Chronicle of war:

David Dragunsky
David Dragunsky15.2.1910 - 12.10.1992

David Dragunsky was commander of the 55th Guards Tank Brigade of the 3rd Guards Tank Army of the 1st Ukrainian Front, Guards Colonel.

He was born on 2 (15) February 1910, in Svyatsk village, today Novozybkov district of the Bryansk region in a large family of a tailor-craftsman. Jewish. After graduating from high school named after M. Kalinin in Novozybkov (now middle school № 1) on the basis of the Komsomol voucher he left for the construction site in Moscow, where he worked as a digger, a laborer, apprentice plumber, a plumber. At the age of 19 he was elected to the Krasnaya Presnya District Council. In 1931 he was sent to Akhmatovo village of the Kalinin region to participate in collectivization. A member of the CPSU (B) / CPSU since 1931.

In 1933, D. Dragunsky was drafted into the Red Army, and he became a cadet in Saratov Armored School. After graduating in 1936, he was sent to the Far East as a tank platoon commander. A year later he became commander of a tank company. During the service Dragunsky was the first in the Far East who guided the T-26 tank under water across the river Seyfun and in a quarter of an hour he brought it to the other side. To unsuitable for crossing water obstacles fighting machine withstood the test, Dragunsky re-equipped the tank, adding two tubes and smearing leaking areas with grease and red lead. Shown by the young officer initiative was awarded a nominal watch from the division commander.

The commander of a tank company D. Dragunsky in 1938, took part in battles at Lake Hassan, for which he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. In early 1939, he became a student of the Military Academy named after M. Frunze.

First Lieutenant Dragunsky met the Great Patriotic War at the fort Osovets on the western border of the Soviet Union. He was in the 2nd Belarusian Division among the Academy students on probation. On his return to Moscow, on July 21, 1941 he was appointed commander of a tank battalion at the Western Front.

Dragunsky’s Battalion fought valiantly against the Nazi invaders, near Smolensk dealing crushing blows to the enemy. In September 1941, there were no tanks in the battalion, and the staff was sent to the Urals to the training center. Dragunsky was appointed Chief of Staff of the 242nd Infantry Division which included a battalion; then chief of intelligence group of General Khoruzhenko.

In November 1941, D. Dragunsky enrolled in the General Staff Academy, and in April 1942, graduated from it. Then he was in disposal of Marshal S. Budyonny as a senior assistant to the operational management chief of the North Caucasus direction, then the front.

In autumn of 1942, D. Dragunsky was appointed Intelligence chief of the 3rd Mechanized Corps, then Chief of Staff of the 1st Mechanized Brigade of the same case. He participated in Battle of Kursk. On August 11, 1943 was shot ...

On October 21, 1943 Lieutenant Colonel D. Dragunsky was appointed commander of the 55th Guards Tank Brigade that distinguished in the liberation of Vasilkov city and the capital of the Ukraine – Kiev (on November 6, 1943) and the Right-Bank Ukraine.

By the Order of the People’s Commissar of Defense, Joseph Stalin, the 55th Guards Tank Brigade was given the honorary title of “Vasylkovskaia”

On December 9, 1943 D. Dragunsky was badly wounded. That day, during a fierce battle near the town of Malin (Zhitomir region) brigade commander’s tank burst forward and was hit. More than half a year a brave tank commander was on treatment, having learned the terrible news that his father, mother and two sisters were shot by fascist in his native Bryansk region, and his two brothers were killed at the front.

On July 25, 1944 Guards Colonel D. Dragunsky without the involvement of the commander of the 3rd Guards Tank Army, Colonel-General P. Rybalko returned to their team. And two days later, on July 27, 1944, Dragunovsky’s tankers were involved in the release of Gorodok and Lvov.

During the Lvov-Sandomierz operation of the 1st Ukrainian Front in late July 1944, the 55th Guards Tank Brigade went to the river Vistula. Since the crossing means with logistics support were behind, Brigade Commander Dragunsky ordered to collect the rafts of logs and planks to ferry tanks and their crews. Thus, resourcefulness, ingenuity and courage of Guards Colonel Dragunsky and his men helped capture a bridgehead on the opposite bank of the Vistula. Later on this world re-known beachhead fierce fighting with varying success took place, but as a result the Soviet soldiers survived and moved forward.

By the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on September 23, 1944 for heroism and military skill shown during the crossing of the River Vistula, and for the retention of Sandomierz bridgehead, Commander of the 55th Guards Tank Brigade, D. Dragunsky was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal (№ 4658).

Severe injuries received by D. Dragunsky made commander of the 3rd Guards Tank Army, P. Rybalko in March 1945 to send the brigade commander to the treatment. But he urged physicians to expedite his treatment, and by the middle of April 1945, he returned to his team. Guards tank crews of the 55th Brigade, taking the example of courage and heroism of their commander, distinguished themselves as they crossed the Teltow Canal, in battle for Berlin and for the liberation of Prague.

By the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on May 31, 1945 for his leadership skills during the assault on Berlin, and for his courage and bravery, as well as team’s rush to Prague, Guards Colonel David Dragunsky was awarded the second Gold Star medal (№ 50).

On June 24, 1945, D. Dragunsky participated in the historic Victory Parade on Red Square as part of the composite battalion of the 1st Ukrainian Front.

After graduation from the General Staff Academy in 1949, D. Dragunsky was promoted to Major-General of Panzer troops.

In 1957-1960 he commanded a division, an army. In 1965-1969 served as first deputy commander of the Transcaucasus Military District. In 1969-1985 was chief officer of higher officer courses “Shot”. In 1970, D. Dragunsky was promoted to Colonel-General of Panzer troops.

In 1985-1987 D. Dragunsky was in the group of Inspectors General of the Ministry of Defence of the USSR. Since 1987 - in retirement. Since 1971 – a Member of the Central Auditing Commission of the Communist Party. From 1983 (the foundation date) - Chairman of the anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet society.

He Died on October 12, 1992 in Moscow, and was buried at Novodevichy Cemetery.

He was awarded two Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, four Orders of the Red Banner, the 2nd Class Order of Suvorov, the 1st Class Order of the Great Patriotic War, the Order of People’s Friendship, two Orders of the Red Star, the Order “For the Service to the Motherland in the Armed Forces of the USSR” of the 3rd Class, and medals and foreign orders.

In 1975, D. Dragunsky was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Novozybkov, and in his native village Svyatsk, a bronze bust was installed. In 1995 it was removed to the square of military glory in Novozybkov. A street in the city of Solnechnogorsk is named after D. Dragunsky.

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