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Homework In A Time Of Mass Slaughter


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Soooooo, the high command of the Workers' & Peasants' Red Army is being exterminated in the Great Purge. What do YOU do?

You sign up for night and independent studies at The Academy! LOTS of positions opening up, what with all the generals, faculty, and um students being taken down cellar steps for a close range Knickschuss. :speechless:

Must have been rather :rolleyes: awkward having mailed in homework come back "professor purged." :unsure:

More on the signatures below.

This graduation diploma from the Red Banner, Order of Lenin Military Academy "in the name of M. V. Frunze" attests that Major Dmitry Pavlovich Petrakov studied through the evening and independent study faculty from 1937 :speechless1: to 1940, graduating 5 May 1940 as a Commander With Higher Military Education.

Though the covers are generic to all Soviet college diplomas I've seen from this period, the printed lines for the 3 signatures indicate this page was specific to the military.

Signed at top by Presdident of the State Examination Commission, "Com-Corps" V. Semashko

Signed in the middle by the Commandant of the Academy, "Academy Commandant 2nd Rank" Khozin

Finally signed by the school's general-equivalent "Div-Commissar" whose name I have been unable to link with anyone on Steen Ammentorp's website.

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I'm not normally an autograph-hound, being far more interested in the person who GOT something than who SIGNED OFF on it, but here is an association from 1941-42, from Steen's excellent WW2 Generals website


KHOZIN was the blundering fool single-handedly responsible for the total encirclement of Leningrad, and the loss of the 2nd Shock Army, whose disaffected commander was later the German Russian Army of Liberation commander, General Vlasov. How Kozhin escaped with his life for those disasters, let alone survived the post-war extermination of the entire political and military commands from Leningrad is a mystery to me.

His deputy, SEMASHKO, must have been DEMOTED after his arrest, since he was a Corps Commander in 1940. And why the DEPUTY got the blue hats/handcuffs treatment but the CHIEF did not is another puzzle.

If then-Major Petrakov survived, he would eventually have received one of these in the 1950s:

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V.V. Semashko is a bit interesting since he actually wasn't demoted as such. One could said that he is downfall started already in 1940, because when the rank of general was reintroduced in June 1940 he was only certified as a Major-General (4th June 1940) and not as a Lieutenant-General as one might have expected when holding the rank Komkor. I have been unable to make out why! But least now I got his position and rank just prior to June 1940. Thanks!

Semashko was arrested on the 10th April 1942 and released (conditionally) 21st December 1945. Apparently crimes his crimes were to have expressed reservations about the collective farm system, final Soviet victory and having blamed the 'leadership' (no names) for the early defeats and having favourably compared German weapons to those of the Red Army.

Rick ? are you able to read the name of the political officer? I will have to put him up as well.

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I've tried every combination I can think of :banger: squinting at the commissar's handwriting.


I tried searching on Frunze commissars as a search term on your site but even that didn't seem to help. The only letters I can be absolutely sure of are in bold print, and letters in the middle of a name aren't searchable anywhere. I am fairly sure his name starts with a "T," since what is written is the weird handwriting style-book for that letter, but given personal quirks and flourishes, it might not be. Argh!

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