Issa Pliyev

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Issa Alexandrovich Pliyev
Born 25 November 1903
Stariy Batakoyurt, Russian Empire (now North Ossetia, Russia)
Died 2 February 1979 (aged 75)
Allegiance Soviet Union
Years of service 1926 - 1968
Rank General of the Army
Commands held 5th Cavalry Division
2nd Guards Cavalry Corps
1st Guards Cavalry Mechanized Group
Mobile Group Pliyev
Soviet Mongolian Cavalry Mechanized Group
13th Army
North Caucasus Military District
Soviet Ground Forces in Cuba
Battles/wars Battle of Moscow
Battle of Romania (1944)
Battle of Debrecen
Invasion of Manchuria
Awards Twice Hero of the Soviet Union

Issa Alexandrovich Pliyev (Ossetian: Плиты Алыксандры фырт Иссæ; Russian: Исса Александрович Плиев) (also spelled as Pliev) (25 November [O.S. 12 November] 1903 — 2 February 1979) was a Soviet military commander, Army General (1962), twice Hero of the Soviet Union (16 April 1944 and 8 September 1945), Hero of the Mongolian People's Republic (1971).

During World War II, Pliyev commanded several mechanized cavalry units, ranging from regiments to army corps. The military historians David Glantz and Jonathan House described Pliyev as a "great practitioner of cavalry operations in adverse terrain".[1] Pliyev became known in the West largely for his involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Early life and career[edit]

Issa Pliyev started his military career in the Red Army in 1922. He graduated from the Leningrad Cavalry school in 1926, from the Frunze Military Academy in 1933 and from the Soviet General Staff Academy. He joined the Communist party in 1926.[2]

World War II[edit]

At the start of the invasion of the Soviet Union, Pliyev commanded the 50th Cavalry Division (renamed 3rd Guards Cavalry Division). His unit participated in the Battle of Moscow and the Battle of Stalingrad.[2] Pliyev commanded cavalry-mechanized group consisting of 4th Guards Cavalry Corps and 4th Mechanized Corps during the Bereznegovataia-Snigirevka Operation along the Black Sea coast, as part of the 3rd Ukrainian Front under Army General Rodion Malinovsky.[3]

During Operation Bagration in the summer of 1944, part of the 1st Belorussian Front, Pliyev's cavalry-mechanized group attacked towards Slutsk.[4] According to Glantz and House, the unit was highly successful in exploiting the operational breakthrough.[1] In the fall of 1944, he commanded a cavalry-mechanized group consisting of two divisions during the Battle of Debrecen.[1]

He ended the war in command of the Soviet-Mongolian Cavalry-Mechanized Group of the Transbaikal front in Manchuria, fighting against the Japanese Kwantung Army.


After the war, Pliyev continued his career in the military. He commanded 13th Army in 1947-49. In 1955-1958, he was appointed First Deputy and then in 1958 - Commander of the North Caucasus Military District.

In 1962 Pliyev's troops took part in suppressing Novocherkassk riots.[5] During the Cuban Missile Crisis he was the commander of Group of Soviet forces as part of the Operation Anadyr in Cuba.[2]

In 1968, Pliyev became an advisor for the General Inspectors Group of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR.


Pliyev was awarded five Orders of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Suvorov (1st Class), Order of Kutuzov (1st Class), numerous medals and nine foreign orders.

Books Authored[edit]

  • Плиев И.А.. Через Гоби и Хинган (Through the Gobi Desert and the Khingan Mountains). 1965.
  • Плиев И.А.. Конец Квантунской армии (The End of the Kwantung Army). 1969

Honours and Awards[edit]

Soviet Awards
Hero of the Soviet Union medal.pngHero of the Soviet Union medal.png Hero of the Soviet Union, twice
Order of Lenin ribbon bar.png Order of Lenin, seven times
Order october revolution rib.png Order of the October Revolution
Order of Red Banner ribbon bar.png Order of the Red Banner, three times
Order suvorov1 rib.png Order of Suvorov, 1st class, two times
Order kutuzov1 rib.png Order of Kutuzov 1st class
Defstalingrad.png Medal "For the Defence of Stalingrad"
Defcaucasus rib.png Medal "For the Defence of the Caucasus"
Ribbon bar for the medal for the Defense of Moscow.png Medal "For the Defence of Moscow"
OrderStGeorge4cl rib.png Medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945"
Victoryjapan rib.png Medal "For the Victory over Japan"
Foreign Awards
Heroy MNR.jpg Hero of the Mongolian People's Republic (Mongolian People's Republic)
OrdenSuheBator.png Order of Sukhbaatar, three times (Mongolian People's Republic)
OrdenZnam.png Order of the Red Banner, two times (Mongolian People's Republic)
Medal for victory over japan rib.PNG Medal "For Victory over Japan" (Mongolian People's Republic)
OrdenPolStar.png Order of the Polar Star (Mongolian People's Republic)
Med XXXth anniversary of chalkin gol victory rib.PNG Medal "30 year anniversary of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol" (Mongolian People's Republic)
Med 40 year chalkin gol victory rib.PNG Medal "40 year anniversary of the Battle of Khalkhin Gol" (Mongolian People's Republic)
Order of the Red Banner (CSSR) Rib.png Order of Red Banner (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic)
TCH CS voj pametni medaile BAR.svg Czechoslovak Military Commemorative Medal (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic)
Virtuti Militari Ribbon.png Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari (Poland)
POL Polonia Restituta Komandorski BAR.svg Commander's Cross Polonia Restituta, (Poland)
US Legion of Merit Commander ribbon.png Commander, Legion of Merit (USA)
Legion Honneur Commandeur ribbon.svg Commander of the Legion d'Honneur (France)
Croix de guerre 1939-1945 with palm (France) - ribbon bar.png Croix de guerre 1939–1945 with bronze palm (France)



  1. ^ a b c Glantz & House 2015, p. 286.
  2. ^ a b c Roberts 2012, p. 149.
  3. ^ Glantz & House 2015, p. 247.
  4. ^ Glantz & House 2015, p. 268.
  5. ^ Baron 2001, p. 46.


  • Glantz, David; House, Jonathan (2015). When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 9780700621217. 
  • Roberts, Priscilla Mary (2012). Cuban Missile Crisis: The Essential Reference Guide. Abc-Clio Inc. ISBN 9781610690652. 

See also[edit]