Vasily Shatilov

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Vasily Shatilov
Born (1902-02-17)February 17, 1902
Kalmek, Voronezh Oblast, Russian Empire
Died February 16, 1995(1995-02-16) (aged 92)
Moscow, Russian Federation
Buried at Kuntsevo Cemetery
Allegiance  Soviet Union (1924–1964)
Years of service 1924–1964
Rank Colonel General
Commands held 150th Rifle Division
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union
Order of Lenin (2)
Order of the Red Banner (3)
Order of Kutuzov 2nd Class (2)
Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class
Order of the October Revolution
Order of the Red Star

Vasily Mitrofanovich Shatilov (Russian: Васи́лий Митрофа́нович Шати́лов; 17 February 1902 – 16 February 1995) was a Soviet general who commanded the 150th Rifle Division during the Battle of Berlin.


Early life[edit]

Born to a peasant family, Shatilov joined the Red Army in 1924, becoming a member of the Communist Party three years later. In 1928 he graduated from the Tiflis Infantry School, and matriculated from the Mechanization and Motorization faculty of the Frunze Academy in 1938. Shatilov took part in the Soviet invasion of Poland.[1]

Soviet-German War[edit]

Until May 1941, Shatilov served as chief of staff to Colonel Ivan Chernyakhovsky, commander of the 28th Tank Brigade in Riga.[2] Then he was transferred to the same post in the Dnipropetrovsk-based 196th Rifle Division, under General Konstantin Kulikov, not long before the beginning of Operation Barbarossa. When Kulikov was ambushed and taken prisoner in September, Shatilov replaced him.[3]

In August 1942 he took command of the 182nd Rifle Division.[4] The Division fought in the Baltics, not far from Leningrad, and advanced from Demyansk to the Velikaya River while under Shatilov.[5] On May 1944 he was appointed commander of the 150th Rifle Division, part of the 79th Rifle Corps of the 3rd Shock Army, itself a formation within the 1st Belorussian Front.[6]

Battle of Berlin[edit]

On 16 April 1945, the Division crossed the Oder in the vicinity of Wriezen, reaching Berlin on the 21. It was tasked with hoisting the Victory Banner on the Reichstag. On the morning of 30 April, after days of heavy fighting in the streets of the German capital, the Division stormed the building. Soldiers of the Division hoisted several Soviet flags atop the structure, one of which – placed by Meliton Kantaria, Mikhail Yegorov and Alexei Berest – was eventually proclaimed the official Victory Banner (Though the first flag was probably hoisted by the Division's soldier Mikhail Minin).[7][8][9]

Post-war years[edit]

On the 29 of May, Shatilov was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union (Medal no. 6735). He graduated from the General Staff Academy in 1949, becoming the first deputy commander of the Volga Military District and the Far Eastern Military District. He retired from the Armed Forces at 1964, soon after being promoted to the rank of Colonel-General. Shatilov lived in Moscow and died on 16 February 1995. He was buried at Kuntsevo Cemetery.[10]


  1. ^ Vasily Shatilov on
  2. ^ Berlin was So Far Away. V.M. Shatilov, Moscow, 1987. Part I, Chapter 1.
  3. ^ Berlin was So Far Away, Part I, Chapter 9.
  4. ^ Berlin was So Far Away, Part II, Chapter 1.
  5. ^ The 182nd Infantry Division on Russian Wikipedia.
  6. ^ See the Division's commanders here.
  7. ^ An article by Evgeny Vostrukhov.
  8. ^ An article in the Red Star.
  9. ^ An article in Argumenti I-Fakti.
  10. ^ Vasily Shatilov on the Heroes of the USSR catalogue.