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Vasily Koptsov

Vasily Koptsov

The basics
Quick Facts
A.K.A. Василий Алексеевич Копцов
Countries Georgia
Gender male
Birth 1 January 1904 (Tbilisi)
Death 3 March 1943
Politics Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The details

Vasily Alexeyevich Koptsov (Russian: Василий Алексеевич Копцов; 1 January 1904 – 2 March 1943) was a Red Army major general and a Hero of the Soviet Union.

Koptsov joined the Red Army in 1918 during the Russian Civil War. Koptsov became an officer and rose to command a tank battalion by the time his unit fought in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol. He was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union for his actions during the battle, in which he defended his immobilized tank for eight hours until Soviet forces could reach it. Koptsov commanded a brigade and in March 1941 became deputy commander of the 46th Tank Division of the 21st Mechanized Corps. Koptsov took command of the division on the day after the beginning of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. He led the division first in failed counterattacks against the German advance and then in the retreat to the Pskov area.

In September 1941, his division was downsized into a brigade and transferred to the Karelian Front, where it defended against Finnish attacks, and then the Volkhov Front, where it fought in the Tikhvin Defensive Operation and Tikhvin Offensive. For its actions the brigade became a Guards unit after the Tikhvin Offensive. In May 1942, Koptsov became commander of the newly formed 15th Tank Corps, which he led during the summer in unsuccessful attacks near Kozelsk. In January 1943 the corps fought in the Ostrogozhsk–Rossosh Offensive, where it completed the encirclement of Hungarian troops. The corps then fought in the Third Battle of Kharkov, in which it was surrounded and nearly destroyed by the German counterattack. Koptsov was seriously wounded in the fighting and was briefly captured by German troops before he died of his wounds in captivity.

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