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Afanasy Pavlantyevich Beloborodov (Russian: Афанасий Павлантьевич Белобородов; 31 January [O.S. 18 January] 1903 – 1 September 1990) was general in the Red Army during the Second World War who was twice awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. Between 1963 and 1968, he commanded the Moscow Military District.

Afanasy Beloborodov
Afanasy Beloborodov c. 1950s.jpg
Born31 January [O.S. 18 January] 1903
Akinino-Baklashi, Irkutsk Governorate, Russian Empire
Died1 September 1990(1990-09-01) (aged 87)
Moscow, Soviet Union
AllegianceSoviet Union
Service/branchRed Army (later Soviet Army)
Years of service
  • 1919–1920
  • 1923–1968
RankArmy general
Commands held
Battles/wars
AwardsHero of the Soviet Union (twice)

Early lifeEdit

Beloborodov was born on 31 January [O.S. 18 January] 1903 in the Siberian village of Akinino to a family of Russian peasant farmers. Having completed only three grades of school, he joined the a partisan detachment at the age of sixteen and participated in the Irkutsk uprising. In 1920 the unit became incorporated into the 8th Irkutsk Regiment of the 1st Chita Infantry Division. He left the army that year, but re-enlisted in 1923. In 1926 he graduated from Nizhny Novgorod Infantry School and was appointed commander of a rifle platoon. He completed his military and political training in 1929, upon which he was made political commissar of the rifle company.[1]

In November 1929 he was deployed to the border of China due to the Sino-Soviet conflict. The commander of his company was killed during the first battle, so Beloborodov took command. He successfully led the company in several battles and for doing so was awarded his first Order of the Red Banner. After the end of the conflict he remained in command of the company for one year. In 1933 he entered the Frunze Military Academy, which he graduated from in 1936, following which he was appointed assistant chief, then chief of staff of the operational infantry division in the Far East. He became Operations Chief of Staff of the 31st Rifle Corps in March 1939. In June of that same year he was made Chief of Staff of the 43rd Rifle Corps. For the first six months of 1941 he was the head of department of military training of the Far Eastern Front.[2]

World War IIEdit

On 12 July 1941, Beloborodov was made commander of the 78th Rifle Division. In October he and his division arrived at the Western Front as part of the 16th Army. The division's actions in the Battle of Moscow were recognized in November 1941, and the division was honored with the Guards designation and renamed the 9th Guards Rifle Division. Beloborodov was subsequently promoted to the rank of Major-General. The following spring and summer the 9th Guards Rifle Division, under the commanded of Beloborodov, carried out successful combat operations in the Southwestern Front at the Seversky Donets. Later that year, Beloborodov was put in charge of the 5th Guards Rifle Corps. They successfully destroyed the enemy’s defense in Velikiye Luki during the operation of the Kalinin Front. In August 1943, Beloborodov was made commander of the 2nd Guards Rifle Corps. Under his leadership the troops enjoyed success in combat near Smolensk.[3]

On 22 May 1944 he was placed in command of the 43rd Army, which soon engaged in the Operation Bagration and the Vitebsk–Orsha Offensive. On 26 June they expelled German forced from Vitebsk and then went with the Šiauliai Offensive. He then pursued the Baltic Offensive while forcing Germans into the Courland Pocket, after which his men participated in the Battle of Königsberg before taking out the remainder of the 2nd Germany Army near the Vistula.[1]

In June 1945 he was transferred to the Far East and appointed as commander of the 1st Red Banner Army. After the start of the Soviet–Japanese War in August, his army was assigned to participate in the Harbina-Girin operation. His troops broke through three lines of defense and advanced hundreds of kilometers through mountainous terrain to take control of Mudanjiang and Harbin, doing so with relatively few casualties.[4][5]

PostwarEdit

Beloborodov remained in command of the 1st Red Banner Army until 1946, after which he stayed in the military and held numerous senior posts, including commander of the 39th Army. In 1963 he was promoted to the rank General of the Army and became the commander of the Moscow Military District. In 1966 he was badly injured in a car accident, and his long-term injuries resulted him requesting to be dismissed from command of the district. He died on 1 September 1990 and was buried in the Lenino-Snegiri Military Cemetery.[5]

Awards and honorsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Белобородов Афанасий Павлантьевич". encyclopedia.mil.ru. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  2. ^ "Афанасий Белобородов — крестьянский сын, полководец, герой". Байкал Инфо (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  3. ^ "Afanasy Beloborodov". ECC Sokolniki. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Генерал Белобородов". rusplt.ru. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  5. ^ a b Ufarkin, Nikolai. "Белобородов Афанасий Павлантьевич". warheroes.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-05-18.