Bagramian, Ivan Khristoforovich
Born Nov. 20 (Dec. 2), 1897, in Elizavetpol’, present-day Kirovabad, Azerbaijan SSR. Marshal of the Soviet Union (Mar. 11, 1955) and Hero of the Soviet Union (July 29, 1944). Member of the CPSU since 1941.
An Armenian by nationality, Bagramian was born into the family of a railroad worker. He joined the army in 1915 and graduated from an officers’ school in 1917. In December 1920 he joined the Red Army and participated in the Civil War. He completed the advanced cavalry training courses for command personnel in 1925, the advanced courses for general officers in 1931, the Frunze Military Academy in 1934, and the Academy of the General Staff in 1938. In September 1940 he became chief of the department of operations of army and district headquarters. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, he was chief of the department of operations of the Southwestern Front headquarters, chief of the operations command of the Southwestern Sector, and chief of staff of the Southwestern Front. In July 1942, Bagramian took command of an army, and in November 1943 he took command of the troops of the First Baltic Front, which was known as the SamlandGroup from March 1945 onward. Beginning in April 1945, he commanded the troops of the Third Byelorussian Front. The troops under Bagramian’s command actively participated in routing the German fascist troops on the Kursk salient; in the Byelorussian, Baltic, East Prussian, and other operations; and in the capture of the Königsberg citadel. After the war, he commanded troops of the Baltic Military District, until becoming chief inspector of the Ministry of Defense in 1954 and deputy defense minister. From 1956 to 1958, Bagramian headed the Military Academy of the General Staff. In 1958 he began serving as deputy defense minister and chief of the rear of the armed forces. In April 1968 he was appointed a supreme inspector in the Supreme Inspectors’ Group of the USSR Ministry of Defense. He became a candidate for the central committee of the CPSU in 1952 and a member in 1961. A deputy to the second through seventh convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Bagramian has been awarded five Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, three Orders of the Red Banner, two Suvorov Orders of the First Class, the Kutuzov Order of the First Class, Polish and Mongolian orders, as well as various medals.