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Popov, Markian Mikhailovich
Born Nov. 2 (15), 1902, in the stanitsa (large cossack village) of Ust’-Medveditskaia, now the city of Serafimovich, Volgograd Oblast; died Apr. 22, 1969, in Moscow. Soviet military commander, general of the army (1953). Hero of the Soviet Union (May 7, 1965). Member of the CPSU from 1921. Son of an office worker.
Popov joined the Soviet Army in 1920 and fought in the Civil War of 1918–20 on the Western Front. He graduated from infantry training courses in 1922; from Vystrel, the Higher Officers’ School of the Soviet Army, in 1925; and from the M. V. Frunze Military Academy in 1936. Popov was chief of staff of a mechanized brigade and of a mechanized corps, deputy commander and chief of staff of the Separate Army in the Far East from July 1938 and its commander from July 1939, and commander of the troops of the Leningrad Military District from January 1941.
Popov served in the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) as commander of the troops of the Northern and Leningrad fronts from July to September 1941 and of the Sixty-first and Fortieth Armies from December 1941 to October 1942. From October 1942 until April 1943 he was deputy commander of the troops of the Stalingrad Front, commander of the troops of the Fifth Shock and the Fifth Tank armies, and deputy commander of the troops of the Southwestern Front. Popov served as commander of the troops of the Reserve Front in April 1943, the Briansk Front from June to October 1943, and the Baltic and Second Baltic Fronts from October 1943 to April 1944. From April 1944 he was chief of staff of the Leningrad and Second Baltic fronts and then again of the Leningrad Front. He fought in the battles of Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, and Leningrad, in combat near Novgorod, and in the liberation of Karelia and the Baltic region.
After the war, Popov commanded the troops of the L’vov Military District in 1945–46 and of the Tauride Military District from 1946 to 1954. He was deputy chief and then chief of the Main Directorate of Combat Training of the Ground Forces from January 1955. He served as chief of the Main Headquarters and first deputy commander in chief of the ground forces from August 1956 and became military inspector-advisor of the Group of Inspectors General of the Ministry of Defense in July 1962. He was a deputy to the second through sixth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
Popov was awarded five Orders of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Suvorov First Class, two Orders of Kutuzov First Class, the Order of the Red Star, various medals, and several foreign orders.