|Born||25 Apr 1883|
|Died||26 Oct 1973|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseSemyon Mikhailovich Budyonny (also Anglicized as Budënny, Budenny, Budyenny, Budennyj, Budyonnyy, Budennii, or Budyoni) was born into a poor peasant family in the Terek Cossack region of southern Russia. He was drafted into the Russian Army in 1903 and served in the Russo-Japanese War as a cavalryman in 1905. During WW1, he served as a non-commissioned officer on the western front until 1916 and the Caucasus front between 1916 and the end of the war. He joined the Bolshevik party in 1919 and led communist cavalry forces during the civil war. It was around this time he formed a close working relationship with Josef Stalin. During the Polish-Bolshevik War, he suffered defeats at Warsaw and Komarów, but remained a leading military figure in Russia. In 1935, Budyonny was made a Marshal of the Soviet Union. In 1937, he commanded the Moscow Military District.
ww2dbaseAs the Winter War broke out, Budyonny was sent as the commander of an army to Finland. Like in Poland, he suffered disastrous defeats, but favor from Moscow kept him in power. In 1940, he was recalled to Moscow and took the position of Deputy People's Commissar for Defense.
ww2dbaseAfter the German invasion, Budyonny was named the commander-in-chief of the Southwestern and Southern Fronts in Ukraine. Once again, he failed to achieve victory. Despite his opponent's repeated show of force with armor, he refused to change his WW1-style tactics. On 20 Jul 1942, he ordered an artillery barrage followed by twelve waves of unsupported infantry charges; his men were slaughtered, never having a chance to win the battle. As he was surrounded at Uman and Kiev, 665,000 men under his command were taken prisoner by the German forces, leading to what Adolf Hitler proclaimed "the greatest battle in the history of the world". Finally, Budyonny was relieved by Stalin in Sep 1941 and was relegated to the position of the head of the Reserve Front. Budyonny's defeat in Ukraine was attributed to his refusal to acknowledge how mobility with armor had made trenches obsolete; "he had simply no concept of a war of maneuver", commented William Manchester, "he was ordered to stop the invasion and given a million men to do it. Ten million wouldn't have been enough for him."
ww2dbaseIn Apr 1942, he was recalled to the front lines again; between Apr and Aug 1942 he was the commander of the North Caucasus Front, and in 1943 the commander of the Russian Cavalry.
ww2dbaseAfter the war ended, Budyonny retired from the Russian Army and was given the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
ww2dbaseSources: the Arms of Krupp, Wikipedia.
Last Major Revision: Dec 2006
Semyon Budyonny Timeline
|25 Apr 1883||Semyon Budyonny was born.|
|26 Oct 1973||Semyon Budyonny passed away.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945