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Rodion Malinovsky

Rodion Malinovsky, often hailed as a brilliant military strategist, Rodion Malinovsky, rose to prominence during World War II. His contributions, Rodion Malinovsky, were instrumental in shaping the outcome of several pivotal battles.

James Foster
James Foster
Nov 14, 2023494 Shares30.9K Views
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  1. Early Life Of Rodion Malinovsky
  2. Rodion Malinovsky During WWI
  3. Rodion Malinovsky Services In World War II
  4. Rodion Malinovsky Services After WWII
  5. Awards And Honors Of Rodion Malinovsky
  6. Rodion Malinovsky - FAQs
  7. Conclusion
Rodion Malinovsky

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovsky served as the Marshal of the Soviet Union and as the Minister of Defense of the Soviet Union. He was a prominent military leader in the Soviet Union.

During World War II, he made significant contributions to the overthrow of Nazi Germanyin critical battles, including the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Budapest. In the years immediately following World War II, he made a significant contribution to the rebuilding of the Soviet Union as a dominant military power.

Following his passing, Malinovsky was accorded a state funeral and cremated after the ceremony. The urn containing his remains was interred at the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the life of Rodion Malinovskyas well as the contributions he made to the community.

Early Life Of Rodion Malinovsky

Malinovsky, who is Ukrainian, was brought into the world by a single mother in the city of Odesa. After getting married, Malinovsky's mother moved quickly out of the city and into the countryside in southern Russia. Malinovsky was only 13 years old when his pauper spouse, who was struggling to make ends meet, refused to adopt their kid and kicked him out of the house.

The orphaned child was able to put food on the table for his family by finding employment as a farmhand. Eventually, his aunt's family took him in and provided him with refuge in Odessa, where he worked as an errand boy at a general shop.

Soviet marshal Rodion Malinovsky
Soviet marshal Rodion Malinovsky

Rodion Malinovsky During WWI

Malinovsky was caught hiding on the military train that was traveling to the German front at the outbreak of World War I in July 1914. At the age of fifteen, he was deemed too young to serve in the armed forces.

Despite this, he persuaded the commanding commanders to accept his volunteerism, and he was sent to a machine-gun detachment in the trenches forward of the front lines. He was given his first military decoration, the Cross of St. George of the 4th class, in October 1915 for fending off a German onslaught.

He was also promoted to corporal. Not too long later, he suffered severe injuries and was hospitalized for several months.

He was transferred to France in 1916 as a member of the Russian Expeditionary Corps on the Western Front once he recovered. Malinovsky was promoted to sergeant after fighting in a fiercely contested area of the front close to Fort Brion. The French government awarded him a decoration after suffering a critical injury to his left arm.

The French government dissolved some Russian regiments following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Still, others were reassigned to the newly formed Russian Legion, which was a part of the Moroccan Division. Malinovsky battled the Germans all the way to the conclusion of the conflict. He received the French Croix de Guerre during this period and was elevated to senior NCO.

Rodion Malinovsky Services In World War II

Following Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Malinovsky proved to be a capable general despite the Red Army suffering severe setbacks and losing hundreds of thousands of soldiers due to German encirclements. Along the Prut River, his corps of three partially constructed rifle divisions met the German Blitzkrieg.

Red Army generals usually led their forces from behind the front lines, but Malinovsky traveled to the critical areas of the fighting to support and cheer on his men. Defying the enemy's attempts to encircle his forces, Malinovsky was forced to retire down the Black Sea beach after failing to stop the Wehrmacht.

The Germans managed to encircle his army at Mykolaiv; however, Malinovsky managed to get past their defenses and withdrew to Dnipropetrovsk. He was elevated to Chief of Staff of the severely damaged 6th Army in August and took over as its commander shortly after.

He was made a lieutenant general for stopping the German advance in his sector of the front. Following the Red Army's withdrawal to the Donbas, Malinovsky led a combined offensive, including the 6th and 12th armies, successfully expelling the Wehrmacht from the area.

Command of the Southern Front, which comprised two horse corps the size of divisions and three feeble field armies, was given to Malinovsky in December 1941. Despite their lack of supplies and personnel, Malinovsky was able to penetrate well into the German fortifications, which were also suffering from shortages and exhaustion after six months of battle.

Rodion Malinovsky Standing In Snow
Rodion Malinovsky Standing In Snow

Rodion Malinovsky In Battle Of Kharkov

In the Second Battle of Kharkov, on May 12, 1942, Malinovsky and the Southwestern Front, led by Timoshenko, together launched an offensive that drove the Germans back 100 kilometers (62 mi).

Timoshenko lost badly because he misjudged the Red Army's offensive prowess. Stalin became suspicious that Malinovsky had purposefully let his troops down, even though he supported the disastrous Kharkov attack despite the opposition of his top military advisors.

The Southern Front was pulled out of action in July 1942, and its personnel and units were sent to the North Caucasian Front as a Don Operational Group, commanded by Malinovsky, who also assumed the role of deputy commander for the Front.

Stalin gave Malinovsky the command to prevent the German Army Group A from invading Rostov-on-Don and the strategically essential oilfields in the Caucasus. The Germans outclassed Malinovsky technologically and were able to breach his feeble fortifications. Stavka dissolved the Don Operational Group in September as a result.

Rodion Malinovsky As Commander Of Stalingrad And Ukrainian Front

While the Red Army battled in the Battle of Stalingrad, Stalin assigned Malinovsky command of the hastily assembled 66th Army, which had to hold territories northeast of Stalingrad. Nikita Khrushchev, Stalingrad's top political officer, was also given orders by Stalin to "keep an eye" on Malinovsky.Reference needed

Although the 66th Army lacked combat experience, Malinovsky had never before commanded an almost fully manned army. He attacked in September and October of 1942. Although he didn't win much ground, he stopped the Germans from surrounding Stalingrad from the north, and as they slowed down, they advanced inside the city.

Later that month, Stavka placed Malinovsky as deputy commander of the Voronezh Front; he returned to Stalingrad in December 1942. The German Sixth Army was surrounded by Red Army fronts on November 22, marking the army's biggest win of the conflict.

At Kotelnikovo, 150 km (93 mi) west of Stalingrad, Field Marshal Erich von Manstein's German Army Group Don gathered its Panzer forces and began a frantic drive to save the Sixth Army.

In the battle against Hoth, Malinovsky led the powerful Soviet Second Guards Army. In a ferocious struggle, he forced the Germans to retreat, broke through their well-defended positions, and destroyed the Kotelnikovo army grouping. In WWII, Germany lost its first significant armored combat.

In Stalingrad, 250,000 German and Axis soldiers perished as a result of Malinovsky's victory. Malinovsky received the Order of Suvorov of the First Degree for excellent generalship from Stalin, who also promoted him to colonel general.

In February 1943, Malinovsky seized back control of the Southern Front, and within two weeks, he drove Manstein out of Rostov-on-Don, opening the door for the Red Army to advance into Ukraine.

In March 1943, Stalin promoted him to the rank of Army General and gave him command of the Southwestern Front, which was created to drive out German forces from the industrially prosperous Donbas. Mid-October, Malinovsky ambushed and captured Zaporizhia, a strategically significant city. The battle kept Crimea apart from the Eastern Front and split German troops in the South.

On October 20, Southwestern Front changed its name to Third Ukrainian Front. Between December 1943 and April 1944, Malinovsky's native town of Odessa, as well as Kherson and Mykolaiv, were liberated from the German Army Group South in southern Ukraine. According to Khrushchev, Stalin had by then grown more assured of Malinovsky's loyalty.

Rodion Malinovsky's Services For Romania And Hungary

Malinovsky was sent to the 2nd Ukrainian Front in May 1944. He drove the Germans from the remaining Soviet lands and, together with Marshal Ivan Konev and Army General Fyodor Tolbukhin (who took over Malinovsky's old command over the smaller 3rd Ukrainian Front), he took part in an abortive invasion of the Balkans.

However, Malinovsky launched a highly effective Soviet version of the Blitzkrieg during the second Jassy-Kishinev Offensive in late August and early September 1944. Approximately 215,000 German and 200,000 Romanian troops were annihilated or captured by him and Tolbukhin, compelling Romania to depose pro-German Conducător Ion Antonescu and join the Allies.

Stalin, full of victory, brought Malinovsky back to Moscow and appointed him Marshal of the Soviet Union on September 10, 1944. Moreover, Malinovsky had the position of titular leader of the Allied Commission in Romania, which Vladislav Petrovich Vinogradov represented.

He persisted in his attack, crossing the Southern Carpathians into Transylvania (into the Northern Transylvania governed by the Hungarians), and on October 20, 1944, he took Debrecen, which was being held back by a sizable Axis force.

After fighting for several months, his soldiers were worn out and in need of resupply, but Stalin gave Malinovsky the order to capture Budapest, the capital of Hungary, in order to pave the way for Vienna and capture it ahead of the Western Allies. Malinovsky obeyed Stalin's orders with the aid of Tolbukhin and the First and Fourth Romanian Armies. Still, he had to contend with Adolf Hitler's unwavering will to hold Budapest at any cost.

Hitler engaged the majority of his Panzer troops six Waffen SS divisions and five army Panzer divisions, or one-fourth of the Wehrmacht's armor in an attempt to turn Budapest into a "German Stalingrad" and weaken German forces opposing the Red Army in Poland and Prussia as well as those battling the Western Allies on the Rhine.

After an arduous struggle on February 13, 1945, Malinovsky's superior tactical and strategic abilities allowed him to overcome the inadequacy of his forces and take control of Budapest. He took 70,000 captives with him. Malinovsky continued his march westward, routing the Germans in Slovakia, liberating Bratislava, capturing Vienna on April 4, 1945, and, on April 26, 1945, freeing Brno, the second-largest city in Czechoslovakia.

The Soviet Union gained control of the Danubian heartland of Europe with these fresh conquests. Stalin gave him the Order of Victory, the highest military honor bestowed to Soviet soldiers at the time, as payment. After liberating Brno in the Czech lands, Malinovsky concluded his European campaign and witnessed a joyous reunion of his and the American advance forces.

Rodion Malinovsky Saluting
Rodion Malinovsky Saluting

Rodion Malinovsky Services After WWII

Malinovsky stayed in the Far East to oversee military forces there for more than ten years after the Second World War instead of moving west. During the Korean Peninsula War (1950–1953), he oversaw the Soviet Union's military consulting efforts with North Korea as well. Following Stalin's death, Nikita Khrushchev, the new head of the Communist Party, summoned Malinovsky to Moscow.

One of the "symbols" of the Soviet Union's triumph in World War II, Georgy Zhukov, gave up the top army position to him when he was appointed First Deputy to the Minister of Defense in 1956. Following his appointment, Malinovsky made every effort to strengthen the nation's military power. He started by attempting to downplay Khrushchev's efforts to shrink the Soviet armed forces.

He was in favor of the Armed Forces developing in a balanced manner without experiencing significant infrastructural setbacks. Secondly, he did not subscribe to the idea that the world war could be won by nuclear force. Malinovsky was a fervent supporter of the conventional forces' balanced growth.

Even in the midst of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when the USSR and the US were on the verge of nuclear war, he attempted to stick to this plan. Malinovsky kept working to make the Soviet Army the most proficient and potent army in the world after it was all done. His "recipe" included keeping up parity with the US in terms of conventional and nuclear weapons.

Awards And Honors Of Rodion Malinovsky

Throughout his career, Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovsky was bestowed with several accolades and distinctions, making him a distinguished military officer. He was awarded the Cross of St. George, third and fourth class, in the Russian Empire. His efforts were honored in the Soviet Union with a number of distinguished honors, including the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, which he was bestowed with twice throughout his lifetime.

In addition, he received several honors and decorations: the Order of Victory, the highest military medal in the USSR; the Order of Lenin five times; the Order of the Red Banner three times; and the Order of Suvorov First Class twice.

For his service, he was awarded many medals, including those for the capture of Japan, Vienna, Budapest, and the Caucasus, as well as for defending Stalingrad and Odessa. In addition, he received jubilee medals commemorating the Soviet Army and Navy's anniversaries as well as the Great Patriotic War triumph.

With honors like the Grand Officer of the Legion d'Honneur from France, the Golden Order of the Partisan Star from Yugoslavia, and the Order of the People's Hero from Yugoslavia, Malinovsky's worldwide recognition was equally noteworthy.

Honors from Mongolia, Czechoslovakia, the US, Hungary, Indonesia, Romania, China, Morocco, and other nations demonstrated his influence on the world stage and the recognition he garnered for his military prowess and services.

Rodion Malinovsky - FAQs

Who Was Rodion Malinovsky?

Rodion Malinovsky was a Soviet military commander and Marshal of the Soviet Union.

What Role Did Malinovsky Play During World War Ii?

Malinovsky was instrumental in the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in the Battle of Stalingrad and the Siege of Budapest.

How Many Times Was Rodion Malinovsky Awarded The Title "Hero Of The Soviet Union"?

Twice in his lifetime, Rodion Malinovsky had the honor of being named a "Hero of the Soviet Union."


A notable character in Soviet and military history was Rodion Malinovsky. He went from modest beginnings to become a Soviet Marshal and was crucial to the Soviet Union's triumph over Nazi Germany in World War II. The several honors and medals he won from the Soviet Union and other countries demonstrated his leadership, strategic brilliance, and devotion to his country.

Beyond his combat accomplishments, Malinovsky left a lasting impact by assisting in the development of the Soviet Army into a powerful force and enhancing the perception of the Soviet Union as a world military might. His life and work serve as an excellent example of commitment, grit, and greatness in serving one's country.

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