Rybalko, Pavel Semenovich
Born Oct. 23 (Nov. 4), 1894, in the village of Malyi Istorop, now in Lebedin Raion, Sumy Oblast; died Aug. 28, 1948, in Moscow. Soviet military leader, marshal of the armored troops (1945). Twice Hero of the Soviet Union (Nov. 17, 1943, and Apr. 6, 1945). Member of the CPSU from 1919. Son of a worker.
Rybalko joined the army in 1914 and fought as a private in World War I. In December 1917 he joined the Red Guard, and in January 1919, the Red Army. Rybalko served as a regimental and brigade commissar during the Civil War of 1918–20. He graduated from advanced training courses for the higher command staff in 1926 and 1930 and the M. V. Frunze Military Academy in 1934.
During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, Rybalko was deputy commander of the Fifth Tank Army (May-July 1942) and commander of the Fifth Tank Army (July-October 1942), Third Tank Army (October 1942–April 1943), and Third Guards Tank Army (May 1943 to the end of the war) of the Briansk, Southwestern, Voronezh, First Byelorussian, and First Ukrainian fronts. After the war, he became first deputy commander in April 1946 and then commander in April 1947 of the armored and mechanized troops.
Rybalko was a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR at the second convocation. He received two Orders of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, three Orders of Suvorov First Class, the Order of Kutuzov First Class, the Order of Bogdan Khmel’nitskii First Class, various medals, and three orders of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.