Author: A. D. VOLKOV
Maj. Gen. A. D. VOLKOV
Fifty years ago, a new branch of service was organized-the Air Defense Forces (PVO). Marshal of the Soviet Union Leonid Aleksandrovich Govorov, a major military figure, one of the prominent military leaders of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, was appointed PVO commander and subsequently the country's first PVO commander in chief and deputy Soviet defense minister.
L. A. Govorov was born on February 10, 1897 in the village of Butyrki, now in the Kirov region. His parents made sure that their son got a secondary education, and in 1916 he entered the Petrograd Polytechnic. Yet he did not study there for very long: World War I was at its height, and the army badly needed qualified cadre. In December 1916, he was called up into the army and sent for a course of training to the Konstantinovo Artillery School, which he finished in 1917.
L. A. Govorov was appointed a junior officer in a separate mortar battery in Tomsk, but when the old army collapsed, in March 1918, he was demobilized and took a job in the city of Yelabuga. The Civil War, however, did not bypass L. A. Govorov: In October 1918, he was mobilized into the Kolchak army. But in October 1919, he fled with a number of soldiers from his battery to Tomsk, where, as part of a militant workers' squad, he joined an uprising against the White Guards. In January 1920, L. A. Govorov voluntarily joined the Red Army, taking part in combat operations in the Eastern and Southern Fronts as artillery battalion commander of the 51st Rifle Division, distinguishing himself in fighting Vrangel tanks in the Kakhovka area.
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