|Born||18 Sep 1896|
|Died||7 Apr 1958|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseIvan Efimovich Petrov was born in Bryansk, Russia. He enlisted in the Russian Army in 1918. During the inter-war years, he served mostly in Central Asia. Between 1931 and 1933, he served at regimental and divisional levels in Turkestan, then between 1933 and 1940 served as commandant of Combined Middle Asian Military School and then Tashkent Military Infantry School. In 1940, he was briefly the commanding officer of the 192nd Rifle Division before becoming the Inspector of Infantry of the Central Asian Military District.
ww2dbaseAt the start of the war between Germany and Russia, Petrov commanded the 27th Mechanized Corps, and then was given command of the 1st Cavalry Division and the 2nd Cavalry Division, and the 25th Rifle Division, successively. In 1941, after German invasion of the Soviet Union, he became the commander of the Coastal Army on 19 Aug 1941. While en route to reinforce the 51st Army, the German broke through the lines; Petrov avoided being enveloped by the fast-moving German forces by maneuvering his troops to the Crimean Peninsula via Yalta.
ww2dbaseDuring the battle of Sevastopol, Petrov was in charge of a bulk of defensive forces in the city; commanding from his underground bunker for most of the battle, his efforts were hindered by poor communications. On 11 Jun 1942, he organized and launched a major counter-offensive against the German troops that laid siege to Sevastopol, and achieved breaching the German lines as deep as 1-km at several locations, but ultimately the depletion of ammunition and morale ended the counter-offensive in defeat. Although he conducted an effective defensive campaign at Sevastopol, when the city was about to fall, he fled by submarine after giving little thought to the 23,000 troops still left in the city.
ww2dbaseBetween 1942 and 1943, Petrov commanded the 44th Army and the Black Sea Army Group. In 1943, he served first as the chief of staff of the Northern Caucasian Front, and then its commanding officer. At the end of 1943, he returned to the Coastal Army as its commanding officer. In 1944, he was successively the commanding officer of the 33rd Army, the commander-in-chief of the 2nd Byelorussian Front, and the commander-in-chief of the 4th Ukrainian Front. At the end of the European War, he was the chief of staff of the 1st Ukrainian Front. On 29 May 1945, he was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union after also having received a Distinguished Service Cross from the United States in 1944.
ww2dbaseAfter the war, Petrov returned to Central Asia as the commander-in-chief of the Turkestan Military District until 1952. Between 1952 and 1957, he held high-level posts such as the Deputy Chief Inspector of the Army, Deputy Commander in Chief Ground Forces, and Chief Inspector Ministry of Defense. He passed away while holding his final post of Chief Science Consultant to the Assistant Minister of Defense.
ww2dbaseSources: Sevastopol 1942, Wikipedia.
Last Major Revision: Feb 2008
Ivan Petrov Timeline
|18 Sep 1896||Ivan Petrov was born.|
|7 Apr 1958||Ivan Petrov passed away.|
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945