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Katukov, Mikhail Efimovich
Born Sept. 4 (17), 1900, in the village of Bol’shoe Uvarovo, in what is now Ozery Raion, Moscow Oblast. Soviet military commander, marshal of the armored forces (1959), twice Hero of the Soviet Union (Sept. 23, 1944, and Apr. 6, 1945). Member of the CPSU from 1932.
The son of a peasant, Katukov joined the Soviet Army in 1919 and served in the Civil War as a private. He graduated from infantry courses for commanders in 1922, from the Higher Infantry School of the Soviet Army (Vystrel) in 1927, from the Advanced Academic Training School for Officers attached to the Military Academy for the Motorization and Mechanization of the Red Army in 1935, and from the Advanced Academic Training School of the Military Academy of the General Staff in 1951. From 1938 to 1941 he was commander of an armored brigade and later of an armored division. In the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), Katukov commanded the 20th Armored Division, the Fourth (later First Guards) Armored Brigade, the I Armored and III Mechanized Corps, and from January 1943 until the end of the war, the First Guards Armored Army. Katukov fought in the battles near Moscow and the battle of Kursk, in the liberation of Right-bank and Western Ukraine and of Poland, and in the Vistula-Oder and Berlin operations.
After the war Katukov was commander of the armored and mechanized troops of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany and, after 1955, inspector of the Chief Inspectorate of the Ministry of Defense and deputy chief of the Chief Administration of Combat Training of Ground Troops. He has held high positions in the Ministry of Defense since 1963. Katukov has been awarded four Orders of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Suvorov First Class, Orders of Kutuzov First and Second Class, the Order of Bogdan KhmeFnitskii First Class, the Order of the Red Star, eight foreign orders, and medals.