There is an amazing, almost unbelievable fact in the military history of the Soviet Union: on April 9, 1943, Stalin awarded the rank of General Naumov to Mikhail . At first glance, there is nothing special about this, since during the war many of the military were awarded general ranks. Then what is the fantastic order of the Supreme Commander?
Yes, in April 1943, Naumov was only a captain! In other words, he “missed” three military ranks at once : major, lieutenant colonel and colonel. I must also say that at that time Mikhail was only 35 years old from his birthday. In fact, he became one of the youngest military generals. in the USSR. But, of course, not at all by the will of some magical event. Mikhail had an ideal biography for that time – from a simple working family, a member of the party, a successful military commander. And, just as importantly, the service was in the border troops , which, since Hitler’s Germany’s attack on the USSR, have shown the most stubborn resistance to the Germans. There was even an order from Hitler: not to capture Soviet border guards for perseverance, but to shoot on the spot. However, there was no one to shoot – the border guards did not surrender. Those who survived the battles organized partisan detachments. One of them was commanded by Naumov. Then the detachment enlarged. In January 1943, Naumov already commanded a whole partisan formation, in which there were seven detachments. The military successes of this unit received a message to Stalin. Observing the reports on the further development of events and seeing that the commander of the compound was acting competently and courageously, Stalin assigned Naumov the general rank.
Many years later, Nikita Khrushchev used this method to celebrate the courage of Soviet people . As you know, Yuri Gagarin flew into space with the rank of senior lieutenant, and landed as a major. It is interesting to note that Stalin did not invent anything new with the assignment of a general rank to Captain Naumov. He simply continued the tradition that emerged in the 1920s during the Civil War. Then, it was customary to nominate very young but very active Red Army men to high military posts. Although the Red Army did not have a general rank then, but in terms of the scale of the military formations commanded by the young commanders, in fact it was precisely the general powers. Yakir at the age of 22 commanded a whole group of troops, Primakov at the age of 23 – the corps, Lazo at the age of 24 commanded the front, Tukhachevsky at the age of 27 – the army. Stalin especially singled out pilots. So, general aviation in 28 years became Grigory Kravchenko , 29 years, was awarded the rank of general Paul Levers , a general at age 32 became Ivan Kopec .
Of course, in the USSR, when promoted to command military posts, combat experience was taken into account. But in the first place, Stalin had a man’s devotion to the ideas of the revolution and a desire not to spare himself for the sake of the people. And such a line in life was characteristic precisely for young people. General ranks from Stalin himself significantly increased their authority among the military. At the same time, they pledged to justify the trust of the Supreme Commander.