Berzarin, Nikolai Erastovich
Born Mar. 19 (Apr. 1), 1904, in St. Petersburg; died June 16, 1945, in Berlin. Colońel general (1945); Hero of the Soviet Union (Apr. 6, 1945). Communist Party member from 1926. Born into the family of a worker.
In 1918, Berzarin enlisted in the Red Army and fought in the Civil War. He graduated from the Leningrad command courses (1923), from the Vystrel (the higher infantry school of the Soviet Army) machine gun courses (1925), and from the courses for command personnel (1927). In 1938, while commanding the 32nd Rifle Division, he participated in battles in the Lake Khasan area. During the Great Patriotic War he was commander of the Twenty-seventh Army (July-December 1941), the Thirty-fourth Army (December 1941–October 1942), the Twentieth Army (January-March 1943), the Thirty-ninth Army (September 1943–May 1944), and the Fifth Shock Army (from May 1944); as commander of these armies he participated in the defense of Leningrad and in the Iaşi-Kishenev, Vistula-Oder, Berlin, and other operations. After the capture of Berlin, he was military commandant of that city. He was awarded two Orders of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov First and Second Class, of Kutuzov First Class, of Bogdan Khmel’nitskii First Class, and of the Red Star and various medals. He died in an automobile accident.