Pavel Batov


Pavel Batov

Pavel Ivanovich Batov (June 1 1897 – April 1985) was a senior Red Army general during the Second World War and afterwards. Batov was a close friend of Marshall K. K. Rokossovski, under whom he served many times during Second World War. As many World War II Soviet generals, Batov began his military career during World War I, later joining the Red Army during the civil war. He attended Vystrel Officer's school in 1926 and Frunze Military Academy in 1936.

He was then sent to Spain where he first served as military adviser to the Republican Army. He fought on the Terruel Front, at Guadalajara and on the Aragon front. Back to Soviet Union, he successively commanded 10th Rifle Corps, 3rd Rifle Corps (which took part in the Russo-Finnish War in February-March 1940).

Lieutenant-General in June 20th 1940, Batov was in command of the 9th Separate Rifle Corps at the outbreak of operation Barbarossa. During the first part of the war, Batov held major commands during the battle for Crimea (as Commander 51st Army) and for the Kerch Peninsula. In January 1942 he joined the Bryansk Front as commander of the 3rd Army, and later deputy commander-in-chief of the front, under Rokossovski. Batov (now commander of the 65th Army) later served under Rokossovsky's Don Front during the battle of Stalingrad, where his army played a critical role in the final stages of the battle.

In July 1943, Batov's 65th Army was a key component of Rokossovski's Soviet Central Front during the giant Battle of Kursk, and in the exploitation operations that followed the German Defeat. In the 1st Belorussian Front, Batov's army took part to the major strategic operations in Belorussia, in Poland (Brest-Lublin), in East Prussia and in Pomerania.

After the war, Batov held various senior commands including Deputy commander of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, commander of the Carpathian Military District (in this period he participated in the suppression of the 1956 Hungarian Revolt), the Baltic Military District, and Chief of Staff of Warsaw Pact Forces.

Although mostly unknown to the general public, Batov had a well deserved reputation of competence and takes place among the myriad of the talented generals who, after "surviving" the first part of the Soviet-Nazi war, greatly contributed to the final victory over the Nazis.

References

* [http://www.theeasternfront.co.uk/Commanders/russian/batov.htm Pavel Ivanovich Batov]
* [http://www.generals.dk/general/Batov/Pavel_Ivanovich/Soviet_Union.html Pavel Ivanovich Batov]

*Harold Shukman (Ed.), "Stalin's Generals", Phoenix Press, 2001
*K. K. Rokossovski, "A Soldier's Duty", Moscow, 1988


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