Andrey Yeryomenko

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Andrey Ivanovich Yeryomenko
AI Eremenko 01.jpg
Andrey Yeryomenko in 1938.
Native name Russian: Андре́й Ива́нович Ерёменко
Ukrainian: Андрій Іванович Єрьоменко
Born (1892-10-14)October 14, 1892
Markovka, Kharkov Governorate, Russian Empire (now Ukraine)
Died November 19, 1970(1970-11-19) (aged 78)
Moscow, Soviet Union
Buried at Kremlin Wall Necropolis
Allegiance  Russian Empire (1913–1918)
 Soviet Union (1918–1958)
Service/branch Russian Imperial Army
Red Army
Years of service 1913–1958
Rank Marshal of the Soviet Union
Commands held North Caucasus Military District
4th Shock Army
Stalingrad Front
1st Baltic Front
2nd Baltic Front
Carpathian Military District
Battles/wars World War I
Russian Civil War
Great Patriotic War
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union
Hero of Czechoslovakia
Order of Lenin (5)
Order of the Red Banner (4)
Order of the October Revolution
Order of Suvorov, 1st Class (3)
Order of Kutuzov, 1st Class[1]

Andrey (Andrei) Ivanovich Yeryomenko (or Yeremenko, Eremenko; Russian: Андре́й Ива́нович Ерёменко; Ukrainian: Андрій Іванович Єрьоменко; October 14 [O.S. October 2] 1892 – November 19, 1970) was a Soviet general during World War II and, subsequently, a Marshal of the Soviet Union.

Military career[edit]

Draft and early service[edit]

Born in Markivka in Kharkov Governorate in Ukraine to a peasant family, Yeryomenko was drafted into the Imperial Army in 1913, serving on the Southwest and Romanian Fronts during World War I. He joined the Red Army in 1918, where he served in the legendary Budyonny Cavalry (First Cavalry Army). He attended the Leningrad Cavalry School and then the Frunze Military Academy, graduating in 1935. In addition to his education, he was appointed to command of a regiment of cavalry in Dec. 1929, then a division in 1937, and then the 6th Cavalry Corps in 1938.[2]

Invasion of Eastern Poland[edit]

On Sept. 17, 1939, Yeryomenko led his 6th Cavalry Corps into eastern Poland as part of the operations agreed to between Germany and the Soviet Union under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. In general, this Soviet operation was not efficiently organized. Yeryomenko (whose Corps contained light tank and other motorized elements) was forced to request an emergency airlift of fuel so as to continue his advance. Despite these difficulties, the Corps kept moving, and Yeryomenko earned the nickname "the Russian Guderian".[3]

Great Patriotic War[edit]

Yeryomenko was given command of the prestigious 1st Red Banner Far Eastern Army, deep in eastern Siberia, where he was serving at the outbreak of Operation Barbarossa on June 22, 1941.[4]

Eight days after the invasion began, Yeryomenko was recalled to Moscow, where he was made the Acting Commander of the Soviet Western Front, two days after its original commander, General of the Army Dmitri Pavlov, was dismissed (and later convicted and executed) for incompetence. Yeryomenko was thrust into a very precarious position. The Nazi Blitzkrieg approach to warfare quickly dominated the Western Front, but Yeryomenko motivated the remaining troops, and halted the German offensive just outside of Smolensk. During this vicious defensive Battle of Smolensk, Yeryomenko was wounded. Because of his injuries, he was transferred to the newly created Bryansk Front.

In late August, Yeryomenko was ordered to launch counter-offensive operations along the Bryansk Front, primarily against Guderian's Second Panzer Group as it began to move south to trap Kirponos' South-West Front around Kiev. Stavka, particularly Stalin and Shaposhnikov, seemed convinced that Yeryomenko could block or distract Guderian's drive and save Kiev from encirclement. The counter-offensive failed to accomplish its objectives despite a valiant effort, leaving Bryansk Front severely weakened.[5]

In October the Germans launched Operation Typhoon, which was an offensive aimed at capturing Moscow. Most of Yeryomenko's weakened forces (3rd, 13th and 50th Armies) were partially encircled by Oct. 8[6] although small units managed to escape for days or weeks following. On Oct. 13, Yeryomenko was once again wounded, this time severely. He was evacuated to a military hospital in Moscow, where he spent several weeks recovering. In January 1942, Yeryomenko was appointed commander of the 4th Shock Army, part of the North-Western Front. During the Soviet Winter Counteroffensive, Yeryomenko's army was part of the highly successful Toropets-Kholm Offensive, which liberated Toropets and much of the surrounding region, helping to create the Rzhev Salient, which became a major battlefield over the next 15 months. On Jan. 20, 1942, Yeryomenko was again wounded, this time in one leg,[7] when German planes bombed his headquarters. Yeryomenko refused to evacuate to a hospital until the battle surrounding him finished.

Battle of Stalingrad[edit]

Yeryomenko's performance in the winter offensives restored Stalin's confidence, and he was given command of the Southeastern Front, on Aug. 1, 1942,[8] where he proceeded to launch powerful counterattacks against the German offensive into the Caucasus, Fall Blau. Yeryomenko and Commissar Nikita Khrushchev planned the defense of Stalingrad, rallying and re-organizing men and equipment falling back to the city from the Don River and the steppes to the west. When one of his subordinates, Gen. Anton Lopatin, doubted if his 62nd Army would be able to defend Stalingrad, Yeryomenko replaced him with Lt. Gen. Vasily Chuikov as Army commander on Sept. 11, 1942.[9] Chuikov and the 62nd Army went on to prove themselves as the defenders of the city, confirming Yeryomenko's judgement. On Sept. 28, the Southeastern Front was renamed the Stalingrad Front.

During Operation Uranus, November 1942, Yeryomenko's forces helped to surround the German 6th Army from the south, linking up with the northern penetration at Kalach-na-Donu. German General Erich von Manstein soon attempted to counterattack the Soviet forces and break through the line to relieve the surrounded Germans. Yeryomenko successfully repelled the attack, largely with the forces of the 2nd Guards Army along their fall-back positions on the Myshkova River.

After Stalingrad[edit]

On January 1, 1943, the Stalingrad Front was renamed Southern Front. After the end of the winter offensive, in March 1943, Yeryomenko was transferred north to the Kalinin Front, which remained relatively quiet until September, when Yeryomenko launched a small, but successful offensive. In December, Yeryomenko was once again sent south, this time to take command of the Separate Coastal Army, which was put together to retake Crimea, which was accomplished with assistance from Fyodor Tolbukhin's 4th Ukrainian Front. In April, Yeryomenko once again was sent north, to command the 2nd Baltic Front. During the summer campaign, 2nd Baltic was very successful in crushing German opposition, and was able to capture Riga, helping to bottle up some 30 German divisions in Latvia. On March 26, 1945, Yeryomenko was transferred to the command of the 4th Ukrainian Front, the unit he controlled until the end of the war. Fourth Ukrainian was positioned in Eastern Hungary. Yeryomenko's subsequent offensive helped capture the rest of Hungary, and paved the way for the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. His army occupied many cities and towns in Czechoslovakia, most notably Ostrava. Today, many streets in the Czech Republic bear his name.

After the war[edit]

After the war, Yeryomenko had three major commands: between 1945–1946, he was the Commander in Chief of the Carpathian Military District, from 1946-1952 he was the Commander in Chief of the Western Siberian Military District, and from 1953-1958 he was the Commander in Chief of the North Caucasus Military District. On March 11, 1955, Yeryomenko, along with five other noteworthy commanders, was given the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union. He was made Inspector General for the Ministry of Defense in 1958, a largely ceremonial role that allowed him to retire that same year.

He died November 19, 1970. The urn containing his ashes is buried in the Kremlin.

Honours and awards[edit]

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Russian Wikipedia.
Soviet Union
Foreign Awards

Commands [10][edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Unidentified
Commanding Officer of the 79th Cavalry Regiment
1929 - 1936
Succeeded by
Unidentified
Preceded by
Unidentified
Commanding Officer of the 22nd Cavalry Regiment
1937
Succeeded by
Unidentified
Preceded by
Unidentified
Commanding Officer of the 14th Cavalry Division
1937 - 1938
Succeeded by
Unidentified
Preceded by
Unidentified
Commanding General of the 6th Cavalry Corps
1938 - 1940
Succeeded by
Unidentified
Preceded by
Unidentified
Commanding General of the 3rd Mechanized Corps
1940
Succeeded by
Unidentified
Preceded by
Unidentified
Commanding General of the North Caucasus Military District
1940 - 1941
Succeeded by
Unidentified
Preceded by
Unidentified
Commanding General of the 1st Red Banner Army
Jan 1941 - Jun 1941
Succeeded by
Unidentified
Preceded by
Army General Dumitry Pavlov
Commanding General of the Western Front
28 June 1941 – 2 July 1941
Succeeded by
Marshal Timoshenko, Yeryomenko as vice commander of Western Front
Preceded by
Newly Formed
Commanding General of the Bryansk Front
16 Aug 1941 – 13 Oct 1941
Succeeded by
Major General Georgiy Fedorovich Zakharov
Preceded by
27th Army renamed as 4th Shock Army
Commanding General of the 4th Shock Army
December 25th 1941 – February 13th 1942
Succeeded by
Lieutenant General Filipp Golikov
Preceded by
Unidentified
Commanding General of the Southwestern Front
1942 - 12 Jul 1942
Succeeded by
Unidentified
Preceded by
Newly Formed
Commanding General of the Stalingrad Front
12 Jul 1942 - 7 Aug 1942
Succeeded by
Unidentified
Preceded by
Newly Formed by splitting the Stalingrad Front
Commanding General of the Southeastern Front
7 Aug 1942 - 28 Sep 1942
Succeeded by
Disbanded
Preceded by
Reformed from Southeastern Front
Commanding General of the Stalingrad Front
28 Sep 1942 - 1 Jan 1943
Succeeded by
Unidentified
Preceded by
Reformed from Stalingrad Front
Commanding General of the Southern Front
1 Jan 1943 - Feb 1943
Succeeded by
General Lieutenant Rodion Malinovsky
Preceded by
Army General Maksim Purkayev
Commanding General of the Kalinin Front
April 7 - October 12, 1943
Succeeded by
Renamed 1st Baltic Front
Preceded by
Renamed from Kalinin Front
Commanding General of the 1st Baltic Front
October 12 - November 19, 1943
Succeeded by
Army General Hovhannes Bagramyan
Preceded by
Army General Ivan Yefimovich Petrov
Commanding General of the Separate Coastal Army
Feb 3, 1944 – Apr 18, 1944
Succeeded by
Lieutenant General Kondrat Semenovich Melnik
Preceded by
Army General Markian Popov
Commanding General of the 2nd Baltic Front
April 23, 1944 - February 1945
Succeeded by
2nd Baltic Front was merged into Leningrad Front
Preceded by
Army General Ivan Yefimovich Petrov
Commanding General of the 4th Ukrainian Front
26 Mar 1945 - 25 Aug 1945
Succeeded by
Redisgnated as Carpathian Military District
Preceded by
Newly Formed from 4th Ukrainian Front
Commanding General of the Carpathian Military District
25 Aug 1945 - October 1946
Succeeded by
Colonel General K.N. Galytskyy
Preceded by
General Lieutenant V.I. Kurdyumov
Commanding General of the Western Siberian Military District
Oct 1946 - Nov 1953
Succeeded by
Disbanded to form Siberian Military District
Preceded by
Colonel General S G Trofimenko
Commanding General of the North Caucasus Military District
November 1953 - April 1958
Succeeded by
Army General Issa Alexandrovich Pliyev
Preceded by
Unidentified
Inspector General of the Ministry of Defense
April 1958
Succeeded by
Unidentified

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Russian) Biography on War Heroes site.
  2. ^ Glantz, David M.; Colossus Reborn; University Press of Kansas; Lawrence, Kansas, 2005; p 708
  3. ^ Glantz, David M.; Colossus Reborn; University Press of Kansas; Lawrence, Kansas, 2005; p 485
  4. ^ Glantz, David M.; Colossus Reborn; University Press of Kansas; Lawrence, Kansas, 2005; p 485
  5. ^ Glantz, David M.; Barbarossa Derailed, vol. 2; Helion and Co., Ltd.; Solihull, UK, 2012; pp 364 - 497
  6. ^ Stahel, David; Operation Typhoon; Cambridge University Press; New York, 2013; pp 76 - 77
  7. ^ Shaw, John; Red Army Resurgent; Time-Life Books; 1979; p 142
  8. ^ Craig, William (1973). Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad. Old Saybrook, CT: Konecky and Konecky. p. 25. ISBN 1-56852-368-8. 
  9. ^ Craig, William (1973). Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad. Old Saybrook, CT: Konecky and Konecky. p. 83. ISBN 1-56852-368-8. 
  10. ^ http://generals.dk/general/Eremenko/Andrei_Ivanovich/Soviet_Union.html