Alexander Matrosov

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Alexander Matrosov
Matrosov.jpg
Born 5 February 1924
Yekaterinoslav (now Dnipro), Ukraine SSR, Soviet Union
Died 22 February 1943(1943-02-22) (aged 19)
Chernushki, Loknyansky District, Pskov Oblast, Soviet Union
Allegiance  Soviet Union
Service/branch Red Army flag.svg Red Army
Years of service 1942–1943
Rank Private
Unit 2nd Separate Rifle Battalion
Battles/wars World War II 
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union Order of Lenin.svg

Alexander Matveyevich Matrosov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Матве́евич Матро́сов, Bashkir: Шәкирйән Юныс улы Мөхәмәтйәнов, Ukrainian: Олександр Матвійович Матросов; February 5, 1924 – February 22 or 27, 1943), born in Yekaterinoslav (now Dnipro) was a Soviet infantry soldier during the Great Patriotic War (Second World War), awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union for blocking a German machine-gun with his body.[1]

Acts of bravery[edit]

Matrosov was a private in the 2nd Separate Rifle Battalion of the 91st Independent Siberian Volunteer Brigade, later renamed and the 254th Rifle Regiment and reorganized within the 56th Guard Rifle Division of the Soviet Army. He was armed with a light machine-gun.[2]

On 22 February 1943, in the battle to recapture village of Chernushki, near Velikiye Luki, currently in Loknyansky District, Pskov Oblast, the Soviet forces struggled to take a German heavy machine-gun, housed within a concrete pillbox, which blocked the route to the village. It had already claimed the lives of many of the Russian troops. Matrosov crept up to the pillbox and released a burst of rounds into the slot in the pillbox. One round hit a mine inside, and the machine-gun temporarily fell silent. It restarted a few minutes later. At this point Matrosov physically pulled himself up and jammed his body into the slot, wholly blocking the fire at his comrades but clearly at the cost of his own life. This allowed his unit to advance and capture the pillbox and thereafter retake the village.[1]

For his self-sacrifice in battle, Matrosov was posthumously awarded the distinction Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin.[3]

Stalin officially renamed his regiment the Matrosov Regiment.[4]

Similar cases[edit]

According to Beijing People's Daily, Matrosov's tale also inspired Huang Jiguang, a famous Chinese revolutionary martyr, to perform a similar feat during the Korean War.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

Matrosov is the main character of the 1947 war film, Private Alexander Matrosov (Рядовой Александр Матросов), directed by Leonid Lukov.

Monument to Matrosov in Velikiye Luki, Russia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Матросов Александр Матвеевич". www.warheroes.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  2. ^ Soviet Calendar 1917-1947, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow 1947
  3. ^ Biography (in Russian)
  4. ^ Soviet Calendar 1917-1947, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow 1947
  5. ^ Matrosov Style Hero, Hung Jiguang (马特洛索夫式的英雄黄继光), Beijing: People's Daily, 1952-12-21, retrieved 2012-11-26

External links[edit]