In June 1940, Yeremenko took command of a mechanized corps and was promoted to lieutenant general. When the German army invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, he was commanding the First Red Banner Far Eastern Army. Recalled to the west, he replaced General Dimitri Pavlov as Western Front commander, helping to restore a degree of stability. An outstanding tactician, he understood the importance of airpower and the need to mass armor.
In August 1941, Yeremenko assumed command of the new Bryansk Front, where he was seriously wounded in October. After his recovery, he was promoted to colonel general and put in command of Fourth Shock Army in the defense of Moscow. Again seriously wounded in February 1942, Yeremenko took command of the Southeast Front, defending Stalingrad, in August. In January 1943, he assumed command of the Southern Front, pushing the Germans out of the Caucasus. Transferred to command the Kalinin Front in April 1943, he was made General of the Army in August.
Yeremenko commanded the 1st Baltic Front in October and November 1943 for the advance on Smolensk. He then led the Independent (Black Sea) Maritime Front in the eastern Crimea, before heading the 4th Ukrainian Front from March to July 1945.
Following the end of the war, Yeremenko commanded, in turn, the Carpathian, West Siberian, and North Caucasus Military Districts until 1958. He next served as inspector general of the Ministry of Defense, until his death in Moscow on 19 November 1970.
Spencer C. Tucker
Bialer, Seweryn, ed. Stalin and His Generals: Soviet Military Memoirs of World War II. New York: Pegasus, 1969.; Shukman, Harold, ed. Stalin's Generals. New York: Grove Press, 1993.