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|Ivan Ignatyevich Yakubovsky|
|Native name||Ива́н Игна́тьевич Якубо́вский|
7 January 1912|
Zaitsava, Mogilev Governorate, Russian Empire (present-day Horki Raion, Mahilyow Voblast, Belarus)
|Died||30 November 1976
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Buried||Kremlin Wall Necropolis,
Red Square, Moscow
|Allegiance|| Soviet Union
|Years of service||1932–1976|
|Rank||Marshal of the Soviet Union|
Ivan Ignatyevich Yakubovsky (Russian: Ива́н Игна́тьевич Якубо́вский; 7 January 1912 – 30 November 1976) was a Marshal of the Soviet Union, twice made a Hero of the Soviet Union and serving as commander-in-chief of the Warsaw Pact from 1967 to 1976.
Born as the sixth child of a peasant family in Belarus, he was employed in their village and graduated from a rural school. From 1930 he worked as section-secretary on the Makaryevsky village council, then at a plant. He graduated from two courses at the Orsha School in 1932.
Enlisting in the Red Army in 1932, he graduated from the Mikhail Kalinin Belarusian Association Military School in Minsk in 1934, aiming to serve as a training platoon commander in the 27th Omsk Red Banner Rifle Division (Vitebsk).
In 1935 he graduated from training courses in Leningrad, before serving in the Belorussian Military District as a platoon commander, company commander, battalion chief of staff and training battalion commander of various armoured units. Commanding a tank company in the Red Army's September 1939 Polish campaign as part of the troops on the Belorussian front, he also served in the 1939–40 Winter War.
World War II
Yakubovsky entered the war in its early days on the western border as commander of a tank battalion, fighting heroically in the most difficult defensive battles in Belarus. His unit was one of the last defenders of a doomed Minsk, crushing an advanced enemy motorcycle convoy with their tanks in the city streets. From January 1941 he commanded a tank regiment on the USSR's western front, becoming Deputy Commander (January 1942) then Commander (March 1942) of the 91st Tank Brigade and participating in the Barvinkivske-Lozova offensive. He distinguished himself in the defensive battles in the Donets Basin in the summer of 1942 and in the defensive and offensive phases of the Battle of Stalingrad, fighting on the Southern, Southwestern, Stalingrad and Don fronts and rising to colonel on 30 November 1942.
In spring 1943 the brigade was transferred to the Central Front, joining the 3rd Guards Tank Army, in which he fought right up until VE Day. Heading the brigade, he fought heroically on the Voronezh, Bryansk, Central, 1st Ukrainian fronts, in the battle of Kursk in the Orel region, in the Battle of the Dnieper and in the liberation of Kiev and Fastiv. For his heroism at Fastiv, where his unit destroyed 30 enemy tanks in a single day, Yakubovsky was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. In spring 1944, at the head of his tank brigade, Col Yakubovsky successfully operated in Proskurovo-Chernivtsi offensive.
In June 1944 he became deputy commander of 6th Guards Tank Corps within 3rd Guards Tank Army. He participated in the Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive, in the battles defending and expanding the Sandomierz bridgehead, in the Vistula–Oder Offensive in January 1945. In these operations, he commanded the advanced corps troops, at their point of impact with the German tank units. For heroic actions in the Lvov-Sandomierz operation Colonel Yakubovsky was again ranked as a Hero of the Soviet Union, by decree of 23 September 1944. From April 1945 he was deputy commander of the 7th Guards Tank Corps within 3rd Guards Tank Army, participating in the Berlin and Prague operations and rising to Major-General of Tank Troops (20 April 1945).
After the war, he continued to serve as deputy commander of the tank corps in the Leningrad Military District. In 1948 he graduated from the General Staff Academy. In March 1948 he became Commander of the Armored Division in the Belorussian Military District then in April 1952 became commander of armoured and mechanized forces in the Carpathian Military District. Rising to Lieutenant-General of Tank Forces (3.05.1953), he commanded a Tank Army (December 1953 to April 1957) then a mechanized army (from April 1957).
In July 1957 he became First Deputy Commander of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, later being promoted to Colonel-General (18.08.1958). In April 1960 he was appointed Commander of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, being in post in the midst of the Berlin Crisis of 1961, when the threat of armed conflict in Europe dramatically escalated. During the crisis, in August 1961, Ivan Konev, Commander in Chief of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, was appointed Marshal of the Soviet Union and Yakubovsky was transferred to the post of his first deputy, while continuing to manage the daily operations of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. After stabilizing the situation in April 1962, Army General Yakubovsky again returned to the post of Commander of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. In January 1965 he was made Commander of the Kiev Military District.
On 12 April 1967 he was made First Deputy Minister of Defense of the USSR (simultaneously with the appointment of Andrei Grechko as Minister of Defense) and Marshal of the Soviet Union, whilst from July that year he contiguously held the post of supreme commander of the forces of the Warsaw Pact.
During the Second World War, he was noted for his outstanding personal courage and skill, coming up with non-standard solutions and able to act independently, and was wounded and burned in his tank several times. According to numerous recollections of colleagues, Marshal Yakubovsky was a bright and distinctive personality. In terms of the number of army anecdotes about him, he can perhaps only compete with the commander of the Airborne Forces Army General Vasily Margelov. An implacable opponent of showing off, he was a man of exceptional integrity.
- Soviet awards
- Twice Hero of the Soviet Union (10 January 1944, 23 September 1944)
- Four Orders of Lenin (10 January 1944, 6 January 1962, 22 February 1968, 6 January 1972)
- Order of the Red Banner, four times (21 July 1942, 14 February 1943, 30 August 1944, 21 August 1953)
- Two awards of the Order of Suvorov, 2nd degree (6 April 1945, 31 May 1945)
- Order of the Patriotic War, 1st class (21 August 1943)
- Order of the Red Star (6 November 1947)
- Order for Service to the Homeland in the Armed Forces of the USSR, 3rd degree (30 April 1975)
- Honorary weapon with the State Emblem of the USSR (22 February 1968)
- Medal for Combat Service
- Jubilee Medal "In Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary since the Birth of Vladimir Il'ich Lenin"
- Medal "For the Defence of Moscow"
- Medal "For the Defence of Stalingrad"
- 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 "For the Liberation of Prague"
- Medal "Veteran of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
- 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"
- Foreign awards
- Hero of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (28 April 1970)
- Order of Klement Gottwald (Czechoslovakia)
- Order of Karl Marx (East Germany, 1970)
- Cross of Grunwald, 1st class (Poland)
- Commander with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (Poland)
- Земля в огне (Earth on fire); Moscow, 1975;
- За прочный мир на земле (For a lasting peace on earth); Moscow, 1975
- Old style: 25 December 1911
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|Supreme Commander of the Unified Armed Forces of the Warsaw Treaty Organization