Ivan Ludnikov

Ivan Ludnikov

Hero of the Soviet Union, Colonel General
Date of Birth: 13.11.1902
Country: Ukraine

  1. Biography of Ivan Lyudnikov
  2. Early Military Career
  3. World War II
  4. Post-War Career

Biography of Ivan Lyudnikov

Ivan Ivanovich Lyudnikov was born on November 13, 1902, in the village of Krivaya Kosa, Novoazovsk district, Donetsk region, Ukraine. He began his military service in 1918 and graduated from the Odessa Infantry School in 1925. He went on to attend the M.V. Frunze Military Academy in 1938 and the Academic Courses at the Higher Military Academy in 1952.

Early Military Career

Lyudnikov joined the Red Guard in 1917 and actively participated in the fights against the forces of General Kaledin, Denikin, and Wrangel during the Russian Civil War and the military intervention in Russia from 1917 to 1922. After graduating from the military academy, he served in the General Staff of the Red Army (1938-1939) and became the Chief of the Zhytomyr Infantry School in November 1939.

World War II

In March 1941, Lyudnikov assumed command of the 200th Rifle Division and led his troops into the Great Patriotic War. He later commanded the 16th Separate Cadet Rifle Brigade, the 390th Rifle Division, and the 138th Rifle Division, all of which fought in various fronts and battles throughout the war. However, it was the 138th Rifle Division that particularly distinguished itself under Lyudnikov's command during the Battle of Stalingrad, where it heroically fought against a numerically superior enemy for over a month. In recognition of his leadership and bravery, Lyudnikov was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

Post-War Career

After the war, Lyudnikov became the commander of the 39th Army of the 3rd Belorussian Front and later the Trans-Baikal Front. His army participated in the successful Belarusian Offensive of 1944, the Memel Offensive of 1944, and the East Prussian Offensive of 1945, where they effectively surrounded and defeated enemy forces. In May-June 1945, the 39th Army was relocated to the Mongolian People's Republic and took part in the Soviet-Japanese War of 1945 as part of the Trans-Baikal Front.

After his military service, Lyudnikov continued to hold various high-ranking positions, including Deputy Commander of the Soviet Forces in Germany, Assistant and Deputy Commander of the Odessa Military District, and Commander of the Tavrichesky Military District. From 1956 to 1959, he served as the Chief Military Advisor in the People's Republic of Bulgaria. In 1959, he became the head of the "Vystrel" courses and later served as the head of the Faculty of the General Staff Academy from 1963 to 1968.

Lyudnikov was also a member of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of the 2nd and 3rd convocations. He was decorated with three Orders of Lenin, five Orders of the Red Banner, three Orders of Suvorov 1st Class, Orders of Suvorov 2nd Class, Bogdan Khmelnitsky 1st Class, and numerous medals, as well as foreign orders.