Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Moskalenko, Kirill Semenovich (1902–1985)

Soviet army general in command of the Thirty-Eighth Army at the end of the war. Born in the village of Grishino in the Donets region of Russia on 11 May 1902, Kirill Moskalenko joined the Red Army as a cadet in 1920 during the Russian Civil War and became a battery commander that same year. He joined the Communist Party in 1926 and, following routine military assignments, commanded a mechanized brigade in the Far East in 1935. Moskalenko fought in the 1939–1940 Finnish-Soviet War as an artillery commander in a rifle division and was promoted to brigadier general.

Promoted to major general of artillery in June 1940, he commanded the 1st Artillery Antitank Brigade at Kiev at the time of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. As commander of XV Rifle Corps, he managed to escape the Kiev encirclement that September and fought in the counteroffensive that saved Moscow in December. From March to July 1942, Moskalenko commanded the Thirty-Eighth Army of the Northern Attack Group on the north Donets River. During July and August, he commanded the First Tank Army and was engaged in heavy fighting along the lower Don River. He led the First Guards Army in counterattacks in the Battle for Stalingrad during August and September, then took over the Fortieth Army on the Voronezh Front in October.

Promoted to lieutenant general in January 1943 and colonel general that September, Moskalenko took command of the reconstituted Thirty-Eighth Army in Ukraine in October 1943. His forces liberated Kiev and then helped smash German Army Group South, driving the Germans back through the Carpathian Mountains. At the end of the war, the Thirty-Eighth Army was in Czechoslovakia, driving on Prague.

After the war, Moskalenko commanded the Moscow Air Defense District, and in 1953, he made the initial arrest of Lavrenty Beria, head of the Narodnyy Kommissariat Vnutrenniakh Del (NKVD, People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs). A protégé of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, he was promoted to marshal in 1955. Moskalenko then wrote his memoirs. He died in Moscow on 17 June 1985.

Spencer C. Tucker


Further Reading
Erickson, John. "Kirill Semenovich Moskalenko." In Harold Shukman, ed., Stalin's Generals, 137–153. New York: Grove Press, 1993.; Glantz, David M. From the Don to the Dnepr: Soviet Offensive Operations, December 1942–August 1943. London: Cass, 1991.; Moskalenko, K. S. Na Yugo-zapadnom napravlenii: Vospominiya komandarma. 2 vols. Moscow: Nauka, 1973.; Seaton, Albert, and Joan Seaton. The Soviet Army: 1918 to the Present. New York: New American Library, 1987.
 

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