Fyodor I. Tolbukhin (1894 – 1949) commanded the 57th Army during the Battle for Stalingrad, part of Yeremenko's Stalingrad Front. Born into a peasant family in the province of Yaroslavl, northeast of Moscow, he volunteered for the Imperial Russian Army in 1914 but joined the Red Army in 1918. He served in a number of staff positions and attended the Frunze Military Academy, graduating in 1931. He became Chief of Staff for the Transcaucasus Military District and then the Crimean Front after the German invasion. He was given command of the 57th Army from July 1942 until March 1943 and then led the South Front, which was renamed the 4th Ukrainian Front in October 1943. After liberating most of the Ukraine with Malinovsky's 3rd Ukrainian Front, he was then given command of the 3rd Ukrainian Front, while Petrov took over the 4th and Malinovsky took control of the 2nd. He was promoted to Marshal in September 1944. He continued the Soviet drive westwards, gradually veering south and then west to help 'liberate' Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary. After the war he commanded the Southern Group of Forces and then the Transcaucasus Military District. He died on 17 October 1949. He is regarded as one of the finest Soviet generals of the Second World War and was respected by his fellow commanders and his men.