Dragunskii, David Abramovich
Born Feb. 2 (15), 1910, in the village of Sviatsk, in present-day Novozybkov Raion, Briansk Oblast. Twice Hero of the Soviet Union (Sept. 23, 1944, and May 31, 1945), colonel general of the tank forces (1970). Became a member of the CPSU in 1931. The son of a Jewish artisan.
Dragunskii was a worker and then held Soviet and party posts. He joined the Soviet Army in 1933 and graduated from a tank school in 1936, from the M. V. Frunze Military Academy in 1941, and from the Military Academy of the General Staff in 1949. In the battle around Lake Khasan in 1938, he was commander of a tank company. In the Great Patriotic War, Dragunskii was commander of a tank battalion and chief of staff of a mechanized brigade and was appointed commander of the 55th Guards Tank Brigade in November 1943. He fought in the Moscow, Kursk, Kharkov, and Kiev battles and participated in the forcing of the Dnieper and in battles in Poland, Germany, and Czechoslovakia. Holding command positions after the war, he was appointed chief of Vystrel, the Higher Infantry School of the Soviet Army, in 1969 and was elected to the Central Auditing Commission of the CPSU in 1971. Dragunskii has been awarded the Order of Lenin, four Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of Suvorov Second Class, two Orders of the Red Star, and foreign orders and medals.