In March 1941, Petrov formed a mechanized corps in the Central Asian Military District, and in May, he won promotion to major general. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Petrov served mainly in the Crimea and Caucasus regions. He first commanded the 2nd Cavalry Division before Odessa and then the Special Maritime Army in the Crimea from August to October 1941. Forced to withdraw to the Crimea, he commanded Sevastopol's land defenses and escaped at the end of June with other senior commanders just before Sevastopol was captured by the Germans. In October, Petrov took command of the Forty-Fourth Army in the Crimea. Promoted to lieutenant general, he was then chief of staff of the North Caucasus Front.
Promoted to colonel general in August 1943, Petrov led the Novorossisk-Taman Offensive during September and October 1943 and was advanced to general of the army. Following command differences, he was demoted to colonel general and removed from his post in January 1944. That March, he took command of the Thirty-Third Army. He took command of the Fourth Ukrainian Front in August 1944, regaining the rank of full general.
Petrov led the Western Carpathian Offensive in January and February 1945, but he was removed following a failed offensive in March. At war's end, he was chief of staff of the 1st Ukrainian Front in the Berlin Offensive. He was among the Soviet generals dispersed to distant posts after the war and headed the Tashkent Military District from July 1945 until 1952. Petrov died in Moscow on 7 April 1958.
Spencer C. Tucker
Bialer, Seweryn, ed. Stalin and His Generals: Soviet Military Memoirs of World War II. New York: Pegasus, 1969.; Kournakoff, Sergi N. Russia's Fighting Forces. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1942.