|Born||15 Jan 1894|
|Died||20 Jun 1964|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseVasily Ivanovich Kuznetsov was born into a working-class family in Ust-Osolka, Perm Governorate, Russia in Jan 1894. In Apr 1915, he was drafted into the Russian Army. In Mar 1916, he completed officer training in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia. In Jul 1916, he was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant. In Aug 1918, he joined the Soviet Red Army. In Oct 1923, he was made commanding officer of 89th Rifle Regiment. In 1928, he joined the Communist Party. In 1929, he attended advanced officers' training. In 1936, he graduated from the M. V. Frunze Military Academy in Moscow, Russia. In Oct 1936, he was made the commanding officer of 99th Rifle Division. In Jul 1937, he was made the commanding officer of 16th Rifle Corps.
ww2dbaseIn the opening chapter of the European War of WW2, as the commanding officer of Vitebsk and Polotsk Army Groups, Kuznetsov saw action in the invasion of Poland in Sep 1939. On 4 Jun 1940, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. In Jun 1941, when Germany turned against the Soviet Union, the Soviet 3rd Army under his command was overwhelmed and surrounded in Byelorussia, but he was able to escape the envelopment in Jul 1941. In Aug 1941, he was made the commander of 21st Army of Southwestern Front, which would be decimated within weeks during the Battle of Kiev. In Oct 1941, he was made the commanding officer of the Kharkov Military District. In Nov 1941, he wad made the commanding officer of 1st Shock Army, and in that role he participated in the Battle of Moscow. In Feb 1942, he commanded the 1st Shock Army in the actions at Demyansk. In Jul 1942, he was made the commander of 63rd Army near Stalingrad in southern Russia; the unit was renamed 1st Guards Army in Nov 1942. For his contributions in the Battle of Stalingrad, he was awarded the Order of Suvorov 1st Class. In Dec 1943, he was made the deputy commander of 1st Baltic Front under Ivan Bagramyan. With the 1st Baltic Front, he was instrumental during Operation Bagration and the relief of the siege on Leningrad in northern Russia. In Mar 1945, after 1st Baltic Front was disbanded, he was made the commander of 3rd Shock Army, in which role he played a part in the Battle of Berlin; it was soldiers under his overall command that stormed, and climbed to the top of, the Reichstag building. He was made a Hero of the Soviet Union at the end of the European War.
ww2dbaseAfter some time in Germany on occupation duty, Kuznetsov was transferred to Moscow to attend the Voroshilov Military Academy, graduating in 1948. Between 1953 and 1957, he was the commanding officer of the Volga Military District. Between 1957 and 1960, he was attached to the Ministry of Defense. He retired from service in 1960 and passed away in Moscow in 1964. He was buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, Russia.
Last Major Revision: Apr 2017
Vasily Kuznetsov Timeline
|15 Jan 1894||Vasily Kuznetsov was born in Ust-Osolka, Perm Governorate, Russia. His birth date was recorded as 3 Jan 1894 in the Old Style.|
|4 Jun 1940||Vasily Kuznetsov was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general.|
|23 Nov 1940||Vasily Kuznetsov was made the commanding officer of 1st Shock Army.|
|25 Jun 1941||Colonel General Vasily Kuznetsov was ordered by Semyon Timoshenko to organize a defense along the Daugava River (Western Dvina).|
|29 Jun 1941||Colonel General Vasily Kuznetsov was ordered by Semyon Timoshenko to maintain pressure on the German bridgehead on the Daugava River (Western Dvina) near Daugavpils, Latvia. Kuznetsov would use all his reserves to mount a counterattack that would be repulsed by the Germans.|
|25 Mar 1943||Vasily Kuznetsov was promoted to the rank of colonel general.|
|15 Dec 1943||Vasily Kuznetsov was made the deputy commander of 1st Baltic Front.|
|16 Mar 1945||Vasily Kuznetsov was made the commanding officer of 3rd Shock Army.|
|29 May 1945||Vasily Kuznetsov was made a Hero of the Soviet Union.|
|20 Jun 1964||Vasily Kuznetsov passed away in Moscow, Russia.|
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» Invasion of Poland
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» Siege of Leningrad
» Battle of Moscow
» Rzhev-Vyazma Offensive and the Demyansk Pocket
» Battle of Stalingrad
» Operation Bagration
» East Prussian Offensive
» Battle of Berlin
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Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939
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