Petrov, Ivan Efimovich
Born Sept. 18 (30), 1896, in Trubchevsk, now in Briansk Oblast; died Apr. 7, 1958, in Moscow, Soviet military commander, general of the army (1944). Hero of the Soviet Union (May 29, 1945). Member of the CPSU from 1918.
Petrov joined the Red Army in 1918 and fought in the Civil War of 1918-20. He graduated from advanced training courses for the command staff in 1926 and 1931. Petrov fought against the Basmachi in 1929 and 1931-32 as commander of a cavalry regiment and a rifle division. In 1933 he was appointed chief of the Combined Middle Asian Military School (subsequently the Tashkent Military Infantry School). He commanded a rifle division in 1940 and a mechanized corps from March 1941.
In the Great Patriotic War (1941-45), Petrov commanded a rifle division on the Southern Front (July-October 1941), the Maritime Army (October 1941-July 1942 and November 1943— February 1944), the Forty-fourth Army (August-October 1942), the Black Sea Group of Forces of the Transcaucasian Front (October 1942-March 1943), the Northern Caucasus Front (May-November 1943), the Thirty-third Army of the Western Front (March-April 1944), the Second Byelorussian Front (April-June 1944), and the Fourth Ukrainian Front (August 1944-March 1945). He was chief of staff of the First Ukrainian Front from April to June 1945. Petrov was one of the leaders of the defense of Odessa and Sevastopol’ and fought in the battle for the Caucasus, in the liberation of Byelorussia and Czechoslovakia, and in the Berlin and Prague operations.
After the war, Petrov was appointed commander of the troops of the Turkestan Military District in July 1945 and first deputy chief inspector of the Soviet Army in July 1952. He became chief of the Main Directorate for Combat and Physical Training in April 1953, first deputy commander in chief of the ground forces in March 1955, chief inspector of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR in January 1956, and chief scientific consultant for the deputy minister of defense of the USSR in June 1957. He was a deputy to the second, third, and fourth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
Petrov was awarded five Orders of Lenin, four Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of Suvorov First Class, the Order of Kutuzov First Class, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, the Order of the Red Star, the Order of the Red Banner of the Turkmen SSR, the Order of the Red Banner of the Uzbek SSR, various medals, and several foreign orders.