Panfilov, Ivan

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Panfilov, Ivan Vasil’evich


Born Dec. 20, 1892 (Jan. 1, 1893), in the city of Petrovsk, now in Saratov Oblast; died Nov. 19, 1941, in the village of Gusenovo, Volokolamsk Raion, Moscow Oblast. Soviet military leader, major general (1940). Hero of the Soviet Union (Apr. 12, 1942, posthumously). Member of the CPSU from 1920.

Panfilov joined the Red Army in 1920 and fought in the Civil War of 1918–20. He graduated from the Kiev Higher Combined Military School in 1923 and commanded a battalion and a regiment. He was chief of a department of the staff of the Middle Asian Military District in 1937 and military commissar of the Kirghiz SSR in 1938. In the Great Patriotic War (1941–15), Panfilov took command in July 1941 of the 316th Rifle Division on the Northwestern and Western fronts. In the defensive fighting near Moscow in October-November 1941, the soldiers and commanders of Panfilov’s 316th Rifle Division, while holding the defensive line on the Volokolamsk axis, displayed mass heroism. Panfilov died in combat on November 19. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner, and a medal. Panfilov is buried in Moscow in the Novodevichii Cemetery.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.