Ivan Bichenko

Ivan Bichenko

Lieutenant General
Date of Birth: 22.05.1919
Country: Ukraine

  1. Biography of Ivan Bichenko
  2. Early Life

Biography of Ivan Bichenko

Early Life

Ivan Grigorievich Bichenko was born on May 22, 1919, in the village of Svidovok, Cherkasy district, Ukraine, into a peasant family. His father, Grigory Lukich Bichenko, was a participant in the First World War and worked at Stalingrad Tractor and later at the Novocherkassk Locomotive Plants. His mother, Anastasia Nikitichna Bichenko, took care of the family. Ivan was married to Nina Stanislavovna Bichenko, and they had two sons, Sergey Ivanovich Bichenko and Grigory Ivanovich Bichenko, both of whom became officers. Ivan and Anastasia also had four grandchildren.
Early Military Career

In 1937, after finishing school, Ivan Bichenko enrolled in the Ulyanovsk Military School of Special Equipment, where he learned tank radio operation, explosive works, and navigation of small boats and aircraft using radio communication. After graduating, he became a tank commander and was assigned as the commander of a tank platoon in the 25th Light Tank Brigade of the Belarusian Military District. He participated in campaigns in Western Belarus and the Baltics. During the Great Patriotic War, Bichenko was stationed near Vilnius as the commander of a company in the 46th Tank Regiment of the 84th Motorized Rifle Division. He fought in fierce battles, including the defense and counterattacks against the German forces.
Further Military Service

In 1942, Bichenko was appointed as the head of reconnaissance in the 38th Tank Regiment of the Northwestern Front. After numerous battles, the front transitioned to the offensive and surrounded the 9th German Army. Despite the challenging conditions of marshlands and rough terrains, Bichenko and his fellow tank soldiers persevered in defeating the enemy. He was wounded during these battles but recovered and was appointed as the chief of staff of the 3rd Guards Heavy Tank Regiment. Bichenko continued to serve on the Northwestern and Leningrad Fronts until the end of 1943.
After the war, Bichenko returned to Moscow and became the deputy chief of staff for armored and mechanized troops in the 1st Polish Army. He participated in the capture of Warsaw, the liberation of Pomerania, the crossing of the Oder River, and eventually reaching Berlin and the Elbe River. He concluded his military service as the chief of staff for armored and mechanized troops in the Silesian Military District of Poland. Upon returning to the Soviet Union, he graduated from the Military Academy of Armored Forces.
Later Career and Retirement

From 1953 to 1956, Bichenko commanded the 118th Heavy Tank-Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment, and from 1956 to 1960, he commanded the 1st Tank Division of the 11th Army in the Baltic Military District. He then graduated from the General Staff Academy and, from 1962 to 1965, served as the commander of the 33rd Army Corps in Tajikistan. From 1965 to 1967, he was the deputy commander of the Central Asian Military District and played a significant role in the post-earthquake reconstruction of Tashkent.
In the autumn of 1966, Bichenko became the chief advisor to the Ministry of Defense of Cuba. He served in this role for more than three years and considers this period as one of the most intense, responsible, interesting, and productive times in his 45-year military career. In May 1970, he returned to his homeland and was appointed as the first deputy commander of the North Caucasus Military District. In 1975, he became the head of the Command Faculty at the Military Academy of Armored Forces. In 1979, he was sent to Czechoslovakia as the representative of the Supreme Commander of the Combined Armed Forces of the Warsaw Pact. He retired from this position three years later.
Bichenko currently lives in Moscow and serves as the chairman of the Veterans Council of the Northwestern Front. He has been awarded several honors, including the Order of the Red Banner, two Orders of the Patriotic War 1st Class, two Orders of the Red Star, and the Order "For Service to the Homeland in the Armed Forces of the USSR" 3rd Class. He also received decorations from Poland, including the Cross of Valor, the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, and the Silver Cross of Merit. Bichenko is an honorary citizen of the city of Stara Russa.