|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2008)|
Colonel General Mikhail Katukov
|Born||17 September 1900
(now Moscow Oblast)
|Died||8 June 1976
|Years of service||1919 - 1963|
|Rank||Marshal of 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
Battle of Kursk
Vistula Oder Operation
Battle of Berlin
|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.
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
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 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).
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
- Twice Hero of the Soviet Union
- Four Orders of Lenin
- Three Orders of the Red Banner
- Two Orders of Suvorov 1st class
- Order of Kutuzov 1st class
- Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky 1st class
- Order of Kutuzov 2nd class
- Order of the Red Star
- Order for Service to the Homeland in the Armed Forces of the USSR 3rd class
- Jubilee Medal "For MIlitary Valour in Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary since the Birth of Vladimir Il'ich Lenin"
- Medal "For the Defence of Moscow"
- Medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945"
- Jubilee Medal "Twenty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945"
- Jubilee Medal "Thirty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945"
- Medal "For the Capture of Berlin"
- Medal "Veteran of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
- Jubilee Medal "XX Years of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army"
- Jubilee Medal "30 Years of the Soviet Army and Navy"
- Jubilee Medal "40 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
- Jubilee Medal "50 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
- Distinguished Service Order (United Kingdom)
Sources and references
- David Glantz, Zhukov's Greatest Defeat - The Red Army's Epic Disaster in Operation Mars 1942, University Press of Kansas, 1998 P140