IVAN EMELYANOVICH KALENIKOV
1912 – 1969
Hero of the Soviet Union.
Born in Gomel in a working-class family. In the Soviet Army since 1933. Member of the Great Patriotic War since June 1941.
He took part in the battles on the Western, South-Western, Voronezh, 1st Ukrainian fronts, in September 1942 he was seriously wounded. By November 1943, Major Ivan Kalenikov was deputy commander of the 55th Guards Tank Brigade. He distinguished himself during the liberation of Kyiv. Later, when the brigade acted in the German rear, Kalenikov skillfully controlled its units. In 1944, Ivan Kalenikov underwent advanced training courses for command personnel at the military academy of armored troops, after which he returned to the front again. On January 10, 1944, Major Ivan Kalenikov was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. In April 1945, the 55th Panzer Brigade reached the suburbs of Berlin, on the Telt Canal line. The Nazis defended themselves with extreme bitterness, clinging to every house. In the cramped city streets, German "faustniks" who fired at Soviet tanks at point blank range posed a particular danger. It was important to cover every armored vehicle with infantry. Then, "hasty" crews from hit tanks were used as shooters in the brigade. On April 24, the brigade crossed the Teltov Canal and moved forward. On April 26, 1945, the 55th Guards Tank Brigade entered the center of the enemy capital. The next day, the tankers met with colleagues from the 1st Belorussian - and the encirclement ring inside Berlin itself closed. The fate of the Nazi Reich was decided...
After the victory, the Hero of the Soviet Union continued to serve in the army. In 1957, with the rank of colonel, Kalenikov was transferred to the reserve. He lived in Riga, worked as a dispatcher at one of the factories.
Awards: three medals of the Red Banner, the Medal of Lenin, World War 1 degree, the Red Star, the Military Cross of Czechoslovakia and a number of medals, including the Golden Star.
A commemorative plaque was installed in the city of Gomel on the building of school No. 2, in which I. E. Kalenikov studied (53 Ilyich Street).