Ivan Flyorov

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For other uses of "Flyorov", see Flyorov (disambiguation).

Ivan Andreyevich Flyorov (Flyorov, Russian: Иван Андреевич Флёров) (April 24, 1905 – October 7, 1941), captain of the Red Army, was the commander of the first battery of 8 Katyushas (BM-8), which was formed in Lipetsk and on July 14, 1941 was deployed in a battle against the German army at Orsha in Belarus, with devastating effect on the enemy causing massive casualties: a single salvo destroyed several German freight trains with ammunition, fuel, and tanks, annihilating the station itself. The second blow destroyed a bridge across the river Orshica, that connected to Minsk-Moscow highway, simultaneously the German 17th Panzer Division got under a shocking fire blow, as a result of shock damage the 17th Panzer Division of Wehrmacht was unable to recover its forces for more than three days.

In autumn 1941, Flyorov's battery was surrounded in the swamps by the Ugra River and heavily shelled by mortars. After running out of ammunition, Captain Flyorov ordered his men to destroy the remaining weaponry. During the battle Flyorov was killed together with over 75% of his command.

In an interview with the newspaper Trud, Matvey Blanter, composer of the song "Katyusha", said that while visiting the place of the event, he found a tree with a Katyusha guiding rail stuck in the trunk, and had it placed in the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Moscow.

On June 21, 1995, the 50th anniversary of victory over Germany, Flyorov was posthumously awarded the Hero of the Russian Federation.