Rotmistrov, Marshal Pavel, 1901-1982

Rotmistrov was a successful Russian Tank Army Commander. On 19 December 1942 as Commander of the VII Tank Corps in the Stalingrad counteroffensive, he was involved in the defense of the River Myshkova line and inflicted heavy losses on the Germans, helping to halt von MANSTEIN’s advance. At Kursk, Rotmistrov commanded the V Guards Tank Corps which was part of KONEV’s Steppe Front. On 11-12 July he had to make a forced march of 210 miles to reach Prokhorovna which he executed brilliantly and arrived well-camouflaged. However Russian forces in the area were hard pressed and Rotmistrov had to counterattack on his own with no support. Over 1500 tanks and mobile guns were involved in this engagement in which Rotmistrov’s fierce assault left the Germans unable to dislodge him from the position he had established. The Germans lost 10,000 men and 300 tanks. Rotmistrov was then involved in the counterattack on Kharkov on 3 August.

In January 1944 Rotmistrov served in the Ukraine, again under Konev and was then promoted to Marshal of Armored Troops and Deputy Commander of the Red Army’s Armored Forces.

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