Kurasov, Vladimir Vasil’evich
Born July 6 (18), 1897, in St. Petersburg. Soviet military commander; general of the army (1948); Hero of the Soviet Union (May 7,1964); professor (1963). Member of the CPSU since 1928. Son of an office worker.
Kurasov entered the Soviet Army in 1918 and fought in the Civil War of 1918–20 as chief of a detachment of sailors. He graduated from the Military Pedagogical Institute in 1921, from the M. V. Frunze Military Academy in 1932, and from the Military Academy of the General Staff in 1938. Kurasov taught and held staff positions from 1921 to 1940. In the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), Kurasov served as chief of staff of the Fourth Shock Army on the Northwestern and Kalinin Fronts from December 1941; he was commander of the Fourth Shock Army from March 1942 to April 1943; he was chief of staff of the Kalinin and First Baltic fronts and of the Zemland Group of Forces from April 1943 to May 1945.
After the war Kurasov was chief of staff of the Soviet Military Admininistration in Germany (1945), deputy commander in chief and commander in chief of the Central Group of Forces (1945–49), and chief of the Military Academy of the General Staff (1949–56 and 1961–63); he was in a position of leadership in the Ministry of Defense of the USSR from 1956 to 1961 and from 1963. Kurasov has been awarded four Orders of Lenin, four Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Suvorov First Class, the Order of Kutuzov First Class, and various medals, as well as foreign orders.