21.09.

1982: Ivan Bagramyan: The Only Armenian who Served as Marshal of the Soviet Union

1982: Ivan Bagramyan: The Only Armenian who Served as Marshal of the Soviet Union
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 21 September 1982
  • Bagramyan was the first non-Slavic member of the Soviet military forces who became the commander of a Front during World War II. He also became a Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1955.

Marshal Ivan Bagramyan, the only Armenian who has ever received a high rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union, died on this day in 1982.

Hovhannes Baghramyan was his name in the Armenian language (Hovhannes is the Armenian variant of John).

It is interesting to note that Bagramyan was the first non-Slavic member of the Soviet military forces to become the commander of a Front during World War II (in the USSR, a “Front” referred to the major strategic military units consisting of several armies, equivalent to the term “Army Group”).

Bagramyan was born in Chardakhlu (Çardaqlı) in today’s Azerbaijan, but his parents were Armenians. At the time when he was born (in 1897), that area was a part of the Russian Empire. In his youth, Bagramyan served in the Russian army during World War I.

He later joined the Bolsheviks, and progressed through the ranks between the two wars. When World War II started, he received the rank of Major General.

During World War II, Bagramyan reached the rank of the General of the Army. He was also decorated as a Hero of the Soviet Union.

In 1955, he became Marshal of the Soviet Union, and received his second medal in 1977. Interestingly, Bagramyan was the only Armenian who has ever become a Marshal of the Soviet Union.

But three other Armenians also held high ranks: Babadzhanian served as chief marshal of the armored troops of the Soviet Union, Isakov as admiral of the fleet, and Khudyakov as air marshal. All these ranks, except the rank of Admiral Isakov, were lower than the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union (only Stalin’s proposed rank of Generalissimo was higher than the mentioned rank).

Bagramyan died in Moscow in 1982, and was buried with full military honors at the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.

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