Nestor Kozin

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Nestor Dmitryevich Kozin
File:Nestor Kozin.jpg
Native name Нестор Дмитриевич Козин
Born 28 October 1902
Burkovo-Pokrovskoye village, Kainskaya Uyezd, Tomsk Governorate, Russian Empire
Died 11 September 1992
Barnaul, Russia
Allegiance  Soviet Union
Service/branch Soviet Army
Years of service 1924–1954
Rank Major general
Commands held 8th Motor Rifle Division NKVD

63rd Rifle Division
189th Rifle Division
13th Guards Airborne Division

52nd Guards Rifle Division
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union

Order of Lenin (3)
Order of the Red Banner (3)
Order of Suvorov 2nd class

Order of the Patriotic War 1st class

Nestor Dmitryevich Kozin (Russian: Нестор Дмитриевич Козин;[1] 28 October 1902 – 11 September 1992) was a Soviet Army major general. After being drafted into the Red Army in 1924, Kozin became an officer and from 1939 was a battalion commander in the 107th Rifle Division. Kozin fought in the Yelnya Offensive after the 107th was moved west and became a regimental commander in the 100th Rifle Division in August 1941. After the end of the Yelnya Offensive in early September, Kozin was awarded the Order of Lenin for his leadership and the 100th Rifle Division became the 1st Guards Rifle Division. He then fought in the Battle of Moscow and in April 1942 was appointed commander of the 8th Motor Rifle Division NKVD. The division became the 63rd Rifle Division in June and fought in Operation Uranus. Kozin received the Order of Suvorov 2nd class and the division became the 52nd Guards Rifle Division for its actions in the offensive. The division continued to fight at Stalingrad and Kozin was wounded in January 1943. After recovery, he was sent to study at the Military Academy of the General Staff, where he remained until given command of the 13th Guards Airborne Division in April 1944. During August and September, Kozin led the 189th Rifle Division[2] during the Tartu Offensive. In September, he returned to command of the 52nd Guards Rifle Division and led it during the Baltic Offensive, Vistula–Oder Offensive, East Pomeranian Offensive and Berlin Offensive. For his leadership of the division, Kozin was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on 29 May. After the war, he continued to serve in the army and retired in 1954. He lived in Barnaul and died in 1992.[3]

Early life

Kozin was born on 28 October 1902 in the village of Burkovo-Pokrovskoye (now Novopokrovka) in Tomsk Governorate. His father died when Kozin was still a child and Kozin became a farmworker. He then worked as a laborer at the Tatarsky railway station. Kozin received his only education during the Bolshevik Likbez literacy campaign.[3]

Interwar

In 1924, Kozin was drafted into the Red Army. He graduated from a regimental school for junior commander in 1927, after which he became a squad leader. He then was sent to the Omsk Infantry School, from which he graduated in 1929. Kozin became a machine gun platoon commander and then intelligence officer of a rifle division. In 1939, he became a battalion commander in the 107th Rifle Division's 586th Rifle Regiment at Biysk.[3]

World War II

After Operation Barbarossa, the 107th Rifle Division was transferred to the front and engaged in combat on 16 July near Yelnya. During the Battle of Smolensk, Kozin was reported to have shown leadership skills. In one action, he reportedly sent only one company in frontal attack against superior German troops and outflanked the German positions using his two other companies. This attack reportedly caused the defeat of the German troops and led to a breakthrough.[3]

In August, Kozin became commander of the 100th Rifle Division's 85th Rifle Regiment. He fought in the Yelnya Offensive at the beginning of September. The division became the 1st Guards Rifle Division, the regiment became the 2nd Guards Rifle Regiment, and Kozin was awarded the Order of Lenin for his leadership during the offensive. He led the regiment in defensive battles east of Belgorod and in December fought in the counteroffensive at Moscow. During the Yelnya and Livny Offensives, the regiment advanced 150 kilometers.[3]

In April 1942, Kozin became the commander of the 8th Motor Rifle Division NKVD in the Voronezh area. In June, the division was converted into the 63rd Rifle Division. The division fought in the Battle of Voronezh during the summer. In late November, the division fought in Operation Uranus. The 63rd was part of the 21st Army's main attack and broke through the Romanian-German defenses, advancing southwards. In the area of Raspopinskaya village, the division helped fully encircle two corps of the Romanian Third Army between 21 and 22 November. The 63rd's attacks reportedly split the pocket in half and then simulated a mechanized attack using the division's motor transport battalion. On the evening of 23 November, Romanian 14th Infantry Division commander General Stanescu surrendered the 27,000 troops in the pocket. For his actions, Kozin was awarded the Order of Suvorov 2nd class[4] and the division became the 52nd Guards Rifle Division on 27 November. The division then fought in the Soviet attacks to shrink the Stalingrad Pocket. On 21 January 1943, Kozin was promoted to major general. He was wounded and sent to the hospital. After his recovery, Kozin was sent to study at the Military Academy of the General Staff.[3]

In April 1944, Kozin graduated from the academy and became commander of the 13th Guards Airborne Division, part of the Stavka reserve. In August, he was transferred to command the 189th Rifle Division and led it during the Tartu Offensive. In September, Kozin returned to command the 52nd Guards Rifle Division. He led the division during the Baltic Offensive, where the division became one of the first to reach Riga. In January 1945, the division fought in the Vistula–Oder Offensive. From February to April, the division fought in the East Pomeranian Offensive. From 19 April, the division fought in the Berlin Offensive. During the next three days, the division reportedly overran three German defensive lines and on 21 April the division was among the first to reach Berlin itself. During attacks on the northern outskirts of the city, the division captured 120 quarters in fighting from 22 April to 2 May. On 29 May, Kozin was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin for his leadership. He participated in the Moscow Victory Parade of 1945 on 24 June.[3]

Postwar

After the end of the war, Kozin continued to serve in the army. In 1954, he retired due to health issues caused by his war wounds. He lived in Saratov but moved to Barnaul in 1955. He became an honorary citizen of the city. In 1975, Kozin published his memoirs, titled "Гвардейцы в боях" (English: "Guardsmen in Combat"). Kozin died on 11 September 1992 and was buried at the Vlasikhinskoye Cemetery.[3]

Legacy

Since 2005, Secondary School No. 48 in Barnaul has been named for Kozin.[3][5]

References

  1. In the Brief Biographical Dictionary of Heroes of the Soviet Union, Kozin's first name was incorrectly spelled as "Nester". This error has been repeated by several other sources.
  2. "Biography of Major-General Nester Dmitrievich Kozin – (Нестер Дмитриевич Козин) (1902–1993), Soviet Union". generals.dk. Retrieved 2016-03-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Hero of the Soviet Union medal.png  Nestor Kozin at the "Герои страны" ("Heroes of the Country") website (Russian)
  4. Order of Suvorov 2nd class citation, available online at pamyatnaroda.mil.ru
  5. "МБОУ "Средняя общеобразовательная школа №48 имени Героя Советского Союза Козина Нестора Дмитриевича"" [MBOU Secondary School No. 48 named after Hero of the Soviet Union Kozin Nestor Dmitryevich]. mbou48.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-03-08.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>