104th Guards Airborne Division

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11th Guards Airborne Division (23 Dec 1943 – Jan 1944)

104th Guards Rifle Division (Jan 1944 – 7 Jun 1946)

104th Guards Airborne Division (7 Jun 1946 – May 1998)
Active 1943–1998
Country Soviet Union
Branch

Red Army

Soviet airborne
Type Airborne, Infantry
Size Division
Engagements

World War II

First Chechen War
Battle honours OrderOfKutuzov2nd.jpg Order of Kutuzov 2nd class

The 104th Guards Airborne Division was an airborne division of the Red Army during the Cold War, it was originally formed as the 11th Guards Airborne Division (11-я гвардейская воздушно-десантная дивизия).[1] In January 1944, the 11th Guards Airborne Division became the 104th Guards Rifle Division,[1] on 7 June 1946, the division was renamed the 104th Guards Airborne Division. It was finally disbanded in May 1998.

History[edit]

The 11th Guards Airborne Division was formed on 23 December 1943 from three Guards Airborne Brigades in the Moscow Military District,[1] it was part of the 38th Guards Airborne Corps.[2] In January 1944, it became the 104th Guards Rifle Division, part of the 9th Guards Army;[1] in March 1945, the division was deployed to the Budapest area. In fighting from 16 to 22 March, the division inflicted heavy losses on German troops, during the final stage of the Vienna Offensive, the division captured Sankt Pölten, thus closing off routes into Vienna. On 26 April, the division was awarded the Order of Kutuzov 2nd class,[3] on 12 May, the division reached the Vltava, meeting American troops.[3]

On 7 June 1946, the division became the 104th Guards Airborne Division in Narva,[4] it relocated to Ostrov in Pskov Oblast, becoming part of the 15th Guards Airborne Corps. In 1960, the division was relocated to the Transcaucasian Military District and was based in Kirovabad (now Gyandzha), in the Azerbaijani SSR.[5]

Bases:[5]

  • Narva, Estonian SSR, June 1946 – April 1947
  • Ostrov, Pskov Oblast, April 1947 – June 1960
  • Gyandzha (Kirovabad),[6] Azerbaizhan SSR, June 1960 – August 1992 [40 43 09N, 46 23 07E]
  • Ulyanovsk, Ulyanovsk Oblast, August 1992 – May 1998. [54 21 16N, 48 34 50E]

Most of the division's personnel fought in the Soviet–Afghan War,[3][7] the division was located in Kirovabad during the events of the Kirovabad pogrom, in which Soviet Army forces were used to restore order. In 1993, the division was relocated to Ulyanovsk,[3] from 1994 to 1996, the 104th Guards Airborne fought in the First Chechen War.[3]

In May 1998 the division was reduced in status to become the 31st Guards Airborne Brigade.[5]

On 4 June 2015, it was announced that the 31st Guards Airborne Brigade would be upgraded to the 104th Guards Airborne Division, the new division would include three regiments at Ulyanovsk, Orenburg and Engels.[8] Reactivation of the division from the brigade was previously announced earlier, but did not eventuate.[9]

Composition[edit]

104th Guards Rifle Division[edit]

The 104th Guards Rifle Division included the following units.[10][11]

  • 328th Guards Rifle Regiment
  • 332nd Guards Rifle Regiment
  • 346th Guards Rifle Regiment

104th Guards Airborne Division[edit]

The 104th Guards Airborne Division included the following units in 1947.[5]

  • 328th Guards Airborne Regiment
  • 346th Guards Air-landing Regiment
  • 82nd Guards Artillery Regiment

On 1 October 1948, the 346th Guards Air-landing Regiment was used to create the 21st Guards Airborne Division, and was replaced by the 337th Guards Air-landing Regiment.[5]

Commanders[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Pettibone, Charles D. (2009-11-18). The Organization and Order of Battle of Militaries in World War II: Volume V – Book B Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Trafford Publishing. ISBN 9781426978159. 
  2. ^ Glantz, David M. (1994-01-01). The History of Soviet Airborne Forces. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780714641201. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "31-я отдельная гвардейская десантно-штурмовая Ордена Кутузова 2-й степени бригада : Министерство обороны Российской Федерации". structure.mil.ru. Retrieved 2015-10-03. 
  4. ^ Feskov, Vitaly (2004). Советская Армия в годы 'холодной войны' (1945–1991)[The Red Army in the Years of the Cold War] (PDF). Tomsk: Tomsk University Press. p. 101. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Michael Holm, 104th Guards Airborne Division
  6. ^ Rodrigues, Luís Nuno; Glebov, Sergiy (2009-01-01). Military Bases: Historical Perspectives, Contemporary Challenges. IOS Press. ISBN 9781586039677. 
  7. ^ Amstutz, J. Bruce (1994-07-01). Afghanistan: The First Five Years of Soviet Occupation. DIANE Publishing. ISBN 9780788111112. 
  8. ^ "Источник в Генштабе: Ульяновскую бригаду ВДВ преобразуют в дивизию [Source in General Staff: Ulyanovsk Airborne Brigade converted to division]". TASS. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  9. ^ Colin Robinson, The Russian Ground Forces: A Structural Status Examination, Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 2005.
  10. ^ "104 ГВАРДЕЙСКАЯ СТРЕЛКОВАЯ ДИВИЗИЯ". bdsa.ru. Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  11. ^ "Гвардейские стрелковые 91–115". myfront.in.ua. Retrieved 2015-10-04.