Rodion Malinovsky: as the future Marshal of the USSR served in the French foreign Legion

Biography 06/01/20 Rodion Malinovsky: as the future Marshal of the USSR served in the French foreign Legion

the First world war a bizarre way has changed lives of many people. One of them was the renowned General Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovsky, who for ten years held the post of Minister of defence. In his official biography did not indicate that in 1918, the future Marshal bravely fought in the French foreign Legion, and even received a prestigious military award.

Twice hero of the Soviet Union

his Entire adult life Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovskiy (1898-1967) was from the military. On 14 September 1914 when he participated in his first battle, the young inhabitant of Odessa was not yet 16 years of age. The guy went as a volunteer to the front, secretly joined the passengers of the military echelon. Despite his age, the young man who wished to fight for the faith, Tsar and Motherland, enlisted in the machine gun division 256-th Elisavetgrad regiment 64th division.

Writer Yuri Lubchenkov in his book “100 great generals of the Second world” (Moscow, 2005 year of publication) said that the baptism of fire Rodion Malinovsky took during the crossing of the Neman river. The young gunner showed himself a brave fighter in many battles, so in October 1915 was promoted to the rank of corporal and received the cross of St. George IV degree for valor displayed in the battle of Calvary.

the Revolutionary events was not affected by Malinovsky, in February 1916 the 4th machine-gun team of the 2nd Special infantry regiment, he was sent to France. To return to Russia former soldier of the Royal army was only able in 1919. Then he joined the Red army.

the share Malinovsky dropped a lot of battles. He participated in the defeat of the armies of Admiral Kolchak during the Civil war, helped Spanish comrades in the struggle against the dictator F. Franco 1937-1938 years, but the full talent was revealed during the great Patriotic war. Rodion Yakovlevich is one of several marshals of the Soviet Union, whose efforts led to the defeat of Nazi Germany. The troops under his command, liberated Romania, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic from Nazi invaders.

And in July 1945 Malinovsky already commanded the troops of the Transbaikal front, which defeated the Kwantung army of Imperial Japan. After a victory the General was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. A second gold star “for outstanding merits before the Motherland” Marshall got in 1958, as a Soviet defense Minister. The post commander held until his death.

the Inhospitable France

From 1916 to 1918 fate has thrown Malinovsky in France. Generally, this European country has been extremely inhospitable to many Russian soldiers and officers who were forced to fight against the Germans on the fronts of Western Europe.

As is known, the Russian Empire and France during the First world war were members of the military-political bloc “allies”. To the aid of allies in early 1916 Emperor Nicholas II sent Russian expeditionary corps, which was part of the 2nd Special infantry regiment, where he served as a gunner Rodion Malinovsky.

Sergei Balmasov – author of the book “Foreign Legion” (Moscow, 2004 edition) wrote that before the First world war, the French troops fought only a handful of Russian, but by 1916 the situation had changed. First, the ranks of the Foreign Legion joined thousands of immigrants, most of whom left Russia for political reasons, and then they added the soldiers and officers of the tsarist army found themselves in France by fate.

After the February revolution of 1917 the position of the Russian expeditionary force became uncertain. The Emperor, allegiance to which is sworn soldiers, deposed the Provisional rightsthe construction. Many members of the already defunct Imperial army decided to just go home, but the leadership of France had other goals.

“Russian soldiers and officers abroad was then a people without a homeland. This circumstance, and rushed to take advantage of the French command decided to warm their hands on the Russian tragedy and to replenish the Russian Foreign Legion, knowing that the Russian soldiers and officers in the current environment, nowhere to go,” – said in his book S. S. Balmasov.

France needed a professional military, because in Western Europe did not stop fighting, and Germany began construction of the first of a series of tanks A7V, which entered service in late 1917. Since becoming the Legionnaires agreed only a few Russian soldiers and officers, they were under considerable pressure. Before people have made a different choice: to become “cannon fodder” in the French foreign Legion or go to the quarry North Africa to take a grueling, hard labor. Not escaped this fate and Malinovsky.

a Rebellion in the camp of La Courtine

Publicist Andrei Kanev presented in 2016 at the competition for young journalists “co-Creation”, organized by the Foundation “Russian world”, its research “French cross Rodion Malinovsky”. The author noted that the future Marshal received the order of the “Croix de guerre” in April 1917, when members of the Russian expeditionary corps managed to escape with the fighting from the environment at Reims. In that battle, the young gunner shattered by an explosive bullet on the hand, so miraculously managed to avoid amputation.

That is, some time after the February revolution, Russian soldiers and officers continued to volunteer to help the allies in the war. They were located in the camp of La Courtine, near Limoges. But in September, 1917, after learning about the plans of the French high command to throw them on the Thessaloniki front in the Foreign Legion, the Russians staged an armed uprising which was WECTACO suppressed.

“Since both sides were killed about 600 people. The organizers of the rebellion and the most active participants were executed. Would not escape the bullets of the executioners and Rodion Malinovsky, at that time he had opened the old wound. The St. George cross was sent to the infirmary,” wrote Andrei Kanev.

And after the hospital gunner, who refused to join the Foreign Legion, was transferred to the quarry. The French deliberately created for yesterday’s allies in arms intolerable conditions to force them to go to the front. Knowing that otherwise they’ll just die from overwork, and famine, Russian soldiers and officers surrendered.

In January 1918, Malinovsky, like many of his companions in misfortune, had entered “the Russian Legion of Honor”, a military unit formed in part of the 1st Moroccan division of the Foreign Legion. Future Minister of defense was appointed commander of a platoon of machine-gunners.

Brave soldier

As always, Malinovsky fought bravely. In September 1918 he participated in the battle that was later called the “Stalingrad of the First world war”. Then the legionaries fighting broke through the defenses of the Hindenburg. Three lines of German fortifications have been overcome by using the bayonet and grenades.

For his selfless actions in the battle Rodion Malinovsky received a second French award – the Military cross with silver star.

the Writer Boris Sokolov in his book “Marshal Malinovsky” (Moscow, 2016 year of publication) quoted the order № 181 of the General Dogan, who commanded the 1st Moroccan division, dated 15 September 1918. In this document about Rodion Malinovsky said: “a Great gunner. Particularly distinguished himself during the attack on 14 September, and the firing of machine guns a group of enemy soldiers, which a stubborn resistance. Not paying attention to the danger of destructive artillery fire of the enemy.”

Some researchers argue that the future Marshal, was promoted in Foreignthe Legion to the rank of ensign.

However, the “Russian Legion of Honor” was disbanded in December 1918. The French command had sent soldiers and officers to Marseille, from where they sailed on the ship to Russia.

the Entry of the Red army

Doctor of philosophy Andrei Burovskii in the book “the Apocalypse of the twentieth century. From war to war” (Moscow, 2011 year of publication) wrote about R. Ya. Malinovsky: “for the rest of his days in the Soviet Union concealed that in his youth he fought in the Foreign Legion, and had a French awards”.

anyway, as the story of the return of the former legionary indeed full of mysteries. For some reason he decided to get home via Vladivostok. Researchers disagree about the goals and future Marshal. So, Andrei Kanev believes that Rodion Malinovsky wanted to join the Red army for ideological reasons. And Boris Sokolov wonders how the former footballer moved freely in the rear of the army of A.V. Kolchak, being in a foreign form and no documents in the Russian language. And why not immediately suspicious of the military hacked spies “red”.

the Daughter of Marshal, philologist Natalia Malinowska said in an interview that the meeting her father “red” was held near Omsk. At first it really took to be a foreign spy, but at the headquarters of the 240th Tver regiment, fortunately appeared to be a military doctor, who knew the French language. He closely examined the documents of the arrested person and confirmed that it is a demobilized soldier of the Foreign Legion. Suspicion Malinovsky was lifted, and he joined the ranks of “red”.

In his autobiography, written in 1938, the future Marshal reported: “In the white army did not serve, the service in the old army and the French army ended a corporal. Under the trial, and the result was not. Relatives abroad do not have.”

In any case, combat experience R. Malinowski during the First world war, was unique, because the future commander took part in the battles against the German army armed with tanks and advanced at that time artillery pieces. If at the end of 30-ies of XX century, individual Soviet generals in their tactical developments still relied on the heroic cavalry, the Rodion Yakovlevich is understood that the expected war with Nazi Germany will require a different approach.

he was right confirmed the story.

Origanum Tanatarova

© Russian Seven

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