Gorbatov, Aleksandr Vasilevich
Gorbatov, Aleksandr Vasil’evich
Born Mar. 9 (21), 1891, in the village of Pokhotino, now in Palekh Raion, Ivanovo Oblast; died Dec. 7,1973. Soviet military commander and general of the army (1955). Hero of the Soviet Union (Apr. 10, 1945). Member of the CPSU from 1919.
Born into the family of a peasant, Gorbatov joined the army in 1912 and took part in World War I (1914–18) as a noncommissioned officer in the cavalry. He joined the Soviet Army in August 1919 and fought in the Civil War. In 1926 he completed advanced courses for command personnel and in 1930, advanced courses for senior command personnel. During this time he commanded a cavalry regiment, a brigade, and a division.
During the Great Patriotic War, Gorbatov took part in battles on the Southwestern, Don, Stalingrad, Briansk, Central, First Byelorussian, and Second Byelorussian fronts. He was a deputy corps commander (July 1941), commander of a rifle division (October 1941 to June 1942), inspector of the cavalry of the front (June to October 1942), and deputy commander of an army and commander of a corps (October 1942 to June 1943). In July 1943 he became commander of the Third Army and took part in the battle of Kursk, the battle for the Dnieper, the liberation of Byelorussia and Poland, and battles in East Prussia. In June 1945 he became commandant of Berlin and later commanded airborne troops. From 1954 to 1958 he commanded the troops of the Baltic Military District. After 1958 he was military inspector and adviser to the Group of Inspectors General.
Between 1952 and 1961, Gorbatov was a candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPSU. He was a deputy to the second, third, fourth, and fifth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. His memoirs Years and Wars were published in 1965. Gorbatov was awarded three Orders of Lenin, four Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Suvorov First Class, the Order of Suvorov Second Class, the Orders of Kutuzov First and Second Class, two Orders of the Red Star, several foreign orders and medals, and an honorary weapon—a pistol with the State Seal of the USSR stamped in gold.