Slonim is a city in Grodno Region, capital of the Slonim district. It is located at 143 km southeast of Grodno; the population in 2015 was 49,739. Slonim has been known by several versions of its name: Сло́нім, Słonim, Сло́ним. Slonim was first mentioned in chronicles in 1252 in 1255 as Vslonim. According to one version, the name of the city originates from the Slavic word'zaslona', meaning that the city used to be an outpost at the southern border of Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Another version, proposed by Jazep Stabroŭski, states that Slonim is a derivative from'Užslenimas' in the Lithuanian language means'beyond the valley'; some 19th century European historians tried to connect the name'Slonim' to the root word'slon,' which means'elephant' in Polish and Belarusian. However, this hypothesis has never been taken seriously; the earliest record is of a wooden fort on the left bank of the Shchara river in the 11th century, although there may have been earlier settlement. The area was disputed between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Kievan Rus' in early history and it changed hands several times.
In 1040, the Kievans won control of the area after a battle but lost Slonim to the Lithuanians in 1103. The Ruthenians retook the area early in the 13th century but were expelled by a Tartar invasion in 1241 and the town was pillaged; when in the year, the Tartars withdrew, Slonim became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania once again. In 1569, Lithuania and Poland united and Slonim became an important regional centre within the newly established Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. From 1631 to 1685 the city flourished as the seat of the Lithuanian diet; the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to be known as the Commonwealth of Poland, was dismantled in a series of three "partitions" in the second half of the 18th century and divided among its neighbours, Habsburg Austria and Russian Empire which took the largest portion of the territory. Slonim was in the area annexed by Russia; the wars had damaged Slonim, but in the 18th century, a local Polish landowner, count Oginski, encouraged the recovery of the area.
Ogiński built a greater complex, combining an opera theater, a school of music and a school of ballet, a printing house. Russian control lasted until 1915. After the First World War, the Slonim area was disputed between the Soviet Union and the newly recreated state of Poland; the town suffered badly in the Polish-Soviet war of 1920. It was ceded by the Bolsheviks to Poland in the 1921 Peace of Riga and became a part of Nowogródek Voivodeship of the Second Polish Republic. Slonim was one of the many towns in Poland; the imposing Great Synagogue, built in 1642, survived the destruction and brutal Nazi liquidation of the Słonim Ghetto with 10,000 Jews massacred in 1942 alone. The 10 small synagogues around the Great Synagogue called. In 1939, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union resulted in the invasion of Poland by the two powers and its division between them. Slonim was in the area designated by the Pact to fall within the Soviet sphere of influence; the Soviets placed that area within the Byelorussian SSR.
Two years Germany invaded the Soviets and Slonim was captured. The Słonim Jews were herded into the Słonim Ghetto set up at the Na Wyspie neighbourhood across the bridge on the Szczara River. Soon thereafter, 70% of Slonim's Jews had been killed by the Einsatzgruppen, including 9,000 on 14 November 1941; the second mass murder of 8,000 Jews took place in 1942. In 1944, on the insistence of Joseph Stalin in Yalta the Soviet Union retained possession of this part of the former Poland, as agreed between the Allies. Polish population was forcibly resettled back to new Poland before the end of 1946. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Slonim became part of an independent state of Belarus; the population of Slonim fluctuated. Jewish settlement in Slonim appears to have started in 1388, following encouragement from the Lithuanian authorities, they were credited with the development of local commerce in the 15th century, they were temporarily expelled by the Duchy in 1503. In the late 19th century, Slonim's Jewish population had risen to more than 10,000.
The Slonimer Hasidic dynasty came from there. Michael and Ephraim Marks were born in Slonim; the wealthiest family in Slonim before World War II were the Rabinowicz brothers and Yossel. Their parents were Rivka Rochel. After World War I, they entered the forestry business together with Yaakov Milikowski, were known as the Rabmils, they escaped the Nazi atrocities by flying to Israel. Slonim's importance derives from the river, navigable and joins the Oginski canal, connecting the Niemen with the Dnieper. Slonim has varied food and engineering industries. Corn and timber are exported. There is the Slonim artistic goods factory, a worsted factory and “Textilschik”, a paperboard factory, a motor- and a car repair plants, dry non-fat milk factory and meat processing plant. There are flax preprocessing, feed mill and woodworking enterprises in the town; the 11th Guards Mechanized Brigade, withdrawn from Germany in 1992, is stationed in the town. Slonim's bigges
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
A field army is a military formation in many armed forces, composed of two or more corps and may be subordinate to an army group. Air armies are equivalent formation within some air forces. A field army is composed of 100,000 to 150,000 troops. Particular field armies are named or numbered to distinguish them from "army" in the sense of an entire national land military force. In English, the typical style for naming field armies is word numbers, such as "First Army". A field army may be given a geographical name in addition to or as an alternative to a numerical name, such as the British Army of the Rhine, Army of the Niemen or Aegean Army; the Roman army was among the first to feature a formal field army, in the sense of a large, combined arms formation, namely the sacer comitatus, which may be translated as "sacred escort". The term is derived from the fact that they were commanded by Roman emperors, when they acted as field commanders. While the Roman comitatensis is sometimes translated as "field army", it may be translated as the more generic "field force" or "mobile force".
In some armed forces, an "army" has been equivalent to a corps-level unit. Prior to 1945, this was the case with a gun within the Imperial Japanese Army, for which the formation equivalent in size to a field army was an "area army". In the Soviet Red Army and the Soviet Air Forces, an army was subordinate in wartime to a front, it contained at least three to five divisions along with artillery, air defense and other supporting units. It could be classified as either tank army. In peacetime, a Soviet army was subordinate to a military district. Modern field armies are large formations which vary between armed forces in size and scope of responsibility. For instance, within NATO a field army is composed of a headquarters, controls at least two corps, beneath which are a variable number of divisions. A battle is influenced at the field army level by transferring divisions and reinforcements from one corps to another to increase the pressure on the enemy at a critical point. NATO armies are commanded by a general or lieutenant general.
Armeeoberkommando Military unit Military history List of numbered armies
The Prague Offensive was the last major military operation of World War II in Europe. The offensive was fought on the Eastern Front from 6 May to 11 May 1945. Fought concurrently with the Prague uprising, the offensive was one of the last engagements of World War II in Europe and continued after Nazi Germany's unconditional capitulation on 8 May; the city of Prague was liberated by the USSR during the Prague Offensive. All of the German troops of Army Group Centre and many of Army Group Ostmark were killed or captured, or fell into the hands of the Allies after the capitulation. By the beginning of May 1945, Germany had been decisively defeated by the coalition of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union. Germany's capital, was on the verge of capitulation in the face of a massive Soviet attack and the great bulk of Germany had been conquered. However, in southeastern Germany, parts of Austria and Czechoslovakia, there were still large bodies of active German troops of Army Group Centre and the remnants of Army Group Ostmark.
On 2 May 1945, general Alfred Jodl ordered the German forces to avoid being captured by Russia and facilitate the separated negotiation with Western Allies. The German remnant forces continued to resist the USSR 4th and 1st Ukrainian Fronts while only accepting an armistice on the Western Front, and while the German command body lost its centralized control over its armed forces, SS and Gestapo forces were still working at their highest intensity and efficiency. SS officers and commanders were affiliated in command and control of German armed forces in Czechoslovakia, and in contrast to the declining quality of Wehrmacht units in the last days of the war, SS corps still maintained their remarkably high fighting capability. The Nazi regime considered Czechoslovakia and neighboring areas as their last bastion in the event that Berlin fell. Therefore, in 1945 they concentrated many powerful military units in the region, including elements of 6th SS Panzer Army, 1st and 4th Panzer Armies, 7th, 8th and 17th Combined Armies.
Alfred Jodl had ordered the local Nazi regime to prepare numerous fortified buildings which could serve as offices for the new Nazi government and German High Command. From 30 April to 1 May 1945, SS Senior Group Leader and General of Police Karl Hermann Frank announced over the radio in Prague that he would drown any uprising in a "sea of blood". Frank was a general of the Waffen SS; the situation in Prague was unstable. Frank knew. More he was faced with a city population ready to be liberated. At the same time, two divisions of the Russian Liberation Army arrived in the vicinity of Prague; the KONR 1st Division encamped north of the city while the KONR 2nd Division took up positions south of the city. Ostensibly allied with the Germans, the allegiance of the KONR forces would prove to vary depending on the situation they faced. On the Allied side, both Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin saw Prague as a significant prize, the seizure of which could influence the political makeup of postwar Czechoslovakia.
On 1 May 1945, before Berlin was subdued, Stalin issued orders directing the 1st Belorussian Front to relieve the 1st Ukrainian Front in the Berlin area so that the latter could regroup to the south along the Mulde River and drive on Prague. The 2nd Ukrainian Front received orders on 2 May to drive on Prague from the southeast. Stalin was determined to have the Soviet Army present in force in western Czechoslovakia when the German troops there surrendered; the terrain over which the Soviets had to advance was varied, but in the main mountainous and forested. The routes of march of the 1st and 4th Ukrainian Fronts were perpendicular to the orientation of the ridges while the 2nd Ukrainian Front was able to move along a less arduous route in regions of lower elevation that led to Prague. In particular, the 1st Ukrainian Front had to cross the Ore Mountains to advance on Prague from the area north of Dresden and Bautzen; the other significant military terrain obstacle was urban areas, the two largest of which to surmount were Dresden and Prague itself.
With Soviet and U. S. forces pressing in from all sides, Army Group Centre's deployment resembled a horseshoe straddling the historical regions of Bohemia and Moravia. To the west, the 7th Army had been pushed east by operations of the U. S. Sixth Army Group and had become a subordinate command of Army Group Centre. 7th Army was deployed along a north-south axis in western Czechoslovakia. Besides one Panzer division and one Volksgrenadier division, 7th Army had only four other "divisions", two of which were named battle groups while the remaining two were replacement army formations mobilized for combat and filled out with military school staffs and trainees. To the northeast of Prague and just north of Dresden and Bautzen, the 4th Panzer Army defended along a front running southeast. 4th Panzer Army had five Panzer or mechanized divisions as well as 13 other divisions or battle groups. Furthermore, 4th Panzer Army had just won the Battle of Bautzen, damaging the Soviet 52nd and Polish 2nd Armies.
To 4th Panzer Army's right flank was 17th Army. The 17th counted 11 divisions, including one motorized division; these were organized into three corps and deployed in an arc that began about 40 kilometers SW of Breslau and which led to the southeast in the vicinity of Ostrava. From here the front ran southeast to Olomouc, where the 1st Panzer Army was deployed, including a salient that jut
Brest Brest-Litowsk, is a city in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the Polish city of Terespol, where the Bug and Mukhavets rivers meet. It is the capital city of the Brest Region; the city of Brest is a historic site of many cultures. It was the location of important historical events such as the Union of Brest and Treaty of Brest-Litovsk; the Brest Fortress was recognized by the Soviet Union as the Hero Fortress in honor of the defense of Brest Fortress in June 1941. During medieval times, the city was part of the Kingdom of Poland from 1020 until 1319 when it was taken by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, it became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569. As a result of the Partitions of Poland, it was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1795. After World War I, the city returned to Second Polish Republic. During the Invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 the city was first captured by the Wehrmacht and soon passed on to the USSR in accordance with German–Soviet Frontier Treaty.
In 1941 it was taken again by the Nazis during Operation Barbarossa. After the war, once the new boundaries between the USSR and Poland were ratified, the city became part of the Belarusian SSR and as such was part of the Soviet Union until the breakup of the USSR in 1991. Brest is now a part of an independent Belarus. Several theories attempt to explain the origin of the city's name, it may have come from the Slavic root beresta meaning "birch", or "bark". The name could originate from the Slavic root berest meaning "elm". Or it could have come from the Lithuanian word brasta meaning "ford". Once a center of Jewish scholarship, the city has the Yiddish name בריסק, hence the term "Brisker" used to describe followers of the influential Soloveitchik family of rabbis. Traditionally, Belarusian-speakers called the city Берасце. Brest became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1319. In the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth formed in 1569 the town became known in Polish as Brześć Brześć Litewski. Brześć became part of the Russian Empire under the name Brest-Litovsk or Brest-Litovskii in the course of the Third Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795.
After World War I, the rebirth of Poland in 1918, the government of the Second Polish Republic renamed the city as Brześć nad Bugiem on March 20, 1923. After World War II the city became part of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic with the name simplified as Brest. Brest's coat of arms, adopted on January 26, 1991, features an arrow pointed upwards and a bow on a sky-blue shield. An alternative coat of arms has a red shield. Sigismund II Augustus, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, first granted Brest a coat of arms in 1554; the city was founded by the Slavs. As a town, Brest – Berestye in Kievan Rus – was first mentioned in the Primary Chronicle in 1019 when the Kievan Rus took the stronghold from the Poles, it is one of the oldest cities in Belarus. It was hotly contested between the Polish rulers and Kievan Rus princes, laid waste by the Mongols in 1241, was not rebuilt until 1275, it was part of the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1390 Brest became the first city in the lands that now comprise Belarus to receive Magdeburg rights.
Its suburbs were burned by the Teutonic Knights in 1379. In 1409 it was a meeting place of King Władysław II Jagiełło, duke Vytautas and Tatar khan under the archbishop Mikołaj Trąba initiative, to prepare for war with the Teutonic Knights. In 1410 the town mustered a cavalry company that participated in the Polish-Lithuanian victory at the battle of Grunwald. In 1419 it become a seat of the starost in the newly created Trakai Voivodeship. In 1500 it was burned again by Crimean Tatars. In 1566, following king Sigismund II Augustus decree, a new voivodeship was created - Brest Litovsk Voivodeship. After it became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569, it was renamed Brest-Litovsk. During the period of the union of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Sweden under king Sigismund III Vasa, diets were held there. In 1594 and 1596 it was the meeting-place of two remarkable councils of regional bishops of the Roman-Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church; the 1596 council established the Uniate Church.
In 1657, again in 1706, the town and castle were captured by the Swedes during their invasions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In an attack from the other direction, on January 13, 1660 the invading Muscovite Russian army under Ivan Andreyevich Khovansky took the Brest Castle in a surprise early morning attack, the town having been captured earlier, massacred the 1,700 defenders and their families. On July 23, 1792 a battle was fought between the regiments of the Duchy of Lithuania defending the town and the invading Russian Imperial Army. On September 19, 1794 the area between Brest and Terespol was the scene of a victorious battle won by the invading Russian Imperial army under Suvorov over the Kościuszko Uprising army division under general Karol Sierakowski (known in Russian sourc
Order of the Red Banner
The Order of the Red Banner was the first Soviet military decoration. The Order was established on 16 September 1918, during the Russian Civil War by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, it was the highest award of Soviet Russia, subsequently the Soviet Union, until the Order of Lenin was established in 1930. Recipients were recognised for extraordinary heroism and courage demonstrated on the battlefield; the Order was awarded to individuals as well as to military units, ships and social organizations, state enterprises. In years, it was awarded on the twentieth and again on the thirtieth anniversary of military, police, or state security service without requiring participation in combat; the Russian Order of the Red Banner was established during the Russian Civil War by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of September 16, 1918. The first recipient was Vasily Blyukher on September 28, 1918; the second recipient was Iona Yakir. During the Civil War, there existed named orders and decorations established by the Soviet communist governments of several other constituent and nonconstituent republics.
The August 1, 1924, decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee established the all-Soviet Order of the Red Banner for deserving personnel of the Red Army. Other nonmilitary awards used the phrase "Order of the Red Banner" in their title. From 1918 till the late 1930s there was a Soviet collective variant - the Revolutionary Red Banner of Honor; this was in the form of a special military color awarded to distinguished Red Army, Soviet Air Force, Soviet Navy units. It was older than the Order of the Red Banner, having been established on August 3, 1918, a month and several weeks before; as a military decoration, the Order of the Red Banner recognised heroism in combat or otherwise extraordinary accomplishments of military valour during combat operations. Before the establishment of the Order of Lenin on April 5, 1930, the Order of the Red Banner functioned as the highest military order of the USSR. During World War II, under various titles, it was presented to both individuals and military units for acts of extreme military heroism.
In some ways, the Order of the Red Banner was more prestigious, as it could only be awarded for bravery during combat operations whereas the Order of Lenin was sometimes awarded to non-military personnel and political leaders. Nearly all well-known Soviet commanders became recipients of the Order of the Red Banner; when the Order was awarded to whole formations, the prefix "Red Banner" was added to their official designations. Naval vessels flew a special ensign; the Order of the Red Banner was used as a "long service award" between 1944 and 1958 to mark twenty and thirty years of service in the military, state security, or police. Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of September 14, 1957, emphasised the devaluation of certain Soviet high military Orders used as long service awards instead of their intended criteria; this led to the joint January 25, 1958, decree of the Ministers of Defence, of Internal Affairs, of the Chairman of the Committee on State Security of the USSR establishing the Medal "For Impeccable Service," putting an end to the practice of awarding long service variants of the Order of the Red Banner.
The Order consisted of a white-enamelled badge, which had a golden Hammer and Sickle badge surrounded by two golden panicles of wheat on a Red Star, backed by crossed hammer, torch, a red flag bearing the motto Proletarians of the World, Unite!. The whole was surrounded by two golden panicles of wheat. Additional awards of the Order bore a white enamelled shield with a silver sequence number at the bottom of the obverse. A recipient of multiple Orders of the Red Banner would wear a basic badge of the Order with a numeral corresponding to the sequence of the award on a cartouche over the wheat at the bottom of the badge; the early variants of the Order were screw back badges to allow wear on clothing. Variants hung from a standard Soviet pentagonal mount with a ring through the suspension loop; the mount was covered with an overlapping 24mm wide red silk moiré ribbon with 1.5mm wide white edge stripes and a 7mm wide white central stripe. The Order of the Red Banner was worn on the left side of the chest and when in the presence of other Orders and medals of the USSR, was placed after the Order of the October Revolution.
If worn in the presence of Orders or medals of the Russian Federation, the latter have precedence. Baltic Fleet Soviet Northern Fleet Pacific Ocean Fleet Far Eastern Military District First Army First Guards Tank Army Second Guards Tank Army 1st Rifle Division 6th Rifle Division 24th Rifle Division 45th Rifle Division 27th Guards Rifle Division 39th Guards Rifle Division 19th Motor Rifle Division 76th Guards Airborne Division 85th Rifle Division 100th Guards Rifle Division 106th Guards Tula Airborne Division 17th Rifle Regiment, 32nd Rifle Division 72nd Mechanized Brigade French fighter squadron Normandie-Niemen Feats of valour worthy of the award of the Order of the Red Banner were as much against internal as against external enemies of the USSR, as detailed below: Stalin's Chief Executioner Va
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