19th Guards Mechanized Brigade (Belarus)
The 19th Guards Mechanized Brigade is a formation of the Armed Forces of Belarus based in Zaslonovo, a few kilometers east of Lepiel. The brigade traces its history back to the 1942 formation of the 2nd Guards Mechanized Corps of the Soviet Army during World War II. Subsequent designations during the Cold War included 2nd Guards Mechanized Division and 19th Guards Tank Division. Following the Cold War, the 19th Guards Tank Division was relocated to Belarus and became part of their armed forces in 1992. Thereafter, the unit was reduced to a personnel and equipment cadre unit and titled the 19th Guards Base for Storage of Weapons and Equipment before being upgraded to a mechanized brigade in 2008. Formed in the Tambov area on 15 October 1942 from elements of the 22nd Guards Rifle Division, the 2nd Guards Mechanized Corps was under the command of Major General Karp Sviridov and subordinated to the Southern Front and the 2nd Guards Army until late 1943, at which time the corps became a front-level asset and fought with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th Ukrainian Fronts for the rest of the war.
By the end of the war, the 2nd Guards Mechanized Corps commanded the 4th, 5th, 6th Guards Mechanized Brigades, as well as the 37th Guards Tank Brigade. The corps fought at Stalingrad in 1942-43, at Melitopol in 1943, Odessa and Budapest in 1944, Vienna in 1945; the 2nd Guards Mechanized Corps finished the war as part of the 6th Guards Tank Army in the area of Benešov, Czechoslovakia, on 9 May 1945. The 2nd Guards Mechanized Corps, like all Soviet mechanized corps, was reorganized as a division in mid-late 1945, was renamed the 2nd Guards Mechanized Division; the 2nd Guards Mechanized Division was part of the Southern Group of Forces based at Esztergom, Hungary. The division was part of the Soviet forces that crushed the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. On 15 December 1956, the division was reorganized as a tank division and renamed the 19th Guards Tank Division; the 97th Motor Rifle Regiment transferred to the division from the 27th Mechanized Division on the same day. The division's 87th Guards Heavy Tank Regiment dropped the designation "Self-Propelled" on the same day.
The 67th Separate Tank Training Battalion was disbanded in 1960. In 1961 the 99th Separate Missile Battalion was activated; the 74th Separate Equipment Maintenance and Recovery Battalion was formed on 19 February 1962. The 87th Guards Heavy Tank Regiment became a regular tank regiment around this time. In 1968, the 55th Separate Sapper Battalion became an engineer-sapper battalion; the chemical defence company was upgraded to a battalion in 1972. The 1081st Separate Material Supply Battalion formed from the 690th Separate Motor Transport Battalion in 1980; the chemical defence battalion was once again downsized to a company in 1985. On 7 September 1987, the 99th Separate Missile Battalion became part of the 459th Missile Brigade. Among other veterans of the unit, Yuri Budanov served with the division in the late 1980s in Hungary; the 87th Guards Tank Regiment, 99th Separate Guards Reconnaissance Battalion and 74th Separate Equipment Maintenance and Recovery Battalion disbanded in December 1989. They were replaced by the 130th Guards Tank Regiment, 56th Separate Reconnaissance Battalion and 77th Separate Equipment Maintenance and Recovery Battalion from the disbanded 13th Guards Tank Division.
The division became part of the 7th Tank Army. Following the end of the Cold War, the unit was withdrawn to Zaslonovo in Belarus 1992 and became part of the Armed Forces of Belarus. At some point following relocation, the division was reorganized and became a Base for Storage of Weapons and Equipment, a partial-strength mechanized infantry formation. "One of the equipment storage bases is the 19th, the former 19th Guards Tank Division at Zaslonovo in the Lepiel region. On October 1, 2003, the base was strengthened. From other bases of storage of arms and techniques now we are distinguished favorably by new structure. Besides a battalion of protection and service, motor-rifle and tank battalions were added."In 2008 the base for storage of weapons and equipment was again upgraded into a brigade. V. I. Feskov et al; the Soviet Army in the period of the Cold War, Tomsk University Publishing House, 2004. Glantz, Colussus Reborn, University Press of Kansas, 2005. Poirier, Robert G. and Conner, Albert Z.
The Red Army Order of Battle in the Great Patriotic War, Novato: Presidio Press, 1985. Ustinov, D. F. - Geschichte des Zweiten Welt Krieges, 1981 https://web.archive.org/web/20130511201841/http://www8.brinkster.com/vad777/
Moscow Military District
The Moscow Military District was a military district of the Soviet Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. In 2010 it was merged with the Leningrad Military District, the Northern Fleet and the Baltic Fleet to form the new Western Military District. In the beginning of the second half of the 19th century Russian officials realized the need for re-organization of the Imperial Russian Army to meet new circumstances. During May 1862, the War Ministry, headed by Army General Dmitry Milyutin, introduced to Tsar Alexander II of Russia proposals for the reorganization of the army, which included the formation of fifteen military districts. A tsarist edict of 6 August 1864, announced in a Defence Minister’s order on 10 August of the same year, established ten military districts, including Moscow; the District’s territory comprised 12 provinces: Vladimir, Kaluga, Moscow, Nizhniy Novgorod, Smolensk, Tver and Yaroslavl. The District was intended as a reinforcement source for troops and equipment, being some distance from the frontier, rather than an operational area.
The District dispatched five infantry and a cavalry division south to the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–8, as well as sending another division to the Caucasus area. This force totaled around 20,000 horses. Over 80,000 men were called into reserve units; the District housed 21,000 Turkish prisoners of war. During the First World War over a million men were stationed in the district. Much of the garrison was involved in the October Revolution of 1917, consequent establishment of a Soviet regime in the cities of Bryansk, Voronezh, Nizhniy Novgorod, Tver, Yaroslavl. By a resolution of the Moscow military revolutionary committee on 17 November 1917, Corps Commander N. I. Muralov was assigned as the new commander of the district. In the period of the Russian Civil War and military intervention in Russia 1917 - 22 the District prepared military personnel for all the fronts and supplied the Red Army with different forms of armament and allowances. From June to the middle of September 1919 the District conducted 33 callups totalling more than 500,000 people.
In Moscow the 1 Moscow Rifle Division, Warsaw revolutionary infantry regiment, 2nd revolutionary infantry regiment were formed, Latvian forces were brought to the Latvian Rifles Division. In Voronezh two cavalry divisions were formed, two rifle divisions and two rifle regiments in Nizhniy Novgorod, the 16th Rifle Division in Tambov. Artillery units too were being raised in the capital area. After the end of Civil War in the troops of region were demobilized, as a result of which their number was reduced from 580,000 to 85,000 in January 1923, the District was reorganised on a peacetime basis. In the 1920s the District had 10 rifle divisions: the 1st Moscow Proletariat Red Banner Rifle Division, the 6th Оrlovskaya. Autumn maneuvers began to be conducted yearly here in the district; the 2nd Rifle Corps was stationed in the district from 1922 to 1936. In the beginning of the 1930 tanks started to be introduced, including the MS or T-18, T-26, T-27, BT, T-28, the heavy T-35. In 1930 the first mechanized infantry brigade in the Soviet Army was formed in the district.
The Russian Ground Forces' official site notes that the first tactical parachute landing took place in the District on 2 August 1930. In World War II the District formed three fronts, 23 armies, 128 divisions of all arms, 197 brigades of all arms, an approximate total of 4.5 million men. In 1944–5 alone the District sent to the front 1,200,000 soldiers. From summer 1945 to summer 1946, in order to supervise the demobilisation process, the District was subdivided into four: the Moscow, Voronezh and Smolensk Military Districts. General Kirill Moskalenko took command of the District in 1953 and would be a Marshal of the Soviet Union after leaving his post; the Voronezh Military District was reactivated in 1949 and was active until 1960. In 1955 the district's forces comprised the 1st Guards Rifle Corps, the 13th Guards Rifle Corps, the 3rd Guards Rifle Division, the 15th, the 31st Guards, the 38th Guards Rifle Divisions, the 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Tank Division, the 23rd Guards, 65th, 66th Guards Mechanised Divisions, the 71st Mechanised Division, the 38th Guards Airborne Corps.
On 22 February 1968, for the large contribution to the cause of strengthening the defense of the state, for its successes in combat and political training, in view of the 50th anniversary of the Soviet Army plus its important role in the 2nd World War, the District was awarded with the Order of Lenin. In 1979 Scott and Scott reported the HQ address as being A-252, Chapayevskiy Per. Dom 14; the District's dispositions at the end of the 1980s were: 13th Guards Army Corps, Gorkiy. In 1990 this corps was under the command of General Fyodor Reut. 60th Tank Division, Dzerzhinsk 206th Motor Rifle Division, Tambov District Troops 2nd Guards'Taman' Motor Rifle Division, Kalinnets 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Tank Division, Naro-Fominsk 26th Guards Tank Training Division, Vladimir 32nd Guards Motor Rifle Divisio
The Vistula–Oder Offensive was a successful Red Army operation on the Eastern Front in the European Theatre of World War II in January 1945. It saw the fall of Kraków, Warsaw and Poznań; the Red Army had built up their strength around a number of key bridgeheads, with two fronts commanded by Marshal Georgy Zhukov and Marshal Ivan Konev. Against them, the German Army Group A, led by Colonel-General Josef Harpe, was outnumbered 5:1. Within days, German commandants evacuated the concentration camps, sending the prisoners on their death marches to the west, where ethnic Germans started fleeing. In a little over two weeks, the Red Army had advanced 300 miles from the Vistula to the Oder, only 43 miles from Berlin, undefended, but Zhukov called a halt, owing to continued German resistance on his northern flank, the advance on Berlin had to be delayed until April. In the wake of the successful Operation Bagration, the 1st Belorussian Front managed to secure two bridgeheads west of the Vistula river between 27 July and 4 August 1944.
The Soviet forces remained inactive during the failed Warsaw uprising that started on 1 August, though their frontline was not far from the insurgents. The 1st Ukrainian Front captured an additional large bridgehead at Sandomierz, some 200 km south of Warsaw, during the Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive. Preceding the offensive, the Red Army had built up large amounts of materiel and manpower in the three bridgeheads; the Red Army outnumbered the opposing Wehrmacht in infantry and armour. All this was known to German intelligence. General Reinhard Gehlen, head of Fremde Heere Ost passed his assessment to Heinz Guderian. Guderian in turn presented the intelligence results to Adolf Hitler, who refused to believe them, dismissing the apparent Soviet strength as "the greatest imposture since Genghis Khan". Guderian had proposed to evacuate the divisions of Army Group North trapped in the Courland Pocket to the Reich via the Baltic Sea to get the necessary manpower for the defence, but Hitler forbade it. In addition, Hitler commanded that one major operational reserve, the troops of Sepp Dietrich's 6th Panzer Army, be moved to Hungary to support Operation Frühlingserwachen.
The offensive was brought forward from 20 January to 12 January because meteorological reports warned of a thaw in the month, the tanks needed hard ground for the offensive. It was not done to assist American and British forces during the Battle of the Bulge, as Stalin chose to claim at Yalta. Two Fronts of the Red Army were directly involved; the 1st Belorussian Front, holding the sector around Warsaw and southward in the Magnuszew and Puławy bridgeheads, was led by Marshal Georgy Zhukov. Zhukov and Konev had 163 divisions for the operation with a total of: 2,203,000 infantry, 4,529 tanks, 2,513 assault guns, 13,763 pieces of field artillery, 14,812 mortars, 4,936 anti-tank guns, 2,198 Katyusha multiple rocket launchers, 5,000 aircraft. 1st Belorussian Front 47th Army 1st Polish Army 3rd Shock Army 61st Army 1st Guards Tank Army 2nd Guards Tank Army 5th Shock Army 8th Guards Army 69st Army 33rd Army 1st Ukrainian Front 21st Army 6th Army 3rd Guards Army 13th Army 4th Tank Army 3rd Guards Tank Army 52nd Army 5th Guards Army 59th Army 60th Army Soviet forces in this sector were opposed by Army Group A, defending a front which stretched from positions east of Warsaw southwards along the Vistula to the confluence of the San.
At that point there was a large Soviet bridgehead over the Vistula in the area of Baranów before the front continued south to Jasło. There were three Armies in the Group; the force had a total complement of 450,000 soldiers, 4,100 artillery pieces, 1,150 tanks. Army Group A was led by Colonel-General Josef Harpe. Army Group A 9th Army LVI Panzer Corps XXXXVI Panzer Corps VIII Corps 4th Panzer Army XLII Corps XXIV Panzer Corps XLVIII Panzer Corps 17th Army LIX Corps XI Corps XI SS Panzer Corps German intelligence had estimated that the Soviet forces had a 3:1 numerical superiority to the German forces. In the large Baranow/Sandomierz bridgehead, the Fourth Panzer Army was required to defend from'strongpoints' in some areas, as it lacked the infantry to man a continuous front line. In addition, on Hitler's express orders, the two German defence lines were positioned close to each other, placing the main defences well within striking range of Soviet artillery; the offensive commenced in the Baranow bridgehead at 04:35 on 12 January with an intense bombardment by the guns of the 1st Ukrainian Front against the positions of the 4th Panzer Army.
Concentrated against the divisions of XLVIII Panzer Corp
20th Guards Motor Rifle Division
The 20th Motor Rifle Division was a formation of the Russian Ground Forces formed within the Soviet Red Army as the 3rd Mechanised Corps. The formation of the corps began in the Western Special Military District in June 1940 on the basis of headquarters and the relevant parts of the 24th Rifle Corps, 7th Cavalry Division, 21st Heavy Tank Brigade, 2nd Light Tank Brigade, 84th Rifle Division, tank battalions of the 113th, 121st and 143rd rifle divisions; the 3rd Mechanised Corps was first formed in July 1940, on 22 June 1941, was stationed at Vilnius in the Baltic Military District under MG A. V. Kurkin, it consisted of 2nd Tank Division, 5th Tank Division, 84th Motorised Division, 15th Motorcycle Regiment, an artillery regiment, engineer and signals battalions. On 22 June, the 2nd Tank Division was located in the forest in Gajzhuny, in the Ionava area, the 5th Tank Division was positioned to defend the Neman bridge near Alitus, the 84th Motorised Division - was in forest in the Kajshadoris area.
On 22 June 1941, the 3rd Mechanised Corps had 31,975 men & 651 tanks, of which 110 were new T-34 and KV-1 types. The Corps was engaged in the first battles of Operation Barbarossa during the Baltic Operation and at the Battle of Raseiniai. On 24 June 1941, a single KV-2 heavy tank of 2nd Tank Division, at a crossroads in front of Raseiniai, managed to cut off elements of the 6th Panzer Division which had established bridgeheads on the Dubysa, it stalled the Division's advance for a full day while being attacked by a variety of antitank weapons, until it ran out of ammunition. General Erhard Raus, the Officer commanding 6th Panzer Division's Kampfgruppe Raus, the unit held up by the lone vehicle, described the incident. Raus said that the vehicle was damaged by several shots from a 88mm anti-aircraft gun firing at the vehicle from behind whilst it was distracted by Panzer 35 tanks from Panzer Battalion 65; the crew were killed by grenades thrown by a Pioneer Engineer unit. The grenades were pushed through two holes made by the gun whilst the turret had started moving again, the other five or six shots having not penetrated completely.
The crew had remarkably only been stunned by the shots which had entered the turret. Afterwards they were buried nearby with honours by the German soldiers of the unit held up. However, by early July the Corps had ceased to exist as a formation, though remnants rejoined Soviet lines later. For example, the 5th Tank Division was at Yelnya by 4 July 1941, consisted of 2,552 men and a total of 2 BT-7 tanks and four armoured cars; the 2nd Tank Division was encircled and destroyed at Raseiniai and the 5th Tank Division was encircled and destroyed at the Battle of Białystok–Minskb and was disbanded shortly after. On 11 July 1941 Col P Poluboiarov, Northwestern Front armoured directorate reported that the 3rd Mechanised Corps had'completely perished' having only 400 men remaining who escaped encirclement with 2nd Tank Division & only 1 BT-7 tank; the Corps was formed for the second time on 18 September 1942 at Kalinin in the Moscow Military District. General Lieutenant M. E. Katukov took command, it was assigned to the 22nd Army of the Kalinin Front.
It took part in Operation Mars alongside the 22nd Army. At the beginning of Operation Mars 3rd Mechanised Corps consisted of 232 tanks. Hamazasp Babadzhanian, who commanded the 3rd Mechanised Brigade of the corps, mentioned this operation in his memoirs, quoting a conversation with 22nd Army commander, V. A. Iushkevich, who said, “We will conduct a rather serious offensive together with Western Front forces—we must liquidate the enemy Rzhev grouping.”The Corps fought in the Battle of Kursk fought across the Ukraine with the Central, 1st Belorussian Fronts. On 23 October 1943, it was awarded ‘Guards’ status and re-designated the 8th Guards Mechanised Corps. In 1944, it took part in the Zhitomir-Berdichev, Korsun-Shevchenkovsky, Proskurov-Chernovits, Lvov-Sandomir battles, gaining the'Carpathian' honorific in April 1944, it ended the war in Berlin after participating in the East Pomeranian offensives. In June 1945, recognising its role in capturing Berlin, it was awarded the honorific'Berlin'.
As part of the occupation forces, it was assigned to the 1st Guards Tank Army. In the immediate post-war period, the Corps was reorganised as the 8th Guards Mechanised Division. In May 1957, it was reorganised as the 20th Guards Motor Rifle Division bearing honorifics: Carpathia-Berlin, Red Banner, Order of Suvorov, it was stationed at Grimma in eastern Germany. In 1964, the division was transferred to the 8th Guards Army, it took part in the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia as part of the 1st Guards Tank Army, although when it returned to East Germany, it reverted to the control of the 8th Guards Army. Became part of 1st Guards Tank Army in 1983, until 1993; the division was withdrawn from Germany in June 1993, moved to Volgograd in the North Caucasus Military District. There it was under the command of the reduced 8th Guards Army Corps the 8th Guards Army; the division remained garrisoned in Volgograd, with parts of the division having taken part in the First and Second Chechen Wars. The division was engaged from December 1994 to February 1995 in the First Chechen War.
On December 31, 1994, units of the division, together with the 131st Motor Rifle Brigade and the 81st Guards Motor Rifle Regiment entered Grozny. On January 13, 1995, elements of the division began storming the Council of Ministers building. On January 16, the building of the Council of Ministers was taken. On Ja
Battle of Berlin
The Battle of Berlin, designated the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviet Union, known as the Fall of Berlin, was one of the last major offensives of the European theatre of World War II. Following the Vistula–Oder Offensive of January–February 1945, the Red Army had temporarily halted on a line 60 km east of Berlin. On 9 March, Germany established its defence plan for the city with Operation Clausewitz; the first defensive preparations at the outskirts of Berlin were made on 20 March, under the newly appointed commander of Army Group Vistula, General Gotthard Heinrici. When the Soviet offensive resumed on 16 April, two Soviet fronts attacked Berlin from the east and south, while a third overran German forces positioned north of Berlin. Before the main battle in Berlin commenced, the Red Army encircled the city after successful battles of the Seelow Heights and Halbe. On 20 April 1945, Hitler's birthday, the 1st Belorussian Front led by Marshal Georgy Zhukov, advancing from the east and north, started shelling Berlin's city centre, while Marshal Ivan Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front broke through Army Group Centre and advanced towards the southern suburbs of Berlin.
On 23 April General Helmuth Weidling assumed command of the forces within Berlin. The garrison consisted of several depleted and disorganised Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS divisions, along with poorly trained Volkssturm and Hitler Youth members. Over the course of the next week, the Red Army took the entire city. Before the battle was over and several of his followers killed themselves; the city's garrison surrendered on 2 May but fighting continued to the north-west and south-west of the city until the end of the war in Europe on 8 May as some German units fought westward so that they could surrender to the Western Allies rather than to the Soviets. Starting on 12 January 1945, the Red Army began the Vistula–Oder Offensive across the Narew River. On the fourth day, the Red Army broke out and started moving west, up to 30 to 40 km per day, taking East Prussia and Poznań, drawing up on a line 60 km east of Berlin along the Oder River; the newly created Army Group Vistula, under the command of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, attempted a counter-attack, but this had failed by 24 February.
The Red Army drove on to Pomerania, clearing the right bank of the Oder River, thereby reaching into Silesia. In the south the Siege of Budapest raged. Three German divisions' attempts to relieve the encircled Hungarian capital city failed, Budapest fell to the Soviets on 13 February. Adolf Hitler insisted on a counter-attack to recapture the Drau-Danube triangle; the goal was to secure the oil region of Nagykanizsa and regain the Danube River for future operations, but the depleted German forces had been given an impossible task. By 16 March, the German Lake Balaton Offensive had failed, a counter-attack by the Red Army took back in 24 hours everything the Germans had taken ten days to gain. On 30 March, the Soviets entered Austria. Between June and September 1944, the Wehrmacht had lost more than a million men, it lacked the fuel and armaments needed to operate effectively. On 12 April 1945, who had earlier decided to remain in the city against the wishes of his advisers, heard the news that the American President Franklin D. Roosevelt had died.
This raised false hopes in the Führerbunker that there might yet be a falling out among the Allies and that Berlin would be saved at the last moment, as had happened once before when Berlin was threatened. No plans were made by the Western Allies to seize the city by a ground operation; the Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force, General Eisenhower lost interest in the race to Berlin and saw no further need to suffer casualties by attacking a city that would be in the Soviet sphere of influence after the war, envisioning excessive friendly fire if both armies attempted to occupy the city at once. The major Western Allied contribution to the battle was the bombing of Berlin during 1945. During 1945 the United States Army Air Forces launched large daytime raids on Berlin and for 36 nights in succession, scores of RAF Mosquitos bombed the German capital, ending on the night of 20/21 April 1945 just before the Soviets entered the city; the Soviet offensive into central Germany, what became East Germany, had two objectives.
Stalin did not believe the Western Allies would hand over territory occupied by them in the post-war Soviet zone, so he began the offensive on a broad front and moved to meet the Western Allies as far west as possible. But the overriding objective was to capture Berlin; the two goals were complementary because possession of the zone could not be won unless Berlin were taken. Another consideration was that Berlin itself held useful post-war strategic assets, including Adolf Hitler and the German atomic bomb programme. On 6 March, Hitler appointed Lieutenant General Helmuth Reymann commander of the Berlin Defence Area, replacing Lieutenant General Bruno Ritter von Hauenschild. On 20 March, General Gotthard Heinrici was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Vistula replacing Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. Heinrici was one of the best defensive tacticians in the German army, he started to lay defensive plans. Heinrici assessed that the main Soviet thrust would be made over the Oder River and along the main east-west Autobahn.
He decided not to try to defend the banks of the Oder with anything more than a light skirmishing screen. Instead, Heinrici arranged for engineers
Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia
The Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia known as Operation Danube, was a joint invasion of Czechoslovakia by five Warsaw Pact countries – the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, East Germany and Hungary – on the night of 20–21 August 1968. 250,000 Warsaw pact troops attacked Czechoslovakia that night, with Romania and Albania refusing to participate. East German forces, except for a small number of specialists, did not participate in the invasion because they were ordered from Moscow not to cross the Czechoslovak border just hours before the invasion. 137 Czechoslovakian civilians were killed and 500 wounded during the occupation. The invasion stopped Alexander Dubček's Prague Spring liberalisation reforms and strengthened the authority of the authoritarian wing within the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia; the foreign policy of the Soviet Union during this era was known as the Brezhnev Doctrine. The process of de-Stalinization in Czechoslovakia had begun under Antonín Novotný in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but had progressed more than in most other states of the Eastern Bloc.
Following the lead of Nikita Khrushchev, Novotný proclaimed the completion of socialism, the new constitution, adopted the name Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. The pace of change, was sluggish. In the early 1960s, Czechoslovakia underwent an economic downturn; the Soviet model of industrialization applied poorly to Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia was quite industrialized before World War II and the Soviet model took into account less developed economies. Novotný's attempt at restructuring the economy, the 1965 New Economic Model, spurred increased demand for political reform as well; as the strict regime eased its rules, the Union of Czechoslovak Writers cautiously began to air discontent, in the union's gazette, Literární noviny, members suggested that literature should be independent of Party doctrine. In June 1967, a small fraction of the Czech writer's union sympathized with radical socialists Ludvík Vaculík, Milan Kundera, Jan Procházka, Antonín Jaroslav Liehm, Pavel Kohout and Ivan Klíma.
A few months at a party meeting, it was decided that administrative actions against the writers who expressed support of reformation would be taken. Since only a small part of the union held these beliefs, the remaining members were relied upon to discipline their colleagues. Control over Literární noviny and several other publishing houses was transferred to the Ministry of Culture, members of the party who became major reformers – including Dubček – endorsed these moves; the Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia during the era of its domination by the Soviet Union after World War II. It began on 5 January 1968, when reformist Alexander Dubček was elected First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, continued until 21 August when the Soviet Union and other members of the Warsaw Pact invaded the country to halt the reforms; the Prague Spring reforms were a strong attempt by Dubček to grant additional rights to the citizens of Czechoslovakia in an act of partial decentralization of the economy and democratization.
The freedoms granted included a loosening of restrictions on the media and travel. After national discussion of dividing the country into a federation of three republics, Moravia-Silesia and Slovakia, Dubček oversaw the decision to split into two, the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic; this was the only formal change that survived the end of Prague Spring, though the relative success of the nonviolent resistance undoubtedly prefigured and facilitated the peaceful transition to liberal democracy with the collapse of Soviet hegemony in 1989. The reforms the decentralization of administrative authority, were not received well by the Soviets, after failed negotiations, sent half a million Warsaw Pact troops and tanks to occupy the country. A large wave of emigration swept the nation. A spirited non-violent resistance was mounted throughout the country, involving attempted fraternization, painting over and turning street signs, defiance of various curfews, etc. While the Soviet military had predicted that it would take four days to subdue the country the resistance held out for eight months, was only circumvented by diplomatic stratagems.
There were sporadic acts of violence and several suicides by self-immolation, but there was no military resistance. Czechoslovakia remained controlled until 1989, when the velvet revolution ended pro-Soviet rule peacefully, undoubtedly drawing upon the successes of the non-violent resistance twenty years earlier; the resistance became an iconic example of civilian-based defense, along with unarmed civilian peacekeeping constitute the two ways that nonviolence can be and has been applied directly to military or paramilitary threats. After the invasion, Czechoslovakia entered a period of normalization: subsequent leaders attempted to restore the political and economic values that had prevailed before Dubček gained control of the KSČ. Gustáv Husák, who replaced Dubček and became president, reversed all of Dubček's reforms; the Prague Spring inspired music and literature such as the work of Václav Havel, Karel Husa, Karel Kryl, Milan Kundera's novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Leonid Brezhnev and the leaders
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established after the 1917 October Revolution; the Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; the Red Army provided the largest land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II, its invasion of Manchuria assisted the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan. During operations on the Eastern Front, it accounted for 75–80% of casualties the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS suffered during the war and captured the Nazi German capital, Berlin. In September 1917, Vladimir Lenin wrote: "There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, and, to create a people's militia and to fuse it with the army."
At the time, the Imperial Russian Army had started to collapse. 23% of the male population of the Russian Empire were mobilized. The Tsarist general Nikolay Dukhonin estimated that there had been 2 million deserters, 1.8 million dead, 5 million wounded and 2 million prisoners. He estimated the remaining troops as numbering 10 million. While the Imperial Russian Army was being taken apart, "it became apparent that the rag-tag Red Guard units and elements of the imperial army who had gone over the side of the Bolsheviks were quite inadequate to the task of defending the new government against external foes." Therefore, the Council of People's Commissars decided to form the Red Army on 28 January 1918. They envisioned a body "formed from the class-conscious and best elements of the working classes." All citizens of the Russian republic aged 18 or older were eligible. Its role being the defense "of the Soviet authority, the creation of a basis for the transformation of the standing army into a force deriving its strength from a nation in arms, furthermore, the creation of a basis for the support of the coming Socialist Revolution in Europe."
Enlistment was conditional upon "guarantees being given by a military or civil committee functioning within the territory of the Soviet Power, or by party or trade union committees or, in extreme cases, by two persons belonging to one of the above organizations." In the event of an entire unit wanting to join the Red Army, a "collective guarantee and the affirmative vote of all its members would be necessary." Because the Red Army was composed of peasants, the families of those who served were guaranteed rations and assistance with farm work. Some peasants who remained at home yearned to join the Army. If they were turned away they would prepare care-packages. In some cases the money they earned would go towards tanks for the Army; the Council of People's Commissars appointed itself the supreme head of the Red Army, delegating command and administration of the army to the Commissariat for Military Affairs and the Special All-Russian College within this commissariat. Nikolai Krylenko was the supreme commander-in-chief, with Aleksandr Myasnikyan as deputy.
Nikolai Podvoisky became the commissar for Pavel Dybenko, commissar for the fleet. Proshyan, Steinberg were specified as people's commissars as well as Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich from the Bureau of Commissars. At a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, held on 22 February 1918, Krylenko remarked: "We have no army; the demoralized soldiers are fleeing, panic-stricken, as soon as they see a German helmet appear on the horizon, abandoning their artillery and all war material to the triumphantly advancing enemy. The Red Guard units are brushed aside like flies. We have no power to stay the enemy; the Russian Civil War occurred in three periods: October 1917 – November 1918: From the Bolshevik Revolution to the First World War Armistice, developed from the Bolshevik government's nationalization of traditional Cossack lands in November 1917. This provoked the insurrection of General Alexey Maximovich Kaledin's Volunteer Army in the River Don region; the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk aggravated Russian internal politics.
The situation encouraged direct Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, in which twelve foreign countries supported anti-Bolshevik militias. A series of engagements resulted, amongst others, the Czechoslovak Legion, the Polish 5th Rifle Division, the pro-Bolshevik Red Latvian Riflemen. January 1919 – November 1919: Initially the White armies advanced: from the south, under General Anton Denikin; the Whites defeated the Red Army on each front. Leon Trotsky reformed and counterattacked: the Red Army repelled Admiral Kolchak's army in June, the armies of General Denikin and General Yudenich in October. By mid-Nove