Issa Alexandrovich Pliyev (Ossetian: Плиты Алыксандры фырт Иссæ; Russian: Исса Александрович Плиев) (also spelled as Pliev) (25 November [O.S. 12 November] 1903 — 2 February 1979) was a Soviet military commander, Army General (1962), twice Hero of the Soviet Union (16 April 1944 and 8 September 1945), Hero of the Mongolian People's Republic (1971).

During World War II, Pliyev commanded several mechanized cavalry units, ranging from regiments to army corps. The military historians David Glantz and Jonathan House described Pliyev as a "great practitioner of cavalry operations in adverse terrain".[1] Pliyev became known in the West largely for his involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Early life and career

Issa Pliyev started his military career in the Red Army in 1922. He graduated from the Leningrad Cavalry school in 1926, from the Frunze Military Academy in 1933 and from the Soviet General Staff Academy. He joined the Communist party in 1926.[2]

World War II

At the start of the invasion of the Soviet Union, Pliyev commanded the 50th Cavalry Division (renamed Cavalry Division (page does not exist)">3rd Guards Cavalry Division). His unit participated in the Battle of Moscow and the Battle of Stalingrad.[2] Pliyev commanded cavalry-mechanized group consisting of Cavalry Corps">4th Guards Cavalry Corps and 4th Mechanized Corps during the Bereznegovataia-Snigirevka Operation along the Black Sea coast, as part of the 3rd Ukrainian Front under Army General Rodion Malinovsky.[3]

During Operation Bagration in the summer of 1944, part of the 1st Belorussian Front, Pliyev's cavalry-mechanized group attacked towards Slutsk.[4] According to Glantz and House, the unit was highly successful in exploiting the operational breakthrough.[1] In the fall of 1944, he commanded a cavalry-mechanized group consisting of two divisions during the Battle of Debrecen.[1]

He ended the war in command of the Soviet-Mongolian Cavalry-Mechanized Group of the Transbaikal front in Manchuria, fighting against the Japanese Kwantung Army.[5]


After the war, Pliyev continued his career in the military, and took command of the Stavropol Military District in February 1946. In June he became commander of the 9th Mechanized Army, stationed in Romania with the Southern Group of Forces. He commanded 13th Army between February 1947 and 1949, in western Ukraine. Pliyev graduated from higher academic courses at the Military Academy of the General Staff in 1949, and in April took command of the 4th Army in the Transcaucasian Military District. In June 1955, he was appointed First Deputy commander of the North Caucasus Military District, succeeding to command of the district in April 1958.[5]

On 27 April 1962 Pliyev was promoted to Army General (Soviet rank)">Army General. In June his troops took part in suppressing Novocherkassk riots.[6] During the Cuban Missile Crisis he was the commander of Group of Soviet forces as part of the Operation Anadyr in Cuba from July 1962 to May 1963.[2] After returning from Cuba, he assumed command of the North Caucasus Military District again.[5]

In June 1968, Pliyev became an advisor for the Ministry of Defense of the USSR's Group of Inspectors General, a position for elderly senior officers.[7] He lived in Rostov-on-Don and died on 6 February 1979 in Moscow. Pliyev was buried in the Walk of Fame in Vladikavkaz.[5]


Pliyev was awarded five Orders of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Suvorov (1st Class), Order of Kutuzov (1st Class), numerous medals and nine foreign orders. He was decorated twice Hero of the Soviet Union.[5]

Books authored

  • Плиев И.А.. Через Гоби и Хинган (Through the Gobi Desert and the Khingan Mountains). 1965.
  • Плиев И.А.. Конец Квантунской армии (The End of the Kwantung Army). 1969

See also



  1. ^ a b c Glantz & House 2015, p. 286.
  2. ^ a b c Roberts 2012, p. 149.
  3. ^ Glantz & House 2015, p. 247.
  4. ^ Glantz & House 2015, p. 268.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Issa Pliyev". Russian language text">Герои страны ("Heroes of the Country") (in Russian). Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  6. ^ Baron 2001, p. 46.
  7. ^ Reese 2002, p. 144.


  • Baron, Samuel H. (2001). Bloody Saturday in the Soviet Union: Novocherkassk, 1962. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804740937. 
  • Glantz, David; House, Jonathan (2015). When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 9780700621217. 
  • Reese, Roger R. (2002). The Soviet Military Experience: A History of the Soviet Army, 1917-1991. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-21719-9. 
  • Roberts, Priscilla Mary (2012). Cuban Missile Crisis: The Essential Reference Guide. Abc-Clio Inc. ISBN 9781610690652.