Birthday anniversary of Ivan S. Konev, a famous commander of the Great Patriotic War, Marshal of the Soviet Union

28 December 1897

16 (28) December 1897, in the village of Lodeyno, Nikolsky County, Vologda Province (at present Podosinovsky district, Kirov Region) was born Ivan S. Konev, a Soviet commander, Marshal of the Soviet Union, twice Hero of the Soviet Union.

Born into a family of poor peasants, Ivan from the age of 12 had been working at seasonal timber yards as a laborer and wood rafter. He was educated in a Zemstvo school, from which he graduated in 1912. In the spring of 1916, Konev was called up for military service and sent to a training artillery detachment. Having completed the training, he took part in the battles of the World War I in the South-Western Front in the rank of non-commissioned officer.

After his discharge in December 1917, he returned to his village, and was soon elected county military commissioner in the town of Nikolsk, Vologda Province. Ivan Konev was actively involved in the fighting on the various fronts of the Civil War in the Red Army, in particular, against the forces of Admiral Kolchak, Ataman G. Semyonov and Japanese invaders. In March 1921, Konev, among other delegates of the X Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) took part in the suppression of the Kronstadt rebellion.

After the Civil War, Konev’s career rapidly developed: he was a military commissar of the 17th Infantry Primorsky Corps, commissar and head of the political department of the 17th Infantry Division of Nizhny Novgorod, and after completion in 1926 of a training course for higher command personnel at the Frunze Military Academy - commander and commissar of the 50th Infantry Regiment. In January 1930, Ivan was appointed commandant of the city of Moscow. In 1934, he graduated from the Military Academy and then held senior military positions, consistently being the Commander of a division, a corps and an army. From June 1940 Konev commanded the Trans-Baikal Military District, and from January 1941 - the North Caucasus Military District.

The outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, Lieutenant-General Konev met in the post of the commander of the 19th Army. During the Battle of Smolensk, the army’s formations were surrounded, but Ivan Konev managed to withdraw from the enemy circle the leaders of the army and the signal regiment. Konev's actions as commander of the Army were highly appreciated by General Headquarters, and September 10, 1941 he was promoted to the rank of colonel general and appointed the commander of the Western Front. The troops of the front in a month suffered a heavy defeat during the Vyazma operation. The causes were investigated by the National Defense Commission. It was the Army General G. K. Zhukov who saved Konev from trial. A few days later, Ivan Konev was appointed commander of the Kalinin Front, at the head of which he successfully participated in defensive and offensive operations of the Battle of Moscow.

In August 1942, Konev was appointed the second time commander of the Western Front, the troops of which, however, again acted unsuccessfully under his direction in the First and Second Rzhev-Sychevskaya and Zhizdrinskaya operations. February 27, 1943 by the order of the Headquarters, Konev was removed from command of the front. One of the main pages on the military biography of Ivan Stepanovich was the appointment in July 1943 to the post of commander of the Steppe Front, whose troops had successfully operated in the Battle of Kurskliberated Belgorod and Kharkov, and distinguished themselves in the Battle of the Dnieper.

In October 1943, the Steppe Front was transformed into the 2nd Ukrainian, and, under the command of Konev, continued to operate successfully in a variety of combat operations. One of the biggest successes of Ivan Stepanovich was the Korsun-Shevchenko Operation in January-February 1944, in which for the first time after the battle of Stalingrad a large group of enemies was surrounded and defeated. February 20, 1944 Konev was awarded the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union. March 26, 1944 the troops of the 2nd Ukrainian Front were the first of all Soviet units and formations to cross the state border of the USSR and enter the territory of Romania.

From May 1944 until the end of war Konev was the commander of the 1st Ukrainian Front, conducting in this position successful operations to defeat the Army Group "North Ukraine" during the Lvov-Sandamirskaya operation and to capture the Sandamirsky bridgehead on the left bank of the river Wisla. Under the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 29 July 1944, Ivan Konev was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union, the "Gold Star" medal and the Order of Lenin. Troops under Konev also acted brilliantly in combat operations in 1945, having implemented the Vistula-Oder, Lower Silesia and Upper Silesia operations, anticipating the final defeat of the enemy. During the Berlin operation in April-May 1945, the troops of the front made a cutting blow south of Berlin, isolating the main forces of the Army Group "Center" and defeating it. June 1, 1945, Marshal Konev became twice Hero of the Soviet Union.

After the war, Ivan Konev was appointed commander in chief of the Central Army Group, located in Austria, and in 1946 - Chief of the Land Forces and Vice Minister of the Armed Forces of the USSR. From 1951 to 1955 he was the commander of the Carpathian Military District. In 1956, as the 1st Deputy Minister of Defense of the USSR and Chief of the combined forces of the Warsaw Pact states, Konev led the suppression of the Hungarian uprising. In 1961-1962, during the Berlin crisis, he was commander in chief of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany.

During his life, Marshal Konev received many awards of the Soviet Union and other countries, in particular the Order of "Victory", seven Orders of Lenin, the Order of October Revolution, three Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Suvorov, two orders of Kutuzov, the Order of the Red Star. In honor of Ivan Konev were named streets and raised monuments in many cities.

Ivan Konev died May 21, 1973 in Moscow at the age of 75.

Lit.: Дело наградное на Конева И. С. (орден Кутузова I степени) // ЦАМО. Ф. 33. Оп. 682525. Д. 27; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL:; Дело наградное на Конева И. С. (орден Суворова I степени) // ЦАМО. Ф. 33. Оп. 682525. Д. 40; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL:; Дело наградное на Конева И. С. (орден Суворова I степени) // ЦАМО. Ф. 33. Оп. 686043. Д. 43; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL:; Дело наградное на Конева И. С. (Звание «Герой Советского Союза») // ЦАМО. Ф. 33. Оп. 686043. Д. 92; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL:; Дело наградное на Конева И. С. (Звание «Герой Советского Союза») // ЦАМО. Ф. 33. Оп. 686046. Д. 187; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL:; Баскаков В. Е. Маршал Конев. М., 1992; Конев И. С. Записки командующего фронтом. М., 1972; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL:; Козлов П. Е. Полководец. Киров, 1997; Маршал Конев: Сб. очерков, статей, воспоминаний. Киров, 1997; Португальский Р. М. Маршал И. С. Конев. М., 1985.

Based on the Presidential Library’s materials:

Конев И. С. Сорок пятый. М., 1970;

Приказ Верховного Главнокомандующего маршалу Советского Союза Коневу (16 марта). 1944 // Часовой Севера: ежедневная красноармейская газета. Мурманск, 1939-1945;

Memory of the Great Victory: [digital collection].