Malinovskii, Rodion Iakovlevich
Born Nov. 11 (23), 1898, in Odessa; died Mar. 31, 1967, in Moscow. Soviet military leader; marshal of the Soviet Union (1944); twice Hero of the Soviet Union (Sept. 8, 1945, and Nov. 22, 1958); People’s Hero of Yugoslavia (May 27, 1964). Member of the CPSU from 1926.
Malinovskii entered the army in 1914. In February 1916 he was sent to France as part of the Russian Expeditionary Corps. Upon his return to Russia in 1919 he entered the Red Army and took part in fighting against the White Guards as a member of the 27th Rifle Division. During the 1920’s and 1930’s he advanced from platoon leader to corps commander. He graduated from the M. V. Frunze Military Academy in 1930. In 1937-38 he was a volunteer in the Civil War in Spain on the side of the republican government.
At the start of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45 he commanded the 48th Rifle Corps; in August 1941 he became commander of the Sixth Army. From December 1941 until July 1942 he was commander of the Southern Front; from August until October 1942 he commanded the Sixty-sixth Army north of Stalingrad. In October and November 1942 he was deputy commander of the Voronezh Front. From late November 1942 he was commander of the Second Guards Army. In December this army took part in repulsing an attack by the fascist German Army Group Don, whose objective was to free the encircled group of German forces at Stalingrad; subsequently Malinovskii’s unit helped crush this German group. In February 1943 he became troop commander of the Southern Front, then in March he became commander of the Southwestern Front (which was renamed the Third Ukrainian Front on Oct. 20, 1943). These fronts were engaged in battles for the Donbas and the Right-bank Ukraine. From May 1944 until May 1945 he commanded the troops of the Second Ukrainian Front in the laşi-Kishinev operation and in the liberation of Rumania, Hungary, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. In July 1945 he became commander of the troops of the Transbaikal Front, which delivered the main strike in the Manchurian strategic operation.
After the war he was troop commander of the TransbaikalAmur Military District (1945-47), commander in chief of troops of the Far East (1947-53), commander of troops of the Far Eastern Military District (1953-56), and first deputy minister of defense and commander in chief of ground forces (1956-57). Between October 1957 and March 1967 he was minister of defense of the USSR. In 1952, Malinovskii became a candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPSU, and in 1956, a member. He was a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR at the second through seventh convocations. He was awarded five Orders of Lenin, the Order of Victory, three Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Suvorov First Class, the Order of Kutuzov First Class, 16 foreign orders, and various medals. He was author of The Soldiers of Russia (1969). He is buried along the Kremlin Wall on Red Square. The Military Academy of Armored Troops has been named after Malinovskii.