Andrei Yeremenko
Andrey Ivanovich Yeryomenko or Yeremenko or Eremenko ( - November 19, 1970) was a Soviet general during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Marshal of the Soviet Union
Marshal of the Soviet Union
Marshal of the Soviet Union was the de facto highest military rank of the Soviet Union. ....


Draft and early service

Born in Markovka in the province of Kharkov in Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 to a peasant family, Yeryomenko was drafted into the Imperial Army
Imperial Russian Army
The Imperial Russian Army was the land armed force of the Russian Empire, active from around 1721 to the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the early 1850s, the Russian army consisted of around 938,731 regular soldiers and 245,850 irregulars . Until the time of military reform of Dmitry Milyutin in...

 in 1913, serving on the Southwest and Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

n Fronts during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. He joined the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 in 1918, where he served in the legendary Budyonny Cavalry (First Cavalry Army). He attended the Leningrad
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 Cavalry School and then the Frunze Military Academy, graduating in 1935.

World War II

In 1940, Yeryomenko was placed in command of the 6th Cavalry Corps, which was responsible for invading Eastern Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 following the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. The operation was characterized by poor organization and command. Yeryomenko 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
Transbaikal Military District
The Transbaikal Military District was a military district of first the Military of the Soviet Union and then the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, formed on May 17, 1935 and included the Buryat Republic, Chita Oblast, and Yakutia. Chita was the headquarters of the district...

, the post he held when Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

 began in June 1941.

Eight days after the invasion began, Yeryomenko was recalled to Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, where he was made the Acting Commander of the Soviet Western Front
Soviet Western Front
The Western Front was a Front of the Red Army, one of the Red Army Fronts during the Second World War. This sense of the term is different from the more general usage of military front which indicates a geographic area in wartime, although a Soviet Front usually operates within designated...

, two days after its original commander, General of the Army Dmitri Pavlov, was executed for incompetence. Yeryomenko was thrust into a very precarious position. Ironically, during a political purge, Stalin had executed the most experienced army officers just prior to the German invasion. Stalin did not expect Hitler to invade the Soviet Union until 1942 at the earliest. The Nazi Blitzkrieg
For other uses of the word, see: Blitzkrieg Blitzkrieg is an anglicized word describing all-motorised force concentration of tanks, infantry, artillery, combat engineers and air power, concentrating overwhelming force at high speed to break through enemy lines, and, once the lines are broken,...

 approach to warfare quickly dominated the Western Front, but Yeryomenko motivated the remaining troops, and halted the German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 offensive just outside of Smolensk
Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River. Situated west-southwest of Moscow, this walled city was destroyed several times throughout its long history since it was on the invasion routes of both Napoleon and Hitler. Today, Smolensk...

. During this vicious defensive Battle of Smolensk
Battle of Smolensk (1941)
The Battle of Smolensk was a largely successful encirclement operation by the German Army Group Centre's 2nd Panzer Group led by Heinz Guderian and the 3rd Panzer Group led by Hermann Hoth against parts of four Soviet Fronts during World War II...

, Yeryomenko was wounded. Because of his injuries, he was transferred to the newly created Bryansk Front
Bryansk Front
The Bryansk Front was a Front of the Soviet Army during the Second World War.General Andrei Yeremenko was designated commander of the Front when it first formed in mid-late August 1941, comprising, in Erickson's words, 'on paper two armies, 50th and 13th, with eight rifle divisions each, three...

. In August 1941, Yeryomenko was ordered to launch an offensive along the Bryansk Front, despite the obvious superiority of the German forces. The offensive failed to accomplish its objective despite a valiant effort.

In October the Germans launched Operation Typhoon, which was an offensive aimed at capturing Moscow. Yeryomenko's forces were pushed back, but eventually a number of counterattacks were able to halt the German push. On October 13, Yeryomenko 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, Yeryomenko was appointed commander of the 4th Shock Army, part of the North-Western Front
North-Western Front
The Northwestern Front was a military formation of the Red Army during the Winter War and World War II. It was operational with the 7th and 13th Armies during the Winter War. It was re-created on June 22, 1941, the first day of the Soviet-German War on the basis of the Baltic Special Military...

. During the Soviet Winter Counteroffensive, Yeryomenko was again wounded; this time on January 20, when German planes bombed his headquarters. Yeryomenko refused to evacuate to a hospital until the battle surrounding him finished.

Stalin gave Yeryomenko the command of the Southeastern Front, on August 1, 1942, where he proceeded to launch vicious counterattacks against the German offensive into the Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

, Fall Blau. Yeryomenko and Commissar
Commissar is the English transliteration of an official title used in Russia from the time of Peter the Great.The title was used during the Provisional Government for regional heads of administration, but it is mostly associated with a number of Cheka and military functions in Bolshevik and Soviet...

 Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 planned the defense of Stalingrad. When his subordinate, Gen. Lopatin
Anton Lopatin
Anton Ivanovich Lopatin was a Soviet officer during the Second World War, and Hero of the Soviet Union.Lopatin begun his service in the Red Army in 1918, and participated in the Russian Civil War. After completing his command courses in 1927.From 1937 Lopatin was appointed commander of a cavalry...

, doubted his ability to defend Stalingrad, Yeryomenko replaced him with lieutenant general
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

 Vasily Chuikov
Vasily Chuikov
Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov was a Russian lieutenant general in the Red Army during World War II, twice Hero of the Soviet Union , who after the war became a Marshal of the Soviet Union.-Early life and career:Born into a peasant family in the village of Serebryanye Prudy, he joined the Red Army during...

 as 62nd Army commander on September 11, 1942. On September 28, the Southeastern Front was renamed the Stalingrad Front
Stalingrad Front
The Stalingrad Front was a front of the Soviet Union's Red Army during the Second World War. The name indicated the primary geographical region in which the Front first fought, based on the city of Stalingrad on the Volga River....

. During Operation Uranus
Operation Uranus
Operation Uranus was the codename of the Soviet strategic operation in World War II which led to the encirclement of the German Sixth Army, the Third and Fourth Romanian armies, and portions of the German Fourth Panzer Army. The operation formed part of the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad, and was...

, November 1942, Yeryomenko's forces helped surround the German 6th Army, which was eventually destroyed or captured in the Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943...

. After German General Erich von Manstein
Erich von Manstein
Erich von Manstein was a field marshal in World War II. He became one of the most prominent commanders of Germany's World War II armed forces...

 attempted to counterattack the Soviet forces and break through the line to relieve the surrounded Germans. Yeryomenko's successfully repelled the attack.

On January 1, 1943, the Stalingrad Front was renamed Southern Front
Soviet Southern Front
The Southern Front was a Front - a roughly Army group sized formation - of the Soviet Army during the Second World War. The Southern Front directed military operations during the Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina in 1940, and then was formed twice after the June 1941 German...

. After the end of the winter offensive, in March 1943, Yeryomenko was transferred north to the Kalinin Front
Kalinin Front
The Kalinin Front was a Front of the Soviet Army during the Second World War. This sense of the term is not identical with the more general usage of military front which indicates a geographic area in wartime, although a Soviet Front may operate within designated boundaries.The Kalinin Front was...

, which remained relatively quiet until September, when Yeryomenko launched a small, but successful offensive. In December, Yeryomenko was once again sent south, this time to take command of the Separate Coastal Army
Separate Coastal Army
The Separate Coastal Army was an army-level unit in the Red Army that fought in the World War II. It was ordered to be established on July 18, 1941 by the order of the Southern Front from the forces of 9th Army’s Coastal Group and was stood up on July 20, 1941....

, which was put together to retake Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

, which was accomplished with assistance from Fyodor Tolbukhin
Fyodor Tolbukhin
Fyodor Ivanovich Tolbukhin was a Soviet military commander.-Biography:Tolbukhin was born into a peasant family in the province of Yaroslavl, north-east of Moscow. He volunteered for the Imperial Army in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I. He was steadily promoted, advancing from private to...

's 4th Ukrainian Front
4th Ukrainian Front
The 4th Ukrainian Front was a front of the Red Army during World War II...

. In April, Yeryomenko once again was sent north, to command the 2nd Baltic Front. During the summer campaign, 2nd Baltic was very successful in crushing German opposition, and was able to capture Riga
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 702,891 inhabitants Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial,...

, helping to bottle up some 30 German divisions in Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

. On March 26, 1945, Yeryomenko was transferred to the command of the 4th Ukrainian Front
4th Ukrainian Front
The 4th Ukrainian Front was a front of the Red Army during World War II...

, the unit he controlled until the end of the war. Fourth Ukrainian was positioned in Eastern Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

. Yeryomenko's subsequent offensive helped capture the rest of Hungary, and paved the way for the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

. His army occupated many cities and towns in Czechoslovakia, most notably Ostrava
Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic and the second largest urban agglomeration after Prague. Located close to the Polish border, it is also the administrative center of the Moravian-Silesian Region and of the Municipality with Extended Competence. Ostrava was candidate for the...

. Today, many streets in the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 bear his name.

After the war

After the war, Yeryomenko had three major commands: between 1945–1946, he was the Commander in Chief of the Carpathian
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

 Military District, from 1946-1952 he was the Commander in Chief of the Western Siberian Military District
Siberian Military District
The Siberian Military District was a Military district of the Russian Ground Forces. In 2010 it was divided between the two newly formed Central and Eastern Military Districts.- History :...

, and from 1953-1958 he was the Commander in Chief of the North Caucasus Military District
North Caucasus Military District
The North Caucasus Military District was a military district of the Russian Ground Forces, which became in 2010 the Southern Military District and lately also includes the Black Sea Fleet and Caspian Flotilla....

. On March 11, 1955, Yeryomenko, along with five other noteworthy commanders, was given the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union
Marshal of the Soviet Union
Marshal of the Soviet Union was the de facto highest military rank of the Soviet Union. ....

. He was made Inspector General for the Ministry of Defense in 1958, a largely ceremonial role that allowed him to retire that same year.

He died November 19, 1970. The urn containing his ashes is buried in the Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...



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