Mikhail Grigorevich Efremov
Efremov, Mikhail Grigor’evich
Born Feb. 27 (Mar. 11), 1897, in Tarusa; died Apr. 19, 1942, near the village of Zhary, Smolensk Oblast. Soviet military leader; lieutenant general (1940). Member of the CPSU from 1919.
Born into a worker’s family, Efremov was drafted into the army in 1915. He graduated from a school of ensigns and took part in World War I (1914–18). During the October Revolution he joined the Red Guards and took part in the October armed uprising in Moscow. He joined the Soviet Army in February 1918 and commanded a battalion and a railroad regiment during the defense of Astrakhan. During the Baku operation of 1920 he commanded a detachment of armored trains. At the end of 1920 he became commander of a rifle division. In 1927 he was a military advisor in China. He completed courses at the Military Political Academy in 1930 and graduated from the Frunze Military Academy in 1933. Subsequently he commanded a corps and the troops of several military districts. In January 1941 he became first deputy inspector general of the infantry of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army. During the Great Patriotic War he was commander of troops of the Twenty-first Army (July-August 1941) and of the Central Front and deputy commander of troops of the Briansk Front (August-October 1941). In October 1941 he became commander of the Thirty-third Army. He took an active part in the Battle of Moscow in 1941–42 and in the Viaz’ma operation of 1942. Finding that he and part of the forces of the Thirty-third Army were en-circled, he directed their combat actions in the enemy’s rear and their breaking out of encirclement. He was gravely wounded in combat and, not wanting to be taken prisoner, shot himself. He is buried in Viaz’ma, where a monument by E. V. Vuchetich has been erected in his honor (1946). A deputy to the first convocation of the Supreme Soviet, Efremov was awarded two Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, the Order of the Red Banner of the Azerbaijan SSR, and a medal.