David Abramovich Dragunsky: biography, career, interesting facts


David Abramovich Dragunsky - a prominent Soviet military leader, a warrior-hero, by the will of fate in the last years of his life engaged in politics. The name Dragoon is known all over the world. He is one of the rare representatives of the Jewish people who have been fortunate enough for their military service to their native country to receive a high award - two golden stars. Having become famous as a true hero in the war against fascism, in peacetime, David Abramovich Dragunsky could not resist the Soviet system. Many of the people who respect him did not understand and condemned him for his active anti-Zionist activities, which denied the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.


Dragunsky David Abramovich: biography

The future hero was born in a Jewish family in Svyatsk (posad in Surazhsky district of Chernihiv province). School graduated in the village Novozybkov (Bryansk province). According to the Komsomol permit, I went to the construction site in the capital, then worked at various construction sites in the Kalinin Oblast. David Abramovich Dragunsky since 1931 was a member of the CPSU (b).

In 1936, he graduated with honors from the Saratov armored school and went to the Far East for service. A year later, David Abramovich Dragunsky commanded a tank company. It was he who first conducted his T-26 through Suifun (turbulent river) under water (the current name is Razdolnaya) and brought him to the opposite bank in 15 minutes. Model constructors were not designed for the role of amphibians. For this maneuver, the future general installed two pipes in the tank, and leaked areas with grease and red lead. This initiative was approved by the command: Dragunsky was awarded the first award from the division commander - a nominal watch.

In 1938, as a commander of a tank company, he took part in battles at Lake Hassan, and was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for his heroism. In 1939, Dragoon entered the Military Academy.

The Great Patriotic War

The war began for him on the western border, in the Osovets fortress. Here the Dragoon internship and passed a camp gathering with other students of the Academy. The students were returned to Moscow for a short time. Soon, Senior Lieutenant Dragoon was assigned to the Western Front. As commander of a tank battalion, he took part in the Battle of Smolensk. In 1943, for his skillful actions and military achievements achieved by David Dragoon, he was awarded the Order of the Red Star and the Red Banner. Thanks to the able leadership of the Dragoon Brigade entrusted to him, the enemy’s counterattacks were repulsed for 5 days and over a hundred enemy tanks were destroyed. The wounded Dragoon headed the brigade, replacing the seriously wounded commander.

In the fall of the 43rd, Dragoon commanded the 55th tank brigade, which liberated Kiev and Right-Bank Ukraine. He was repeatedly seriously injured and was taken to hospital. Here the terrible, tragic news of the relatives who remained in the territory occupied by the enemy was received by the Dragunsky David Abramovich: the family (mother, father, sisters) and all his relatives (74 people) were shot by the Nazis. In addition, he learned that both his brothers had died at the front.


After treatment at the hospital and short-term rehabilitation at the convalescent sanatorium (Zheleznovodsk), where he was urgently sent by the doctors, Dragoon returned to his team. For the skillful leadership of the brigade in the battles on the Kiev direction in November 1943, the officer was presented to the rank of Hero of the Soviet Union. But instead, Dragunsky was again awarded the Order of the Red Banner. In fierce battles at the end of July 1944, his brigade needed to cross the Vistula, while the means of the crossing were delayed in transit. The commander ordered the construction of rafts of boards and logs. On such self-made rafts, the tanks managed to force the Vistula, thanks to which our troops were able to capture the Sandomierz bridgehead. The decisive counter-attack on this bridgehead was also led by David Dragoon. For the military skills and heroism shown, the commander of the 55th brigade of tankers was given the title Hero.


In the spring of the 45th David Abramovich was sent for treatment at the hospital. Having forced the doctors to speed up his recovery, Dragunsky arrived in time for the decisive battles for Berlin. The tankers of the 55th, taking an example of skill, courage and courage from their commander, distinguished themselves in many battles. Colonel Dragunsky in the 45th was awarded the Order of Suvorov of the 2nd degree for mastering the strategically important German cities.

In April 1945, its 55th Tank Brigade on the western outskirts of Berlin merged with units of the 2nd Tank Army. This enemy garrison was cut into two isolated parts, which led to the fall of Berlin. For showing courage and courage, for the skillful leadership of the brigade entrusted to him during the capture of Berlin, for making a rush to Prague, Colonel Dragunsky was awarded (again) the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.


As a particularly distinguished participant of the Great Patriotic War, David Abramovich Dragunsky, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, took part in the legendary Victory Parade, held on June 24, 1945 in Moscow. In 1949, Dragoon graduated from the Military Academy. He was given the rank of Major General. In 1970, received the title: Colonel-General. In the postwar years, Dragunsky David Abramovich commanded a division, an army, and in the Transcaucasian Military District he held the post of first deputy commander.


From 1965 to 1985, he was the head of the “Shot” (senior officer courses). In the period from 1985 to - 1987, he is a member of the group of inspectors general of the Ministry of Defense. In 1987, General David Dragunsky retired.


Until the end of his days, David Abramovich was engaged in active public work, he steadily led the ACSO (Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet public). He died in 1992. He was buried at the Novodevichy cemetery.

What was he like?

During the war, everyone around him was aware that the 55th commander after being wounded in 1943 had no living space left. This fact aroused particular respect due to the fact that Dragoon’s wound was received at the moment when he covered the young subordinate with his body. It was an unprecedented case: it was not the subordinate who saved the life of the commander, but the commander - saved the subordinate.


In general, there were legends about the Dragoon during the war years. In the army of General Rybalko it was the most heroic, the most famous brigade commander. Tankers from all the branches of the troops during the war were distinguished by the fact that servility was least developed in their midst. Special democracy in relations between subordinates and the commander was formed by virtue of the commonality of combat activities, living together in a crew. In the "moto-styling" battalion of Dragoon, this democracy was brought to its climax. The giving of the order here was completely excluded by the presence of a black sling, striking through the face of the commander, disfigured by the scars from burns, his crutches and prostheses. Dragoonsky obeyed not because of subordination. The battalion commander was not only respected and loved by his subordinates. They idolized him.

Who is David Abramovich Dragunsky?

Unfortunately, neither historians nor contemporaries of the hero will be able to answer this question unequivocally, bearing in mind only about his military merits for his homeland and people. Neither personal heroism in the war years, nor active public activity will erase the mistakes that David Dragunsky made in the post-war years. History will remember them.


His political biography

Dragoon from his youth was fond of social work. At 19, he was elected to the Krasnopresnensky district of the capital. At the end of the war, the general took part in the activities of the EAC (Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee). In the 50s, David Dragunsky quite often represented the USSR abroad. His signatures can be seen under articles and statements protesting Israeli aggression. Dragunsky was among those public figures who were an avid opponent of Zionism long before the emergence of the ACSO.

Not to the credit of Dragoon, as the world community believes, his negative attitude towards the right of the USSR Jews to Aliyah is a law passed by the Knesset in 1950, which proclaims the proclaiming right of Jews to return to Israel from the countries of dispersion. This law legally substantiates the idea of ​​Zionism, on which the emergence and existence of Israel as a state is based.


David Dragunsky proclaimed anti-Zionist ideas. From the moment of the creation of the ACSO (April 1983) and until the last days of his life, David Dragunsky was its permanent chairman. He managed to defend the organization twice, when the Politburo considered the issue of its dissolution. After the collapse of the USSR Dragunsky remained at his post. The general has repeatedly expressed the conviction that Zionism is a dangerous misanthropic ideology akin to fascism, which had a significant adverse effect on the social and cultural life of Jews in the Soviet Union, creating significant obstacles to their progress. Extreme nationalism, chauvinism, racial intolerance are concentrated in Zionism, it is a form of racism, thought Dragoon. At least, he expressed such a conviction.

When Dragoon was the head of the ASKO, assistance and support were given to many prominent Jews and Jewish organizations. At the same time, he always refused to consider requests for help to Zionist activists who were persecuted by the Soviet authorities.

His beliefs

In 1983, his signature was under the appeal of representatives of Soviet Jews, published in Pravda. In 1984, one of D.Dragunsky’s brochures also demonstrated the general support provided by the Jews to the former USSR for the ACS. He expressed the conviction that for the majority of Soviet Jews their homeland is the great Soviet Union - a multinational socialist country, a state, the cornerstone of all its policies, both foreign and internal, proclaiming the friendship of nations.

Meanwhile, the price of this “friendship” was obvious to everyone, including the Dragoon. It became known to journalists that the General spoke more than once in conversations with different people about how strongly anti-Semitism was developed in the USSR. He also admitted that it was precisely anti-Semitism that was the cause of his own career "lag": while his colleagues were already in the rank of generals, he was only in the rank of colonel general, having no less merit.

In the words of the Jewish sage and scholar Moses Gaster, historically it happened that the representatives of this people were the heroes “not of battle, but of faith.” General Dragoon was a true hero in the battles against fascism, but in peacetime he dutifully obeyed the system.

This great truth is repentance

It is known that in 1982 one of the terrorists killed in the Lebanese war was found certified, which confirmed that he received training in the Soviet Union during his studies at the senior officer courses, “The Shot”. Next to the seal was the signature of Colonel-General Dragoon.

Eight years later, in 1990, the day of the anniversary of the general, he was approached by famous Jews, former participants in the war. Among the signatories of the appeal are the names of Yuri Sokol, Yefim Gokhberg, Ilya Lachman, and others. In the document, the hero of the day expressed sincere respect and pride of the entire Soviet people for their exploits in the war. In addition, it contained a call to abandon the anti-Zionist views and leadership of the Anti-Zionist Committee that had compromised itself before the world community.


A year later, an article by journalist Matvey Geyzer was published in the Jewish Gazette. In it, the author also expressed his admiration for the heroism of the general and the belief that it is also inherent in heroes to make mistakes. The article urged the general to find the courage to recognize that in the postwar years he was involved in a wave of slander against Zionism - the idea of ​​the Jewish national liberation movement and the creation of a Jewish state. Misconceptions and ambitions in the rapid flow of life are inevitable, the author assured. The general should recall the great truth that life offers to all those who are in error This truth is repentance. It is known that these appeals did not make the proper impression on the addressee.

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