Mitrofan Nedelin

Nedelin, Mitrofan Ivanovich

 

Born Oct. 27 (Nov 9), 1902, in the city of Borisoglebsk, now in Voronezh Oblast; died Oct. 24, 1960. Soviet military commander; chief marshal of the artillery (1959); Hero of the Soviet Union (Apr. 28, 1945). Member of the CPSU from 1924.

Nedelin fought in the Civil War of 1918–20. He completed advanced artillery training courses for the command staff in 1929 and 1934 and advanced academic training courses for the command staff in 1941. In 1937–39 he fought as a volunteer in the civil war in Spain on the side of the republican government. From 1938, Nedelin served as commander of an artillery regiment, artillery commander of a division, and commander of an artillery brigade. In the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), Nedelin was commander of an artillery brigade and deputy chief and chief of the artillery of an army on the Southern Front and the Northern Caucasian Front (1941–43), deputy commander of the artillery of the Northern Caucasian Front and commander of an artillery corps (1943), and commander of the artillery of the Southwestern and Third Ukrainian fronts (1943–45).

After the war Nedelin was commander of the artillery of the Southern Group of Forces (1945–46), chief of staff of the artillery of the armed forces (1946–48), chief of the Main Artillery Directorate of the Armed Forces (1948–50), commander of the artillery of the Soviet Army (1950–52 and from April 1953 to May 1955), and deputy minister of war of the USSR for armament (from January 1952 to April 1953). He was deputy minister of defense of the USSR from March 1955, and concurrently from December 1959 commander in chief of the Strategic Rocket Forces. He was a candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPSU from 1952. He was a deputy to the fourth and fifth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

Nedelin was awarded five Orders of Lenin, four Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of Suvorov First Class, the Order of Kutuzov First Class, the Order of Bogdan Khmel’nitskii First Class, the Order of the Patriotic War First Class, the Order of the Badge of Honor, various medals, and several foreign orders and medals. He was killed in the line of duty. Nedelin is buried in Red Square at the Kremlin wall.

References in periodicals archive ?
In addition to these successes, he acknowledges such failures as the R-16 rocket explosion in 1960 that killed Marshal Mitrofan Nedelin, head of Soviet strategic missiles, and scores of top engineers.
In most books and documentaries, the story of this tragic event focuses on one individual, Marshal Mitrofan Nedelin, commander of Strategic Rocket Forces.