Kolpakchi, Vladimir Iakovlevich
Born Aug. 26 (Sept. 7), 1899, in Kiev; died May 17, 1961, in Moscow. Soviet military commander; general in the army (1961); Hero of the Soviet Union (April 6, 1945). Member of the CPSU from 1918. Son of an office worker.
Kolpakchi entered the army in 1916 (as a junior noncommissioned officer). He was in the Red Army from 1918. He participated in the Civil War of 1918–20, in the suppression of the Kronstadt mutiny (1921), and in fighting against the Basmachi on the Turkestan Front (1923–24). Kolpakchi graduated from the M. V. Frunze Military Academy in 1928 and from the Higher Academic Training Courses of the Military Academy of the General Staff in 1951. He was a commander and commissar of a regiment and a division from 1928. He was a volunteer in the Civil War in Spain in 1936–38, after which he commanded a rifle corps; from December 1940 he was chief of staff of the Kharkov Military District.
In the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), Kolpakchi was commander of the Eighteenth, Sixty-second, Thirtieth, Sixty-third and Sixty-ninth armies. He participated in the defense of the Donbas, Moscow, and Stalingrad and in the liberation of Poland and the Berlin operation. After the war he commanded the forces of the Northern Military District. Kolpakchi was in the central apparatus of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR from January 1956. He died in the line of duty as a result of an air crash. He was awarded three Orders of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, three Orders of Suvorov First Class, two Orders of Kutuzov First Class, the Order of the Red Star, three foreign orders, and various medals.