Mikhail Katukov

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Mikhail Katukov
M.Katukov.jpg
Colonel General Mikhail Katukov
Born 17 September 1900
Bolshoe Uvarovo,
(now Moscow Oblast)
Died 8 June 1976(1976-06-08) (aged 75)
Moscow
Allegiance Soviet Union
Years of service 1919 - 1963
Rank Marshal of Armoured Troops
Unit Armoured Troops
Commands held 4th Tank Brigade/1st Guards Tank Brigade
1st Tank Corps
3rd Mechanised Corps
1st Tank Army/1st Guards Tank Army
Battles/wars Battle of Moscow
Operation Mars
Battle of Kursk
Operation Bagration
Vistula Oder Operation
Battle of Berlin
Awards

Hero of the Soviet Union Hero of the Soviet Union

Other work Commander of Armored Forces of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany
Inspector General of the Army

Marshal of Armoured Troops Mikhail Efimovich Katukov (September 17, 1900 - June 8, 1976) (Russian: Михаил Ефимович Катуков) served as a commander of armored troops in the Red Army during and following World War II. He is viewed as one of the most talented Soviet armor commanders.[citation needed]

Military Career[edit]

Katukov entered the Red Army as a private in 1919. He served during the Russian Civil War, and later served as a tank formation commander before the war. In 1935 he graduated from the Stalin Military Academy and in July 1936 he was promoted to captain. In October 1938 came his first major command as acting commanding officer of the 5th light Tank Brigade of the 45th Mechanized Corps. He survived the purges.

The Great Patriotic War[edit]

His most notable command during the German-Soviet War was that of 1st Guards Tank Army which he commanded during the Battle of Kursk, Operation Bagration, the Vistula Oder Operation, and the Battle of Berlin. He also commanded 1st Guards Tank Brigade during the Battle of Moscow, and 3rd Mechanised Corps[1] during Operation Mars.

On the onset of the war he took command of the 4th Tank Brigade. In the defense of Moscow in 1941, it was Katukov's Tank Brigade, then part of the 1st Guards Rifle Corps, that checked the advance of Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 near Tula. To honor this achievement it became the 1st Guards Tank Brigade.

Later during Operation Mars in December 1942, Katukov's command managed a deep penetration into the German lines in the Rhzev salient.

In January 1943 he took command of the 1st Guards Tank Army, a post he held for the duration of the war.

In the battle of Kursk, Katukov's command was one of the two armies that were hardest-hit by the initial German advance on the southern shoulder. Through the use of well-defended and sited strong-points, dug in tanks, and judicious use of counterattacks, Katukov managed to extract a high toll from the German attackers breaking through the defensive system.

Mikhail Katukov was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union twice (September 29, 1944 and April 6, 1945).

Post-War[edit]

Following the war he became commander of the mechanized forces of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, and later Inspector General of the Army.

Honours and awards[edit]

Sources and references[edit]

  1. ^ David Glantz, Zhukov's Greatest Defeat - The Red Army's Epic Disaster in Operation Mars 1942, University Press of Kansas, 1998 P140