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Kurochkin, Pavel Alekseevich
Born Nov. 6 (19), 1900, in the village of Gornevo, now Viaz’ma Raion, Smolensk Oblast. Soviet military commander; general of the army (1959); Hero of the Soviet Union (June 29, 1945); professor (1962). Member of the CPSU since 1920. Son of a peasant.
Kurochkin was a participant in the storming by the Red Guards of the Winter Palace in October 1917. He entered the Soviet Army in 1918 and commanded a squadron and a cavalry regiment in the Civil War of 1918–20. Kurochkin graduated from the Petrograd Cavalry Training Courses in 1920 and the M. V. Frunze Military Academy in 1932 and completed postgraduate studies at the academy in 1934. He was a commander of an infantry corps in the liberation of the Western Ukraine and in the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939–40. He commanded an army group of forces, an army, and the forces of the Transbaikal Military District in 1940–41. In the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), Kurochkin was commander of the troops of the Twentieth and Forty-third armies (July and August 1941); commander and deputy commander of the troops of the Northwestern Front (August 1941-November 1942); commander of the troops of the Eleventh Army (November 1942-March 1943), the Thirty-fourth Army (March-June 1943), and the armies of the Northwestern Front (June-November 1943); deputy commander of the troops of the First Ukrainian Front (November 1943-February 1944); commander of the troops of the Second Byelorussian Front (February-April 1944); and commander of the troops of the Sixtieth Army (from April 1944 to the end of the war).
After the war Kurochkin served as commander of the troops of the Kuban’ Military District (from July 1945); deputy commander in chief of Soviet Forces in Germany and deputy chief commander of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (from July 1946); assistant commander in chief of the troops of the Far East (from May 1947); deputy chief of the Military Academy of the General Staff (from February 1951); and chief of the M. V. Frunze Military Academy (from May 1954). He has held leadership positions in the Ministry of Defense of the USSR since April 1968. He was a deputy to the second convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Kurochkin is a recipient of the M. V. Frunze State Prize (1967) and has been awarded four Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, four Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of Suvorov First Class, two Orders of Kutuzov First Class, the Order of the Badge of Honor, and various medals, as well as eight foreign orders.