"Life is short, but glory can be eternal"
The commanding biography of the youngest army general in the USSR, Ivan Danilovich Chernyakhovsky, is described in detail in numerous articles and research papers. The thirty-eight-year-old front commander was the most interesting and versatile person of his time, a man who managed to make an amazing military career during the Second World War and almost get the rank of marshal. In the management of troops, Ivan Chernyakhovsky successfully combined the courage and swiftness of youth with the wisdom and experience of an old man. He did not know the fear of defeat, his decisions and actions were bold, but always supported by extensive military knowledge, rigorous calculation, a comprehensive study of victories and defeats.
The commander of the 60 Army I. D. Chernyakhovsky (left) and a member of the Military Council of the Army A. I. Zaporozhets. March 1943 g
According to official sources, Ivan Chernyakhovsky was born in Ukraine in the village of Oksanina, Cherkasy Oblast 29 June (according to the new calendar) 1907 of the year (although 1906 is indicated in some publications). His father, Danila Chernyakhovsky, worked as a simple laborer at the local sir, and later got a job as a switchman at the Vapnyarka railway station.
As seen, история Birth and nationality of Ivan Chernyakhovsky is quite clear. However, in the foreign and late Soviet press periodically articles appeared about the supposedly Jewish origin of the future hero. Some "writings" indicate that Chernyakhovsky carefully concealed his true origin, fearing that it could prevent him from making a military career. Other authors, referring to a few eyewitness memories, argue that the general even emphasized his Jewish roots. The emphasis is also placed on Chernyakhovsky’s enormous contribution to helping Jewish families and children after the liberation of Vilnius, which Yitzchak Kovalski, a heroic underground activist and activist of Jewish resistance in the Vilnius ghetto, wrote about. The future burial place of the general after the death is also explained by his belonging to the Jewish race, because Vilnius is called the Lithuanian Jerusalem. However, all the evidence and memories cause the experts great doubts and do not have any documentary evidence. Therefore, the mystery of the Jewish origin of Chernyakhovsky remains seven seals.
In April, the 1913 of the year, following the sir, who had been a stable boy, Danila Nikolaevich, had to move into the new estate of the owner in the village of Verbovo, the Chernyakhovsky family. Here in September of the same year, Ivan was enrolled in a railway school, where he studied for three years. Chernyakhovsky’s first teacher many years later said that she remembered this hard-working and diligent boy well. He was always collected, disciplined, honest. Made for adults only the best impressions and helped the weaker students with the assignments. Despite the excellent performance and great popularity among children, according to Lyubov Andreyevna Donets, Vanya was a surprisingly modest, patient and enduring child.
It should be noted that there were six children in the Chernyakhovsky family who were constantly in need. Their situation deteriorated further when, at the very beginning of the First World Father, they mobilized and sent to the front. At the end of 1915, he was wounded in a battle, and after the hospital he managed to return home, finding his relatives in terrible poverty. In March 1919, the Petliurists almost shot Danil Nikolayevich, and he soon fell ill from typhus. A week after the funeral, Ivan's mother also died. Having survived such heavy losses, the boy promptly matured. At the time of the death of the parents of the oldest daughter, Maria Chernyakhovskaya, she was already eighteen years old, and she married the military commander of the Red Army and left for Tulchin, taking her younger sister Nastya to her. And the eldest of the sons, fourteen-year-old Mikhail, was soon enrolled as a graduate of the Kotovsky cavalry brigade. The remaining three children: sixteen-year-old Elena, twelve-year-old Ivan, and ten-year-old Sasha were sheltered by a former friend of his father, a certain I.P. Tseshkovsky.
Feeling a freeloader in a strange family, Ivan got a job as a shepherd. As the neighbors remember, the boy did not want to be a burden to anyone, he wanted to earn at least a little money for his own maintenance. During the daytime, he read books in the pasture, trying to figure out the new material on his own, and in the evening he came to the village teacher for an explanation of unclear points. With the onset of the autumn cold, the lad decided to go on a journey in search of a better life, traveling with other street kids on the brake platforms of freight cars.
After several months of unsuccessful wanderings, Ivan returned to Vapnyarka and, with the help of Tseshkovsky's relatives, got a job at the railway station as a traveling worker. It was at this time that an extra year was attributed to the age of the teenager, since otherwise he would simply not have been hired, which later became the cause of the error in the date of birth of the hero. In addition, one year was not enough for admission to the Komsomol organization, where the young man aspired with all his heart.
Well-developed physically and precociously quick-witted, Ivan was immediately noticed, and six months later they were transferred to assistant mechanics. Chernyakhovsky began to take an active part in the social life of working youth under the influence of Ivan Tseshkovsky, who was the head of a rural Komsomol cell. Together with him, Vanya constantly attended meetings and meetings, participated in political conversations. After the incendiary speech of Lenin at the III Congress of the RKSM, eagerly reading out every word of the leader, Ivan Chernyakhovsky firmly decided to continue self-education. Soon he began to privately engage with the former teacher M.K. Bochkarev.
The thirst for knowledge and inhuman perseverance helped him in 1921, in May, to successfully pass all the exams at the junior high school externally. In the same year, Ivan Chernyakhovsky was elected secretary of the Komsomol cell of the village of Verbovo. Despite the difficult times, the future commander never gave up and always strove for new progressive undertakings. For example, on the initiative of Ivan and with his direct participation in the village a club was built, where cultural evenings began to take place. In addition, a choir and drama group were founded, in which Ivan also consisted. According to the memoirs, he was very artistic and had a beautiful voice. The next personal achievement of the head of the cell was the opening of the library, the books for which were taken from the local priest, posing as priest former colonel of the tsarist army. By the way, this fact of the biography of the church minister was also revealed by Chernyakhovsky.
Ivan began to join the military art after his Komsomol cell was assigned to the Tulchinsky battalion as part of special-purpose units in 1921. Then he and his children, who joined the Verbovsky platoon, who headed Chernyakhovsky, had the opportunity to participate in the rout of bandit formations in local forests. For their bravery during military operations, the young commander in May 1923 was awarded a personal weapons - Mauser.
In January, 1924, Ivan and his friend moved to Novorossiysk for work and further study. The Komsomol City Committee sent him to the Proletary plant, where Chernyakhovsky first worked as a student and then as a cooper. Within six months, the well-deserved popularity of the young man allowed him to be elected to the secretaries, first shop and then the factory Komsomol bureau. Outside of work, Ivan graduated from a driving school and soon began working as a chauffeur. He devoted all his free time to sports, technology and classes in the rifle circle.
In June, 1924, finally, Chernyakhovsky’s dream came true. The Komsomol organization of the plant sent him to study at the Odessa Infantry School. Some time after arriving in Odessa, Ivan showed excellent results in shooting, and also became the winner in a number of disciplines according to the results of the competitions held. For excellent results in various types of combat training, the zealous and capable cadet was awarded a cash prize personally by the head of the school. Soon, the Komsomol members of the company in which Ivan studied chose him as their leader. Some time later, he submits a petition to transfer him to the Kiev artillery school. At first, the request was rejected, but Chernyakhovsky always knew how to persevere, and the development of artillery at that time was given priority, talented specialists were extremely necessary. Ivan was not at all frightened by the fact that he radically changed his military specialization and needed to catch up on the material on special disciplines for the entire first year of study. In the future, he not only managed to “perfectly” pass all the exams, but also to attend as a captain of the football team, and also actively participate in amateur performances. In addition, he managed to engage in equestrian sports, shooting and athletics.
In April 1927, Chernyakhovsky made an offer to a Kiev girl named Nastya. He had already met her for a long time and was afraid that after leaving school he could part with her forever. The young girl agreed, and the management of the school allowed the cadet to live in the apartment of Anastasia’s parents. Now Ivan has a new impetus, Chernyakhovsky made every effort to finish the artillery school with honors and to be able to be among the first to choose the place of his further service. The successful growth was also facilitated by the fact that three months before the release, Ivan became a member of the CPSU (b).
In September, 1928, he was appointed platoon commander of the seventeenth corps artillery regiment, which was based in Vinnitsa. The young family had to move to a new place. The political commissar of the battery, who asked the young commander for help, gave one valuable advice, which Ivan will remember and will stick to for the rest of his life: “The commander must be able to find an approach to each subordinate, to be demanding, but fair!”.
The representative of the Headquarters of the Supreme Command Marshal of the Soviet Union A.M. Vasilevsky and the commander of the troops of the 3 of the Byelorussian Front I.D. Chernyakhovsky is interrogated by the captive commander of the 53 Army Corps, General of the Infantry Golvintser, and the Commander of the 206 Infantry Division, Lieutenant General Seitger. District of Vitebsk, 1944 year
In 1929, a daughter was born to Chernyakhovsky, whom they named an unusual name - Neonila. In the same year, Ivan Danilovich was appointed to the post of political commissar of the battery, and then her commander. After graduating from the evening school at 1930, Chernyakhovsky began to prepare for entering the Leningrad Dzerzhinsky Military Technical Academy, which he became a listener in 1931 year. After each year of study, cadets of the Academy underwent military training. At 1933, during the autumn internship, Chernyakhovsky acted as a battalion commander, and after the third year he was sent to train as a deputy chief of staff of the division, where the trainee’s ability and ability to quickly understand the essence of the tasks assigned was highly appreciated.
Almost before the graduation, the head of the Academy received a letter with information that cadet Chernyakhovsky had hidden his true social origin. The note put forward a proposal to expel him from the academy and from the ranks of the Red Army. The “vigilant” party worker who wrote the letter pointed to the lack of personal information about the father’s service in the White Guard army, which was unacceptable for a future Soviet officer. From the hasty and unjust decision of Chernyakhovsky, only the intervention of Lenin’s younger sister, M.I. Ulyanova, who was then head of the United Bureau of Complaints of the People's Commissariat of RCTs. After a thorough trial, a refutation was signed, and Ivan was able to calmly resume his studies.
Neonila Chernyakhovskaya told in an interview about her father: “I have very vivid memories of him. Dad was a brilliant officer, handsome and fit. The form is always ironed, neither speck nor dust particles. He wore her well, like the old Russian officers. As we walked down the street, everyone turned around to look at him. Unfortunately, he had little free time, he was rarely with us. Therefore, whenever my father led us somewhere — to the theater, to the cinema, or to his regiment, where he and his mother loved to play volleyball — it was a holiday. ”
In October 1936, after graduating with honors from the academy, Chernyakhovsky was ordered to remain in the capital as the chief of staff of a tank battalion. Shortly after the request of the brigade commander Ivan Danilovich was given the rank of captain, and after a while he became the battalion commander. The further career of a talented military leader developed with lightning speed. Having received the rank of major in 1938, Chernyakhovsky went to Belarus to take over the duties of the commander of a tank regiment, and already in 1939 after the regiment commanded by Ivan Danilovich took the first place during the inspection, he was given the rank of lieutenant colonel early. After the outbreak of hostilities on the border with Finland in the winter of 1940, Chernyakhovsky, like most officers, filed a report asking him to send him to the army, but the answer came after the conclusion of a peace treaty with the Finns.
In August 1940, Ivan Danilovich became the commander of the second tank of the division, and in March 1941, the appointment of the commander of the newly formed twenty-eighth tank division followed, because of which he had to go to Riga. A month later, the commander in an extraordinary order received the rank of colonel.
Since the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the Chernyakhovsky division conducted intense defensive battles near Siauliai, a city in the north of Lithuania, restraining the offensive and inflicting significant losses on the Nazi’s forty-first tank corps. In particular, without waiting for reinforcements, Chernyakhovsky made a bold decision to counterattack the advance units of the enemy’s tank avalanche. As a result of a fierce battle, the fascist offensive choked. An entire battalion of infantry of the Nazis ceased to exist, more than two dozen of their tanks and artillery guns were destroyed.
In August 1941, the Chernyakhov residents continued defensive battles near Novgorod. The fighters fought for every piece of land, in fact, "to the last tank." After that, the thinning twenty-eighth division was withdrawn to the second echelon, and Ivan Danilovich himself became seriously ill with pneumonia and went to the hospital. For the skilful organization of the defense of Novgorod and personal courage, Chernyakhovsky received his first order of the Red Banner of Battle. After being discharged in the fall of 1941, the Chernyakhovsky division forced the Germans to stop and go over to defensive actions, which made it possible to prevent the transfer of Hitler units to the Leningrad direction. In December, the Chernyakhovsky tank division was reorganized into the 241 Infantry Division, which became part of the North-Western Front. In January, 1942, the part received an order to go for a breakthrough in the direction of Monakovo - Vatolino.
Anastasia Grigorievna, the wife of the commander, kept the letter dated 27 August 1941. Chernyakhovsky wrote to his wife: “Seeing me now, you would not recognize - I lost seventeen kilograms. No belt fits, all are great. Even the watch bracelet slips off the hand. I also dream of washing and shaving. Beard, like a sixty-year-old grandfather, has long been accustomed to it. However, all this does not interfere with command with the same passion, as always ... "
In February, 1942, the Chernyakhov residents took an active part in surrounding and retaining the enemy’s seventy-thousandth army in the Demyansk Cauldron for two months. At the same time, the military council of the army again introduced Chernyakhovsky to the rank of general. And for successful offensive battles around the enemy troops, Ivan Danilovich received the second Order of the Red Banner. 5 May 1942, the young commander is given the rank of Major General. In July of the same year, during intense battles near Voronezh, Chernyakhovsky contusion. Soon he was appointed commander of the sixtieth army, which in January 1943 took part in the Voronezh-Kostornenskoe offensive operation on the Upper Don. 4 February 1943, the Presidium of the Supreme Council presented the young commander to the third Order of the Combat Red Banner for his significant contribution to the success of this offensive operation.
Army General Ivan Danilovich Chernyakhovsky, Commander of the Belarusian Front 3, 1944 Year
In February, in just five days, the Chernyakhovsky army, shackled by continuous battles, managed to get to Kursk, having covered ninety kilometers and freeing more than three hundred and fifty villages and villages from the Germans. On the day of the liberation of Kursk, February 8, the general was awarded the Order of Suvorov of the first degree, and on February 14 he was given the rank of lieutenant general. The sixtieth army showed itself heroically and during the Kharkov offensive operation, overcoming over three hundred kilometers with battles. During the winter battles, the Chernyakhovites managed to destroy about thirty-five thousand Nazis, over sixteen thousand officers and soldiers of the enemy were captured.
From the memoirs of Ivan Danilovich Chernyakhovsky’s second child, Oleg: “Our father loved music very much. We often moved, but we always took our guitar with us. He played it well and sang a beautiful baritone. Preferred Ukrainian songs. In the upbringing was strict. We had to study well not to let him down. He told us all the time about it. He even wrote from the front: “Join the ranks of the best students. This is your father's position. ” He was convinced that everyone should fulfill his duty, and our duty was to study well. By the way, my sister and I finished school with gold medals. ”
After the liberation of Chernihiv on September 21, the Supreme Soviet issued a decree awarding Chernyakhovsky the second order of the first degree of Suvorov for his personal contribution and skillful leadership of the operations to free Glukhov, Konotop and Bakhmach. In October 1943, the army of Ivan Danilovich already in the Voronezh Front participated in forcing the Dnieper River, and for the heroism and bravery shown during the October 17 fighting, he was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. After participating in stubborn battles at the Kiev bridgehead and liberation from the Nazis of territories in the Zhytomyr area 10 in January 1944, Chernyakhovsky was again presented for the award - the Order of Bohdan Khmelnitsky of the first degree, and in March he became Colonel-General.
The skill of the young commander grew from battle to battle. Ivan Danilovich painstakingly worked on each operation, polishing everything to the smallest detail and always adding to them something new, born in battles. In April, Chernyakhovsky’s 1944 was summoned to Joseph Stalin, where he learned from the leader’s lips that he had become the commander of the third Belarusian front (and this was thirty-eight years old). Under the leadership of Ivan Danilovich, the Vitebsk-Orsha, Minsk, Vilnius and Kaunas operations were successfully carried out by the parts of the third Belarusian front from the end of June to the end of August. And during October, separate parts of the Chernyakhovsky front participated jointly with the first Baltic in the Memel operation, when large German forces were isolated, after which the Soviet troops were able to enter East Prussia. Chernyakhovsky never feared his opponent, but did not underestimate him, patiently studied the wolfish manners of the fascists and promptly beat them in their most sensitive places and at the most unexpected time. Later, the Nazis began to follow him. Everywhere, where his troops appeared, the enemy tried to improve and further strengthen his defense.
In July, Minsk was liberated by parts of the third Belarusian Front, and then Vilnius. For the success of the Belarusian operation, Chernyakhovsky was awarded the Gold Star medal for the second time with the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. And in early August, after the liberation of Kaunas, one of the artillery brigades, which was part of the front commanded by Chernyakhovsky, was the first to launch the shelling of German territory from a distance of seven and a half kilometers. From mid-October 1944, the troops of the third Belorussian Front carried gumbinnen operation, and with January 13 1945-th Chernyakhovsky headed the Insterburgsko-Koenigsberg operation, during which his troops came to Konigsberg, blocking major East Prussian grouping Nazis. November 3 Ivan Danilovich’s 1944 was awarded the fourth Order of the Red Banner.
When the troops of Chernyakhovsky entered Lithuania and fought for the liberation of Vilnius, Ivan Danilovich, in order to save this remarkable city from destruction, ordered not to bombard him with heavy guns and not to bomb. The city was taken as a result of roundabout maneuvers, avoiding destruction. For this, the Lithuanian people expressed great gratitude to the commander, our troops in Vilnius greeted with flowers. It is a shame and sadness to see how recently the newly appeared SS icobly and Baltic national revanchists are doing everything to blacken and belittle the feat of our soldiers and officers, the role of the commander of Chernyakhovsky in the liberation of the Baltic republics.
Such a brilliant and victorious career of a talented domestic general ended unexpectedly and terribly. 18 February 1945 of the year during a detour of Chernyakhovsky units entrusted to him in the area of the Polish city of Melzak (Penenzhno) twenty meters behind the all-terrain vehicle, in which the commander was driving, the projectile which exploded from nowhere broke. A heavy shard, breaking through the cabin wall and seat, mortally wounded Chernyakhovsky, who was sitting behind the wheel, in the chest. The commander was conscious for some time and even managed to tell General A.V. To Gorbatov, the first to arrive at the scene of the tragedy, farewell words: “Is this really all? Am I killed? Then Ivan Danilovich fainted and died on the way to the nearest medical battalion.
It is known that Ivan Danilovich Chernyakhovsky once said: “I don’t want to die in my bed, I prefer death in a hot fight”.
The body of Ivan Danilovich was buried first in one of the Vilnius squares. A monument to the hero was erected nearby, and the city of Insterburg located in the Kaliningrad region in recognition of the achievements of the general to the people of Lithuania was renamed Chernyakhovsk. During the burial of the commander in the capital of the Soviet Union salute was thundered in honor of the hero of one hundred twenty-four guns. These were the victories won by the military units he headed during combat operations.
An interesting fact is that on February 19 had to issue an order conferring the title of Marshal of the Soviet Union to Chernyakhovsky, who immediately after his death was recalled by Stalin.
The dazzling star of Chernyakhovsky drew the sky and broke in front of everyone. Many military experts are confident that he did not have time to demonstrate his talent in full force, but what he did is a great admiration. Ivan Danilovich began with the profession of a shepherd.
His opponents - the best German commanders - went through elite cadet schools and trenches of the first world war, they had vast experience in brainstorming. However, the Ukrainian orphan outplayed the Aryans, repeatedly defeating them in their own fields. Armed with specialized literature, anyone can familiarize themselves with the original decisions of General Chernyakhovsky, his "growing" and "double" strikes of infantry and tank formations in swampy and forested places, with sudden counter-attacks that led to the dismemberment and surrounding of enemy compounds. Ivan Danilovich was a true master of the ranking of infantry, mechanized and cavalry attacks, massive fire suppression of well-fortified enemy bastions, as well as many other tactical innovations.
The name of Ivan Chernyakhovsky was well known not only here, but also abroad. Upon learning of the tragedy, in a special letter to Stalin from 20 February 1945, Winston Churchill expressed his condolences to the death of the general, stressing that "the skill and deeds of this brilliant, brave officer caused great admiration for the entire British army and the British government."
After the collapse of the USSR, the Vilnius authorities wanted the remains of the general to be removed from their territory. Through the efforts of children, the remains of Chernyakhovsky were reburied in Moscow at the Novodevichy Cemetery. At the same time, the monument to the military commander was dismantled, he was transferred to Voronezh, which was liberated by the sixtieth army under the leadership of Ivan Danilovich. The monument to Chernyakhovsky was also erected in Odessa, and a bronze bust of the hero was installed in Uman. The name of the general named the squares and streets of many Russian cities as a sign of respect and recognition of his personal contribution to the victory of our country in that terrible war. In the homeland of Chernyakhovsky, the museum of the hero was opened and a memorial sign was installed, and his name was forever credited to the list of the first battery of the Kiev Artillery School.