Vasily Kuznetsov (general)

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Vasily Kuznetsov
File:Vasily Kuznetsov.jpg
Colonel General Vasily Kuznetsov.
Born (1894-01-15)January 15, 1894
Ust-Osolka, Perm Governorate, Russian Empire
Died June 20, 1964(1964-06-20) (aged 70)
Moscow, Soviet Union
Buried at Novodevichy Cemetery
Allegiance  Russian Empire (1915–1917)
 Soviet Union (1917–1960)
Years of service 1915–1960
Rank Colonel General
Commands held Imperial Russian Army
Red Army
Battles/wars World War I
Russian Civil War
World War II
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union

Vasily Ivanovich Kuznetsov (Russian: Василий Иванович Кузнецов; 15 January [O.S. 3 January] 1894, Ust-Usolka, Perm Governorate, Russian Empire - 20 June 1964, Moscow, Soviet Union) was a Soviet General and a Hero of the Soviet Union.

Early life

Born to a working-class family.

Military Career

World War 1

In April 1915 he was drafted into the Imperial Russian Army, taking part in World War I. On March the following year he completed officer training in Kazan, attaining the rank of a Podporuchik at July.

The Russian Civil War

In August 1918, after the October Revolution, he joined the Red Army, serving in the Russian Civil War first as a company commander and later as a deputy regimental commander. On October 1923 he was appointed commander of 89th Rifle Regiment.

The Interwar Period

He joined the Communist Party at 1928. During 1929 he undertook advanced officers' training, and graduated from the Frunze Academy at 1936. On October that year he became the 99th Rifle Division's commander. At July the following year, he was transferred to head the 16th Rifle Corps.

The Invasion Of Poland

During September 1939, Komkor Kuznetsov participated in the Invasion of Poland as chief of the Vitebsk and Polotsk Army Groups.

On 4 June 1940, with the introduction of new ranks, he became a Lieutenant General.[1]

The Great Patriotic War

On the 22 June 1941, Kuznetsov's 3rd Army was stationed in Belarus, as part of the Western Front. It was overwhelmed and surrounded by German forces. In July, he and the remains of his formation broke out and returned to the Soviet lines. In late August, he was sent to command the Southwestern Front's 21st Army, but his force suffered crushing defeat once more in the Battle of Kiev. On October, he was appointed to command the Kharkov Military District, but reassigned to head the 1st Shock Army on 23 November, with which he took part in the Battle of Moscow. His units liberated Klin and Solnechnogorsk.[2]

On February 1942, the Army relocated to the north, taking part in the Demyansk operation. On July, Kuzentsov was given command of the 63rd Army, positioned near Stalingrad. The formation was renamed 1st Guards Army on November. For his conduct in the campaign, Kuznetsov was awarded the Order of Suvorov 1st Class. On 25 March 1943 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel General. The 1st Guards later took part in the battles for the Donbass region and in the Dniepr crossing. On 15 December, Kuznetsov was appointed Bagramyan's deputy in the 1st Baltic Front. In this capacity he participated in the campaigns for Belarus, the Baltics and East Prussia. The Front was disbanded on late February 1945, and Kuznetsov assumed command over the 1st Belorussian's 3rd Shock Army on 16 March. The Army was involved in the urban fighting inside Berlin; On 30 April, one of its formations, the 150th Rifle Division, stormed the Reichstag. Its soldiers hoisted the Victory Banner atop the building.[3]

Post-war career

On 29 May 1945, Kuznetsov was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union (Medal no. 6460) for his performance. After the war, he remained the 3rd Army's commander in Germany for a while, then attended the Voroshilov Academy, graduating at 1948. He served as chairman of the Voluntary Society for Cooperation with the Army and later of DOSAAF. From 1953 to 1957, he headed the Volga Military District. Until his retirement at 1960, he has served in the Ministry of Defense. Kuznetsov was a deputy in the 2nd and 4th Convocations of the Supreme Soviet.[4]

Honours and awards