Ivan Moiseevich Tretyak was battalion commander of the 93rd Guards Rifle Regiment of the 29th Guards Yelninsky Rifle Division of the 10th Guards Army of the 2nd Baltic Front, Guards major; commander of the troops of the Red Banner Far Eastern Military District, Army General. He was born on February 20, 1923 in the village of Malaya Popovka, now Khorolsky district, Poltava region (Ukraine) in a peasant family. He was Ukrainian. He graduated from high school, studied at the Poltava Agricultural College. He had been in the Red Army since November 1939, a volunteer. In 1941 he graduated from the Astrakhan Rifle and Machine Gun School. He was on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War since December 1941. He participated in the battles on the Western and 2nd Baltic Fronts, commanded a company, was deputy commander of the combat unit of a separate training battalion, and since July 1943 commander of a rifle battalion. He was member of the CPSU (b)/CPSU in 1943-1991. The battalion commander of the 93rd Guards Rifle Regiment of the 29th Guards Rifle Division of the 10th Guards Army of the 2nd Baltic Front of the Guards, Major Tretyak Ivan Moiseevich, especially distinguished himself during the Rezitsko-Dvina offensive operation, during the crossing of the Velikaya River and during the liberation of the city of Opochka, Pskov region. In July 1944 the 93rd Guards Rifle Regiment was put into a breakthrough to pursue the retreating enemy. The battalion under the command of Tretyak engaged in an unequal battle with superior enemy forces at a strategically important line of enemy defense. The battalion destroyed up to 200 Hitlerite soldiers and officers, 6 guns, 12 machine guns. Major Tretyak of the Guards led his battalion to a strategically important line near the village of Shechino, capturing fifty prisoners and four cannons at the same time. A little later, the village of Dukhnovozh was also occupied. As a result of this battle, the headquarters of the 42nd Infantry Regiment of the 19th Latvian SS Division was destroyed and the banner was captured. Continuing the pursuit of the retreating enemy, destroying his manpower and equipment, the battalion under the command of Major Tretyak’s guard came to the crossroads of roads to the town of Opochka, where there were heavily fortified enemy engineering structures, anti-tank ditches and trenches. The battalion made a detour to the enemy’s rear and unexpectedly attacked him. Two columns of enemy reinforcements were destroyed. Five days later, on July 15, 1944, when crossing the Velikaya Gvardiya River, Major Tretyak, under heavy enemy artillery fire and aerial bombing, was the first to force the river, dragging the battalion’s fighters with him. As a result of the successful crossing of the Velikaya River, the city of Opochka was completely liberated from the Nazi occupiers. For this feat, he was presented with the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Major Tretyak Ivan Moiseevich was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star Medal by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated March 24, 1945 for exemplary performance of combat missions of the command at the front of the fight against the Nazi invaders and bravery and heroism shown at the same time. From August 1944 until the end of the war he commanded the 87th Guards Rifle Regiment of the 29th Guards Rifle Division on the 2nd Baltic Front, became a regiment commander at the age of 21! In this position, he participated in the Baltic offensive operation and in the blockade of the enemy’s Kurland grouping. During the war he was wounded 4 times – twice seriously and twice lightly. After the war, he continued to serve in the Soviet Army. In 1949 he graduated from the M.V. Frunze Military Academy, in 1959 – the Military Academy of the General Staff, in 1982 – Higher academic courses at this Academy.
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