Dybenko, Pavel Efimovich
Born Feb. 16 (28), 1889; died July 29, 1938. Soviet military leader. Army commander, second class (1935). Member of the Communist Party from 1912.
Dybenko was born in the village of Liudkov, Chernigov Province; he was the son of a peasant. He joined the revolutionary movement in 1907. In the Baltic Fleet after 1911, he was one of the leaders of the antiwar demonstrations of the sailors on the battleship Emperor Paul I in 1915. After six months of detention he was sent to the front, where he was again arrested for antiwar propaganda. He was freed after the February Revolution of 1917. Dybenko was a member of the Helsingfors Soviet and became chairman of the Central Committee of the Baltic Fleet in April 1917. He participated actively in the preparation of the October armed uprising in Petrograd and was a member of the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee. He directed the formation of detachments of revolutionary sailors and armed ships and their dispatch to the capital. During the attack on Petrograd by the troops led by Krasnov and Kerensky he commanded detachments near Krasnoe Selo and Gatchina. He was on the staff of the Council of People’s Commissars from Oct. 26 (Nov. 8), 1917, until March 1918 as a member of the People’s Commissariat for Military and Naval Affairs and later was people’s commissar of naval affairs.
During the German intervention in February 1918 he commanded a unit near Narva. During the summer of 1918 he was involved in underground work in the Ukraine. He was arrested in August 1918, but in October he was exchanged for captured German officers. At the end of 1918 he commanded a group of Soviet troops in the Ekaterinoslav sector; in February 1919, the 1st Zadneprovskii Division; then the Crimean Army; and, after the evacuation of the Crimea in 1919, the 37th Rifle Division. Commanding the Combined Division, he took part in crushing the Kronstadt rebellion of 1921. He graduated from the Military Academy in 1922. From 1928 to 1938 he commanded troops of the Middle Asian, Volga, and Leningrad military districts. He was a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR and the Central Executive Committee of the USSR. He was a deputy to the first convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He was awarded three Orders of the Red Banner.