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Aleksey Semenovich Zhadov
Native name Алексе́й Семёнович Жа́дов
Born (1901-03-30)30 March 1901
Died 10 November 1977(1977-11-10) (aged 76)
Place of birth Orel Oblast, Russian Empire
Place of death Moscow, Soviet Union
Allegiance  Soviet Union
Years of service 1919-1969
Rank Army General

Aleksey Semenovich Zhadov (Russian: Алексе́й Семёнович Жа́дов), born with the surname "Zhidov" (Russian: Жи́дов), was a Soviet military commander during World War II who commanded the 5th Guards Army from the Battle of Kursk up till the end of the war.

Early life and military career

Aleksey Zhadov was born on 30 March 1901 in the village of Nikolskoye in what is now Sverdlovsk district of Orel Oblast.[1] He joined the Red Army in 1919 and fought in the Russian Civil War.[1] He graduated from the Frunze Military Academy in 1934, and in 1940 he took command of a cavalry division.[1] During the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, he commanded 4th Airborne Corps of the Western Front.[2] Starting on 2 August 1941, he served as the Chief of Staff of the 3rd Army and participated in the Battle of Moscow.[2] In the summer of 1942 he commanded the 8th Cavalry Corps of the Bryansk Front. In October 1942 he took command of the 66th Army of the Don Front, which he commanded to the end of the war.[2] His army took part in the Battle of Stalingrad, during which on 25 November 1942 he changed his surname from "Zhidov" to "Zhadov" on Joseph Stalin's request,[2][3] because the name[lower-alpha 1] sounded Jewish.[2][4] Aleksey Zhadov was in reality ethnically Slav.[4]

A memorial plaque of Aleksey Zhadov at the building that once housed the headquarters of the 5th Guards Army in the village of New Prague, in present day Kirovohrad Oblast, Ukraine.

In April 1943 the 66th Army was renamed the 5th Guards Army for its bravery and tenacity displayed at Stalingrad.[2] The 5th Guards Army was subordinated to the Steppe Front, and later took part in the Battle of Prokhorovka during the Battle of Kursk.[2] Zhadov was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for his army's performance at the Battle of Kursk.[2] He participated in the Dnieper–Carpathian, Lvov–Sandomierz, Vistula–Oder and Prague Offensives.[1] He was awarded Hero of the Soviet Union on 6 April 1945.[1]

After World War II, he served as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Ground Forces from 1946 to 1949, and as the head of the Frunze Military Academy from 1950 to 1954.[1] From 1954 to 1955, he served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Central Group of Forces,[1] and from 1956 to 1964 served as First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Ground Forces.[2] In September 1964 he became First Deputy Chief Inspector of the Ministry of Defense of the Soviet Union.[1] He retired from active duty in 1969.[2] He died on 10 November 1977 and was buried at Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow. His war memoir, Четыре года войны ("Four years of war"), was published the following year in 1978.[2]

He was awarded three Orders of Lenin, an Order of October Revolution, five Orders of Red Banner, two Orders of Suvorov First Class, an Order of Kutuzov First Class, and an Order of the Red Star.[1]



  1. The Russian word Жидов ("Zhidov") means "Jews", and his surname was Жи́дов.

Inline citations


  • Zamulin, Valeriy; Britton, Stuart (2015). The Battle of Kursk 1943: The View through the Camera Lens. Solihull: Helion & Company. ISBN 978-1909982857. 
  • Parrish, Michael (1996). The Lesser Terror: Soviet State Security, 1939-1953. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0275951139. 

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