Military Review

To the 120 anniversary of the birth of Marshal of the armored forces Pavel Semenovich Rybalko

Rybalko Pavel Semenovich (23.10. (04.11) .1894, the village of Maly Istorop, Kharkiv Province. - 28 August 1948, Moscow), Soviet military commander, Marshal of the Armored Forces (1945), twice Hero of the Soviet Union (1943, 1945).

Pavel Semenovich Rybalko - Soviet military leader, Marshal of the armored forces, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, commander tank army during the Great Patriotic War - was born on October 23, 1894. He was the third child in a large family of a factory fitter and the only one whose parents were able to send them to study at a parish school. When the training was completed by the age of 13, the village priest arranged him as the best student in the factory office.

But Pavel did not work there for long: his father had scalded his legs as a result of the accident, and he became disabled. Now I had to think about how to feed the younger brothers and sister. Pavel went to Kharkov, where he hired an assistant turner at the locomotive plant. With the beginning of the First World War, he was drafted into the army and, after several months of military training, was sent to the Galician front. In the summer of 1916, he was seriously wounded and contused, was treated, and then again sent to the army.

In July, 1917, under the conditions of the expansion of the Russian army, Private Rybalko returned to his native village. The sugar factory had run away by that time, and the workers to protect the enterprise from the robbers decided to form a squad, where Pavel was one of the first to enter. After the October Revolution, this working squad, already led by Rybalko, joined the Red Guard detachment in Lebedin. During the occupation of Ukraine by the German army in 1918, when rebel formations began to be created everywhere, Pavel joined the Frolov detachment and became his assistant, and soon he himself led the partisan detachment. After each raid on the German garrisons or clashes with Haydman of Hetman P. Skoropadsky, the partisans hid in the forests. But once near the station Kirikovka they were surrounded by German regular forces and armed only by small weaponssuffered heavy losses. Rybalko, wounded in this battle, was among the few survivors captured. He spent several months in the Kharkov prison, awaiting execution from day to day.

In early January, 1919 in Kharkov entered the Red Army units, and the doors of the prison cells opened to the death row. Pavel Rybalko returned to Lebedin, where a regiment was formed from among local volunteers to fight the White Guards and Petliurists. However, the leaders of the county revkom, knowing him as a competent and experienced soldier, appointed Rybalko as assistant to the chief of political education of the Lebedinsky military commissariat. In March, he led the militant detachment of the district Cheka, in the same month he was admitted to the Bolshevik Party. In June, P. S. Rybalko joined the Red Army and became the company commander (in August, the battalion commander) of the 1 th Lebedinsky infantry regiment. The regiment was part of the group of A. Ya. Parkhomenko, a famous Bolshevik, a former Lugansk worker. In the battles with the White Guards Rybalko's military talent first manifested itself: less than two months later, as he was entrusted with the command of the regiment. One day, during the battles for the railway station, his horse stumbled onto the rail. Having fallen, Rybalko suffered a severe injury to the kidneys. The consequences of this fall complicated the whole future life of Pavel Semenovich. At the end of the summer, in the midst of battles with Denikinians under Bohodukhov, an enemy bullet overtook the young regiment.

Brought from the battlefield, he was sent on a sanitary train to Samara. But already in September, 1919, without having recovered, P. S. Rybalko entered the disposal of the Political Administration of the Turkestan Front. Acting as head of the agitation point at the Buzuluk station of the Tashkent railway, he was engaged in the political education of the incoming Red Army reinforcement. The difficult situation of the Civil War made it impossible to stay in one place for a long time: in October Rybalko became the commander of the Samara battalion of the VOKHR, soon included in the group of F. A. Sergeev (“Comrade Artyom”) and was appointed regiment commissar under the Bashkir People's Commissariat. In Bashkiria, Pavel Semyonovich was engaged in an important task - collecting food for the starving country - and at the same time headed the emergency commission to combat typhoid fever, which raging thousands of lives. At the end of April, 1920 was sent to continue his service in the First Cavalry Army. But Rybalko’s hope to be back in combat was not immediately justified: when meeting commander S. M. Budyonny explained that the army, quickly liberating Ukraine’s land, had to leave the remnants of White Guard troops, detachments of Makhnovists and nationalist gangs of all stripes in the rear.

At the head of a small equestrian detachment Rybalko had to finally establish the Soviet power in the liberated villages. In June, 1920, he became military commissar and chairman of the revkom in the newly-conquered city of Novograd-Volynsky, and a month later, by the army's revolutionary military council, he was appointed commissar of the 1 Brigade of the 14 Cavalry Division. In late October, Rybalko was again seriously wounded in an unequal night battle with Wrangel's troops.

At the end of the Civil War, the First Horse joined the North Caucasian Military District. Rybalko served here until 1924 as an assistant commissioner of the 83, then as a commissioner of the 84, the cavalry regiment of the 14-th cavalry division. As part of the "flying squad" he participated in battles with numerous gangs, was twice wounded. In August, 1924 was transferred to the Moscow Military District as Commissioner of the 61-th regiment of the 1-th special cavalry brigade. In the interwar period, Rybalko continued to persevere in military affairs, having twice completed advanced training courses for senior commanders at the Military Academy named after MV Frunze (in 1926 and 1930). His education allowed him to return to command positions. In 1926, Rybalko was appointed commander of a separate cavalry squadron at the Soviet embassy in Ulan Bator. Here he met with K.K. Rokossovsky, who served as an instructor in the cavalry division of the Mongolian Peoples Army.

Then P. S. Rybalko was the commander and commissar of the cavalry division in Siberia, temporarily served as commander of the cavalry brigade in the Urals, and from October 1928 to May 1931 he was the commander and commissioner of the 7-Cavalry Chernigov Chervon Cossacks 2. In 1931 - 1934 P. S. Rybalko studied at the Military Academy. M. V. Frunze. During his studies, he became closely acquainted with the process of mechanization and motorization of the Red Army. Later, Pavel Semyonovich recalled: “Tanks especially attracted me. I understood that this type of weapon in future wars will play an important role ... ". At the end of the Academy Rybalko sent to a long business trip to China.

At the beginning of the 30's a rebellion broke out in northwest China in the province of Xinjiang. The local population, the Uighurs and Dungans who professed Islam, began to destroy the Chinese and the many thousands of diaspora of Russian immigrants. Assistance to the rebels was provided by Japan. The prospect of creating a pro-Japanese state on the southern borders of the USSR did not suit the Soviet leadership. A group of employees of the IV (Intelligence) Directorate of the Red Army Headquarters was sent to China, which included P. S. Rybalko. With their help, all opponents of the local governor were defeated, a strong regular army was created, attempts by the Japanese and English residencies to raise a new insurgency were stopped.

In December, 1935, Mr. Pavel Semenovich, returned to the Soviet Union, still at the disposal of the Red Army Intelligence Directorate. In February of the following year, he was appointed assistant commander of the 8 th Turkestan Mountain Cavalry Division in the Central Asian Military District. From July 1937 Rybalko served as military attache in Poland.

To the 120 anniversary of the birth of Marshal of the armored forces Pavel Semenovich Rybalko

Colonel PS Fishing

1938 1 September 1939 this country was attacked by Nazi Germany. P. S. Rybalko and the plenipotentiary representative of the USSR in Poland, N. I. Sharonov, were the first to inform the Soviet leadership about the outbreak of war. In connection with the German occupation of Polish territory, Rybalko’s authority in this country in October 1939 was terminated. In June, 1940 was given the rank of major general. In December of the same year, Rybalko was again in China, this time with the rank of Soviet military attache under the government of Chiang Kai-shek.
By the beginning of World War II, Major General Rybalko continued to be at the disposal of the Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Red Army, and in September 1941 he was appointed head of the intelligence department of the Higher Special School of the General Staff in Kazan. An experienced military man who had passed through several wars, Pavel Semyonovich persistently strove to the front, he turned to the army in the army, repeatedly appealed on command, but was refused every time. 25 May 1942. He writes a letter to his friend, Colonel-General (later Marshal of the Soviet Union) A.I. Eremenko, where there are such lines: “... I earnestly ask, help me, please, get out of the deep rear. I will go to any job ... I’m ashamed, I want to fight. " Finally, his request was granted, and in June 1942, Mr. Rybalko became deputy commander of the 3 tank army (commander - Lieutenant-General P. A. Romanenko). In August-September, Pavel Semyonovich served as commander of the 5 tank army, which, after violent bloody battles, was in the process of re-formation, and in October headed the 3 tank army. Until the end of 1942, the army was stationed in the Tula region, consisting in the reserve of the General Headquarters (Supreme Command).

In January, 1943. The 3-I tank army transferred to the Voronezh Front was distinguished during the Ostrogozh-Rossosh operation. The commander unexpectedly threw the 12 th and 15 th tank corps into the breakthrough, which reached the operating room and, without engaging in protracted battles, quickly closed the encirclement of the enemy group. Moscow, congratulating the tankers with a brilliant victory, noted their merits: the next military rank of lieutenant general was assigned to the army commander Rybalko, he received the highest military award at the time — the Order of Suvorov 1 degree, many soldiers of the 3 tank army were awarded orders and medals

In the spring of 1943, Rybalko's tank army played an important role during offensive and defensive operations near Kharkov. In these battles tankers suffered heavy losses, they even had to break out of the encirclement.

The commander of the 3 Tank Army is Lieutenant-General of the tank forces P. S. Rybalko among the tank soldiers. Upper Don. Spring 1943

April 26 At the head of the Supreme Command, it was decided to convert the 3 Tank Army into the 57 Tank Army. However, the commander and member of the military council of the army, Major-General S. I. Melnikov, did not agree with such a decision of the Headquarters. With the help of the commander of the armored and mechanized forces of the Red Army, Colonel-General Tank Forces Ya. N. Fedorenko, they were able to prove that the tank army was able to fight further. As a result, in May 1943 the restoration of the army began, they kept the number and assigned the Guards rank.

The severe battle baptism of the renewed army had to be experienced during the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943, operating as part of the Bryansk Front. During the Oryol operation, tankers of the 3 Guards, put into battle from the reserve of the Supreme Command Stakes, on July 20, cut the Mtsensk-Oryol highway and captured the Oka crossing. Immediately after that, by order of the front commander, the army turned south and was in the rear of the German group operating east and southeast of Orel.

However, the army still failed to break through to the operational space, as a result of which it was taken to the second echelon, and then sent to the strip of the Central Front by Army General K. K. Rokossovsky. Rokossovsky later recalled Rybalko and his army as follows: “He was a good, militant and decisive commander. But neither he nor his subordinates had yet recovered from the difficult battles on the Bryansk Front. That is why, despite all the efforts, the tank crews failed to overcome the resistance of the enemy. To avoid unjustified losses, I appealed to the Stavka with a request to withdraw Rykalko's tank army to the reserve. ”

The subsequent military fate of the 3 Guards Tank Army to the end of the war was connected with the 1 of the Ukrainian Front (before 20 of October 1943 of the city of Voronezh). Great is the merit of the tank guard guardsmen led by P. S. Rybalko in the liberation of Left-Bank Ukraine. In September, they were the first to break through to the Dnieper, forcibly crossed the river and seized the Bukrin bridgehead south of Kiev. The bright page of the war was the covert regrouping of the tank army from the Bukrin to the Lutezh springboard. During the 6 day, hundreds of tanks made an 200-kilometer march along the front line, crossed the Dnieper twice, and forced the Dniester. Heavy and tense character were fighting for Kiev. 4 November 1943. For the development of success, front commander General of the Army N. F. Vatutin led the army Rybalko into battle. In order not to give the enemy the opportunity to gain a foothold, it was necessary to advance day and night, but darkness and dense autumn fog interfered with this. Then the commander ordered: “At the appointed hour of the attack, start all the engines — tanks, armored personnel carriers, and artillery. Open intensive fire from cannons, mortars, machine guns and handguns. Turn on the light in all cars and with lit headlights, with sirens of howling, to attack the enemy decisively! ” General Melnikov recalled: “It was a formidable and magnificent sight. Suddenly flashes of light, firing trails of shells and machine-gun fires flashed an avalanche of oncoming tanks. Sirens howled deafeningly and the engines thundered. All this had the strongest psychological impact on the Nazis ... ". On November 6, tanks broke into Kiev and, together with the troops of the 38 Army, Colonel General K. S. Moskalenko, cleared the capital of Ukraine from the enemy. 17 November 1943. Pavel Semenovich was awarded the high title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal. 30 December of the same year, he became Colonel General of Tank Forces.

P. S. Rybalko was distinguished by his personal fearlessness and heroism. The former tanker, turret shooter M. Gaisin, recalled after the war: “... Rybalko went to tank attacks on the Willis. And, as a rule, standing upright in gray overalls. From the open cockpit of the all-terrain vehicle is better seen the battlefield. And there was a radio station in the car, so he was in charge of the crews' actions ... ”

During the Lviv-Sandomierz operation, the 3-I Guards Tank Army ensured the rapid advance of the Soviet troops along the so-called “Koltovsky corridor” (the entire width of 4 - 6 km) under heavy fire of the enemy and thereby virtually saved Lviv from total destruction.

Rybalko's professional qualities as a military leader and a fearless tank commander were especially clearly revealed at the final stage of the war, during the Berlin and Prague strategic operations. During the seizure of Berlin, the commander of the 1 Ukrainian Front, Marshal of the Soviet Union I. S. Konev, made a main stake on the Guardsmen of the 3 and 4 of the tank armies headed by generals P. S. Rybalko and D. D. Lelyushenko (both of them, by the way , were similar in appearance and twice the Heroes of the Soviet Union were on the same day - 6 (April 1945). The tank-warriors of the Army Rybalko 17 of April overcame the Spree River and by the evening of April 22 approached Berlin. In his memoirs, “Blow from the South”, Pavel Semenovich wrote: “From the first day of the operation, all our actions can be described in one word — swiftness ... This swiftness was based on high military skill and on the desire to end the war and destroy fascism ...”. Storming the city fortifications and sustaining heavy losses from the fire of faustnik, tankers stubbornly moved towards the goal - the Reichstag. However, on April 28 had to turn to the west by order of the Stavka. This was explained by the desire to prevent the mixing of parts of two advancing fronts. The Reichstag was to attack the troops of the 1 of the Belorussian front of Marshal of the Soviet Union GK Zhukova ...

With the fall of Berlin, the war did not end. Tankers Rybalko and Lelushenko in a rapid march hurried to the aid of the insurgent population of Prague. Later, the Czechoslovak military leader L. Svoboda, who, incidentally, was repeatedly brought down by P. Rybalko, gave a high assessment of their actions: “Soviet tank forces commanded by Rybalko and Lelyushenko arrived on time and saved Prague from destruction, and its inhabitants were killed . The Prague guerrillas bravely fought on the barricades, but they could hardly resist if the tankmen of General Rybalko did not come to the aid of 9 in the morning of May. ” The liberation of the capital of Czechoslovakia put an end to the long and bloody war with Germany.

During the war years, P. S. Rybalko became famous for his ability to lead large tank formations during deep operational strikes and swiftly forcing water obstacles. He was rightly considered one of the best tank generals of the Red Army. “We had a lot of good tank commanders,” wrote Marshal Konev, “but without minimizing their merits, I still want to say that, in my personal opinion, Rybalko understood the nature and capabilities of large tank formations most astutely. He loved, appreciated and well knew the technique, although he was not a tankman from his youth. He knew what could be learned from this technology, what was achievable and what was unattainable for this technology, and always remembered it, setting tasks for his troops. ”

After the war, P. S. Rybalko continued to command the army, and on June 1 1945, he was given the rank of “Marshal of Armored Forces”. In April, 1946 was appointed deputy commander of the armored and mechanized forces of the Ground Forces, and a year later commander of the armored and mechanized forces of the Armed Forces of the USSR. Marshal Konev, who led the Ground Forces during this period, noted that “at his new highly responsible post Rybalko had to solve many tasks, sum up all the combat experience gained by armored forces during the war years, outline plans for the development of these troops in peacetime with a prospect of the future, to develop the entire technical policy in the field of tank construction ... ".

For Merit Pavel Semenovich was awarded 10 Soviet orders: Lenin (1943, 1945), Red Banner (1923, 1944, 1948), Suvorov 1-th degree (1943, twice 1944), Kutuzov 1-th degree (1943) , Bogdan Khmelnitsky 1 degree (1944), and also awarded several foreign awards.

The numerous wounds and injuries received in battle, the death of 1942 in the battle of his only son, tank lieutenant Vilen Rybalko, undermined the health of the marshal. Pavel Semenovich died 28 August 1948 g. And was buried in Moscow at the Novodevichy cemetery. A monument was erected on his grave.

Monument twice to the Hero of the Soviet Union, Marshal of Armored Forces, PS Rybalko at the Novodevichy cemetery in Moscow

Busts twice to the Hero of the Soviet Union Rybalko are installed in his homeland and in the Prague pantheon in the Czech Republic.

The streets in Moscow, Volgograd, Minsk, Kharkov and in a number of other cities of Russia and the near abroad are named after Marshal Rybalko. The name of the marshal of the armored troops, P. S. Rybalko, was the Tashkent Higher Tank Command School. In 2013, a monument to the famous commander was erected in the city of Rossosh, Voronezh Region, in the liberation of which he participated.
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  1. bistrov.
    bistrov. 12 November 2014 09: 13
    I have great respect for Marshal of the Armored Forces P.S. Rybalko. In my opinion, not only an outstanding military leader, but also a very tactful, good person, which among high-ranking military personnel is quite a rare phenomenon. Of the Warsaw Pact, who wrote a very interesting book "Earth on Fire", where the commander of the Third Guards Tank Army P.S. Rybalko also warmly draws. I recommend it to all lovers of memoir literature.
    1. Alekseev
      Alekseev 12 November 2014 18: 27
      Quote: bistrov.
      very considerate, good person

      In particular, it was Marshal Rybalko who defended G.K. Zhukov at the post-war meeting of the Main Military Council in the summer of 1946, urging him not to believe "testimonies drawn out by violence in prisons."
  2. svp67
    svp67 12 November 2014 09: 57
    Rybalko and Katukov are the most famous commanders of our tank armies of the Great War ... And there were only six of them by the end of the war, not counting the tank armies of the early formation ...
  3. wanderer_032
    wanderer_032 12 November 2014 11: 17
    The further military fate of the 3rd Guards Tank Army until the end of the war was connected with the 1st Ukrainian Front (until October 20, 1943 - Voronezh). The merit of the tank guards, led by P.S. Rybalko in the liberation of the Left-Bank Ukraine, is great. In September, they were the first to break through to the Dnieper, immediately crossed the river and captured the Bukrin bridgehead south of Kiev. A secret page of the war was the secretive regrouping of the tank army from Bukrinsky to Luthezh bridgehead. For 6 days, hundreds of tanks made a 200-kilometer march along the front line, crossed the Dnieper twice and crossed the Dniester. The fighting for Kiev was heavy and tense.
    “It was a formidable and magnificent sight. Suddenly flashing bundles of light, fire trails of shells and machine-gun bursts flashed an avalanche of impending tanks. Sirens howled deafeningly and motors rattled. All this had a profound psychological impact on the Nazis ... ” On November 6, tanks broke into Kiev and, together with the troops of the 38th Army, Colonel General K.S. Enko cleared the capital of Ukraine from the enemy. (quote)

    I would like to repeat it now, so that Piglet and Co. would be treated like the Nazis of those years.

    P. S. Rybalko was distinguished by personal fearlessness and heroism. The former tankman, tower shooter M. Gaisin, recalled after the war: “... Fishing went to tank attacks on the Willis. And, as a rule, standing upright in a gray jumpsuit. From the open cockpit of the all-terrain vehicle, the battlefield is better visible. And there was a radio station in the car, so he led the actions of the crews ... ". (Quote)

    A mobile command post for the commander of the formation of such a level as a TA is vital for the operation to be controlled.
    One hundred army liaison officers will never replace their eyes and ears. Pavel Semyonovich understood this perfectly, and therefore did so.
    And the morale of the crews was rising, they knew that their commander was going into battle next to them, on the front line, and not somewhere in the headquarters he was sitting about twenty kilometers from the front line.

    “From the first day of the operation, all our actions can be characterized in one word - swiftness ... This swiftness was based on high military skill and the desire to end the war soon and destroy fascism ..." (quote)

    As now in our time, some of our "helmsmen" lack such qualities.

    “We had a lot of good tank commanders,” wrote Marshal Konev, “but, not underestimating their merits, I still want to say that, in my personal opinion, Rybalko most acutely understood the nature and capabilities of large tank associations. He loved, appreciated and knew the technique well, although he was not a young tanker. He knew what could be learned from this technique, what was achievable and unattainable for this technique, and he always remembered this, setting tasks for his troops ”(quote)

    And now these days it’s also worth remembering, always.
  4. tundra
    tundra 12 November 2014 12: 35
    Fishing went to tank attacks on "Willis". And, as a rule, standing upright in a gray jumpsuit. From the open cockpit of the all-terrain vehicle, the battlefield is better visible. And there was a radio station in the car, so he led the actions of the crews ... ". \\\
  5. alexandrpav2029
    alexandrpav2029 12 November 2014 23: 13
    The article is frankly weak. Rybalko is all the best in our tank forces during the Second World War. It was he who achieved an increase in the engine hours for training mechanized drivers, it was he who changed the regulations for conducting a tank offensive (the tanks now went forward not with a "dashing cavalry attack", but only in conjunction with support artillery, in particular), it was he who ensured the victory at the Kursk Bulge - Rotmistrov fucked up its southern face near Prokhorovka, the Germans retreated there only because Rybalko's army on the northern face not only repulsed the German offensive, but also went ahead itself, and therefore the German breakthrough near Prokhorovka lost its meaning - there was no oncoming German strike from the north in order to encircle the entire of the Soviet group. It was his army that first approached Berlin. You will not read about this anywhere because Stalin was deeply worried about the "betrayal" of his comrade-in-arms - Rybalko after the war took the side of Zhukov. The revenge was cruel: Rybalko was almost completely erased from Soviet historiography, try to find his photo in the archives. Khrushchev continued Stalin's work all because of the same dislike for Zhukov and because Rybalko was a Stalinist - he was in the circle of Stalin's confidants. For these reasons, for example, in Soviet times, the history of the Ostrogozh-Rossosh operation was not written at all. For the same reason, the truth about the Kursk Bulge is perverted: Prokhorovka is exalted, where Rotmistrov lost to the Germans and ditched his army, and nowhere is a word about the successful strike of the 3rd Panzer Army. The photo is not signed correctly: Pavel Semyonovich was captured on it in the liberated Kharkov in February 1943. To his left, with a Red Star on his chest, is the son of Vasily Chapaev, Alexander, who at that time commanded the Attillery anti-tank unit with the rank of lieutenant colonel or colonel (I am writing from memory, sorry). It is inappropriate to throw out such weak, unfinished articles for general review. Just a shame of some kind, because we are talking about the best marshal of the armored forces of the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Amen.
  6. alexandrpav2029
    alexandrpav2029 12 November 2014 23: 34
    And further. This is based on his fate, the script for the film "officers". His son Vilen (short for Vladimir Lenin) burned down near Kharkiv in May 1942. The father, at that time a teacher of the military academy, could "smear" his son, but he was the MOST PRINCIPAL person. It was he who was not afraid to answer "head-on" Stalin to the question "Why do T-34s live on the battlefield several times less than similar German T-4s?" - "But because our mechanics, drivers do not even know how to change gears on the go. And this is done by your order to save the engine hours of thirty-fours - to devote five mechanical hours to training, which is not enough." Do you know the song on "Tanks Rumbled Across the Field"? This is a remake of a miners' song made in the 3rd Panzer Army. This is how it happened - they said almost nothing about Rybalko and his army, only indirectly remembered him through films and songs. By the way, "War as in War" is also about the 3rd Tank Army. Soviet historiography is such that the more you study it, the more you want to spit. In the villages liberated by the 3rd Tank Army during the Ostrogozh-Rossoshan operation, there are no names of his tankmen on the mass graves, they are "forgotten". Recently, with my small participation, even two "forgotten" graves of Rybalko's soldiers were found. (37th separate brigade, and one of the battalions of the 184th rifle division, were killed in January 1943)
  7. The comment was deleted.
  8. Altmann
    Altmann 7 October 2021 16: 27
    He was a hero, a soldier, a commander, words are useless for this. Just a memory and thank you