Popov, General Markian, 1902-1969

Popov began the war as Commander of the Leningrad Military District (which became the Northern Front in late 1941). He took part in the Battle for Stalingrad in 1942 as a Commander of Armored Divisions. On II February 1943 as part of TIMOSHENKO’s drive after Stalingrad, Popov captured Kharkov but was driven out by the massive German counterattack. In July 1943 at the Battle of Kursk, Popov commanded the Bryansk Front which with SOKOLOVSKY’s Western Front was to wait in reserve until after the German offensive had been repulsed. On 12 July, two days after KLUGE ordered the German Army onto the defensive, Popov came down from the north onto Kluge’s Army in the Orel area and delivered a mighty blow. Popov advanced from Orel in the second half of August to Bryansk. In 1944 Popov was given the command of the 2nd Baltic Front which with two other Fronts could only advance slowly because of the fortifications they encountered in the north. He was replaced by YEREMENKO when he failed to take Riga. Although he was a competent General he was never really trusted by STALIN.

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