Russian Ground Forces
The Ground Forces of the Russian Federation are the land forces of the Russian Armed Forces, formed from parts of the collapsing Soviet Army in 1992. The formation of these forces posed economic challenges after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, required reforms to professionalize the Ground Forces during the transition. Since 1992, the Ground Forces have withdrawn thousands of troops from former Soviet garrisons abroad, while remaining extensively committed to the Chechen Wars and other operations in the Soviet successor states; the primary responsibilities of the Ground Forces are the protection of the state borders, combat on land, the security of occupied territories, the defeat of enemy troops. The Ground Forces must be able to achieve these goals both in nuclear war and non-nuclear war without the use of weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, they must be capable of protecting the national interests of Russia within the framework of its international obligations; the Main Command of the Ground Forces is tasked with the following objectives: The training of troops for combat, on the basis of tasks determined by the Armed Forces' General Staff.
The improvement of troops' structure and composition, the optimization of their numbers, including for special troops. The development of military theory and practice; the development and introduction of training field manuals and methodology. The improvement of operational and combat training of the Ground Forces; as the Soviet Union dissolved, efforts were made to keep the Soviet Armed Forces as a single military structure for the new Commonwealth of Independent States. The last Minister of Defence of the Soviet Union, Marshal Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, was appointed supreme commander of the CIS Armed Forces in December 1991. Among the numerous treaties signed by the former republics, in order to direct the transition period, was a temporary agreement on general purpose forces, signed in Minsk on 14 February 1992. However, once it became clear that Ukraine was determined to undermine the concept of joint general purpose forces and form their own armed forces, the new Russian government moved to form its own armed forces.
Russian president Boris Yeltsin signed a decree forming the Russian Ministry of Defence on 7 May 1992, establishing the Russian Ground Forces along with the other branches of the military. At the same time, the General Staff was in the process of withdrawing tens of thousands of personnel from the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, the Northern Group of Forces in Poland, the Central Group of Forces in Czechoslovakia, the Southern Group of Forces in Hungary, from Mongolia. Thirty-seven divisions had to be withdrawn from the four groups of forces and the Baltic States, four military districts—totalling 57 divisions—were handed over to Belarus and Ukraine; some idea of the scale of the withdrawal can be gained from the division list. For the dissolving Soviet Ground Forces, the withdrawal from the former Warsaw Pact states and the Baltic states was an demanding and debilitating process; as the military districts that remained in Russia after the collapse of the Union consisted of the mobile cadre formations, the Ground Forces were, to a large extent, created by relocating the full-strength formations from Eastern Europe to under-resourced districts.
However, the facilities in those districts were inadequate to house the flood of personnel and equipment returning from abroad, many units "were unloaded from the rail wagons into empty fields." The need for destruction and transfer of large amounts of weaponry under the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe necessitated great adjustments. The Ministry of Defence newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda published a reform plan on 21 July 1992. One commentator said it was "hastily" put together by the General Staff "to satisfy the public demand for radical changes." The General Staff, from that point, became a bastion of conservatism, causing a build-up of troubles that became critical. The reform plan advocated a change from an Army-Division-Regiment structure to a Corps-Brigade arrangement; the new structures were to be more capable in a situation with no front line, more capable of independent action at all levels. Cutting out a level of command, omitting two out of three higher echelons between the theatre headquarters and the fighting battalions, would produce economies, increase flexibility, simplify command-and-control arrangements.
The expected changeover to the new structure proved to be rare and sometimes reversed. The new brigades that appeared were divisions that had broken down until they happened to be at the proposed brigade strengths. New divisions—such as the new 3rd Motor Rifle Division in the Moscow Military District, formed on the basis of disbanding tank formations—were formed, rather than new brigades. Few of the reforms planned in the early 1990s eventuated, for three reasons: Firstly, there was an absence of firm civilian political guidance, with President Yeltsin interested in ensuring that the Armed Forces were controllable and loyal, rather than reformed. Secondly, declining funding worsened the progress. There was no firm consensus within the military about what reforms should be implemented. General Pavel Grachev, the first Russian Minister of Defence, broadly advertised reforms, yet wished to preserve the old Soviet-style Army, with large numbers of low-strength formations and continued mass conscription.
The General Staff and the armed services tried to preserve Soviet era doctrines, weapon
The Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive or Lvov-Sandomierz Strategic Offensive Operation was a major Red Army operation to force the German troops from Ukraine and Eastern Poland. Launched in mid-July 1944, the Red Army achieved its set objectives by the end of August; the offensive was composed of three smaller operations: Lvov Offensive Operation Stanislav Offensive Operation Sandomierz Offensive Operation The Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive is overshadowed by the overwhelming successes of the concurrently conducted Operation Bagration that led to the destruction of Army Group Centre. However, most of the Red Army and Red Air Force resources were allocated, not to Bagration's Belorussian operations, but the Lviv-Sandomierz operations; the campaign was conducted as Maskirovka. By concentrating in southern Poland and Ukraine, the Soviets drew German mobile reserves southward, leaving Army Group Centre vulnerable to a concentrated assault; when the Soviets launched their Bagration offensive against Army Group Center, it would create a crisis in the eastern German front, which would force the powerful German Panzer forces back to the central front, leaving the Soviets free to pursue their objectives in seizing the western Ukraine, Vistula bridgeheads, gaining a foothold in Romania.
By early June 1944, the forces of Generalfeldmarschall Walter Model's Army Group North Ukraine had been pushed back beyond the Dniepr and were clinging to the north-western corner of Ukraine. Joseph Stalin ordered the total liberation of Ukraine, Stavka set in motion plans that would become the Lviv-Sandomierz Operation. In the early planning stage, the offensive was known as the Lvov-Przemyśl Operation; the objective of the offensive was for Marshal Ivan Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front to liberate Lviv and clear the German troops from Ukraine and capture a series of bridgeheads on the Vistula river. Stavka was planning an larger offensive, codenamed Operation Bagration to coincide with Konev's offensive; the objective of Operation Bagration was no less than the complete liberation of Belarus, to force the Wehrmacht out of eastern Poland. The Lvov-Sandomierz Strategic Offensive Operation was to be the means of denying transfer of reserves by the OKH to Army Group Centre, thus earning itself the lesser supporting role in the summer of 1944.
While the Stavka was concluding its offensive plans Generalfeldmarschall Model was removed from command of the Army Group North Ukraine and replaced by Generaloberst Josef Harpe. Harpe's force included two Panzer Armies: the 1st Panzer Army, under Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici and the 4th Panzer Army under General der Panzertruppen Walther Nehring. Attached to the 1st Panzer Army was the Hungarian First Army. Harpe could muster other assorted armoured vehicles, his Army Group comprised around 900,000 men. However, due to the complicated inter-service chain of command, Harpe could not directly control the Luftwaffe units; the 1st Ukrainian Front forces under Konev outnumbered the Army Group North Ukraine. The 1st Ukrainian Front could muster over 1,002,200 troops, some 2,050 tanks, about 16,000 guns and mortars, over 3,250 aircraft of the 2nd Air Army commanded by General Stepan Krasovsky. In addition the morale of Konev's troops was high following the recent victories in Ukraine, they had been on the offensive for a year, were witnessing the collapse of Army Group Centre to their North.
The 1st Ukrainian Front attack was to have two axes of attack. The first, aiming towards Rava-Ruska, was to be led by 1st Guards Tank and 13th Armies; the second pincer was aimed at Lviv itself, was to be led by 60th, 38th, 3rd Guards Tank and 4th Tank Armies. The Red Army achieved massive superiority against the Germans by limiting their attacks to a front of only 26 kilometres. Konev had concentrated some 240 mortars per kilometer of front; the northern attack towards Rava-Ruska began on 13 July 1944. The 1st Ukrainian Front forces broke through near Horokhiv; the weakened Wehrmacht XLII Army Corps managed to withdraw intact using reinforced rearguard detachments. By nightfall, the 1st Ukrainian Front's 13th Army had penetrated the German lines to a depth of 20 kilometers; the 1st Ukrainian Front's breakthrough occurred to the north of the XIII Army Corps. On the 14 July 1944, the assault with the objective of liberating Lviv was begun to the south of the XIII Army Corps, which had positions near the town of Brody, an area of Red Army failure earlier in the war.
Red Army units had punched through the line near Horokhiv to the north and at Nysche in the south, leaving the XIII Corps dangerously exposed in a salient. The northern pincer towards Rava-Ruska now began to split, turning several units of the 13th Army south in an attempt to encircle XIII Army Corps; the northern forces soon encountered weak elements of the 291st and 340th Infantry Divisions, but these were swept aside. On 15 July, Generaloberst Nehring, realising his 4th Panzer Army was in serious jeopardy, ordered his two reserve divisions, the 16th and 17th Panzer Divisions to counterattack near Horokiv and Druzhkopil in an attempt to halt the Soviet northern assault; the two divisions could muster only 43 tanks between them and despite their best efforts, the German counterattack soon bogged down. The massively superior Red Army forces soon forced the two Panzer divisions to join the retreating infantry divisions. Konev ordered Mobile Group Barano
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
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
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
Marshal of Armoured Troops Mikhail Efimovich Katukov served as a commander of armored troops in the Red Army during and following World War II. He is viewed as one of the most talented Soviet armor commanders, his most notable command during the German-Soviet War was that of 1st Guards Tank Army which he commanded during the Battle of Kursk, Proskurov-Chernovtsy Operation, Lvov-Sandomierz Operation, the Vistula Oder Operation, the Battle of Berlin. He commanded 1st Guards Tank Brigade during the Battle of Moscow, 3rd Mechanised Corps during Operation Mars. Katukov was born on 17 September 1900 in the village of Bolshoe Uvarovo in Kolomensky Uyezd, Moscow Governorate, now in the Ozyory Urban Okrug of Moscow Oblast, to an impoverished peasant family of five children. From a young age he worked on the local landowner's dairy farm. Katukov graduated from the primary rural school. In 1912 he was sent to relatives in Saint Petersburg, where he worked as a messenger boy in a dairy shop, in the factories of the city.
Katukov participated in the October Revolution in 1917, after which he returned to Bolshoe Uvaravo to take care of his family after his mother's death. Katukov entered the Red Army as a private in 1919, he served during the Russian Civil War, served as a tank formation commander before the war. In 1935 he graduated from the Stalin Military Academy and in July 1936 he was promoted to captain. In October 1938 came his first major command as acting commanding officer of the 5th Light Tank Brigade of the 45th Mechanized Corps, he survived the purges. On the onset of the war he took command of the 4th Tank Brigade. In the battle of Moscow in 1941, it was Katukov's Tank Brigade part of the 1st Guards Rifle Corps, that checked the advance of Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 near Tula. To honor this achievement it became the 1st Guards Tank Brigade. During Operation Mars in December 1942, Katukov's command managed a deep penetration into the German lines in the Rhzev salient. In January 1943 he took command of the 1st Guards Tank Army, a post he held for the duration of the war.
In the battle of Kursk, Katukov's command was one of the two armies that were hardest-hit by the initial German advance on the southern shoulder. Through the use of well-defended and sited strong-points, dug in tanks, judicious use of counterattacks, Katukov managed to extract a high toll from the German attackers breaking through the defensive system, he commanded his tank army in the Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive, the Vistula–Oder Offensive, the Battle of Berlin. Mikhail Katukov was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union twice. Following the war he became commander of the mechanized forces of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, Inspector General of the Army. In the 1970 film Patton, Katukov is portrayed drinking a toast with General Patton to celebrate their armies' mutual victory over Nazi Germany. Soviet UnionForeign Generals.dk
Kursk is a city and the administrative center of Kursk Oblast, located at the confluence of the Kur and Seym rivers. The area around Kursk was the site of a turning point in the Soviet–German struggle during World War II and the site of the largest tank battle in history. Population: 415,159 . Archaeology indicates that the site of Kursk was settled in the 5th or 4th century BCE; the settlement was fortified and included Slavs at least as early as the 8th century CE. The first written record of Kursk is dated 1032, it was mentioned as one of Severian towns by Prince Igor in The Tale of Igor's Campaign: "Saddle, your swift steeds. As to mine, they are ready; the city was rebuilt no than 1283. It was ruled by Grand Duchy of Lithuania between 1360 and 1508. Kursk joined the centralized Russian state in 1508, it was an important center of the corn trade with Ukraine and hosted an important fair, which took place annually under the walls of the monastery of Our Lady of Kursk. However, a century the city re-emerged in a new place.
In 1596 a new fortress was built, in 1616. At the beginning of the 17th century Kursk was attacked by Polish-Lithuania, the Crimean Tatars, the Nogai horde, but Kursk fortress was never taken. Residents of Oryol and other southern Russian cities were resettled in Kursk; the city developed due to its advantageous geographical position on the shortest route from Moscow to the Crimea and from Kiev to the Crimea. It was raided by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Crimean Khanate until the late 17th century and was ruled by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth between 1611 and 1618, it was successively part of the Kiev Governorate, Belgorod Governorate, Kursk Viceroyalty. Town status was granted to Kursk in 1779, it became the administrative center of Kursk Governorate in 1797. After a fire in 1781 devastated Kursk, a new plan for the city was developed in which a market center would be at the heart of the city. In 1768 the Voskirsensko Ilinskaya Church was built. In 1778 both the Sergiev Cathedral Kazan Cathedral Baroque and Trinity Sergius Cathedral were completed.
The city opened its first school for the nobility in 1783. A men's gymnasium was opened in 1808 and a seminary in 1817. A women's gymnasium was opened in 1870. At the beginning of the 20th century Kursk played a dominant role in the food industry and in other industries as well. Organized several engineering enterprises. Working conditions in the factories of Kursk were harsh and resulted in strikes. Kursk workers participated in the general political strike during the 1905 Russian Revolution. On November 26 1917 the Soviets took power. Kornilovites came to Kursk in September 20, 1919. On September 20, 1919, troops under the command of General Denikin entered the city. On November 19, 1919, the Red Army took Kursk; the Soviet government valued Kursk for rich deposits of iron ore and developed it into one of the major railroad hubs in the Russian southwest. In 1932 in the Kursk was included Yamskaya Sloboda. In 1935 a tram system began operating in the city. In 193?, the territory of the city of Kursk was divided into Leninsky District, Dzerzhinsky District and Kirov District.
In 1937 Stalinsky District was formed in the southern outskirts of the city. During World War II, Kursk was occupied by Germany between November 4, 1941 and February 8, 1943. In July 1943, the Germans launched Operation Citadel in an attempt to recapture Kursk. During the resulting Battle of Kursk, the village of Prokhorovka near Kursk became the center of a major armoured engagement – the Battle of Prokhorovka – between Soviet and German forces, considered to have been one of the largest tank battles in history. Operation Citadel was the last major German offensive against the Soviet Union. Rebuilding efforts in the city began in February 1944; the cultural life recovered as well: on 19 February the cinema reopened and on February 27 the drama theatre. In 1953 the tram system began operating. By 1950 the urban economy had been restored. On August 17, 1956, Stalinsky District was renamed Promishlenost District, Dzerzhinsky District was abolished and its territory divided between Promishlenost and Leninsky Districts.
In 2009, for the first time in 90 years at the site of Theotokos of Kursk, the most revered icon in the Russian Orthodox Church, received the name Hodigitria Russian diaspora. Until 2010, Kursk had the status of historica