Dmitrii Karbyshev

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Karbyshev, Dmitrii Mikhailovich


Born Oct. 14 (26), 1880, in Omsk; died Feb. 18, 1945, in Austria, in the Mauthausen death camp. Soviet military commander; lieutenant general in the Engineer Corps (1940); professor, doctor of military sciences (1941). Hero of the Soviet Union (Aug. 16, 1946). Member of the CPSU from 1940.

The son of a military official, Karbyshev graduated from the Nikolai School of Engineering in 1900 and from the Nikolaev-skaia Engineering Academy in 1911. He took part in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05. After 1911, he oversaw the construction of forts at the Brest Fortress. During World War I, Karbyshev served on the staff of the chief of the engineer troops of the Eleventh and Eighth armies, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel. After December 1917 he was an engineer with a detachment of the Red Guard in Mogilev-Podol’sk. During the Civil War of 1918–20, he led the engineering side of operations that crushed the troops of Kolchak and Wrangel.

From 1921 to 1923, Karbyshev held responsible positions in the headquarters of the armed forces of the Ukraine and Crimea and of the Ukrainian military district. From 1923 to 1926 he was chairman of the Engineering Committee of the Chief Military Engineering Administration of the Red Army. After 1926 he worked as a teacher at the Frunze Military Academy, and after 1936 he taught at the Military Academy of the General Staff.

Karbyshev wrote many scientific works, including Engineering Preparations for the Borders of the USSR (book 1, 1924), Demolition and Obstacles (1931, with I. Kiselev and I. Maslov), and Securing Infantry Units During Military Actions by Engineering (parts 1–2, 1939–40). Karbyshev elaborated the principles for a theory of protecting operations by engineering and of the military application of an engineering corps.

At the outset of the Great Patriotic War (1941^5), Karbyshev was on the Western Byelorussian front. On Aug. 8, 1941, he suffered heavy shell shock and was taken prisoner. He led antifascist agitation among prisoners in the death camps of Za-mosc and Maidanek (Lublin). He was brutally tortured by the fascists. Karbyshev was posthumously awarded the Order of Lenin. Before the war he received the Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of the Red Star, and a medal for 20 years’ service in the Red Army. Monuments have been erected to Karbyshev in Mauthausen, Omsk, and Tallinn.


Izbr. nauchnye trudy. Moscow, 1962.


Soldat, geroi, uchenyi. Moscow, 1961.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.