusations of collaboration.Hitler executed roughly 200 people and sent 5,000 to KL after the 20 July 1944 plot,not saying that it's not terrible but nevertheless Hitler's treatement of Germans was somehow more humane in comparison of Stalin and soviets.Even in the last stages of the war (1945),and even after declaring scorched earth policy,he permitted germans to evacuate cities threatened by soviets.
Rising - 174 cm said on 9/Aug/17
@Tunman: Good post and it seems like we're both operating from a factual basis and then after that, of course opinions can differ once value judgements and personal politics come into play. You make a good point about the time of imperialism and colonialism, which would have been perhaps a turning point regardless as we didn't see the classic imperialist colonies that we did through the late 19th/early 20th centuries, though of course military/client states have continued in some form and of course, the Soviet satellite regimes lasted until the late 80s. But what I'm saying is that whether the British empire lasted much longer, I don't think Britain's choices can be called a success as if I was British, I wouldn't have wanted to lose the empire or even go to war over Poland, but even more so because Poland wound up lost for half a century anyway. As an American, well I'm in favor of the non-interventionist policy America followed before the 20th century or in other words, I personally endore Thomas Jefferson's motto "commerce with all nations, alliance with none" wholeheartedly. This doesn't mean I oppose temporary strategic alliances against a common enemy, but you get my point. I think it was more possible given America's geographic location and technology at the time had we truly followed a policy of neutrality and for both moral and long-term strategic reasons, I personally could have never endorsed any sort of aid to the Soviet Union, particularly under Stalin. My understanding is General George Patton felt similarly by his final days. Perhaps the most interesting part of the war is the German/Soviet dynamic as both leaders' words, views and methods echoed each other in that war. Both viewed the war as inevitable, leaders in both regimes used the phrase "war of extermination" and neither followed observance of basic international law so you saw each kill each other's non-combatants with impunity and as both were totalitarian states fighting for their existence with no regard for casualties, we saw a type of war and death toll that hopefully, will never be repeated. Actually, the Molotov/Ribbentrop pact is a good example of how these regimes viewed treaties. They were purely strategic and only undertaken if they benefited at the time, but were to be scrapped as soon as they no longer strengthened their position. This was true of the Soviets and their numerous violations of treaties like SALT decades later as well. The reason they pursued nuclear freezes at times was because that was the area they lagged far behind in and saw it in their strategic interest to do so. I'm not trying to make Hitler out to be a humanitarian when I say he wanted to avoid war with Britain, but only that it tied into Hitler's racial world view and admiration of the British empire if they could have avoided it. Of course, Hitler wanted it to be on his terms, but Hitler was also an astute enough military strategist to know war with the British and United States would severely threaten his goals of expansion in the East. But he did find it very regretful Britain wouldn't see things his way as you can see in the written record when he repeatedly said he wished they'd see reason as he claimed they were killing each other with only Bolshevism benefiting. I do see his point there as the Soviets were the clear winner after WW2. Similarly, Hitler seeing the hypocrisy in Britain asking Germany give up Poland while they're not giving up India, Palestine, Egypt etc. is understandable if you look at things from an objective, disinterested viewpoint. Of course, I think Versailles and WW1 were also tragic mistakes, but that's another story. You're right that Hitler despised Churchill and he started even speaking about a peace only being possible if Churchill were overthrown. But Hitler made grave errors in severely underestimating the Soviets and their capabilities while planning according to that and he never owned up to his own role in these fatal mistakes. Similarly, Hitler rejected the possible kinds of peace as he simply couldn't cut his losses and make the best out of the situation he found himself in having been so close to defeating the Soviets while having Britain on the ropes early. It was simply all or nothing for Hitler and he couldn't adjust. He'd say "if Germany loses, the German people don't deserve to exist" or that the war would be lost if they give up their territories. In this sense, Hitler became a bit of a madman towards the end of the war in terms of not dealing with reality. But as for the Germans and Soviets, as more recent works the last 30 years have shown, had Hitler not attacked then, the Soviets would have within a few months or in early 1942 at the latest as huge Soviet troop movements, Stalin's secret Kremlin speech the month before, captured Soviet POWs and Soviet maps of German territories showed. Hitler was right in that the longer they'd wait, the worse Germany's chances as Soviet rearmament proceeded rapidly and as mentioned, was much bigger than Hitler first thought. Stalin's response did work out brilliantly and was in line with some pre-war strategies speculated on. But one more fatal mistake Hitler made was not taking enough advantage of dissident Russians and Ukrainians who had initially welcomed the Germans as liberators due to Stalin's widespread shootings, starvation, torture and slave labor of the 30s. Instead, Germany's own brutal methods just drove many of them back as partisans who hurt Germany in the rear and helped turn the war.
@Slim 182: I read approximately 10 books a month. A typical length for a book would be either between 600-700 pages or maybe more broadly between 500-800. Obviously some are less, while some others are even longer.
But yeah, 5'5.5" would be the most I can see if Churchill was 5'6.5" at this time. It all depends on whether Stalin was wearing his lifts during the times we saw him with other leaders with known heights. He
Tunman said on 8/Aug/17
Just to add that the major obstacle was all in all that the german nationalist and imperialist conceptions didn't coincide with what the British expected them to be.Hitler was financed by western countries in 1934-37 because they thought he could be kept under control(Austria,Sudetenland and Memelland return to Germany were accepted but no further concession was to be tolerated on Europe's territory).Well,I think that the British wouldn't have opposed Hitler in 1939 if he invaded the SU but only if sparing Poland which was impossible (geographically speaking)and because of Dantzig and the hatred Hitler had towards poles.Some in Hitler entourage knew that after having launched the attack in the west which failed to bring English surrender,war was impossible to win thought not yet lost.Hess attempt in 1941 to negociate peace was useless as the Casablanca Conference point of unconditional german surrender would show two years later,it just came too late.Stalin handled perfectly the situation in that when he was attacked in 1941,western countries (actually only UK)were deeply engaged in the war in Europe and Mediterranean,he perfectly knew that british would fight to defeat Hitler no matter what the cost would be (eastern Europe).Britain and US were well aware of Stalin's intention to bring communism to Europe and even to the world but the fact that Hitler touched their interests and invaded or bombed their territories was not to be forgiven that easily.Had peace been achieved in late 1939 Hitler could have defeated SU if peace terms concluded with England were favourable to Germany(i.e preventing assistance and lend lease in case of conflict with SU)unlikely that the british would have accepted.Otherwise if he gave up the idea of lebensraum there could have been a cold war between Germany,England and USSR in Europe.
All I'm saying is of course only theory.In the end one could only be happy that the two infamous systems finally collapsed.Oh,and as an Arab,it's better that the British and french finally operated decolonization process.I simply hope that such regimes won't ever exist in the future,better find compromises and keep good neighbour relations.Funny when you see that Germany is today the leading force in the EU,with many eastern countries having the strongest economic ties with Germany.
Tunman said on 8/Aug/17
Good points you brought here,Rising.I know that Stalin and communism were seen from the start as a threat (in fact as early as the Reds denounced Sikes-Picot treaty.No matter what the british opinion about Churchill was,he was one of the rare who foresaw that a new world war was to bring a deadly blow to the British empire that he wanted to last,in fact he knew that most countries in the middle east would turn to SU "allegedly anti imperialistic system"(who dominated ultimately East Europe).Logically,France lost Vietnam in 1954 and Algeria in 1962 and UK started to decolonize after WW2.In simple words he knew the war was to bring Europe suicide and the end of Western domination.
As for Hitler also good point he indeed wanted a free hand in eastern Europe and didn't target british empire though this last statement is quite ambiguous.It's said that some persons in the US (and UK)considered strenthening Nazi Germany (from 1934 to 1937) to counter the power of reds,a good proof is that british hardly frowned when Hitler occupied Rhenania and even after the Anschluss.Munich and more precisely the violation of Munich treaty (occupation of czechia)was a major mistake by Hitler as it was the decisive step that convinced the british that war was the solution because Hitler went out of control,after all they didn't forget that cezchoslovakia and Poland were created partly thanks to them (and Versailles).Another mistake was not to seek peace after having beaten poles.Had he evacuated czechia and let a free part of Poland exist instead of creating General government in late1939-early 1940 things would have been definitely different.The fact is that he didn't have real problems with british but despised their leaders(even blaming them for having literally offered him his own successes on a golden plate,ironically)and his attitude although not as hostile as it was with the SU was ambiguous(invading Benelux France and scandinavia and bombing Britain were useless,imo had he really sought peace with England).It's true that he was obsessed with eastern lebensraum and neglected UK possessions in the Mediterranean and Egypt and ME,which were to be taken easily by Rommel in 1941 given German superiority at that time,but we could only imagine that if he won the war against the SU,he would have soon turned his gaze towards middle east.A nationalist movement as you said,but one that didn't know any limits imo.And well he always promoted white race supremacy (and even forbade Ribbentrop from celebrating the fall of Singapour by Japanese) but nontheless he fought and destroyed white nations not only slavic but many other whites
Slim 182 cm said on 7/Aug/17
Rising, dude, how much do you read!?
Stalin probably wasn't even the full 5'6, I'll guess him at 5'5.5,
Not very impressive.
Rising - 174 cm said on 6/Aug/17
Actually, the Soviets were always a greater threat to the US and Britain than Hitler and Stalin was aggressively expanding himself around that time as well, whether Poland, Finland, the Baltic States, Romania and eventually Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany, North Korea etc. Basically, Britain went to war to stop Germany from doing what they and the US wound up helping the Soviets did. Hitler's ambitions were always in the East, dating back to before he took power, while Communism was supposed to be a world revolution and had subversives who infiltrated the US government, though with "socialism in one country", Stalin didn't emphasize the world revolution part as much and when he needed it, exploited Russian nationalism with "The Great Patriotic War" as an example. Hitler not only badly wanted to avoid war with Britain, but wanted an alliance with them. He thought Britain losing their empire would be a terrible blow for the white race and he just wanted the US to stay out of European affairs period. Hitler started unraveling when the war turned, but he wouldn't have sabotaged his lebensraum dream for needless wars with the US and Great Britain. From both US and British interests, it was a bad move, especially Britain who lost their empire, which was precisely the justification given for entering the war. Communism was a world movement, while National Socialism was a Nationalist movement, albeit an expansionist one in Europe. In reality, there is simply no way Germany posed a greater threat to the US or Great Britain than the Soviets did. Both could be called similar threats to Eastern Europe, though.
But Stalin didn't kill in the name of "equality", in fact, so-called "Kulaks" or "Kurkuls" as called in the Ukraine, were often poor. Not to mention the Kazakhs around the same time. Stalin's Great Purge targeted many loyal Communists as well and sent out execution quotas, which were arbitrary in that the local NKVD just had to find enough people they could call "enemies of the people" - and they could really choose whoever they want - and it didn't really matter who they were at that point. Similar to the Red Army purge and the brutal treatment of their own POWs under decrees like Order .270 for example. But as Timothy Snyder has pointed out in recent years, Stalin's crimes were a lot more ethnic and racial in nature than previously acknowledged. Obviously, everyone knows about the Ukrainian genocides, but later the Chechens, Ingush, Volga Germans, Tatars, Kalmyks and other 8 nations Stalin wiped off the map in the 40s are examples. But Stalin also specifically targeted Koreans during the Purge as well as Estonians and especially Poles. Of course, Poles were targeted again during the 1940s with Katyn the most infamous example, but hardly the only example. Finally, even Jews were being targeted in Stalin's final years in the late 40s and early 50s.
But as for Stalin's height, I definitely see more than a half inch difference with Churchill, particularly when you consider Churchill had a terrible hunch by that point. If Churchill were only a half inch taller, he'd typically look the same height or shorter with his posture.
James said on 28/Jul/17
The Soviets could have continued the war with western support if Moscow fell, but it might have been a non-Bolshevist Soviet Union without Stalin.
Tunman said on 24/Jul/17
The difference is that Stalin by the late 1930's had already built an empire which actually was easily recognized by the west because it was part of the former russian empire.Of course Stalin gained territory after WW2 but 450000 sq km is quite minimal compared to putting Eastern Europe under soviet control.That said he was seen as the lesser as Hitler was out of control,constantly threatened Europe stability and of course western interests.So defeating Nazi threat and restoring stability and peace was certainly more important than thinking about the fate of eastern countries in 1939-45.
Obviously both were infamous but an ideology killing in the name of "equality" had larger chances to survive for a long time compared to a supremacist one killing in the name of race superiority.
Ironically Stalin's last conquests (especially Baltic states or Western Ukraine)were among the less reliable elements of the SU,even today they're still among the most hostile regions to Russia.
As to ousting Stalin had Moscow benn taken I don't know.I read many things about how Baltic states or West ukrainians welcomed germans in the first weeks but I also read much about how Hitler savagery threw soviets in Stalin's arms and favoured partisan warfare behind german lines.One thing is sure soviets wouldn't have stopped the war even if Stalin was ousted because it simply meant their death or enslavement.
James said on 16/Jul/17
Of course Stalin would probably have been ousted if the Axis had taken Moscow in 1941, although the Soviets were able to continue fighting due to Lend-Lease from the West.
said on 15/Jul/17
On the other hand the soviet generals looked surprisingly tall
It would be interesting to know their heights but clearly they look way taller than the famous names of that time.I'm not at all sure but Zhukov from I've seen seems comfortably taller than Stalin though smaller than 5'10 Eisenhower (but is Eisenhower 5'10?).Anyways most generals here look taller than him or at least his height,of course camera angles could be deceiving but still...general tymoshenko though not appearing here is said to be exceptionally tall,he stands out in some pics but again no known height to judge,could be like 6'4-5 range but not sure.
RisingForce said on 14/Jul/17
Yeah, I've thought the same thing about not only Soviet leaders, but Russian as well with Putin about 169 cm. Stalin, Khrushchev, Lenin and Medvedev were all shorter than that then as I said, Brezhnev was somewhere between 5'7"-5'8" depending on the year and I think Rob is right about Gorbachev being not more than about 5'8" as well. Chernenko was around Brezhnev's height, iirc, so maybe 5'8". Yeltsin and Andropov are the only exceptions, other than that, everyone else post-1917 was average or short. Apparently Truman expected Stalin to be big as well and was surprised he was short, and remember, Truman was hardly a tall guy himself. Churchill was also a big, dominating presence, at least publicly and you expect him taller than 5'6" range.
As for Stalin's fear, well it was his demeanor, his ruthlessness, the power he achieved, what he did to all his rivals etc. He struck fear into so many hearts that naturally you never expect he's short. But actually, Stalin was always underestimated regarding his capabilities. The Bolshevik intellectuals looked down on him intellectually, yet he outmaneuvered all of them. Ultimately, it was a fatal mistake for many to underestimate him. Actually, Khrushchev was also underestimated as a loud, boorish, uneducated man, yet outmaneuvered everyone as well to reach the top.
Tunman said on 13/Jul/17
The funny thing is that most leaders of the SU were rather small.I remember when my father first spoke me about Stalin (the man of steel) probably when I was around 12 or so I don't know why I imagined an imposing guy like 190cm tall.In fact the only tall guy was Andropov probably 182 at peak.Chernenko from what I've seen looked upper average near 5'8 but probably 5'9 at peak as he was 72 when he ruled.The thing is that you would expect dictators to be scaring physically so that all ministers,generals etc feel small and obliged to comply their orders.Maybe because in the past chiefs were generally selected among the strongest and most skillful of men when tribal lifestyle was dominating.Must be that something like this is present in the mind of many people unconsciously.
said on 10/Jul/17
Was Gorbachev really 5'9"? He was quite a bit shorter than Reagan.
Editor Rob: I wouldn't have thought Gorbachev as being much taller than 5ft 8 by his 50's, whether he shrunk by then I don't know.
said on 9/Jul/17
I took into consideration the fact that Andropov tilts his head down if you compare with Husak it's obvious.
I think Zhivkov has a chance of being 171 but no more in this pic probably more 170 in reality imo, husak could indeed be 5'9.75-10.
Kadar has clearly camera advantage but 5'8 isn't completely impossible,Honecker when comparing to husak looks no more than 5'7 if we assume that husak holds the best posture possibly 5'6.75 imo.Ceausescu is listed both at 168 and 165 so by no means 5'7 but I wonder if 5'5 isn't exagerated or rounded down,hmmm anyways if honecker turns a weak 5'7 it's possible he looks 168-9 but is rather 167 (168 peak)?always arguable.Jaruszelski seems a good 6"taller so possibly near 6' but I doubt the 6'1 listing is barefoot height
If you assume that Gorbachev is 5'9 it's obvious that Zhivkov Husak Jaruszelski Kadar and Ceausescu have a clear camera advantage just to give a typical example of how pics could be deceiving.
RisingForce said on 7/Jul/17
Was Andropov that tall? I know Leonid Brezhnev was in the 5'7" range by the 1970s judging by how he looked with 5'9" Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon, who was somewhere around the 5'10" range. Maybe Brezhnev was 5'8" at the most when he was younger judging by some photos I've seen in biographies about him where he could seem taller than other men during WW2, though that may also show us that we have to have a different perception of average height for those who grew up around the old Soviet bloc more than a century ago.
As for heights, well, based on that photo with Andropov at 5'11" as the reference, this is how everyone looks to me in that photo, but remember this isn't considering posture or camera placement.
Kadar: 5'8.5"/174 cm (Maybe no more than 173 if we consider he could be standing straighter)
Zhivkov: 5'7.5"/171.5 cm
Husak: Looks 177.5 cm or near 5'10", but probably just 177 or about 5'9.75" max if we consider he has better posture
Honecker: 171 cm or 5'7.25" (perhaps shorter as he, too, has better posture)
Ceausescu: 5'7" or 170 cm (Also possibly shorter since he also stands better than Andropov)
Jaruzelski: 185 cm or 6'0.75"-6'1" (He may have an advantage from being closer to the camera so 183-184 wouldn't surprise me)
I would say it's tough to estimate anyone except Husak and Zhivkov since they're standing side by side with Andropov, the others may be too far away for me to make an accurate estimate, but it's also hard to consider how much Andropov loses from having worse posture than the other leaders. Remember, he was in poor health, famously like Chernenko and Brezhnev as they all died within a few years. It's very possible that just about everyone in the photo gains 1 cm in posture advantage over Andropov, maybe even 1" in some cases. So you could subtract those figures from just about any of my estimates depending on how big the advantage is.
said on 19/Jun/17Click Here
What would you say these guys heights were?They're former leaders of the Warsaw Pact countries.
I'm taking Andropov as 5'11 or 180 (peak 182cm) as a reference
Zhivkov may be 169 because Andropov is clealy tilting his head down (peak around 171-2)
Husak could be around 176-7 also seems to tilt his head slightly up.(peak around 179)
Honecker could be 168-9 looks similar to Zhivkov probably around the same at peak also
Kadar looks to have slight advantage and looks near 5'8 but more likely 171 (peak probably near 174)
Ceausescu looks slightly shorter than Honecker but has clear camera advantage 165 seems fair, could have been still at peak at 64 years?not impossible knowing his life standards
Jaruszelski was only 180-1 imo one listing gave him 185 or 6'1 but I doubt he had 8" on Ceausescu.
said on 16/Jun/17
Stalin looked nowhere near 5'7" with Ribbentrop: Click Here Click Here
Stalin is at least a good 4" shorter not including his extra hair and this is not considering the distinct possibility he wore his elevator shoes or was on his toes(Truman notes him standing on a step, so toes are no different). Truman could look anywhere from 2-3 inches taller than Stalin: Click Here
But Truman was not 5'8". He was no more than 5'7"-5'7.5". Churchill was possibly 169 then, but even with his terrible hunch, he was obviously taller than Stalin and not much different than Truman: Click Here
If Truman weren't looking down at Stalin and farther from the camera, he'd surely have over 2 inches on him again. Here's Churchill indoors with a bad hunch still noticeably taller than Stalin: Click Here
For reference, here's Truman and Churchill face to face: Click Here
Very little difference. If Churchill was only 5'6" by then, then Stalin was 5'5" at the absolute most. Remember, Tito could have been 168-169 range, but was visibly taller than Stalin as well. Too difficult to say as far as peak heights for these men, so I'm only referring to their most visible times in power.
James said on 26/May/17
Churchill never wore lifts, but Stalin did.
said on 25/May/17
try this entry:
In fact the height is marked as 69 but of course it's 169.Ultimately it's understandable that he looked 5'7 range with 5'10 Ribbentrop a slight heel advantage is sufficient without being necessarily obvious.btw the more I look the more I'm convinced he and Churchill were similar possibly both 5'6(167-8) by 1945?Saw some footage about Potsdam conference recently Truman looked a solid 2" taller than Stalin in 1945 possibly 2.25" but no more.169 is perfectly reasonable for a young Stalin but no more for sure.
said on 25/May/17
Hey,in one registration card of September 1911 he was listed at 169cm so maybe it's the true mark?the other being 174 is obviously nonsense,what do you think Rob?time for slight upgrade?
Editor Rob: maybe the 169cm is what he claimed to be...174 is a massive exaggeration.
RisingForce said on 18/Apr/17
Hoover wasn't president yet, but he was in charge of the ARA and aid to the Soviets. Terrible policies were typical of Hoover, just like FDR, who also appeased the Soviets. Socialistic agitation, ridiculously high wages, foolish big spending proto-Keynesian intervention in the economy and massive inflation. BTW, speaking of Coolidge, in the recent bio on him by Amity Shlaes, it's written that he was 5'8.9"(written as 68.9 inches, which is mentioned as a bit over average) and 119.5 pounds in college.
James said on 16/Apr/17
It must be Harding and Coolidge who gave aid to the Soviet Union under Lenin.
Churchill was only 5'6" in 1945.
said on 16/Apr/17
Yezhov was indeed known as the blood dwarf and supposedly barely over 5 feet. As for Stalin, if Churchill was 5'6.5" by WW2 then Stalin was 5'5" range max: Click Here
Stalin is close to the camera, wearing boots and still shorter. Churchill can never stand up straight, but is always still taller and similar to Truman who is inches taller than Stalin as well. I do believe the story about Pauker getting Stalin lifts, why include Pauker in the story if it's fictional? As for average height, well it recently struck me that Brezhnev at no more than 5'8" was by far the tallest in a group photo of 5-6 people during WW2. And Brezhnev and those guys were about 3 decades younger than Stalin. And James is right, 1932-33 was due to Stalin physically preventing people, primarily in the Ukraine, but also ethnic Ukrainians and so-called "Kulaks" from eating, fleeing to where there was food or bringing food to the starving areas. It was also done to break recalcitrant peasants who resisted collectivization once and for all after the preceding Dekulakization mass deportations, shootings and torture. Kazakhstan went through it a bit early, which is probably no coincidence seeing how Stalin targeted Muslim majority Asian natons when he wiped 8 nations off the map as they were more likely to resist Communism. This repeated itself with the genocide Brezhnev, Andropov and others launched in Afghanistan in '79. Of the million or so shot during the '37-'38 purge, Ukrainians were targeted again, as were Koreans and Poles (more than 100,000 Poles documented as shot) and the so-called Kulak operation was again disproportionately large with about 400,000 shot. Stalin's crimes were a lot more ethnic than ever believed before. German POWs and Volga Germans would be targeted as well. In 1921, the famine was partially a result of Lenin's "war communism", but while Lenin nearly let them starve, but accepted Hoover's aid for self preservation. There was also the '46-'47 famine, which wasn't an intentional genocide like '29-'33, but requisitioning the majority of grain, rationing and excluding many from ration cards certainly helped lead to 1.2+ million people starving to death.
James said on 15/Apr/17
I said Hitler was at least 5'9". Stalin was known to always wear lifts and boots with big heels.
The Holodomor that you mentioned was a self-made famine designed to eradicate Ukrainian nationalism. It was a major reason why so many people in Ukraine sided with the Axis when the invasion of the Soviet Union began.
said on 14/Apr/17
Rob,any idea about these soviet leaders height:Khrushchev,Beria,Molotov,Malenkov,Kirov,Vorochilov and Brezhnev?I would have thought something like this:
Brezhnev I'm sure was listed 5'8 which is what he looked generally
Khrushchev was listed at 5'3 hmmm,he seemed short and often looked no more than that but at times I thought maybe 5'4 was possible,not sure
Beria and Molotov are hard to guess pics aren't that reliable but I thought typically 5'7-8 range
Malenkov is also hard to guess he could look in that 5'6-7 range possibly slightly shorter than Molotov and Beria
Vorochilov seemed near Stalin's height possibly slightly shorter maybe 5'5 or 5'5.5
Kirov was also among the small ones like 5'3 or so.
lol,were USSR leaders required to be average/short?NKVD leader Yagoda was about 5'5 and his successor Yezhov was only 5'0.
Editor Rob: Tunman, I really haven't looked at any of those men, you are in a better position than me probably on having any knowledge of their height 👍
Tunman said on 14/Apr/17
No offense,man but your opinions are clearly biased.So you think Hitler was at least 5'10 and Stalin only 5'4?Wallace Graham thought they were about the same,so there is absolutely no way there was 6" between them,nobody would have been that blind.
Now it's true,Hitler was indeed taller probably by 2-3"max.If you consider Stalin lifts,high eyelevel and thick hair it's possible that he was seen as 5'8 although he wasn't.
Average in Russia I read somewhere was about 168 at that time.In fact I'm almost sure the average didn't improve at all from 1900 to 1950 due to the poor living standards in USSR possibly even decreased if you assume that people were starved in 1921 and 1932-33 besides war restrictions...
I saw a Documentary about Yalta conference recently,Stalin was in boots and looked typically average among other soviet staff at worse lower averge,it's more than likely that he was around 5'6 maybe somewhere in that 5'5-6 range by his mid 60's.
James said on 13/Apr/17
If Stalin was 5'6" he wouldn't have needed lifts in an era when the average height was 5'7". He was probably 5'4".
Sandy Cowell said on 12/Apr/17
Stalin can have 5ft5 and this too: 😝
said on 28/Mar/17
He looked short with Tito who was certainly no taller than 5'7" himself, if that: Click Here Click Here
2nd pic is better for comparing, but remember Tito looked the same height as a 5'6.5" Winston Churchill with Churchill's usual hunch: Click Here
though Tito at age 70 could still look at least 169 cm IF JFK was 6 feet: Click Here
. But you could argue anywhere from 5'11" to 6' for Kennedy and he was weird posture, likely from his injuries, which would make 182 cm max likely in that pic at age 46 even if he had been a legit 6 feet. There are also pics with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, but Tito was near 80 at that time. Certainly seeing him with Tito, I'm more convinced Stalin was on the low end of Truman's estimate or max between.
Adijos said on 21/Mar/17
5'6" is good listed!
RisingForce said on 3/Mar/17
Although it doesn't help my case, I did remember reading somewhere Khrushchev described as shorter than Stalin and Khrushchev seemed 5'5" range. This might have been in the Taubman Khrushchev bio.
RisingForce said on 9/Feb/17
That would be believable if Churchill was 5'6" flat then and it would make Stalin look a weak 5'5" in comparison assuming no footwear or photo trickery. Then again, I've heard Churchill was 5'6.5", which is also what he's listed here at so 5'7.5" would then make sense for Truman in comparison. Either way, I can't see Stalin less than an inch shorter than Churchill and no less than 2 inches shorter than Truman.
James said on 7/Feb/17
Truman might have been 5'8" as a young man, and 5'7" in 1945.
said on 5/Feb/17
Graham is certainly wrong about Hitler and Stalin being the same height. Let's compare them to the same person. Hitler doesn't look much shorter than Ribbentrop, only an inch or so. Click Here Click Here
Yet Ribbentrop nearly towers over Stalin Click Here Click Here
Granted, I haven't ruled out Hitler being 5'9", which wouldn't support my Stalin argument,but if we have Hitler at only 5'8" then Stalin only looks about 5'5" or a fraction over compared to the same man and unlike Hitler, we can't see Stalin's feet, which is significant because of Truman's quote about Stalin trying to look taller in photos. Working off of the two people listed on this site for reference(Hitler and Churchill) then I'm seeing Truman more solid 5'7", possibly 5'7" and change and Ribbentrop about 5'9", for example, compare those 2 full photos of Hitler and Ribbentrop to Rob and his father in the 90's. This would put Stalin more 5'5" range, possibly between Truman's 2 estimates, but based on Churchill and Hitler's listings, I'm certainly not seeing a full 5'6".
said on 3/Feb/17
Are we even sure Truman was 5'8"? Click Here Click Here
He only looks about an inch taller than Churchill, who is unable to hold decent posture. Here's the 3 of them again, Click Here
Sure, you can find some where Truman looks more decisively taller, but that's always the case. With the right angle and camera advantage, even Churchill can look taller than Truman. Click Here
Either way, Churchill certainly looks closer to Truman's height than Stalin does. Stalin did have the childhood injury, which showed later in his shorter arm he couldn't move well, but I don't know that would make him lose any height.
RisingForce said on 3/Feb/17
5'1" is obviously too low, but I see no reason to believe there's some active intention among historians to make him shorter than he was. For what purpose? Nobody here that I know of is correlating short stature with evil, nor has anyone in any of the countless books on Stalin. His height has never been any more than a footnote of discussion in any of them. He looks like a weak 5'6" in that picture if we assume Truman is 5'8", but I believe there's a good chance he's wearing lifts even if it's only an extra inch, but if Churchill was only about 5'6" by that point then Stalin wasn't even passing for that tall since Churchill is usually quite hunched yet typically still looks taller. Stalin was born in 1878 in an area of Georgia that wasn't industrialized. Would 5'6" even be short for a man that generation and in that area? The stories of Stalin and his height didn't originate with the West. Bukharin had a lot to say about it, and Bukharin incidentally refused to denounce Stalin even when he was condemned to death for no crime.
said on 30/Jan/17
To be perfectly fair,I think many people like to diminish dictators stature in order to undermine them.Did Stalin deserve respect for his deeds?certainly not.BUT this shouldn't make him smaller than he actually was.Clearly western biographers aren't the best reference to describe his height.
Now what do we have?a 174 listing on a mugshot which,everyone will agree is unlikely,true.btw Josef Pilsudski was listed at 175cm when he barely seemed 2 maybe 2.5"max taller(in his mid 60's)than 5'4 Goebbels,so maybe 5'7" in his heydays.
Now back to Stalin 5'1-4 listings are pure jokes,there is no way he was that small,actually he looked about 5'7 with 178 Ribbentrop.Did he wear lifts?possible, but then he would still be around 5'6.He also looked at least similar if not fractionally taller than 5'6 Churchill in 1945 and looks like he wouldn't be any more than 2" shorter than Truman.Truman who said Stalin didn't look over 5'5-6...hmmm well,I think that he was confident about being comfortably taller than Stalin.Again did he wear lifts?then a 5'5 is possible in his mid 60's but no less.
In all objectivity I feel the whole debate is whether he could be 5'5-6 or rather 5'6-7(more likely at peak),and whether he was really complexed about his height to the point of ALWAYS wearing lifts?His acts were gruesome but correlating short stature with evil is a bit childish imo.
beware historical propaganda that can turn untruths into accepted truths.
there is a lot of people who claim Truman was near 5ft 9, I've not looked in detail at him, but if he was 5ft 8 How could Stalin be 5ft 4
The lace area of Truman's shoe is more curved than what I can tell from Stalin - if he had any sizeable lift it would be bulging a lot more.
RisingForce said on 28/Jan/17
If that's true then I doubt Stalin was any taller than 5'4" by that time, but because Stalin was only 4 years younger than Churchill, he could have been a bit taller in his prime than he was in his mid 60's so I think 5'4.5" is fair enough for his younger years. Truman's quote about standing on a higher step is telling because in addition to wearing lifts, Stalin was known to use a block or a step for some public appearances in the Soviet Union as well.
James said on 26/Jan/17
Churchill was no more than 5'6" by 1945.
said on 24/Jan/17
He can look short with Truman as well Click Here
And again with Truman and a hunched Churchill, who at about 70, couldn't have been more than 5-7ish Click Here
Stalin's stance looks he's up on his toes a bit so he may have elevators. Here you can see his shoes are thicker and conceal more Click Here
And here he's got a pretty thick pair of boots that could potentially conceal a lot. Click Here
I see no reason to doubt the report of elevator shoes and it was said by others, most notably Bukharin that Stalin had a height complex. Of course, he shot Bukharin too! Anyway, perhaps he was 5'4.5" and he could pass for about 5'6" with elevator shoes.
said on 24/Jan/17
For what it's worth, as someone absolutely fascinated by Stalin and reads as much as I can on him(for the record, I don't admire a man who killed possibly 20 million with absolute indifference, but he's a very interesting figure nonetheless) and the figure I've most frequently heard was 5'4". It may be of help to mention that N.K.V.D. officer K.V. Pauker supposedly got Stalin elevator shoes in the early 1930's. Apparently, they weren't good enough because Stalin had Pauker shot! But in any event this would explain his taller appearance. I've heard all the way down to 5'1"-5'2" in otherwise very credible books, but it's clear this can't be true, even with lifts. Churchill was said to be no more than 5'8" at his peak and he shrunk to closer to 5'6" later on. Here he's hunched and taller than Stalin who may have lifts. Click Here
Nik said on 22/Dec/16
Yes I agree with what you said. To be honest when I did quote the word dwarf I wasn't using it as an insult and I wasn't referring to anyone in particular or meaning it in a dirogatory way to any group of individuals either. I see midget as more dirogatory myself than the word dwarf but there's no way I would describe short men or women in a way that is insulting.
VeryShortRussianDude said on 21/Dec/16
Morons, throw around words like dwarf & midget to describe short men as a way to insult them, I'm sure even they know it's nonsense.
Stalin also never looked as short as 5'4, 5'6 - 5'6.5 is far more likely.
Nik said on 21/Dec/16
There is no way that he would be classed as anywhere near a dwarf, even even at 5'4".
Astaroth said on 19/Dec/16
Man was a dwarf, 5'4" and many sources confirm that
Giorgi said on 7/Dec/16
I don't know whether Stalin is wearing lifts or anything but must be hardly an inch shorter than repordtedly 5'8" Truman here.
Peter175 said on 5/Dec/16
5ft6 maximum. Looks 165-7 range
James said on 23/Nov/16
Police reports were notoriously inaccurate. Stalin began World War II by agreeing to invade Poland in conjunction with the Germans. He was 5'6" at most.
Dingus said on 21/Nov/16
I've read two biographies on Stalin. One stated that he was 5'07.50". It was based on a police report from his younger days. Another put him at 5'06.00", which was, according to the author, average for a man of his time in the Russian Empire/early USSR. I would be skeptical of repots of him below 5'06.00". They seem to be similar in nature to British claims of Napoleon being very small and are based more on political rivals trying to make them appear diminutive than truth.
said on 12/Mar/16
According to his Army physical record of May 1917 (aged 33) Harry Truman was 5ft 8in tall (Source: "Truman", by David McCullough, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1992, page 102): Click Here
The Master said on 15/Mar/15
Rob, the second picture link above is not working. I think he was 5'8" and needs an upgrade.
Panda said on 17/Feb/15
Hey Rob, I'm pretty sure Harry S. Truman was actually 5'8" because in his biography written by David McCollough it states towards the beginning of the book that when Truman went in for physical to join the army he was measured to be 5'8", an inch taller than the average recruit. Not sure if that makes a difference but I thought I'd point that out.
"Harry S. Truman's height is 5ft 8in (173 cm)"
gwp said on 13/Feb/15
According to History Channel and Smithsonian Channel, he was 5' 4" and had a life-long inferiority complex.
Orlando said on 13/Jul/14
Mr. Paul, if the man was listed 1.74 m in his police file, and in the photo with Churchill and Truman he looks about the same height as Churchill (5'8") and about 1-2 cm shorter than Truman (5'9") then in no way Stalin would ever be 5'6"! Please, put him at 5'8"!
stalin said on 18/Apr/14
was 5' 7"-8"-9"
said on 14/Mar/14
Rob,if Graham said he was about 5'8 then we may assume he's near that mark,possibly a 5'7 wearing an inch lift? Honestly,he didn't look short in most pics.If he was measured 174 (possibly 173,5?)with normal shoes then he's probably 171 without them.169 in 1945 and 171 peak seems fair,he was a heavy drinker and his health wasn't really the best in 1945,so about 2cm loss is plausible at 66.Would you consider a little upgrade,Rob?
[Editor Rob: I think 5ft 6 is probably the low for him, maybe in his youth it is possible he was taller than his late 50's.]
JC said on 7/Mar/14
Stalin was 5'4"
THE_MAD_BOMBER said on 24/Jan/14
ALEX....STALIN WAS VERY SENSITIVE ABOUT BEING SHORT. HE HAD A SCULPTOR SHOT FOR DOING A STATUE OF HIM THAT DIDN'T MAKE HIM LOOK TALL.
mjd said on 14/Oct/13
Orlando: The picture is obviously deceiving.
If Churchill is 5'6-5'7, and Truman 5'9, then how can he be "About their heights"? They're different heights!
Here's the problem. In the picture, Truman is standing a foot back from Churchill and Stalin: this creates the illusion of Truman being smaller than he actually is. If both had been standing side by side to Truman, and not a foot forward, I think the 5'6-5'7 height range for Stalin would hold up.
Now, as for the soviet documents - maybe it's forged? Joseph Stalin wouldn't be beyond trying to be bigger than he actually was. Or, conversely, Stalin may wear serious footware that helps him pull off 5'8, hence the impression Wallace H Graham had of him being the same size as Hitler.
Hias said on 28/Jul/13
It could have been a mistake. Police files aren't free from errors
said on 4/May/13
If Stalin's mugshot Click Here
clearly shows him listed at 1.74 m (maybe 1.72 m barefoot) and in the photo with Churchill and Truman he looks about their heights, I don't understand why you keep him listed short at 5ft 6in when in fact he was an average tall man...
Alex said on 29/Jan/13
Honestly, he could claim up to 6'6'' and no one would dare to even remotely object at the time.
Will said on 22/Aug/11
Stalin was 5'6 1/4".
Iluminata said on 27/May/11
Stalin was using elevator shoes and I think his height was 165-170 cm.
TruebloodFan said on 19/May/11
@Delia says on 15/Feb/11
Joseph Goebbels was 5 feet, 4.2 inches. I took all the measurements in 27 different websites and did the median, and this is what I came up with. Anyone who does not believe me is...CRAZY!!!! BOO YAH!
I've also read in the newspaper Goebbels was 164cm and that he had major sexual appetite for women in their mid 30s. he was perverted in many ways.
Stalin didn't look short. He always looked around 5ft8. The photo of him with Lenin was never really taken so that makes it useless.
said on 6/Apr/11
171 cm (5 ft 7,5) - clinical record
Delia said on 15/Feb/11
Joseph Goebbels was 5 feet, 4.2 inches. I took all the measurements in 27 different websites and did the median, and this is what I came up with. Anyone who does not believe me is...CRAZY!!!! BOO YAH!
The Historian said on 9/Feb/11
How can you conclude 168 cm, when all historical records suggest somewhere between 172 & 175? That's a mystery to me! I may add yet another personal anecdote: One of my (late) granddad's friends had been a convinced communist in the thirties & fourties, and been to Moscow.. I remember him some 25 years ago saying something like "He (Stalin) was about my built with a scared face..." My granddads (now late)friend was about 173-75 & heaviely built...
Sam said on 26/Dec/10
I looked at a lot of video clips of him and he never looks short, sometimes a little tallish, sometimes shortish, but always average. Lenin for a fact was 5'5, and he was noticeably shorter than everyone around him. Plus there's a record of Stalin being 174cm in his youth, and Truman said he was 5'8. I think it's pathetic and rude to short people to put stalin at 5'6.
gg said on 8/Dec/10
Akirum byn Anaq said on 7/Sep/07
BTW Hitler was 5-8 to 5-8 1/2 and I find it hard to imagine Dugashbili only 2" inferior.
Akirum byn Anaq said on 7/Sep/07
Stalin was 2 archin 4½ vershoks. 5 feet 4 inches at 23. Perhaps he grew a few millimeters above that at his prime, though unlikely. We need to list Stalin at 5 feet 4, not 5 feet 6.
Kevin said on 26/Aug/07
Wait... let me revise my previous statement. Mao Zedong was probably 5'11, but POSSIBLY 6'0" according to another website I went to. 6'0" would be roughly 183 cm tall! Wow... but that would mean Mao was slouching big time in that phot of yours, Hombre.
Kevin said on 26/Aug/07
To Hombre: Actually, Mao Zedong was 5'11. (180-181 cm approx.) I know, Mao's much taller than I thought myself. Does anyone know how tall Chiang Kai-Shek was?
Heinrich said on 24/Aug/07
Stalin was one of the shorter WWII leaders (next to Hirohito and probably Tojo) I'd say he's around 5'4 (anything less than 5'6), Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hilter, Harry Truman, Chiang Kai-Shek, Mao Zedong and definately Douglas MacArthur were all taller than him.
Steevn said on 16/Aug/07
"that was the most primitive thing some one could have ever said Anonymous. What you said was so stupid and incredile as it seems. Is one of the reasons why humans haven't progressed in society as they have in science and math. Thanks to individuals like you who keep on reproducing."
What that guy said has some truth to it, the book he got it from probably explained it better though. No need for alarm... you wimp.
Oh and Stalin looks shorter than 168cm in almost every picture I´ve seen him. I´d say 5 ft 4 in.
said on 13/Aug/07
how tall was Mao Zedong?
Anshelm said on 5/Mar/07
Note that 2 archin 4½ vershoks converts more precisely to 5 ft 3⅞ in. This has significance for his metric height, making him 162 cm rather than 163.
Jim said on 10/Oct/06
The media still presents a Stalin of stalwart proportions, and camera angles seem to show him as tall as Churchill, but infact he was a legitimate 5 ft 4 according to his police records from 1902, which state that he was "2 archin, 4 1/2 vershoks" in height. An Archin is 28", a vershok 1.75 inches.
said on 9/Oct/06
The earliest Police/medical files mention a Iosif Djugashvili: "Height 2 archins, 4 1/2 vershoks. Body medium. Age 23." Click Here Click Here
An archin is 28 inches, and a vershok 1 3/4 inches; This puts Stalin at 5 ft 4 inches during the prime of his life. The measurement likely does not include his shoes, as it seems he had a physician measure him and note his physical particulars as he was imprisoned for a long period.
I believe that giving Stalin a credit of 5 ft 6 is too generous, when the clearest, earliest proof shows he was infact 5 ft 4. Even if you look carefully at the Yalta conferences, with a comperison next to Truman he looks only a bit taller than this, probably thanks to camera angles and a 1-inch lift.
Anonymous said on 11/Sep/06
that was the most primitive thing some one could have ever said Anonymous. What you said was so stupid and incredile as it seems. Is one of the reasons why humans haven't progressed in society as they have in science and math. Thanks to individuals like you who keep on reproducing.
Gotxo said on 24/Aug/06
Nice finding Orlando.
The problem is that a recent History channel on Stalin and Hitler ("paralel lives" or such) gives him 5'6" and insist that this was a partial reason for his insecurities (the main one a brutal beating father).
On the other hand comunist propaganda was very famous for photo editing, removing whole persons from old official pics, when they were state-murdered or imprisioned. The letters on posters and banners are ofthen changed too, in one Lenin is givin a discourse in a square crowded by people. In the original photo was a banner from a jewerly, wich was erased as it was not fitting comunist propaganda.
Anonymous said on 2/Apr/06
H.itler, stalin and churchill were short men . Short men get power through the use of their mind and then use large men to carry out the physical side of power. Most short men have an inferiority complex about their size and many short leaders use lifts or surround themselves with smaller men. Ruling is far easier if one is tall and large as the animal kingdom shows. However not all large men have the magnetic charisma required to be a leader. simple psychology.
hombre said on 6/Mar/06
Pretty cool that im in same height-range as Stalin. :)
Buster said on 8/Jan/06
Pretty much the same range as Andre The Giant at over a foot shorter!
I suppose there's a possibilty that the history books are biased against him, as he isn't the most well liked of historic figures.
A-Bomb said on 7/Jan/06
Hmmm. I'm really not sure about this one. Every history book I've ever read on Stalin has spoken of his height complex and his use of platform shoes. Maybe he was the original lifts user. I would look at all pictures of him dubiously.
[Editor Rob: I was doing some more reading into this guy and yes, I think he could pull off looking taller to people but the lifts issue and his dodgy boots makes me think the oft-quoted mention of his elevator shoes is enough to list him lower...5ft 1-3, which has been mentioned seems improbable though...but down he goes! 5ft 4 though? Hmmm, the range for this guy is pretty astounding. I've read 5ft 1 up to 5ft 6...]
hombre said on 7/Jan/06
Cool,I am 1 cm taller than him. :)