180th Rifle Division

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180th Rifle Division
180th Motor Rifle Division
Active 1940–1989
Country  Soviet Union
Branch Soviet Army
Type Infantry, Motorized Infantry
Garrison/HQ Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky (2nd formation)
Engagements

World War II

Decorations

Order of the red Banner OBVERSE.jpg Order of the Red Banner (2nd formation) Order of suvorov medal 2nd class.jpg Order of Suvorov 2nd class (2nd formation)

OrderOfKutuzov2nd.jpg Order of Kutuzov 2nd class (2nd formation)
Battle honours Kiev (2nd formation)
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Serafim Merkulov

The 180th Rifle Division was an infantry division of the Soviet Red Army, formed twice.

Poirer and Connor write that it was first formed 1940 in the Baltic Special Military District and became the 28th Guards Rifle Division on 3 May 1942.

The division briefly became the 14th Rifle Division in 1955, then 88th Motor Rifle Division 1957, but became 180th Kiev Red Banner Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov Motor Rifle Division in 1965 and remained under that title until the 1990s,[1] after 1992 became Ukrainian 27th Mechanized Brigade. The 27th Mechanized Brigade was disbanded, most likely in the early 2000s.

First formation[edit]

The 180th Rifle Division was first formed during August and September 1940 in the Baltic Special Military District. It was part of the 22nd Territorial Rifle Corps (Estonian) and was composed of Estonian People's Force personnel, it was commanded by Major General Richard Tomberg, the former comammander of the Estonian Air Force.[2] On 3 June 1941, Major General Ivan Missan replaced Tomberg in command,[3] on 22 June 1941, it was based in Võru, which was in the rear area. While moving forward, it was attacked by German aircraft, the division entered combat on 26 June against the LVI Panzer Corps, which was attacking the 27th Army in the Daugava region. On 9 July, the division and its parent formation, the 22nd Rifle Corps, were transferred from the 27th Army to the 11th Army, it fought in defensive battles, making counterattacks in Soltsy, Porkhov and Novorzhev. In August it had retreated back to the Staraya Russa area.In September 1941, the division fought in the Demyansk Defensive Operation, it then fought in the Demyansk Pocket in early 1942. On 3 May 1942, the division became the 28th Guards Rifle Division for its actions.[4]

Second formation[edit]

The second formation of the division was created at Cherepovets in June 1942 from the 41st Rifle Brigade,[5] it fought at Kiev, Targul Frumos, and Budapest.[6] The division was part of the 53rd Army of the 2nd Ukrainian Front in May 1945, during the war, the division was awarded the honorific Kiev for its actions during the 1943 capture of Kiev. It was awarded the Order of the Red Banner, the Order of Suvorov 2nd class and the Order of Kutuzov 2nd class.

Postwar[edit]

In 1955, it became the 14th Rifle Division,[7] on 17 May 1957, the 88th Motor Rifle Division was activated from the 14th Rifle Division in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, part of the 14th Army.[8] On 19 February 1962, the 276th Separate Equipment Maintenance and Recovery Battalion was activated along with the 244th Separate Missile Battalion.[1]

On 17 November 1964, the 88th Motor Rifle Division became the 180th Motor Rifle Division, restoring its World War II numbering; in 1967, the 14th Army became the 14th Guards Army. On 15 November 1972, the 1303rd Separate Anti-Tank Artillery Battalion was activated along with a separate Reactive Artillery Battalion; in 1980, the Separate Motor Transport Battalion became the 1041st Separate Material Supply Battalion. During the same year, the 136th Artillery Regiment absorbed the reactive artillery battalion, during the Cold War, the division was maintained at 16% strength. On 1 December 1989, the division was ordered to become the 5775th Weapons and Equipment Storage Base, but this was appears to have been delayed to at least 1991; in 1990, CFE treaty data showed the division had 61 T-64 tanks, 13 T-54 tanks and 12 BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers, among other equipment. In January 1992, the storage base was taken over by Ukraine.[1]

It became the 27th Separate Mechanized Brigade and was subordinated to the 1st Airmobile Division, the brigade was disbanded in 2004.[9]

Composition[edit]