Alexander Matrosov

Alexander Matveyevich Matrosov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Матве́евич Матро́сов, Bashkir: Шәкирйән Юныс улы Мөхәмәтйәнов, Ukrainian: Олександр Матвійович Матросов; February 5, 1924 – February 27, 1943), born in Yekaterinoslav (now Dnipro) was a Soviet infantry soldier during the Second World War, posthumously awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union for blocking a German machine-gun with his body.[1]

Alexander Matrosov
Alexander Matveyevich Matrosov.jpg
Born5 February 1924
Yekaterinoslav (now Dnipro), Ukraine SSR, Soviet Union
Died27 February 1943(1943-02-27) (aged 19)
Chernushki, Loknyansky District, Pskov Oblast, Soviet Union
Allegiance Soviet Union
Service/branchRed Army flag.svg Red Army
Years of service1942–1943
Unit2nd Separate Rifle Battalion
Battles/warsWorld War II 
AwardsHero of the Soviet Union

Acts of braveryEdit

Matrosov was a private in the 2nd Separate Rifle Battalion of the 91st Independent Siberian Volunteer Brigade, later renamed and the 254th Rifle Regiment and reorganized within the 56th Guards Rifle Division of the Soviet Army. He was armed with a light machine-gun.[2]

On 23 and 24 February 1942, in the battle to recapture village of Chernushki, near Velikiye Luki, currently in Loknyansky District, Pskov Oblast, the Soviet forces struggled to take a German heavy machine-gun, housed within a concrete pillbox, which blocked the route to the village. It had already claimed the lives of many of the Red Army troops. Matrosov crept up to the pillbox and released a burst of rounds into the slot in the pillbox. One round hit a mine inside, and the machine-gun temporarily fell silent. It restarted a few minutes later. At this point Matrosov physically pulled himself up and jammed his body into the slot, wholly blocking the fire at his comrades but clearly at the cost of his own life. This allowed his unit to advance and capture the pillbox and thereafter retake the village.[1]

For his self-sacrifice in battle, Matrosov was posthumously awarded the distinction Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin.[3]

Stalin officially renamed his regiment the Matrosov Regiment.[4]

According to one of versions Alexander Matrosov was actually of a Bashkir ethnic minority and his real name Shakiryan Muhammedyanov was Russified.

Similar casesEdit

On August 6, 1942 in the battle on the river Don an ethnic Kyrgyz soldier of the Red Army Cholponbay Tuleberdiev similarly used his body to cover a Nazi pillbox machine-gun.

According to Beijing People's Daily, Matrosov's tale also inspired Huang Jiguang, a famous Chinese revolutionary martyr, to perform a similar feat during the Korean War.[5]

During the Second Indochina War, in Battle of Dien Bien Phu. A Viet Minh soldier named Phan Dinh Giot sacrificed his life to fill the machine gun bunker of the French army to create opportunities for teammates to advance.

In popular cultureEdit

Matrosov is the main character of the 1947 war film, Private Alexander Matrosov (Рядовой Александр Матросов), directed by Leonid Lukov.

Monument to Matrosov in Velikiye Luki, Russia.


  1. ^ a b Матросов Александр Матвеевич. (in Russian). Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  2. ^ Soviet Calendar 1917-1947, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow 1947
  3. ^ Biography (in Russian)
  4. ^ Soviet Calendar 1917-1947, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow 1947
  5. ^ Matrosov Style Hero, Hung Jiguang (马特洛索夫式的英雄黄继光), Beijing: People's Daily, 1952-12-21, retrieved 2012-11-26 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit