The Courland Pocket was a group of German forces of Reichskommissariat Ostland on the Courland Peninsula, cut off and surrounded by the Red Army from July 1944 through May 1945. The pocket was created during the Red Army's Baltic Offensive, when forces of the 1st Baltic Front reached the Baltic Sea near Memel during its lesser Memel Offensive Operation phases; this action isolated the German Army Group North from the rest of the German forces between Tukums and Libau in Latvia. Renamed Army Group Courland on 25 January, the Army Group remained isolated until the end of the war; when they were ordered to surrender to the Soviet command on 8 May, they were in "blackout" and did not get the official order before 10 May, two days after the capitulation of Germany. It was one of the last German groups to surrender in Europe. Courland, along with the rest of the Baltic eastern coast and islands, was overrun by Army Group North during 1941. Army Group North spent most of the next two years attempting to take Leningrad, without success.
In January 1944, the Soviet Army lifted the siege of Leningrad. On 22 June 1944, the Red Army launched the Belorussian Strategic Offensive, codenamed Operation Bagration; the goal of this offensive was to liberate the Belorussian SSR from the German occupation. Operation Bagration was successful, resulting in the complete destruction of Army Group Centre, ended on 29 August. In its final stages, Operation Bagration saw Soviet forces strike deep towards the Baltic coast, severing communications between the German Army Group North and the remnants of Army Group Centre. After Operation Bagration ended, the Soviet forces continued the clearing of the Baltic coast, despite German attempts to restore the front in Operation Doppelkopf; the Red Army fought the Memel Offensive Operation with the goal of isolating Army Group North by capturing the city of Memel. On 9 October 1944, the Soviet forces reached the Baltic Sea near Memel after over-running the headquarters of the 3rd Panzer Army; as a result, Army Group North was cut off from East Prussia.
Hitler's military advisors—notably Heinz Guderian, the Chief of the German General Staff—urged evacuation and utilisation of the troops to stabilise the front in central Europe. However, Hitler refused, ordered the German forces in Courland and the Estonian islands Hiiumaa and Saaremaa to hold out, believing them necessary to protect German submarine bases along the Baltic coast. Hitler still believed the war could be won, hoped that Dönitz's new Type XXI U-boat technology could bring victory to Germany in the Battle of the Atlantic, forcing the Allies out of Western Europe; this would allow German forces to focus on the Eastern Front, using the Courland Pocket as a springboard for a new offensive. Hitler's refusal to evacuate the Army Group resulted in the entrenchment of more than 200,000 German troops of the 16th Army and 18th Army, in what was to become known to the Germans as the "Courland Bridgehead". Thirty-three divisions of the Army Group North—commanded by Field-Marshall Ferdinand Schörner were cut off from East Prussia and spread out along a front reaching from Riga to Liepāja, retreating to the more defensible Courland position, abandoning Riga.
Soviet forces launched six major offensives against the German and Latvian forces entrenched in the Courland Pocket between 15 October 1944, 4 April 1945. The German two-phase withdrawals during the execution of the second stage of the Soviet Baltic Offensive, subsequent to the pocket being formed in the Baltic Offensive's first stage, the Memel Offensive Operation. From 15 to 22 October 1944 — Soviets launched the Riga Offensive Operation on the 15th at 10:00 after conducting a heavy artillery barrage. Hitler permitted the Army Group Commander, Ferdinand Schoerner, to commence withdrawal from Riga on 11 October, the city was taken by the 3rd Baltic Front on 13 October; the front stabilised with the main remnant of Army Group North isolated in the peninsula. From 27 October to 25 November — Soviets launched an offensive trying to break through the front toward Skrunda and Saldus including, at one point initiating a simultaneous attack by 52 divisions. Soviets attacked southeast of Liepāja in an attempt to capture that port.
80 divisions assaulted the Germans from 1 to 15 November in a front 12 km wide. Despite a 10:1 advantage in manpower at critical sectors, the Soviet breakthrough stalled after 4 kilometers; the 3rd phase of the fighting started on 21 December with a Soviet attack on Germans near Saldus. The Soviet 2nd Baltic and 1st Baltic Fronts commenced a blockade, precipitating the German defence of the Courland perimeter during Soviet attempts to reduce it. In this battle, serving with the 2nd Baltic Front's 22nd Army, the Latvian 130th Rifle Corps faced their opposites in the Latvian 19th SS Division; the battle ended on 31 December and the front was stabilized. On 15 January 1945, Army Group North was renamed Army Group Courland under Colonel-General Lothar Rendulic. In the middle of January Heinz Guderian got Hitler’s permission to withdraw 7 divisions from Courland, Hitler refused to consider a total withdrawal. On 23 January Soviets launched an offensive trying to break through the front toward Liepāja and Saldus.
They managed to take the bridgeheads on Bārta and Vārtāja rivers but were soon driven off by the Germans. The fifth battle started on 12 February with a Soviet attack against the Germans towards Džūkste. Other attacks took place south of Liepāja where the Soviets massed 21 divisions, south of Tukums where 11 divisions tried to break through the German front and take the town. On 16 February the Soviets started an offe
Riga Offensive (1944)
The Riga Offensive (known in was part of the larger Baltic Offensive on the Eastern Front during World War II. It took place late in 1944, drove German forces from the city of Riga. Soviet forces had advanced towards the Baltic coast in the beginning of their Tartu Offensive and at the end of the successful Belorussian Offensive, during July and August 1944, at one point had broken through to the Gulf of Riga; the victories in July were unexpected, at one point on July 31, the commander of the 8th mechanized brigade communicated with corps headquarters to notify them that it's tanks had reached the beach. In an unusual act, they were ordered to fill several bottles of sea water, have them signed, flown to The Kremlin as proof that Army Group North had been cut off from the Reich. During August, the German 18th Army had mounted a Operation Doppelkopf; the German Valga–Võrtsjärv line, supported by the local Estonian Omakaitse militia battalions, repelled the heavy pressure of the Soviet 3rd Baltic Front's Tartu Offensive.
The German Army Group North's commander, Ferdinand Schörner designed Operation Aster to pull his troops out of mainland Estonia. The parallel Riga Offensive would see Soviet forces apply further pressure on Army Group North, which still held much of Latvia and Estonia. Elements of: 1st Baltic Front 2nd Baltic Front 22nd Army 3rd Baltic Front Army Group North Sixteenth Army Eighteenth Army Elements of Army Group Centre temporarily reassigned to Army Group North Third Panzer Army Omakaitse The Soviet forces launched a ferocious attack on the Riga axis on September 14, 1944. Within 4 days, the German 16th Army had suffered serious damage, while in the 18th Army's sector, ten of the eighteen German divisions had been reduced to the Kampfgruppe level. In the northern segment placed along Lake Võrtsjärv, the Väike Emajõgi and Gauja rivers, the Soviet 3rd Baltic Front attacked the German XXVIII Army Corps backed by Omakaitse battalions. In fierce battles, the German and Estonian units held their positions.
From the south, the 43rd Army was threatening the approaches to Riga itself, where the German X Corps had been shattered. Schoerner began to move his divisions into the Courland Peninsula, intending to shorten the front and pull back from Riga. A counter-attack was carried out by the XXXIX Panzer Corps of 3rd Panzer Army, temporarily placed under Schörner's overall command, but the Soviet opposition was too strong. In the meantime, Stavka had been preparing a new axis of attack under the cover of a further push towards Riga, the new plan being put forward in a directive of September 24. On September 27, the 16th Army began to report Soviet traffic away from its front, to the south-west. In fact, several major Soviet force concentrations were being shifted southwards in preparation for a major thrust westwards towards Memel by the 1st Baltic Front. German intelligence detected the movement of several of the armies involved, but were unable to detect their destination; the resulting offensive, the Battle of Memel, was launched on October 5.
Schoerner's forces around Riga and in Courland were now cut off. On October 9, Schoerner signalled that he would attack towards Memel and try and re-establish the land connection if Riga could be evacuated. Soviet forces were again moving forwards outside Riga, brought the city within the range of artillery fire on October 10. Leaving a screening force of the 227th Infantry Division and the guns of the 6th Motorized Anti-Aircraft Division, the 18th Army retreated through Riga into Courland, destroying bridges on its route. Riga was taken by forces of the 3rd Baltic Front on October 13. Over the next few days Soviet units were reported in action to the west of Riga, stating that German forces had been cleared from the eastern bank of the Lielupe River by October 17. Army Group North had been driven into the Courland Pocket, where it remained isolated until the end of the war in Europe
4th Army (Soviet Union)
The 4th Army was a Soviet field army of World War II that served on the Eastern front of World War II and in the Caucasus during the Cold War. It was disbanded after the fall of the Soviet Union, with its divisions being withdrawn to Russia and disbanded; the Fourth Army was created in August 1939 in the Belorussian Special Military District from the Bobruisk Army Group as an independent army. In September 1939, the Fourth Army took part in the Soviet invasion of Poland commanded by the future Marshal of Soviet Union V. I. Chuykov, the defender of Stalingrad, its order of battle in that operation is listed here. Elements of the army 4th Battalion, 29th Light Tank Brigade, took part in the German–Soviet military parade in Brest-Litovsk on September 22, 1939; when the German invasion of the Soviet Union commenced on 22 June 1941, the Army was part of the Western Front and had the 28th Rifle Corps, 14th Mechanised Corps, 49th and 75th Rifle Divisions, as well as the 62nd Fortified Region. General Colonel Pavlov, Commander of the Western Front, had decided to redeploy some of 4th Army’s troops early in 1941, John Erickson wrote that 12th Rifle Division was accordingly moved into Brest, HQ 14th Mechanised Corps to Kobrin, which in Erickson’s words, ‘deprived 4th Army of its reserve and its second echelon.’It should be understood that John Erickson was writing in the pre-1990 period when formation designations could be unclear, sometimes to the point of deliberate deception.
According to Sharp the 12th Rifle Division was identified by the Germans on the Western Front, but the unit was assigned to the Far East for the entire war. The formation that appears to have been moved into Brest Fortress was 42nd Rifle Division. Facing the 4th Army across the Bug River was deployed the German Fourth Army, with twelve infantry divisions and a cavalry division, as well as Panzer Group 2; some units faced several difficulties. A. Khorobkov, the army commander, saw his officers on 10 June, General Major Stepan Oborin, 14th Mechanised Corps commander, emphasized that more than half his soldiers were untrained recruits, that his artillery had received guns for which there was no ammunition, that he only had enough lorries to make a quarter of the corps mobile – the rest would have to march. On the eve of the attack, 4th Army suffered, as did many Soviet formations, from German communication sabotage. Units lost telephone connections, electrical power, the Brest Fortress lost its water supply.
From about 5 am on 22 June fierce fighting began around the Brest fortress, but the seven battalions around the fortress, from 28th Rifle Corps, were undermanned and slow off the mark to man the defences. Despite these deficiencies the final German reduction of the fortress took some time in the face of determined Soviet resistance. By 1600 hours on 22 June, 4th Army HQ was back at Zapruda, whereupon Front HQ ordered that 14th Mechanised Corps be launched in an attack to clear Brest and reach the frontier line; however the Army staff felt the plan had no chance of success, so it proved. Three days Western Front ordered a general withdrawal to try to keep the frontier armies out of threatened German encirclement. Further instructions came through from Pavlov after a chance meeting the same day; however the Slutsk fortified district, as the district commander reminded Khorobkov, had long ago been instructed to dispatch all its weapons to the Brest fortress. The planned defence was thus non-existent, Slutsk fell on 27 June.
The Army took part in the defenses of the area around Babruysk. At the end of July 1941, the Fourth Army began to dissolve; the Fourth Army's staff members were absorbed into the general staff of the Central Front, the troops were absorbed into other armies. Source:Commander Lieutenant General Alexander A. Korobkov 28th Rifle Corps - Major General V. S. Popov 6th Rifle Division - Col. M. A. Popsiu-Shapko 42nd Rifle Division - Maj. Gen. I. S. Lazarenko 49th Rifle Division - Col. C. F. Vasil’ev 75th Rifle Division - Col. Nedwigin 14th Mechanized Corps - Major General S. I. Oborin 22nd Tank Division - Mj. Gen. V. P. Puganov 30th Tank Division - Col. Semen Bogdanov 205th Motor Rifle Division - Col. F. F. KudjurovOrder of Battle for Operation Barbarossa At the end of September 1941, the Fourth Army was formed for the second time, retaining its Independent status until December while remaining in the Reserve of the Supreme High Command; the field staffs of the 52nd and 54th Armies were used to fill the command contingent of the Army.
The new formation was made up of the 285th, 292nd, 311th Rifle Divisions along with the 27th Cavalry Division, a Tank brigade, the 2nd Reserve aviation group, other artillery and support units. The Fourth Army participated in the defense and attack of Tikhvin from October to December 1941. On December 17, 1941, the Fourth Army was allocated to the Volkhov Front. From January 1942 to November 1943, the Fourth Army fought on the front in Volkhov and Leningrad while doing many rear-area duties. Unlike in other parts of the Eastern Front, the Red Army was not making significant gains in
20th Army (Soviet Union)
The 20th Army was a field army of the Red Army that fought on the Eastern Front during World War II. The Army was first formed in the Orel Military District in June 1941. On 22 June 1941 the Army was part of the Reserve of the Supreme High Command and was located west of Moscow. On 27 June 1941 it was proposed to Joseph Stalin that the Soviet armies would defend the line going through the Daugava-Polotsk-Vitebsk-Orsha-Mogilev-Mazyr as part of the Reserve Front. Committed as part of Western Front in defensive battles in Belarus and Vyazma. By 5 August 1941 the army, in David Glantz's words, had been'reduced to a skeleton.' The strength of the 289th Rifle Division had fallen to 285 men, 17 machine guns, one anti-tank gun, the 73rd Rifle Division to 100 men and 4 to 5 machine guns, 144th Rifle Division to 440 men, 153rd Rifle Division to 750 men. The Army HQ was disbanded having been destroyed in the Vyazma Pocket. Source: Combat composition of the Soviet Army via tashv and Leo Niehorster 61st Rifle Corps 110th Rifle Division 144th Rifle Division 172nd Rifle Division 69th Rifle Corps 73rd Rifle Division 229th Rifle Division 233rd Rifle Division 18th Rifle Division 301st Howitzer Artillery Regiment 537th High Power Howitzer Artillery Regiment 438th Corps Artillery Regiment 7th Mechanised Corps 14th Tank Division 18th Tank Division 1st Moscow Motor Rifle Division 9th Motorcycle Regiment 60th Pontoon Bridge Battalion Lieutenant General Fyodor Remezov Lieutenant General Pavel Kurochkin Lieutenant General M. F. Lukin Lieutenant General F. A. Ershakov Reestablished in November 1941 from Operational Group Liziukov.
Reformed November 1941 for the Battle of Moscow, including 331st and 350th Rifle Divisions, the 28th, 35th, 64th separate rifle brigades. Fought as part of the Western Front. In 1942-43 it operated on the Rzhev-Sychevka bridgehead, took part in the Rzhev-Vyazma offensive operation. In 1944 it became part of the Stavka Reserve and was reassigned to Kalinin Front and Leningrad Front, it was disbanded in April 1944 by being dispersed within the formations of 3rd Baltic Front. The army was in strategic reserve from July 1943 to April 1944. In April 1944 the headquarters was used to form the 3rd Baltic Front. Lieutenant General Andrey Vlasov Lieutenant General Max Reyter Major General N. I. Kiriukhin Lieutenant General Mikhail Khozin Lieutenant General Nikolai Berzarin Major General A. N. Ermakov Lieutenant General Nikolai Berzarin Major General A. N. Ermakov Lieutenant General Anton Lopatin Lieutenant General Nikolai Gusev
36th Army (Soviet Union)
The 36th Army was a military formation of the Red Army and the Soviet Ground Forces, formed twice. Formed in mid-1941, the army spent much of World War II as part of the Transbaikal Military District guarding the Manchurian and Mongolian-Soviet borders. During the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945, the army advanced over the Greater Khingan mountains and overran the Japanese Hailar fortified region in fierce fighting, it was disbanded after the end of the war in mid-1948. The army was reformed in 1976 from the 86th Army Corps, itself established in 1968 as a result of rising Sino-Soviet tensions, it garrisoned the Transbaikal until being reduced to the 55th Army Corps in 1989 as the Cold War ended. The army was formed in July 1941 in the Transbaikal Military District from the 12th Rifle Corps, under the command of Major General Sergey Fomenko, promoted to lieutenant general on 16 October 1943, it included the 65th, 93rd, 94th, 114th Rifle Divisions as well as the 31st and 32nd Fortified Regions, supported by a number of artillery units, among others.
The army became part of the Transbaikal Front in September when the latter was created from the district, for the rest of World War II guarded the Manchurian-Soviet and Mongolian-Soviet borders in the Transbaikal. For the August 1945 Soviet invasion of Manchuria, the army included the 2nd and 86th Rifle Corps, the 293rd and 298th Rifle Divisions, the 31st and 32nd Fortified Regions, tank and other units; as part of the Khingan–Mukden Offensive, the army was tasked with an advance from the Dauriya area and positions northeast of Duroy to Hailar in order to secure the attack of the main force of the Transbaikal Front against a Japanese counterattack from the north. To expedite the advance of the army a mobile group consisting of the 205th Tank Brigade, rifle regiments aboard vehicles and anti-aircraft artillery regiments, self-propelled artillery and missile launcher battalions as well as sapper companies was formed. Beginning their attack on the night of 9 August without artillery or aerial bombardment, the forces of the army swiftly overran Japanese covering units, captured the Jalainur-Manchuria fortified region on the right flank, crossed the Argun River on the left flank to advance on Hailar.
An advance of 40 kilometers was reached by the end of the day. Continuing the rapid offensive, the forces of the army surrounded the Hailar fortified region on the second day of the invasion and its main forces advanced deep into Manchuria. After crossing the Greater Khingan, on 17 August they captured Boketu and Zalantun; as the vanguard of the 205th Tank Brigade moved towards Qiqihar, reached on 19 August, elements of the army continued the reduction of the Hailar fortified region, which fell on 18 August. Following the surrender of the Kwantung Army, the troops of the army helped disarm Japanese troops; the army became part of the Transbaikal-Amur Military District when the front headquarters became a military district on 10 September. By 1 October, it included the 2nd Rifle Corps with the 103rd, 275th, 292nd Rifle Divisions, the 86th Rifle Corps with the 94th, 210th, the 298th Rifle Divisions, the 293rd Rifle Division and 31st and 32nd Fortified Regions directly subordinated to the army headquarters.
The headquarters of the 2nd Rifle Corps, the 103rd and 275th Divisions were disbanded as part of the postwar demobilization. The demobilization continued in early to mid-1946, during which the 210th, 292nd, 293rd, the 298th Divisions were disbanded; as a result, the army was reduced to the 86th Rifle Corps with the 36th and 94th Rifle Divisions and the 57th Rifle Division, 61st Tank Division, the 3rd and 8th Machine Gun Artillery Brigades by August of that year. Headquartered at Chita by May 1947, the army headquarters was used to reform the Transbaikal Military District headquarters there on 10 July; the 86th Rifle Corps headquarters became a new army headquarters at Tsugol. The existence of this formation was brief, in accordance with an order of 24 March 1948 the army headquarters was disbanded by July and used to help form the 14th Assault Army in the Chukotka Peninsula; the 86th Rifle Corps and 61st Tank Division were directly subordinated to the district. The following officers commanded the army: Major General Sergey Fomenko Lieutenant General Alexander Luchinsky Lieutenant General Sergey Fomenko The second formation of the 36th Army was formed as the 86th Army Corps of the Transbaikal Military District at Borzya on 19 April 1968, as a result of the Sino-Soviet split.
The numbering of the corps was a reference to the 86th Rifle Corps, in an attempt to continue traditions. The corps included the 122nd Guards Motor Rifle Division at Dauriya whose predecessors had been stationed in the region since 1945, two other Guards Motor Rifle Divisions transferred from the Moscow Military District: the 11th, 32nd, the 38th. However, the 32nd Guards returned to the Moscow Military District in 1970; the 86th Corps was redesignated as the second formation of the 36th Army on 1 June 1976, covering the southeast border of Transbaikal. In addition to its divisions, the army included other units transferred from European Russia, such as the 240th Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade at Borzya, transferred in early 1975 from the 7th Tank Army of the Belorussian Military District. By the end of the 1980s, the 11th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 19th Fortified Regions were part of the army. On 1 June 1989, the army was downsized into the 55th Army Corps; that year, as Soviet military expenditure declined with the winding dow
7th Army (Soviet Union)
The Soviet Red Army's 7th Army first saw action in the 1939–40 Winter War against Finland. In November 1939, just before the initial Soviet attack, it consisted of the 19th Rifle Corps, 50th Rifle Corps, 10th Tank Corps, 138th Rifle Division, an independent tank brigade; the Army was first under Commander Yakovlev, but he was removed from command of his army and returned to Leningrad. Command of the war operation Kirill Meretskov was called-off due to extensive failures and heavy casualties, he replaced Yakovlev as the commander of the Seventh Army.7th Army was reformed in Autumn 1940 in the Leningrad Military District. Before the German Operation Barbarossa began it covered the Soviet frontier to the north of Lake Ladoga. Since 24 June 1941 the army included the 54th, 71st, 168th and 237th Rifle Divisions, the 26th Fortified Region, the 55th Composite Aviation Division, some artillery and engineering formations, it became part of the Northern Front the Karelian Front, conducted defensive operations in Karelia, however losing Ladoga Karelia to the Finns in July–August 1941.
On 25 September 1941 it was renamed the 7th Separate Army, directly subordinate to Stavka, it remained in that status until February 1944. In the middle of October 1941 – June 1944 it defended the Svir River line between Lakes Onega and Ladoga. From June to August 1944 the army, comprising now the 37th Guards, 4th, 94th, 99th Rifle Corps, 150th and 162nd Fortified Regions, a number of artillery, tank and other units, as part of the Karelian Front, participated in the Svir–Petrozavodsk Operation, it was disbanded in the beginning of January 1945. On the basis of its headquarters the 9th Guards Army of the Airborne Forces was created on 18 December 1944; the army's second formation was commanded by the following officers. Lieutenant-General Filip D. Garelenko. White Death: Russia's War on Finland 1939–40. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-84630-7. Http://samsv.narod.ru/Arm/a07/arm.html
Ivan Ilyich Lyudnikov, was a Soviet Army Colonel General and Hero of the Soviet Union. Ivan Lyudnikov was born on 8 October 1902, in Krivaya Kosa in the Don Host Oblast. In 1913, he began working alongside his father at Mine No. 2 in the Shcheglovskogo Coal Mine. He became a coal sorter a drainage pump worker in 1914, he became an apprentice turner at the mine workshop in 1915, in 1916 became a turner. On 25 October 1917, Lyudnikov became a volunteer in the Yuzovsky Red Guard Group. In April 1918, he became a machine gunner in the special machine gun detachment commanded by Abrosimov on the Southern Front and was wounded. In May, he became a Red Army man and a machine gunner in the detachment of S. A. Bondarenko. In December, he transferred to the 1st Cavalry Regiment of the 42nd Rifle Division, part of Semyon Budyonny's 1st Cavalry Army. Lyudnikov became a VKSLM member in 1919, elected by personnel of the 1st Cavalry Regiment, he became a Red Navy man serving on the gunboat Znamya sotsializma, under the command of Sergey Kolbasev, part of the Azov Flotilla and based at the Mariupol Naval Base.
He fought against the White Army led by Alexey Kaledin, Anton Denikin and Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War between 1918 and 1922. After the war was over, he was educated at the following military educational institutions: 94 infantry commanding officer of the Ukrainian Military District Odessa infantry division Commander at the 13th Dagestan infantry division and battalion course commander at the Vladikavkaz infantry school Machine gun course at the Vistrel courses Frunze Military Academy Printed order 00128 of 29 August 1938 appointed him the special affairs officer of the Red Army 1st department. Beginning April 1939, he was leading two sections of the 13 branch department of the Red Army, its main task was in preparing operations workers for army headquarters and commanding Zhitomir infantry school. By 22 June 1941, Colonel Lyudnikov was commanding 200th Rifle infantry division, part of 31st Rifle Corps, in charge of military district and located south of the city of Sarny.
The 200th Rifle division was added to the 5th Army and took part in the First Battle of Kiev. Occupying the Korosten fortified area, along with other units, made numerous flank attacks on the 6th German Army aiming at Kiev. After being withdrawn from the river Dnieper, 200th division took part in defensive fighting for Chernihiv. On 12 September, the division and its staff was attacked from the air, as a result Lyudnikov was wounded in the head and his feet were broken, he was treated at Kharkiv hospital and at Kazan military hospital No. 361. After his treatment was over, in November 1941, Lyudnikov received command of the 16th Separate Rifle Brigade, organized on the basis of Grozny and some other defence schools of the North Caucasian defence district; the brigade became part of the 56th Army of the North Caucasus Military District. In late November, the brigade took part in the recapture of Rostov-on-Don. From 26 March 1942, Lyudnikov was assigned command of several divisions: the 218th Rifle Division of the North Caucasus Military District, the 404th Rifle Division, the 390th Armenian Rifle Division and the 63rd Mountain Rifle Division of the 44th Army.
Due to changes in the situation at the front, he did not take command of these. On 29 May 1942, he took command of the 138 Rifle division. 138th Rifle Division was fighting the enemy in Stalingrad in October–December 1942. For 100 days and nights the division conducted fighting at the Barrikady works in the area of the lower settlement; this territory of 700 m × 400 m was encircled on three sides, the fourth was Volga river. It was shot through by artillery, shot at by shells; the Division under Lyudnikov's command was fought steadfastly until he proceeded to the final section of the report in December 1942. On 25 January 1943, the Division's units charged north to destroy those fascist units in the area of works and settlements. For their part in the fighting for Stalingrad, the division was reorganized into the 70th Guards Rifle Division on 6 February 1943. On 1 June 1943, Lyudnikov was appointed commander of the 15th guard infantry division, carried out his orders on defence and changed to counterattack.
On 22 September, forward units approached Dnieper north of the city of Chernobyl and began forcing it without a pause. After seizing the bridge-head on the right bank they repulsed counterattacks and started battle for widening the bridge-head. Lyudnikov was taken note of for his successful management in forcing Dnieper, showing audacity and courage, he was afforded with the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union, presented with the order of Lenin and the Gold Star. The Red Army performed attack Operation Bagration. At the time, Lydnikov was in command of 39 Army at the 3rd Belorussian Front. Together with 43 Army of the 1st Baltic Front, Army general Beloborodov made an attack operation against German forces in June 1944; this operation is known as Vitebsk–Orsha Offensive or Vitebsk Orsha pocket. This operation resulted in liberation of 447 settlements including Vitebsk and Orsha. On the decision of General Headquarters, the authority of 39 Army was temporarily delegated to 1st Baltic front to take part in the Baltic Offensive.
The army was given the combat mission of seizing the Daugavpils–Pabradė li