Andrei Yeremenko

Andrei Yeremenko

Infobox Military Person
name=Andrei Ivanovich Yeremenko
born= birth date|1892|10|14
died= death date and age|1970|11|19|1892|10|14

caption= Andrei Yeremenko, as a General, in 1945x.
placeofbirth=Markovka, Kharkov Provence, Russian Empire, (now Ukraine)
placeofdeath=Moscow, Soviet Union
placeofburial=Kremlin Wall Necropolis
allegiance=flag|Russian Empire (1913-1918)
USSR (1918-1958)
branch=Russian Imperial Army
Red Army
serviceyears=1913 — 1958
rank=Marshal of the Soviet Union
commands=Red Army
battles=World War I
Russian Civil War
Great Patriotic War
awards=Hero of the Soviet Union
Hero of Czechoslovakia
Order of Lenin (5)
Order of the Red Banner (4)
Order of the October Revolution
Order of Suvorov, 1st Class (3)
Order of Kutuzov, 1st Class [ [ Biography] on War Heroes site ru icon]

Andrei Ivanovich Yeremenko ( _ru. Андре́й Ива́нович Ерё́менко) (October 14, 1892 - November 19, 1970) Soviet general during World War II, Marshal of the Soviet Union, born in Markovka in the province of Kharkov in Ukraine to a peasant family. Drafted into the Imperial Army in 1913, served on the Southwest and Romanian Fronts during World War I. Joined the Red Army in 1918, where he served in the legendary “Budyonny Cavalry”. Attended the Leningrad Cavalry School and then the Frunze Military Academy, which he graduated from in 1935.

In 1940, Yeremenko was placed in command of the 6th Cavalry Corps, which was responsible for invading Eastern Poland, as part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The operation was characterized by poor organization and command. Yeremenko had to request an emergency airlift of fuel so as to continue his advance. Afterwards, he held a number of commands, ending up in control of the Transbaikal Military District, the post he held when Operation Barbarossa began in June 1941.

Eight days after the invasion began, Yeremenko was recalled to Moscow where he was made the Acting Commander of the Soviet Western Front, two days after its original commander, General of the Army Dmitri Pavlov, was executed for incompetence. Yeremenko was thrust into a very precarious position. Pavlov’s incompetence (and Soviet unpreparedness) had completely destroyed Western Front, but Yeremenko was able patch together what remaining forces he had, and was able to halt the German offensive just outside of Smolensk. During this vicious defensive Battle of Smolensk, Yeremenko was wounded. Because of his injuries, Yeremenko was transferred to the newly created Bryansk Front. In August 1941, Yeremenko was ordered to launch an offensive using Bryansk Front, despite the obvious superiority of German forces. The offensive failed to accomplish its desired results.

In October the Germans launched Operation Typhoon, which was an offensive operation aimed at capturing Moscow. Yeremenko’s forces were pushed back, but eventually, a number of counterattacks were able to halt the German push. On October 13, Yeremenko was once again wounded, this time severely. He was evacuated to a military hospital in Moscow, where he spent several weeks recovering. In January 1942, Yeremenko was appointed commander of the 4th Shock Army, part of the North-Western Front. During the Soviet Winter Counteroffensive, Yeremenko was again wounded; this time on January 20, when German planes launched a bombing raid on his headquarters. Yeremenko refused to go to a hospital until the fighting around him abated.


Yeremenko (right) at the military council of Stalingrad Front.]
Stalin gave Yeremenko the command of the Southeastern Front, on August 1, 1942, [cite book |title= Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad|last=Craig |first=William |authorlink= |year=1973 |publisher=Konecky and Konecky |location=Old Saybrook, CT |isbn= 1-56852-368-8 |pages = pp. 25] where he proceeded to launch vicious counterattacks against the German offensive into the Caucasus, Operation Blau. Yeremenko and Commissar Nikita Krushchev planned the defense of Stalingrad. When his subordinate, Gen. Lopatin, expressed self-doubt in his ability to save Stalingrad, Yeremenko replaced him with lieutenant general Vasily Chuikov as 62nd Army commander on September 11, 1942. [cite book |title= Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad|last=Craig |first=William |authorlink= |year=1973 |publisher=Konecky and Konecky |location=Old Saybrook, CT |isbn= 1-56852-368-8 |pages = pp. 83] On September 28th, Southeastern Front was renamed Stalingrad Front. During Operation Uranus, November 1942, Yeremenko’s forces helped surround the German 6th Army, which was eventually destroyed in the Battle of Stalingrad. After German General Erich von Manstein attempted to counterattack the Soviet forces and break through the blockade, Yeremenko counterattacked and was able to halt his push.

On January 1, 1943, Stalingrad Front was renamed Southern Front. After the end of the winter offensive, in March 1943, Yeremenko was transferred north to the Kalinin Front, which remained relatively quiet until September, when Yeremenko launched a small, but successful offensive. In December, Yeremenko was once again sent south, this time to take command of the Separate Maritime Army, which was a motley force put together so as to retake the Crimea, which was accomplished in conjunction with Fyodor Tolbukhin’s 4th Ukrainian Front. In April, Yeremenko once again was sent north, to command 2nd Baltic Front. During the summer campaign, 2nd Baltic was very successful in crushing German opposition, and was able to capture Riga, helping to bottle up some 30 German divisions in Latvia. On March 26, 1945, Yeremenko was transferred to the command of the 4th Ukrainian Front, the unit he controlled until the end of the war. Fourth Ukrainian was positioned in Eastern Hungary. Yeremenko’s subsequent offensive helped capture the rest of Hungary, and paved the way for the Soviet liberation of Czechoslovakia. His army liberated many cities and towns in Czechoslovakia, most notably Ostrava. Today, many streets in the Czech Republic bear his name.

After the war, Yeremenko had three major commands: between 1945-1946, he was the Commander in Chief of the Carpathian Military District, from 1946-1952 he was the Commander in Chief of the Western Siberian Military District, and from 1953-1958 he was the Commander in Chief of the North Caucasus Military District. On March 11, 1955, Yeremenko, along with five other noteworthy commanders, was given the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union. He was made Inspector General for the Ministry of Defense in 1958, a largely ceremonial role that allowed Yeremenko to retire that same year. He died November 19, 1970. The urn containing his ashes is buried in the Kremlin.


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