Mikhail Fedorovich Panov was the Commander of the 1st Guards Tank Corps of the 49th Army of the 2nd Belorussian Front, a Guard Lieutenant General of tank troops. He was born on November 21, 1901 in the village of Ovchinnikovo, the Nevelsky district, the Vitebsk province, now the Nevelsky district, the Pskov region. He was from a peasant’s family. He finished a village school. He worked at the Obukhov factory in the city of Petrograd (now St. Petersburg), then as a storekeeper in the Kolpinsky Village Council. He was in the Red Army since May 1919. He fought as a Red Army soldier of the 1st Consolidated Communist Regiment on the Western Front of the Civil War, he participated in battles against the general’s white army of N.N. Yudenich on the Petrograd direction. Since January 1920, he was a political fighter of the engineering battalion of the 55th Infantry Division of the Labor Army. Since February 1920 he had been studying, in 1921 he completed the Petrograd Soviet military-technical courses. In February – September 1921, he served as the head of the expedition of the Petrograd district Military Engineering workshops, then as an assistant to the political inspector of the Sergeyevsky landfill in Luga. Then he studied again. In 1924 he graduated from Military Armored Command School. Since September 1924 he was a tank commander, tank platoon commander, company commander of heavy tanks of a separate tank regiment. In 1929 he completed shooting and tactical advanced training courses of the Red Army “Shot” named after the Comintern. Since November 1929 he was a commander of a tank company, the head of the regimental school of the 2nd tank regiment. Since January 1931 he was the commander of a tank company in the 1st Tank Regiment (Belorussian Military District). Since May 1932 he was the Commander of the training battalion of the 80th regiment of the 5th Mechanized Brigade. From December 1932 to December 1933 he was the Head of the technical unit and assistant commander of the 5th Mechanized Brigade on the technical part. Then he left to study at the academy. In 1938 he graduated from the Military Academy of Motorization and Mechanization of the Red Army named after I.V. Stalin. From November 1938 he commanded the 48th separate mechanized brigade (Voroshilov-Ussuriysky). Since March 1941 he was the Commander of the 33rd Tank Division of the 11th Mechanized Corps of the Western Special Military District. He was at the front in the Great Patriotic War since 1941. Colonel Panov’s tank Division met the enemy on the Belarusian land. The tankers had to repel the superior forces of the enemy. There were not enough tanks, fuel and ammunition. With heavy fighting, having lost almost all the material part, they retreated to the east, from July to September 1941 Panov was leaving the encirclement. Since October 1941 he was the Assistant Inspector General of the Main Armored Vehicle Directorate of the Red Army. In the autumn of 1941, M.F. Panov participated in the defence of Moscow, being in the troops of the Western Front. Since November 1942 he was the Commander of armored and mechanized troops of the 2nd Guards Army of the Stalingrad Front, he was a participant of the Battle of Stalingrad, including the repulse of the attempt to deblockade the Paulus group by Manstein’s troops near Kotelnikov. In April 1943, M.F. Panov was appointed as the commander of the 1st Guards Tank Corps as a part of the 63rd, 3rd, 48th, 65th, 50th, 2nd Tank, 70th, 49th armies in the Bryansk, Belorussian, 1st and 2nd Belorussian fronts. He was a participant of the Battle of Kursk, Gomel-Rechitsa, Rogachev-Zhlobin operations. He was a Major General of tank troops (7.06.1943). M.F. Panov, Major General of the Tank Troops of the Guards, especially distinguished himself during the East Pomeranian operation. On March 23, 1945, the tank corps entrusted to him made a detour to the southern outskirts of the city of Zoppot (Sopot, Poland), captured the city of Oliva (now within the city of Gdansk, Poland), the northern part of the city of Danzig (Gdansk), skillfully forced the Vistula arm. The enemy group in Pomerania was cut into pieces. In the Berlin operation in April 1945 Panov’s 1st Guards Tank Corps occupied the cities of Strassburg, Friedland, Demmin, Ribnitz, Marlov, reached the Elbe River and was one of the first to join the Allied forces. By the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated May 29, 1945, for exemplary performance of combat missions of the command at the front of the fight against the German invaders and the courage and heroism of the Guards, Lieutenant General of the tank troops Mikhail Fedorovich Panov was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal. After the war, from July 1945 M.F. Panov commanded the 1st Tank Division, from June 1946 – the 4th Guards Tank Division. In March 1949 – September 1951 he was the Commander of the 5th Guards Mechanized Army. In 1952 he completed the Higher Academic Courses at Voroshilov Higher Military Academy. Since January 1953 he was the Commander of armored and mechanized troops of the Leningrad Military District. Since December 1953 he was the Commander of the 50th Guards Rifle Corps. Since October 1954 – the Commander of the 7th Mechanized Army (since May 1957 – 7th Tank Army). Since May 1958 he was the First Deputy Commander of the North Caucasus Military District. In May 1960 he enlisted at the disposal of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces. Since December 1960 he was the Head of the Engineering and Tactical Faculty, since July 1961 he was the Head of the Command Faculty of the Military Academy of Armored Forces. Since February 1967, Lieutenant General M.F. Panov was retired.
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