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Vasily Nikolaevich Gordov (Russian: Василий Николаевич Гордов; 12 December 1896 – 24 August 1950) was a Soviet Army colonel general and Hero of the Soviet Union. Gordov commanded the Stalingrad Front between July and August 1942 until his replacement by Andrey Yeryomenko.[1][2]

Vasily Gordov
Vasily Gordov.jpg
Native name
Василий Николаевич Гордов
Born12 December 1896
Matveyevka Village, Ufa Governorate, Russian Empire
Died24 August 1950
Lefortovo Prison, Moscow
Service/branchRussian Imperial Army
Soviet Army
Years of service1915-1946
RankColonel general
Commands held67th Rifle Division

21st Army
1st Reserve Army
Stalingrad Front
33rd Army
3rd Guards Army

Volga Military District
Battles/warsWorld War I
Russian Civil War
Winter War
World War II
AwardsHero of the Soviet Union

Early lifeEdit

Gordov was born on 30 December 1896 in the village of Matveyevka in Ufa Governorate. He was the son of peasants. Gordov joined the Imperial Russian Army in 1915 and was promoted to junior sergeant. He enlisted in the Red Guard in 1917, joining the Red Army in 1918. Gordov ended the Russian Civil War as the commander of the 53rd Rifle Regiment, fighting in the campaign against Nestor Makhno, for which he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.[1][3] Between 1925 and 1926, Gordov served as an advisor in the Mongolian People's Army. In 1932, he graduated from Frunze Military Academy and then became the chief of staff of the Moscow Red Banner Infantry School in 1933. He was the Chief of Staff of the 18th Rifle Division from May 1935 to 1937. In July 1937, Gordov became the commander of the 67th Rifle Division. In July 1939, he became the Chief of Staff of the Kalinin Military District.[1]

Winter War and World War IIEdit

Gordov fought in the Winter War as the 7th Army chief of staff, but was removed from command after alleged failures. He was shifted to the Baltic Military District, where he became its Chief of Staff. Promoted to major general in June 1940, he was the Chief of Staff of the 21st Army after Operation Barbarossa and was then its commander from October 1941, fighting in the Battle of Smolensk and the Battle of Kiev.

Later lifeEdit

In 1947, Gordov had a conversation with his former Chief of Staff, Filipp Rybalchenko, in which they made remarks somewhat critical of Stalin's policies. This conversation was sent to Stalin and Gordov was arrested,[4][5] along with Grigory Kulik and Rybalchenko on charges of attempting to commit terrorist acts against the Soviet government. He was sentenced to death under Article 58 on 24 August 1950 and executed that day in Lefortovo Prison.[1] He was posthumously rehabilitated on 11 April 1956 and his name appears on a memorial.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ufarkin, Nikolai. "Гордов Василий Николаевич". Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  2. ^ Grossman, Vasily (2011). Beevor, Antony (ed.). A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army. Translated by Luba Vinogradova. Knopf. ISBN 9780307363787.
  3. ^ The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). 1979.
  4. ^ Lefter, Melvyn P. (2008). For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War. New York: MacMillan. ISBN 9781429964098.
  5. ^ "A stab in the back". Den. Retrieved 2015-08-04.