Hamazasp Khachaturi Babadzhanian (Armenian: Համազասպ
Խաչատուրի Բաբաջանյան; Russian: Амазасп
Хачатурович Бабаджанян, Amazasp Khachaturovich
Babadzhanyan; 18 February 1906 – 1 November 1977) was a Soviet
military commander, veteran of the Second World War, and Chief marshal
of the armored troops of the Soviet Union. He was awarded the title
Hero of the
Soviet Union in 1944.
1.1 Early life
1.2 World War II
1.3 Later career
3 Published works
4 Honours and awards
6 External links
Babadzhanian was born into an impoverished Armenian family in the
village of Chardakhlu near
Yelizavetpol (later Kirovabad, now Ganja,
Azerbaijan), then part of the Russian Empire. Ivan Bagramyan, a fellow
Armenian who would also go on to become a Marshal of the Soviet Union,
was born in the same village. Babadzhanian attended the local,
four-year primary school in Chardakhlu before moving to Tiflis
(Tbilisi) in 1915 to continue his education at an Armenian secondary
school there. His family, however, was unable to support him
financially for long and he was forced to return to home, where he
went to work in the fields.
In 1925, Babadzhanian applied to the Red Army's Alexander Miasnikyan
Unified Military School in Yerevan, Armenia. The school was later
relocated to Tbilisi and renamed the Transcaucasus United Infantry
School, and he graduated from there as an officer in 1929. He was
given various postings throughout the Soviet Union, serving as a
commander of a battalion and later as a deputy for the army corps
based in the Transcaucasian Military District. Babadzhanian rounded
out his studies at the
Frunze Military Academy
Frunze Military Academy in 1937, attaining the
rank of major. In 1938 he was appointed as deputy of the commander of
a regiment in Leningrad before being sent to the front following the
outbreak of the Finno-Soviet
Winter War in 1939-1940. He served
with distinction in the fighting and was later given command of the
751st Rifle Regiment, based in the Northern Caucasus Military
World War II
On July 5, a few weeks following Germany's invasion of the Soviet
Union, Babadzhanian was dispatched to Smolensk, where he assumed
command of the 395th Rifle Regiment, 127th Rifle Division. His unit
was involved in a rearguard action during a temporary retreat, putting
up stiff resistance against Axis forces before turning once again to
the offensive. His unit was the first to re-enter the city of Yelnya
on September 8, 1941, a feat which earned it permission to rest and
refit in Kursk. Fighting, however, soon enveloped that part of Ukraine
and Babadzhanian's regiment engaged Axis forces in
Fatezh and assisted
in the evacuation of Kursk.
Over the course of 1942, Babadzhanian's unit increasingly took part in
offensive operations. In the winter of 1941-42, his division was sent
to the southwestern front. In January, he was ordered to attack and
capture German positions in the village of Sokolia Plota.
Reconnaissance revealed that the Germans had concentrated there a
force six times larger than his, a fact that forced him to launch an
attack that would strike it on the flanks. His maneuver was successful
in driving a wedge between the defending forces, which suffered heavy
casualties and withdrew from their positions. His regiment went on
to capture the village of Vipolzovo and Shumakovo Station, the
beginning terminus to the Kursk-
Belgorod railway line, and drove deep
into the region of Sedvenskiyi, south-east of Kursk. In September
1942, he was made commander the 3rd Mechanized Brigade of the Third
In July 1943, Babadzhanian's was sent north to take part in the Battle
of Kursk. He was given command of the 20th Tank Brigade, which at the
time was part of the Soviet Guards 8th Mechanized Corps. His brigade
was tasked with blocking the Germans' northern and southern advances
Kursk by taking up position at an intersection near Oboyan. The
brigade sustained heavy losses from German armor assaults, and
Babadzhanian himself was wounded during the course of the attacks. He
rapidly recovered from his injuries and returned to active duty.
His unit was incorporated into the
1st Ukrainian Front
1st Ukrainian Front and sent once
more to take part in the struggle to evict the Axis out of Ukraine.
Over the course of the winter of 1943-44 Babadzhanian's brigade
participated in the liberation of the towns and villages of Vinnytsia,
Zhmerynka, and Ternopil. The tanks under Babadzhanian's command
distinguished themselves in particular in the battle of Koziatyn,
which resulted in the annihilation of the German 70th Motorized Rifle
Division and its two regiments.
In March 1944, Babadzhanian led his brigade across the
Dniester in a
drive to retake the town of Stanislav. After eleven days of heavy
fighting his forces took and occupied the right bank of the river. For
its efforts, the commanders of the 8th Mechanized Corps on April 2
conferred upon Babadzhanian the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
From the summer of 1944 until 1945, his forces fought as part of the
1st and 2nd Belorussian Fronts. On August 25, 1944, Babadzhanian, then
a lieutenant colonel, was made commander of the 11th Guards Tank
Corps, part of the 1st Guards Tank Army.
In January 1945, as part of the Vistula–
Oder Offensive, his armor
provided heavy fire support for the units advancing into Poland, where
they reduced the fortresses guarding the inner approaches into the
country, and helped them in the capture of the cities of Łódź,
Kutno, and Poznań. By the end of the month, Babadzhanian's corps had
reached the borders of Germany and begun military operations to take
Landsberg, Tczew, Wejherowo, and a host of other towns in
Pomerania. As part of the 1st Belorussian Front, on February 2,
the 11th Tank Corps crossed the
Oder and, with artillery and air
support, and took part in the capture of Frankfurt an der Oder. His
forces arrived in time to take part in the battle for Berlin, fighting
in heavy street battles, alongside units of the 1st Ukrainian Front,
and participating in the seizure of the Reichstag.
On July 11, 1945, Babadzhanian was promoted to major general in the
Soviet tank forces. He graduated from the Military Academy of the
General Staff in 1948, and was appointed with responsible command
positions. Babadzhanian served as the 1st Deputy Commander of the
Carpathian Military District from 1950 to 1951.
In November 1956, Babadzhanian led the 8th Mechanized Army to
Budapest, during the Soviet intervention that led to the crushing of
the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. From 1959, he was commander-in-chief
of the forces in the
Odessa Military District. From 1967 to 1969,
he was the head of the Rodion Malinovsky Military Academy of Armored
Forces and from May 1969, chief of the tank forces. Babadzhanian was a
Deputy of the
Soviet of Nationalities
Soviet of Nationalities during its sixth and seventh
convocations, representing the Moldavian SSR. From 1969 to 1977, he
was head of armored forces of the Soviet Army. Babadzhanian became
Chief Marshal of the Tank and Armored Troops on April 29, 1975 (one of
only two men to attain this rank) and held the position until his
He died in
Moscow on November 1, 1977 and was buried with full honors
at the Novodevichy Cemetery.
Babadzhanian (2nd from r.), featured with Bagramyan, Isakov, and
Khudyakov, on an Armenian stamp
In 1978, an area in the North-Western Administrative District of
Moscow was named after Babadzhanian. One of the streets in
named after Babadzhanian. A street in
Odessa was renamed the Marshal
Babadzhanian Street on 22 December 2012.
On 23 May 2016, a monumental statue of Marshal Hamazasp Babadzhanian
was erected in the Armenian capital
Yerevan on a street bearing his
(in Russian) Дороги Победы [The Road to Victory]. Moscow:
Molodaia Gvardiia, 1972.
(in Russian) Tанки и Tанковые Войска [Tanks and Tank
Forces]. Moscow: Voenizdat, 1970.
Honours and awards
Babadzhanian was mentioned in orders from the Supreme Soviet of the
Soviet Union 15 times, the 23rd most of all commanders.
Hero of the
Soviet Union (26 April 1944)
Order of Lenin, four times
Order of the October Revolution
Order of the Red Banner, four times
Order of Suvorov, 1st class
Order of Suvorov, 2nd class
Order of Kutuzov, 1st class
Order of the Patriotic War, 1st class
Order of the Red Star, twice
Jubilee Medal "In Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary since the
Birth of Vladimir Il'ich Lenin"
Medal "For the Defence of Moscow"
Medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War
Jubilee Medal "Twenty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War
Jubilee Medal "Thirty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War
Medal "For the Capture of Berlin"
Medal "For the Liberation of Warsaw"
Medal "For the Development of Virgin Lands", twice
Jubilee Medal "30 Years of the Soviet Army and Navy"
Jubilee Medal "40 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
Jubilee Medal "50 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
Order of the Red Banner
Medal "50 Years of the Mongolian People's Revolution"
Medal "30 Years of Victory over Japan's military"
Medal "30 Years of Victory Halkin-Gol"
Medal "40 Years of Victory Halkin-Gol"
Medal "50 Years of the Mongolian People's Army"
Order of Polonia Restituta, 5th class
^ a b c d e (in Armenian) Anon. «Բաբաջանյան,
Համազասպ Խաչատուրի» [Babajanyan, Hamazasp
Khachaturi]. Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia. Yerevan: Armenian Academy
of Sciences, 1976, vol. 2, p. 188.
^ (in Armenian) Khaleyan, Yervand, "Համազասպ
Խաչատուրի Բաբաջանյան," [Hamazasp Khachaturi
Babadzhanian] in Գիրք հերոսների մասին [A book about
heroes], Yervand Khaleyan et al. (eds.) Yerevan: Armenian Academy of
Sciences, 1964, p. 23.
^ a b Khaleyan, "Hamazasp Khachaturi Babadzhanian," p. 24.
^ Babadzhanian, Hamazasp. Дороги Победы. Moscow: Molodaia
Gvardiia, 1972, pp. 36ff.
^ Babadzhanian. Дороги Победы, p. 62.
^ Khaleyan, "Hamazasp Khachaturi Babadzhanian," pp. 24-25.
^ a b Khaleyan, "Hamazasp Khachaturi Babadzhanian," p. 25.
^ Babadzhanian. Дороги Победы, pp. 225-35.
^ Duffy, Christopher. Red Storm on the Reich: The Soviet March on
Germany, 1945. London: Routledge, 1991, pp. 109-10.
^ Erickson, John. Stalin's War with Germany: The Road to Berlin. New
Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999, p. 471.
^ Babadzhanian. Дороги Победы, pp. 269-82.
^ Soviet Military Review (1969), p. 51.
^ Parrish, Michael, "Armenian Military Leaders in the U.S.S.R.: Some
Armenian Review 29/4 (Winter 1976): p. 404.
МОСКВИЧИ ПОМНЯТ ВАС page 9 Accessed 27 November 2016.
^ В Одессе появилась улица маршала и
Героя Советского Союза Амазаспа
Бабаджаняна - 22 Декабря 2012 - Аналитика -
новости Украины (in Russian). Analitika.at.ua. Retrieved
7 November 2013.
^ Marshal Hamazasp Babadzhanian's statue erected in the capital
^ БЛАГОДАРНОСТЬ БЕЗ БЛАГОВОЛЕНИЯ (in
Russian). Duel.ru. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
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Heroes of the Soviet Union: Hamazasp Khachaturovich Babadzhanian