Putna, Vitovt Kazimirovich
(Vytautas Putna). Born Mar. 31 (Apr. 12), 1893, in Mackūnai, now in Molétai Raion, Lithuanian SSR; died June 11, 1937. Soviet military commander, corps commander (1935). Member of the Communist Party from February 1917. Son of a peasant.
Putna graduated from a commercial and crafts school in Riga. He was arrested in 1913 for revolutionary propaganda activity. He served in the army from 1915, graduated from a school for ensigns in 1917, commanded a battalion, and conducted revolutionary propaganda among the soldiers of the Twelfth Army. Putna volunteered for the Red Army in April 1918 and was appointed military commissar of the Vitebsk Military Commissariat in May. He was commissar of the 1st Smolensk (later 26th) Rifle Division from September 1918 to May 1919. He was appointed commander of the 228th Karelian Regiment in May 1919, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 26th Rifle Division in July 1919, and chief of the 27th Rifle Division in December 1919. He fought on the Eastern and Western fronts and in the suppression of the Kronstadt Rebellion of 1921 and of armed gangs in the Lower Volga Region.
Upon graduating from the Military Academic Training Courses for the Higher Command Staff in 1923, Putna served as chief and commissar of the Second Moscow Infantry School. In 1923 he belonged to the Trotskyite opposition but later broke with it. From 1924 to 1927, Putna worked on the staff and in the central directorates of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army and commanded a corps. From 1927 to 1931 he was a military attaché in Japan, Finland, and Germany. He served from 1931 to 1934 as commander of a corps and commander of the Pri-mor’e Group of Forces in the Far East. From 1934 to 1936 he was a military attaché in Great Britain. Putna was awarded three Orders of the Red Banner.
WORKSVostochnyi front, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1959.
K Visle i obratno. Moscow, 1927.