Andrei Yeremenko (Eremenko) first saw action as a cavalry NCO in the Imperial Russian Army in World War I. He joined the Red Army in 1918. In 1939 he commanded the 6th Cossack Division that was part of the Soviet forces that invaded eastern Poland. Between 1940 and 1941 he served in the Far East commanding the 1 st Special Red Banner Division and then transferred to the Bryansk Front in August 1941 following the German invasion. Along with Koniev he was criticized by Zhukhov for failing to hold a common front during the drive by Army Group Centre on Moscow in October. During this period Yeremenko was wounded and relieved of active command for a year. Andrey I. Yeremenko (1892-1970) In August 1942 he was appointed to command the Southeast Front that was renamed the Stalin grad Front. While Rokossovsky was given the honour of destroying the Sixth Army, Yeremenko was tasked with keeping Manstein at bay. In May 1944, commanding the Independent (Black Sea) Maritime Front, he recaptured Sevastopol, taking 67,000 prisoners. He subsequently commanded the 2nd Baltic Front and captured Dvinsk in Latvia. He was assigned to the Carpathian Front where his forces destroyed the German Army Group Centre in 1945. He was promoted marshal in 1955, two years after Stalin's death. The rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union was created in 1935 and abolished in 1991. A total of 41 people held the rank.