Gordov, Vasilii Nikolaevich
Born Nov. 30 (Dec. 12), 1896; died Dec. 12, 1951. Soviet military commander; Colonel general (1943). Hero of the Soviet Union Apr. 6, 1945. Member of the CPSU from 1918.
Gordov was born into the family of a peasant in the village of Matveeka, in what is now Menzelinsk Raion. Tatar ASSR. He served in World War I as a senior noncomissioned officer beginning in 1915. In 1917 he joined the Red Guard and later, the Red Army. During the Civil War he first commanded a company, then a battalion, and finally a regiment. He completed courses in Vystrel. the higher infantry school of the Soviet Army in 1925 and 1927 and graduated from the M. V. Frunze Military Academy in 1932. after which he commanded a division and was chief of staff of a military district.
During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, Gordov was chief of staff and commander of the Twenty-first Army (June to September 1941 and October 1941 to June 1942), commander of the Stalingrad Front (July 23 to Aug. 12, 1942), commander of the Thirty-third Guards Army (October 1942 to March 1944), and commander of the Third Guards Army (April 1944 to May 1945). He participated in battles on the Southwestern Front, in the battle of Stalingrad, in battles on the Western Front, in the liberation of the Ukraine and Poland, and in the Berlin Operation. After the war he commanded the troops in the Volga Military District. Gordov was awarded two Orders of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, and three Orders of Suvorov First Class, the Order of Kutuzov First Class, the Order of the Red Star and various medals.