Sergei Biriuzov

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Biriuzov, Sergei Semenovich


Born Aug. 8 (21), 1904, in Skopin, Riazan’ Province; died Oct. 19, 1964. Marshal of the Soviet Union (1955), Hero of the Soviet Union (Feb. 1, 1958), People’s Hero of Yugoslavia (1964). Member of the CPSU from 1926.

Biriuzov joined the Soviet Army in 1922. He graduated from the All-Russian Central Executive Committee Military School (1926) and the Frunze Military Academy (1937). Beginning in April 1939 he commanded the 132nd Infantry Division (until April 1942), which after July 1941 took part in the Great Patriotic War. After April 1942 he was chief of staff of the Forty-eighth Army and Second Guards Army on the Briansk, Stalingrad, and Southern fronts. After April 1943 he was chief of staff of the Southern Front and after October of the Fourth Ukrainian Front. After May 1944 he was chief of staff of the Third Ukrainian Front and participated in the planning and execution of the Iaşi-Kishinev operation. After October 1944, Biriuzov commanded the Thirty-Seventh Army, which participated in the liberation of Yugoslavia. After the war, he became deputy supreme commander of the army group and deputy chairman of the Allied Control Commission in Bulgaria. After 1947 he was commander of the forces of the Primor’e Military District, supreme commander of the Central Group of Armies and first deputy supreme commander of the Antiaircraft Defenses of the Country. In April 1955 he became deputy minister of defense and supreme commander of the Antiaircraft Defenses of the Country, and in April 1962 he became supreme commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces. In April 1963 he became chief of the General Staff. He was the editor and one of the authors of the work The Soviet Armed Forces in the Struggle for the Liberation of the Peoples of Yugoslavia (1960). He has written his memoirs. He was a candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPSU from 1956 to 1961 and became a member in 1961. He served as a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR for the second and the fourth through sixth convocations. He has been awarded five Orders of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov First and Second Class, the Order of Kutuzov First Class, the Order of Bogdan Khmel’nitskii First Class, and six foreign orders, in addition to medals. He was killed in an aviation crash on the mountain of Avala (near Belgrade, Yugoslavia), where a monument has been erected to the deceased of the Soviet delegation that was headed by Biriuzov. He is buried in Moscow by the Kremlin Wall in Red Square.