- Article by Tom Notten
- Published on June 17th, 2020
Mikhail Petrovich Kirponos was born January 9, 1882, in Vertiyevka Chernigovskoi, a small village in the countryside in the Shumeikskogo area near Lokhvitsi (Poltava). He came from a family of farmers and during his youth years, he worked on the land of his father. During World War 1 he fought on the front against the Germans in the army of the Czar. At the end of the war, he joined the Bolsheviks and became a member of the Red Army. During the bloody, three-year civil war, Kirponos soon rose in the ranks of the Red Army. At the time, there were no ranks in the army but he rose from battalion commander to regimental commander. After the Red Army had won the war, Kirponos became Kommissar in various divisions, occupying himself mainly with staff work. From 1934 to 1939 he stood at the head of the military academy of Kazan.