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|Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov|
|Native name||Василий Иванович Чуйков|
|Nickname(s)||“The Man of Iron Will”
|Birthday/Birthplace||12 February 1900
Serebryanye Prudy, Tula Governorate, Russia
|Deceased||18 March 1982(1982-03-18)
Moscow, Soviet Union
|Place of burial||Mamayev Kurgan, Volgograd, Russia|
|Years of service||1917–1972|
|Rank||Marshal of the Soviet Union|
|Commands held||4th Army
8th Guards Army
Group of Soviet Forces in Germany
Kiev Military District
Russian Civil War
|Other work||1961 until his death, he was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union|
Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov (Василий Иванович Чуйков, February 12, 1900 – March 18, 1982) was a lieutenant general of the Red Army of the Soviet Union during World War II and twice Hero of the Soviet Union (1944 and 1945). After the war he was named Marshal of the Soviet Union.
Vasily Chuikov’s Biography
Son of a peasant family, he joined the Red Army during the Russian Revolution and later studied at the Frunze Military Academy. Chuikov served in the Soviet occupation of Eastern Poland in 1939 and in the Winter War of 1940.
He was sent to China as an advisor to Chiang Kai-shek. He was in China when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941.
The Battle of Stalingrad
By May 1942 he was back in the USSR, and he was given command of the 64th Army. Later, at the beginning of the battle of Stalingrad, he received the command of the 62nd Army, which defended the city. Chuikov assumed the command of the 62nd Army on September 12, 1942, replacing the commander Anton Lopatin, who was on the verge of collapse and who was dismissed for cowardice against the enemy. Chuikov received, on the west bank of the Volga, a city almost destroyed by 90%, crowded with civilians and soldiers in chaos; the situation could not be worse. Upon taking command, Nikita Khrushchev and General Yeremenko asked Chuikov if he understood the importance of the task entrusted to him. Chuikov replied: “We are going to defend the city or die in the attempt”.
Khrushchev, hearing the answer, knew that Chuikov had understood exactly what was required of him. He was further explained that the resources and supplies that would be sent to him would be meager and that he could not expect reinforcements. Chuikov had to put up with the means he had, retaining the positions still in Soviet hands.
The measures adopted were draconian: first he ordered the NKVD to execute all those soldiers regardless of their rank that showed cowardice before the enemy; He denied medical attention to wounded soldiers and civilians who congregated by the hundreds on the banks of the Volga. He denied the departure of civilians using the jetty, exclusively for the transport of soldiers from the western shore; then he approached the Soviet lines to the German ones to annul German air support on the front line. He buried the tanks in the ravines near Mamayev Kurgan, reinforced with soldier-women the artillery posts assigning men for the attacks of attrition. Additionally, it squandered the lives of thousands of soldiers in frontal suicide attacks against enemy lines to erode German morale. “Time is blood,” Chuikov said, justifying the high amount of Soviet lives lost for each day the city was still captured.
Chuikov coined the expression “the street fighting academy of Stalingrad,” or guerrilla warfare, to which the Germans were not accustomed. One of his curious strategies was to reproduce and spread tango in megaphones, which he considered lugubrious and demoralizing, combined with conciliatory messages that presented surrender as the only way to save the lives of German soldiers. Chuikov organized a squad of snipers with women and men. Those who reached 40 enemy casualties received the medal of valor and the title of noble sniper. Several of them stood out, such as Vasili Záitsev, Anatoly Chekov and Tania Chernova, among others.
Another strategy was the “proximity tactic” of attacking the German positions from close up, so that German aircraft could not bomb them for fear of killing their troops, as Chuikov realized that the Germans were superior when they combined the air and ground offensive. Without air support and disoriented, the Germans were easy prey.
Chuikov guessed the German intentions that were aimed at seizing the shore by the industrial sector of Stalingrad and placed their best forces in the sector, the Soviets managed to stop the German offensive and stabilize the front, they were also on the eastern bank all guns available for firing by elevation. The German forces were already worn out and no longer had offensive power after these fierce guerrilla battles.
Finally with Operation Uranus, the German front collapsed and thousands of German 6th Army soldiers were bagged. The city was liberated in February 1943 and Chuikov was awarded the Order of the Red Star and promoted to commanding general.
The 62nd Army was promoted to the 8th Army of the Guard due to their actions after the victory of the Red Army in Stalingrad. In spite of being one of the artifices of the victory in Stalingrad and considering him as the best general in relation to urban attacks, all the glory was taken by Marshal Zhukov [appointment & nbsp; required], from here relations began to twist between both [citation & nbsp; required].
Preview on Berlin
During the Vistula-Oder offensive it directed its advance towards Poland, leading the 8th of the Guard inside the 1st Belorussian Front that was commanded by Zhukov and conquered the Silesian fortress of Poznan, finally continuing the Soviet offensive that captured Berlin in April 1945.
Trajectory after the war
After the war ended, Chuikov remained in Germany, later serving as Commander in Chief of the Soviet Forces Group in Germany from 1949 to 1953, when he was appointed Commander of the Kiev Military District. While serving in that position, on March 11, 1955 he was promoted to Marshal of the Soviet Union. Between 1960 and 1964 he was Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces of the Red Army. He also served as Chief of Civil Defense from 1961 until his retirement in 1972. From 1961 until his death, he was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
Chuikov was a great consultant in the design of the Memorial of the Battle of Stalingrad in Mamayev Kurgan and after his death was buried there. He was the first Russian marshal buried outside of Moscow.
More Facts about Vasily Chuikov
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