Marshal Hovhannes Baghramian

Marshal Ivan (Hovhannes) Khatchaduri Baghramian was born in 1897 in the village of Chartakhlu, Armenia, 1897. He was educated in Tbilisi, Georgia. In 1915, he volunteered in Russian army, fighting for the Bolsheviks and in 1921, the Sovietisation of Lori and Georgia. He was commander of the First Armenian Cavalry Brigade from 1923–31. Baghramian attended the Frunze Military Academy from 1931–1934.

During World War II, Baghramian was the first non-Slavic military officer to become a commander of a Front. He was among several Armenians in the Soviet Army who held the highest proportion of high-ranking officers in the Soviet military during the war. Baghramian’s experience in military planning as a chief of staff allowed him to distinguish himself as a capable commander in the early stages of the Soviet counter-offensives against Nazi Germany. He was given his first command of a unit in 1942, and in November 1943 received his most prestigious command as the commander of the 1st Baltic Front. As commander of the Baltic Front, he participated in the offensives which pushed German forces out of the Baltic republics.

He did not immediately join the Communist Party after the consolidation of the October Revolution, becoming a member only in 1941, a move atypical for a Soviet military officer. After the war, he served as a deputy member of the Supreme Soviets of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic and Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic and was a regular attendee of the Party Congresses. In 1952, he became a candidate for entry into the Central Committee and, in 1961, was inducted as a full member. For his contributions during the war, he was widely regarded as a national hero in the Soviet Union, and continues to hold such esteemed status among Armenians.

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