114th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

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114th Rifle Division (July 14, 1939 – June, 1946)
Red Army Senior Sergeant Grigorii Andreevich Yekimov.jpg
Senior Sergeant G. A. Yekimov, Hero of the Soviet Union
Active 1939–1946
Country  Soviet Union
Branch Red Army flag.svg Red Army
Type Division
Role Infantry
Engagements Continuation War
Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive
Petsamo–Kirkenes Offensive
Liberation of Finnmark
Decorations Order of the Red Banner Order of the Red Banner
Battle honours Svir
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Col. Sergei Nikolaievich Devyatov
Maj. Gen. Mikhail Ignatovich Panfilovich
Col. Ignatii Alekseevich Moskalev
Col. Nikolai Antonovich Koshchienko

The 114th Rifle Division began service in July, 1939 as a standard Red Army rifle division, as part of the pre-war expansion of the Soviet forces, it was stationed on the Svir River front in the autumn of 1941 and had a relatively uneventful war facing the Finns until the Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive began on June 10, 1944, from which point it saw much more active service. As the Finns were leaving the war the division was transferred to 14th Army in the Arctic, from where it helped to defeat and pursue the German forces from Lapland into Norway.

Formation[edit]

The division began forming on July 14, 1939, at Irkutsk in the Transbaikal Military District,[1] on August 16 the division came under the command of Col. Sergei Nikolaievich Devyatov, who would remain in this post until November 3, 1941.

On June 22, 1941, the division was still in that district, its primary order of battle was as follows:

  • 363rd Rifle Regiment
  • 536th Rifle Regiment
  • 763rd Rifle Regiment
  • 405th Light Artillery Regiment
  • 480th Howitzer Regiment[2]

In July, the 114th joined the 36th Army in the same district, but in September was alerted for transfer to the west, it was eventually assigned to the Southern Operations Group of 7th Army in East Karelia, facing the Finnish Army along the front of the Svir River until June, 1944. During most of this time it was part of the 4th Rifle Corps. Col. Mikhail Ignatovich Panfilovich took command of the division on November 4, 1941, and he would remain in command for most of the rest of the war, being promoted to Major General on October 16, 1943.

Advance[edit]

On May 15, 1944, General Panfilovich handed his command to Col. Ignatii Alekseevich Moskalev, the Soviet offensive against Finland began on June 10. By the 16th, Marshal Mannerheim had issued orders to give up East Karelia under the weight of the Soviet assault; the Finns gave up their bridgehead south of the Svir on the 18th. The withdrawal went less smoothly than they expected, because 7th Army kept up an aggressive pursuit, crossing the river on either side of Lodeynoye Pole, the 114th distinguished itself in this operation and was later given the honorific «Свирская» (Svir). By June 30 the Finns had been forced out of Petrozavodsk and, two days later, Salmi,[3] on July 26, Col. Nikolai Antonovich Koshchienko took command of the division, which he would lead for the duration of the war.

By August the Soviet forces had driven the Finnish army back to its 1940 borders, and beginning on August 9th the division was moved to the high Arctic, becoming part of 14th Army,[4] it took part in the Petsamo–Kirkenes Offensive along the coast of the Arctic Ocean, driving the German 20th Mountain Army out of northern Finland and into Norway.[5] On October 31, the 114th was recognized for its role in the capture of Petsamo with the award of the Order of the Red Banner.[6] 14th Army continued its attack into Norway past Kirkenes and across the Neiden River. By now, in late October, the army faced very difficult terrain and the Arctic night, and operations were brought to a virtual halt. However, a reconnaissance force of the 114th was sent 116 road kilometres further west into Norway, eventually reaching Tana on November 13, the deepest operation by Soviet forces into that country,[7] the division served the remainder of the war in Arctic, in 14th Army, officially "out of contact with the enemy" after December.[8] At the war's end the soldiers of the 114th held the official title 114-я стрелковая Свирская Краснознамённая дивизия (English: 114th Rifle, Svir, Order of the Red Banner Division).

Postwar[edit]

The division became part of the 131st Rifle Corps at Repola, it disbanded there in 1946. [9]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Charles C. Sharp, "Red Legions", Soviet Rifle Divisions Formed Before June 1941, Soviet Order of Battle World War II, Vol. VIII, 1996, p. 57
  2. ^ Sharp, Red Legions, p. 57. The howitzer regiment was removed in January, 1942, and the light artillery regiment was converted to a standard divisional artillery regiment.
  3. ^ Earl F. Ziemke, Stalingrad to Berlin, Center of Military History, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 302
  4. ^ Sharp states that the 114th was first in 99th Rifle Corps upon joining 14th Army, and later moved to 31st Rifle Corps, but according to Russian Wikipedia it served only in the 31st.
  5. ^ Ziemke, map on p. 398. See also David M. Glantz and Jonathan House, When Titans Clashed, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 1995, pp. 229-31
  6. ^ Affairs Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Soviet Union 1967, p. 20.
  7. ^ http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/CGSC/CARL/download/csipubs/Petsamo-KirkenesOperation.pdf, p. 92
  8. ^ Sharp, Red Legions, p. 57
  9. ^ Feskov et al 2013, p. 429

Bibliography[edit]

  • Dzhigola, S.R.; Kuznetsov, I.I. (1987). Воевал сибиряк на Карельском: Боевой путь 114-й стрелковой Свирской Краснознамённой дивизии [Siberians Fought in Karelia: Combat Path of the 114th Svir Red Banner Rifle Division] (in Russian). Irkutsk: East Siberian Book Publishing. 
  • Feskov, V.I.; Golikov, V.I.; Kalashnikov, K.A.; Slugin, S.A. (2013). Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской [The Armed Forces of the USSR after World War II: From the Red Army to the Soviet] (in Russian). 1 Land Forces. Tomsk. ISBN 9785895035306. 
  • Main Personnel Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Soviet Union (1964). Командование корпусного и дивизионного звена советских вооруженных сил периода Великой Отечественной войны 1941 – 1945 гг [Commanders of Corps and Divisions in the Great Patriotic War, 1941–1945] (in Russian). Moscow: Frunze Military Academy.  p. 155
  • Affairs Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Soviet Union (1967). Сборник приказов РВСР, РВС СССР, НКО и Указов Президиума Верховного Совета СССР о награждении орденами СССР частей, соединениий и учреждений ВС СССР. Часть II. 1945 - 1966 гг [Collection of orders of the RVSR, RVS USSR and NKO on awarding orders to units, formations and establishments of the Armed Forces of the USSR. Part II. 1945–1966] (PDF) (in Russian). Moscow. 

External links[edit]