Andrei Grechko

Andrei Grechko

Infobox Military Person
name=Andrei Antonovich Grechko

born= birth date|1903|10|17
died= death date and age|1976|4|26|1903|10|17
placeofbirth=Golodaevka village, Russian Empire
placeofdeath=Moscow, Soviet Union
placeofburial=Kremlin Wall Necropolis
branch= Red Army
serviceyears=1919 — 1976
rank=Marshal of the Soviet Union
commands=1st Guards Army
Group of Soviet Forces in Germany
battles=Russian Civil War
Great Patriotic War
awards=Hero of the Soviet Union (2)
Hero of Czechoslovakia
Order of Lenin (6)
Order of the Red Banner (3)
Order of the October Revolution
Order of Suvorov, 1st (2), 2nd Class
Order of Kutuzov, 1st Class (2)
Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky, 1st Class
Virtuti Militari
Cross of Grunwald

Andrei Antonovich Grechko ( _ru. Андре́й Анто́нович Гречко́; October 17, 1903 – April 26, 1976) Soviet general, Marshal of the Soviet Union, Minister of Defense, born in small town near Rostov-on-Don, the son of Ukrainian peasants. Joined the Red Army in 1919, where he was a part of the legendary “Budyonny Cavalry”. After the Russian Civil War, Grechko was enrolled into the "6th Cavalry College" in the city of Taganrog, which he graduated in 1926. He joined the Communist Party in 1928, and graduated from the Frunze Military Academy in 1936. He next attended the Soviet General Staff Academy, graduating in 1941, just a few weeks before the beginning of Operation Barbarossa.

Grechko’s first command during the Great Patriotic War was of the 34th Cavalry Division, which put up a valiant fight around Kremenchug (near Kiev) in the Ukraine. On January 15, 1942, Grechko was put in command of the entire V Cavalry Corps. Starting April 15, 1942 and lasting until October 16, 1943, Grechko was placed in command of 12th Army, 47th Army, 18th Army, and 56th Army. All of these units were part of the North Caucasus Front, and Grechko led them all with distinction.

In October 1943, Grechko was promoted to Deputy Commander in Chief of 1st Ukrainian Front. Then, on December 14, 1943, he was made the commander of 1st Guards Army, a position he held until the end of the war. The First Guards Army was a part of the 4th Ukrainian Front, which was led by Col.-Gen. I. E. Petrov. Grechko led the 1st Guards in a number of offensive operations, predominantly in Hungary and into Austria.

After the war, Grechko was the Commander in Chief of Kiev Military District, until 1953. Between 1953-1957, Grechko was the Commander in Chief of Soviet Forces in East Germany. On March 11, 1955, Grechko, along with five other high-ranking colleagues, all whom had gained recognition during World War II, were promoted to the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union. From 1957-1960, Grechko was the Commander in Chief of Ground Forces, and from 1960-1967, he was the Commander in Chief of Warsaw Pact Forces. On April 12, 1967, Grechko was made the Minister of Defense, taking over for Rodion Malinovsky. Grechko served in this capacity until his death in 1976. During the 1970s, Grechko served as the chairman of the editorial commission that produced the official Soviet history of the Second World War.

Grechko was an active member in the Communist Party, and was a member of the Politburo. As Minister of Defense, Grechko helped modernize the Soviet Army, and was greatly responsible for maintaining the strength of the Soviet state. The urn containing his ashes is buried by the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.

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