Vasili Glazunov

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Vasili Afanasyevich Glazunov
File:Vasili Glazunov.jpg
Native name Василий Афанасьевич Глазунов
Born 1 January [O.S. 20 December 1895] 1896
Varvarovka village, Serdobsky County, Saratov Governorate, Russian Empire
Died 26 June 1967
Moscow, Soviet Union
Buried at Novodevichy Cemetery
Allegiance  Russian Empire
 Soviet Union
Service/branch Russian Imperial Army,Red Army, Soviet airborne
Years of service 1915-1918, 1918-1954
Rank Lieutenant general
Commands held 59th Rifle Division

3rd Airborne Corps
Soviet airborne
4th Guards Rifle Corps

125th Rifle Corps
Battles/wars World War I

Russian Civil War
World War II

Awards Hero of the Soviet UnionHero of the Soviet UnionOrder of LeninOrder of LeninOrder of LeninOrder of the Red Banner (3)

Order of Suvorov 2nd class
Order of Kutuzov 2nd class

Order of the Red Star

Vasili Afanasyevich Glazunov (Russian: Василий Афанасьевич Глазунов; 1 January [O.S. 20 December 1895] 1896– June 27, 1967) was a Soviet lieutenant general, who was the first commander of the Soviet airborne (VDV). He was twice awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union.[1][2]

Early life

Glazunov was born on 1 January 1896 in Varvarovka village, Serdobsky County, Saratov Governorate in the Russian Empire, to a family of peasants.[3][4][5] In 1908, he graduated from third grade. Glazunov worked for the landowners until 1914.[1]

World War I

In August 1915, Glazunov joined the Imperial Russian Army[6] and became a private in the 135th Reserve Battalion in Balashov. In September, he was transferred to the 195th Infantry Regiment in Baranovichi. He fought in battles on the Southwestern Front. Glazunov became sick with Typhoid fever in December and was sent to the hospital. In February 1916, he became a squad leader in the 198th Alexander Nevsky Infantry Regiment, fighting on the Southwestern Front. Glazunov was demobilized in February 1918 as a junior noncommissioned officer.[1][3]

Russian Civil War

In July 1918, Glazunov was drafted into the Red Army[3] and sent to a Turkestan regiment in the 4th Army. In November 1918, he became a section leader in the 1st Samara Reserve Regiment and in February 1919 a squad leader in the Serdobsky Reserve Regiment. Fighting in the 25th Separate Rifle Battalion, Glazunov participated in the Bukhara operation. He eventually became the battalion commander. In July 1921, he became the assistant commander of the 14th Turkestan Rifle Regiment, fighting against the Basmachi movement.[1]


Glazunov was appointed commander of a battalion of the 12th Turkestan Rifle Regiment in September 1923. In October, Glazunov became ill with Malaria and was sent to the hospital. After his recovery, he became a battalion commander in the 251st Rifle Regiment of the 84th Rifle Division. In 1926, Glazunov joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.[3] In December 1928, he was sent to the shooting tactical courses and graduated in August 1929.[3] In December 1931, he was appointed to command the 5th Separate Territorial Rifle Battalion.[1] In January 1933, Glazunov became the commander of the 142nd Rifle Regiment of the 48th Rifle Division in Rzhev.[7][8]

In July 1934, he became the assistant commander of the 168th Rifle Regiment of the 56th Rifle Division in Porkhov. In June 1937, Glazunov became assistant commander of the division and in July 1939 became the commander of the 59th Rifle Division. In December 1940, he was sent to the advance training courses at Frunze Military Academy, from which he graduated in May 1941.[1][3]

World War II

Glazunov returned to the 59th Rifle Division in the far east. On 23 June, he was appointed commander of 3rd Airborne Corps[3][9][10] in Pervomaisk. He fought in the Battle of Kiev.[11] On 29 August, Glazunov became the commander of the Soviet airborne.[3][12] He organized the training of the airborne and the formation of ten airborne corps and five brigades. In January and February 1942, Glazunov planned and conducted the Vyazma Airborne Operation during the Rzhev-Vyazma Offensive.[13][14] On 27 March 1942, he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.[15] In June 1943, Glazunov was released from command and became the deputy commander of the 29th Guards Rifle Corps.[1]

In November, he became the commander of the 4th Guards Rifle Corps,[16] which he would lead until the end of the war. Glazunov led the corps through the Battle of the Dnieper, the Nikopol–Krivoi Rog Offensive and the Odessa Offensive.[3] During January and February 1944, the corps broke through German fortifications near the village of Novonikolayevka, expanding the Nikopol bridgehead and allegedly capturing 96 settlements. On 19 March, Glazunov was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin for his leadership during the Nikopol-Krivoi Rog Offensive.[1][3][17]

In early June 1944, the corps was transferred to the 1st Belorussian Front at Kovel.[3] Under Glazunov's command, the corps fought in the Lublin–Brest Offensive, during which it crossed the Bug River.[18] During the Vistula–Oder Offensive, the corps crossed the Vistula and captured a number of settlements, for which it was awarded the title 'Brandenburg'. On 6 April 1945, Glazunov was awarded a second Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin for his actions in holding the Magnushev bridgehead during the Lublin–Brest Offensive.[19] During the Berlin Offensive, the corps took part in the breakthrough in the Battle of the Seelow Heights and crossed the Spree.[20] In Berlin, the corps captured the Ministry of Aviation and the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.[21] For his leadership in the capture of Berlin, Glazunov was awarded a third Order of Lenin.[1]


Glazunov continued to command the corps as part of the 8th Guards Army. In January 1946, he was appointed commander of the 125th Rifle Corps, and in June the inspector general of the Airborne Forces. In May 1949, he studied at the Higher military Academy Marshal Kliment Voroshilov and graduated from there in 1950. In September 1950, Glazunov became the assistant commander of the East Siberian Military District. In October 1950, Glazunov went to China as an advisor with the People's Liberation Army. In June 1954, he retired due to illness. In 1955, he moved to the village of Sheremetyevsky, which is now part of Dolgoprudny. Glazunov died on 27 June 1967 in Moscow and is buried in Novodevichy Cemetery, next to his wife Xenia, who died in 1984.[1][22]


In 1951, a bronze bust of Glazunov was installed in the village of Kolyshley in the Penza Oblast.[17] On 30 September 2011, a street in Penza was named after Glazunov.[23] A street in Dolgoprudny is also named after Glazunov.[24]

Honors and Awards

Glazunov received the following awards and medals:[1]

Soviet awards and medals

Hero of the Soviet Union medal.pngHero of the Soviet Union medal.png Hero of the Soviet Union, twice (19 March 1944 and 6 April 1945)
Order of Lenin ribbon bar.png Order of Lenin, three times (19 March 1944, 6 April 1945, 29 May 1945)
Order of Red Banner ribbon bar.png Order of the Red Banner, three times (27 March 1942, 11 March 1944, 20 June 1949)
Order suvorov2 rib.png Order of Suvorov, 2nd class (22 February 1944)
Order kutuzov2 rib.png Order of Kutuzov, 2nd class (23 August 1944)
Order redstar rib.png Order of the Red Star, twice (16 August 1936, 28 October 1967)
OrderStGeorge4cl rib.png Medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945"
20 years of victory rib.png Jubilee Medal "Twenty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945"
Caputureberlin rib.png Medal "For the Capture of Berlin"
20 years saf rib.png Jubilee Medal "XX Years of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army"
30 years saf rib.png Jubilee Medal "30 Years of the Soviet Army and Navy"
40 years saf rib.png Jubilee Medal "40 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
800thMoscowRibbon.png Medal "In Commemoration of the 800th Anniversary of Moscow"


60px Virtuti Militari, Silver Cross


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Hero of the Soviet Union medal.png  Vasili Glazunov at the "Герои страны" ("Heroes of the Country") website (Russian)
  2. Герои Советского Союза: Абаев-Любичев [Heroes of the Soviet Union] (in русский). Voenizdat. 1987-01-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 "Глазунов Василий Афанасьевич | Бессмертный полк". Retrieved 2015-10-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "ГЛАЗУНОВ Василий Афанасьевич, фото, биография". Retrieved 2015-10-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Vukulov, Viktor (1973-01-01). Дважды герои Советского Союза: альбом [Twice Hero of the Soviet Union] (in русский). Воениздать.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Zaleski, Konstantin (2015-04-22). Великая Отечественная война. Большая биографическая энциклопедия [The Great Patriotic War Biographical Dictionary] (in русский). Litres. ISBN 545727697X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Biography of Lieutenant-General Vasilii Afanasevich Glazunov - (Василий Афанасьевич Глазунов) (1895 – 1967), Soviet Union". Retrieved 2015-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Великая Отечественная: военный биографический словарь. Комкоры [The Great Patriotic War: Biographical Dictionary of Corps Commanders] (in русский). Kuchkovo Field. 2006. ISBN 9785901679111.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Kirchubel, Robert (2012-09-20). Operation Barbarossa 1941 (1): Army Group South. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 9781782004257.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Kirchubel, Robert (2013-08-20). Operation Barbarossa: The German Invasion of Soviet Russia. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 9781472804716.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Zaloga, Steve (1995-01-01). Inside the Blue Berets: A Combat History of Soviet and Russian Airborne Forces, 1930-1995. Presidio. ISBN 9780891413998.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Pettibone, Charles D. (2009-11-18). The Organization and Order of Battle of Militaries in World War II: Volume V - Book B Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Trafford Publishing. ISBN 9781426978159.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Glantz, David M. (1994-01-01). The History of Soviet Airborne Forces. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780714641201.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Boyd, Alexander (1977-08-01). The Soviet Air Force since 1918. Stein and Day. ISBN 9780812822427.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Подвиг народа". Retrieved 2015-10-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Варшавская операция [Warsaw Operation] (in русский). Litres. 2015-05-19. ISBN 9785457778931.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Глазунов Василий Афанасьевич". Retrieved 2015-10-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Erickson, John (1999-01-01). Stalin's War with Germany: The road to Berlin. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300078137.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Память народа :: Документ о награде :: Глазунов Василий Афанасьевич, Герой Советского Союза (Орден Ленина и медаль "Золотая звезда")". Retrieved 2015-10-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Bielawski, Vitaly A.; Panov, I.M. (1973-01-01). Стрелы скрестились на Шпрее [Crossing the Spree] (in русский). Воениздат.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Read, Anthony; Fisher, David (1995-01-01). The Fall of Berlin. Da Capo Press. ISBN 9780306806193.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Глазунов Василий Афанасьевич". Retrieved 2015-10-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "ГТРК "Пенза" / Россия гордится, что первым командующим ВДВ был уроженец Пензенской области Василий Глазунов". Retrieved 2015-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Глазунов Василий Афанасьевич — Фотоальбом". Retrieved 2015-10-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>