Nikolai Vatutin

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Vatutin, Nikolai Fedorovich

 

Born Dec. 3 (16), 1901; died Apr. 15, 1944. General of the army (February 1943) and Hero of the Soviet Union (May 6, 1965). Joined the CPSU in 1921. Born in the village of Chepukhino, Kursk Province, into a peasant family.

Vatutin entered the Soviet Army in 1920 and participated in the Civil War. He graduated from the Poltava Infantry School (1922), the Kiev Higher Combined School (1924), the Frunze Military Academy (1929), the operations subdepartment of that same academy (1934), and the General Staff Academy (1937). Before the Great Patriotic War he had been chief of staff of a division, deputy chief of staff of a military district, chief of staff of the Kiev Military District, and chief of the Operational Directorate of the General Staff. During the war, from July 1941 until May 1942 he was chief of staff of the Northwestern Front, then from May to July 1942 served as deputy chief of the General Staff and official representative of headquarters on the Briansk Front. He was troop commander for the following fronts: Voronezh (July-October 1942, March-October 1943), Southwestern (October 1942-March 1943), and First Ukrainian (October 1943-March 1944). Troops commanded by Vatutin participated actively in the defense of Voronezh, in the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk, in the liberation of the Left-bank Ukraine, in the crossing of the Dnieper, and in the liberation of Kiev and the Right-bank Ukraine. He died after receiving grave wounds. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner, the Order of Suvorov First Class, and the Order of Kutuzov First Class, as well as a Czechoslovakian order. He is buried in Kiev, where a monument has been built in his honor (1948, sculptor E. V. Vuchetich, architect Ia. B. Belopol’ skii).

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