Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was the largest confrontation of World War II, in which Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in Southern Russia. Marked by fierce close quarters combat and direct assaults on civilians in air raids, it was the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. After their defeat at Stalingrad, the German High Command had to withdraw vast military forces from the Western Front to replace their losses; the German offensive to capture Stalingrad began in August 1942, using the 6th Army and elements of the 4th Panzer Army. The attack was supported by intensive Luftwaffe bombing; the fighting degenerated into house-to-house fighting. By mid-November 1942, the Germans had pushed the Soviet defenders back at great cost into narrow zones along the west bank of the Volga River. On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus, a two-pronged attack targeting the weaker Romanian and Hungarian armies protecting the German 6th Army's flanks.
The Axis forces on the flanks were overrun and the 6th Army was cut off and surrounded in the Stalingrad area. Adolf Hitler ordered that the army make no attempt to break out. Heavy fighting continued for another two months. By the beginning of February 1943, the Axis forces in Stalingrad had exhausted their ammunition and food; the remaining units of the 6th Army surrendered. The battle lasted one week and three days. By the spring of 1942, despite the failure of Operation Barbarossa to decisively defeat the Soviet Union in a single campaign, the Wehrmacht had captured vast expanses of territory, including Ukraine and the Baltic republics. Elsewhere, the war had been progressing well: the U-boat offensive in the Atlantic had been successful and Erwin Rommel had just captured Tobruk. In the east, they had stabilized their front in a line running from Leningrad in the north to Rostov in the south. There were a number of salients, but these were not threatening. Hitler was confident that he could master the Red Army after the winter of 1942, because though Army Group Centre had suffered heavy losses west of Moscow the previous winter, 65% of its infantry had not been engaged and had been rested and re-equipped.
Neither Army Group North nor Army Group South had been hard pressed over the winter. Stalin was expecting the main thrust of the German summer attacks to be directed against Moscow again. With the initial operations being successful, the Germans decided that their summer campaign in 1942 would be directed at the southern parts of the Soviet Union; the initial objectives in the region around Stalingrad were the destruction of the industrial capacity of the city and the deployment of forces to block the Volga River. The river was the Caspian Sea to central Russia, its capture would disrupt commercial river traffic. The Germans cut the pipeline from the oilfields; the capture of Stalingrad would make the delivery of Lend Lease supplies via the Persian Corridor much more difficult. On 23 July 1942, Hitler rewrote the operational objectives for the 1942 campaign expanding them to include the occupation of the city of Stalingrad. Both sides began to attach propaganda value to the city, based on it bearing the name of the leader of the Soviet Union.
Hitler proclaimed that after Stalingrad's capture, its male citizens were to be killed and all women and children were to be deported because its population was "thoroughly communistic" and "especially dangerous". It was assumed that the fall of the city would firmly secure the northern and western flanks of the German armies as they advanced on Baku, with the aim of securing these strategic petroleum resources for Germany; the expansion of objectives was a significant factor in Germany's failure at Stalingrad, caused by German overconfidence and an underestimation of Soviet reserves. The Soviets realized, they ordered that anyone strong enough to hold a rifle be sent to fight. If I do not get the oil of Maikop and Grozny I must finish this war. Army Group South was selected for a sprint forward through the southern Russian steppes into the Caucasus to capture the vital Soviet oil fields there; the planned summer offensive, code-named Fall Blau, was to include the German 6th, 17th, 4th Panzer and 1st Panzer Armies.
Army Group South had overrun the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1941. Poised in Eastern Ukraine, it was to spearhead the offensive. Hitler intervened, ordering the Army Group to split in two. Army Group South, under the command of Wilhelm List, was to continue advancing south towards the Caucasus as planned with the 17th Army and First Panzer Army. Army Group South, including Friedrich Paulus's 6th Army and Hermann Hoth's 4th Panzer Army, was to move east towards the Volga and Stalingrad. Army Group B was commanded by Field Marshal Fedor von Bock and by General Maximilian von Weichs; the start of Case Blue had been planned for late May 1942. However, a number of German and Romanian units that were to take part in Blau were besieging Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula. Delays in ending the siege pushed back the start date for Blau several times, the city did not fall until early July. Operation Fridericus I by the Germans against the "Isium bulge", pinched off the Soviet
6th Panzer Division (Wehrmacht)
The 6th Panzer Division was an armoured division in the German Army, the Heer, during World War II, established in 1939. The division formed as a light brigade, participated in the invasions of Poland, Belgium and the Soviet Union. From 1941 to 1945 it fought on the Eastern Front, interrupted only by periods of refitting spend in France and Germany, it surrendered to US forces in Czechoslovakia in May 1945 but was handed over to Soviet authorities. The 1st Light Brigade was a mechanized unit established in October 1937 in imitation of the French Division Légère Mécanique, it was intended to take on the roles of army-level reconnaissance and security that had traditionally been the responsibility of cavalry. It included mechanized recon units, motorized infantry, a battalion of tanks; the concept of the Light Brigade, of which three were planned by the Wehrmacht showed its flawed nature and was abandoned. In April 1938 the brigade was enlarged to become the 1st Light Division, receiving the 11th tank regiment as an attachment for its participation in the occupation of the Sudetenland in October 1938 and the subsequent dismantling of Czechoslovakia in March 1939.
Following the latter the division received 130 Czech-build tanks which were superior to the Panzer I and Panzer II the division had been equipped with. In 1939, the division fought in the Invasion of Poland. Due to shortcomings that the campaign revealed in the organization of the Light divisions, it was reorganized as the 6th Panzer Division in October 1939, as were the other three light divisions which became the 7th, 8th and 9th Panzer Divisions; as the 6th Panzer Division, it participated in the 1940 Battle of France. The Division contained a single Panzer Regiment, the Panzer-Regiment 11, which in turn contained three detachments; the 11th Regiment was equipped with 75 Czech-build Panzer 35 tanks which proved efficient but difficult to maintain because the maintenance manuals were in Czech rather than German. Furthermore, there were 6 Befehlspanzer 35, which were a subtype of the 35s designed for military commanders, as well as 45 Panzer II and 27 Panzer IV; the division was part of the German advance to the English Channel through Belgium.
It swung back towards the French-Swiss border before relocating to Eastern Prussia in September 1940 where it remained until June 1941. At the time of the German invasion of the Soviet Union the division had 239 tanks, but only twelve of those were Panzer III, which were still inferior to the Soviet main battle tanks at the time. In June 1941, it joined Operation Barbarossa, fighting at first under Army Group North for Leningrad. At the Battle of Raseiniai two of its Kampfgruppes consisted of:Kampfgruppe Von Seckendorff consisting of the 114th Motorized infantry Regiment, Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion 57, one company of Panzerjäger Battalion 41 and Motorcycle Battalion 6. Kampfgruppe Raus consisted of Panzer Regiment 11, one battalion of the 4th Motorized infantry Regiment, the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 76th Artillery Regiment, one company of Panzer Engineer Battalion 57, one company from Panzerjäger Battalion 41, one battery of the 2nd Battalion Flak Regiment 411 and Motorcycle Battalion 6.
On 23 June, Kampfgruppe Von Seckendorff of the division, for that morning only, Motorcycle Battalion 6, was overrun by Gen. Yegor Solyankin's 2nd Tank Division from the 3rd Mechanised Corps near Skaudvilė; the German Panzer 35 tanks and antitank weapons were ineffective against the Soviet heavy tanks—some of them were out of ammunition but closed in and destroyed German antitank guns by driving over them. The Germans concentrated on immobilising the Soviet tanks by firing at their tracks and by tackling them with artillery, anti-aircraft guns, or by blowing them up with explosive charges of the sticky bomb type. 6th Panzer Division was soon transferred to Army Group Center, where it fought in the Battle of Moscow and the Rzhev-Vyazma Salient. With the Soviet counter offensive in December 1941 the division was pushed back and suffered the loss of all its tanks and most of its vehicles. Decimated the 6th Panzer Division was sent to France to be rebuilt in March 1942 and equipped with more modern tanks.
It was moved to southern France after the US landing in North Africa but soon after relocated to the southern sector of the Eastern Front after the German 6th Army had been entrapped at Stalingrad. It was part of the failed German attempt to break through to the encircled forces but had to retreat to escape encirclement itself; the division was part of the German retreat and counter offensive at Kharkov and the failed attempt to regain initiative in the Battle of Kursk. The 6th Panzer Division was part of the only successful relief operation at the Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket as well as the escape from the Kamenets-Podolsky pocket. After the retreat through the Ukraine the division was sent to Germany for reorganisation but hastily returned to the Eastern Front in July, after the destruction of the Army Group Center in the Soviet Operation Bagration, it was part of the German defence of northern Poland and East Prussia before being relocated to Hungary in December 1944. It took part in the battles around Budapest before retreating into Austria and taking part in the defence of Vienna.
When the city fell it moved into Czechoslovakia where it surrendered to US 3rd Army in May 1945 but was handed over to Soviet forces. Soldier of the division executed an unknown number of black prisoners of war from the 12th Senegalese Tirailleurs regiment in mid-June 1940, it is estimated that, of the 40,000 black soldiers from the French colonies engaged in combat with German forces during the battle of France 1,500 to 3,000 were executed either during or after combat. The commanders
The Jassy–Kishinev Operation, named after the two major cities, Iași and Chișinău, in the staging area, was a Soviet offensive against Axis forces, which took place in Eastern Romania from 20 to 29 August 1944 during World War II. The 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts of the Red Army engaged Army Group South Ukraine, which consisted of combined German and Romanian formations, in an operation to reclaim the Moldavian SSR and destroy the Axis forces in the region, opening the way into Romania and the Balkans; the offensive resulted in the encirclement and destruction of the German forces, allowing the Soviet Army to resume its strategic advance further into Eastern Europe. It forced Romania to switch allegiance from the Axis powers to the Allies; the Red Army had made an unsuccessful attack in the same sector, sometimes referred to as First Jassy–Kishinev Offensive, from 8 April to 6 June 1944. In 1944, the Wehrmacht had been pressed back along its entire front line in the East. By May 1944, the South Ukraine Army Group was pushed back towards the prewar Romanian frontier, managed to establish a line on the lower Dniester River, however breached in two places, with the Red Army holding bridgeheads.
After June, calm returned to the sector. Heeresgruppe Südukraine had been, until June 1944, one of the most powerful German formations in terms of armour. However, during the summer most of its armoured units were transferred to the Northern and Central fronts to stem Red Army advances in the Baltic states, northern Ukraine, Poland. On the eve of the offensive, the only armoured formations left were the 1st Romanian Armoured Division, the German 13th Panzer and 10th Panzergrenadier Divisions. Soviet deception operations prior to the attack worked well; the German command staff believed that the movement of Soviet forces along the front line was a result of a troop transfer to the north. Exact positions of Soviet formations were not known until the final hours before the operation. By contrast, the Romanians were aware of the imminent Soviet offensive and anticipated a rerun of Stalingrad, with major attacks against the 3rd and 4th Armies and an encirclement of the German 6th Army; such concerns were dismissed by the German command as "alarmist".
Antonescu suggested a withdrawal of Axis forces to the fortified Carpathian–FNB–Danube line, but Friessner, the commander of Army Group South Ukraine, was unwilling to consider such a move, having been dismissed by Hitler from Army Group North for requesting permission to retreat. 2nd Ukrainian Front – Army General Rodion Malinovsky 6th Guards Tank Army – Major General Andrei Kravchenko 18th Tank Corps – Major General V. I. Polozkov Cavalry-Mechanized Group Gorshkov – Major General S. I. Gorshkov 5th Guards Cavalry Corps 23rd Tank Corps – Lieutenant General A. O. Akhmanov 4th Guards Army – Galanin 27th Army – Lieutenant General S. G. Trofimenko 52nd Army – Koroteev 7th Guards Army – Shumilov 40th Army – Lieutenant General F. F. Zhmachenko 53rd Army – Lieutenant General I. M. Managarov 3rd Ukrainian Front – Army General Fyodor Tolbukhin 5th Shock Army – Lieutenant General Nikolai Berzarin 4th Guards Mechanized Corps – Major General Vladimir Zhdanov 7th Mechanized Corps – Major General F. G. Katkov 57th Army – Lieutenant General N. A. Gagen 46th Army – Lieutenant General I.
T. Shlemin 37th Army – Major General M. N. Sharokhin 6th Guards Rifle Corps 66th Rifle Corps Black Sea Fleet Army Group South Ukraine - Generaloberst Johannes Friessner Army Group Dumitrescu Romanian 3rd Army – Colonel General Petre Dumitrescu 6th Army - General der Artillerie Maximilian Fretter-Pico 13th Panzer Division - Generalleutnant Hans Tröger 306th Infantry Division 76th Infantry Division - General der Infanterie Erich Abraham Army Group Wohler 8th Army – General der Infanterie Otto Wöhler 10th Panzergrenadier Division - Generalleutnant August Schmidt Romanian 4th Army - Lieutenant General Ioan Mihail Racoviță Romanian 1st Armoured Division – Brigadier General Radu Korne Romanian 4th Mountain Division - Brigadier General Alexandru Nasta As of 19 July 1944, the Romanian Army possessed a total of 430 tanks of all types, ranging from tankettes armed with machine guns to Panzer IVs and StuG IIIs. However, only 197 of these could face the mainstay tank of the Red Army, the T-34. From these 197, over 40% were part of the 1st Romanian Armored Division, they are listed below: The division had a dedicated anti-tank battalion.
Its main weapons were of Romanian origin: 10 TACAM T-60 tank destroyers and 24 75 mm Reșița field/anti-tank guns. The 24 guns were the first ones produced of this model; the 1st Romanian Armored Division had lost 34 armored fighting vehicles by 23 August, but claimed 60 Soviet tanks on 20 August alone. Stavka's plan for the operation was based on a double envelopment of German and Romanian armies by the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts; the 2nd Ukrainian Front was to break through north of Iași, commit mobile formations to seize the Prut River crossings before withdrawing German units of the 6th Army could reach it. It was to unleash the 6th Tank Army to seize the Siret River crossings and the Focșani Gap, a fortified line between the Siret River and the Danube; the 3rd Ukrainian Front was to attack out of its bridgehead across the Dniester near Tiraspol, release mobile formations to head north and meet the mobile formations of the 2nd Ukrainian Front. This would lead to the encirclement of the German forces near Chișinău.
Following the successful encirclement, the 6th Tank Army and the 4th Guards Mechanised Corps were to advance towards Bucharest and the Ploiești oil fields. Both the 2nd and the 3rd Ukrainian Fronts undertook a major effort, leading to a double envelopment of the German Sixth
25th Cavalry Division (Soviet Union)
The 25th Cavalry Division was a mounted division of the Red Army that served for just over a year in the Great Patriotic War. It was formed in the summer of 1941 and served in the region south and west of Leningrad during the following months against the advance of Army Group North during Operation Barbarossa, it survived a German armored counterattack before being pulled back into the reserves in September. In January 1942, it was assigned to the Mobile Group of 2nd Shock Army to take part in the Lyuban Offensive Operation; this offensive aimed to destroy the German forces besieging Leningrad. The 25th Cavalry was disbanded, its survivors were used to help rebuild the badly depleted 19th Guards Rifle Division, while the 25th's commanding officer took over the latter division; the 25th Cavalry Division began forming on July 1941 at Pskov in the Leningrad Military District. It was given the number of a pre-war cavalry division, disbanded in the same District in 1940; when formed, its basic order of battle was as follows: 98th Cavalry Regiment 100th Cavalry Regiment 104th Cavalry RegimentThe division was commanded by Kombrig Nikolai Ivanovich Gusev.
This officer would have his rank modernized as Major General on November 9 and would remain in command until January 20, 1942. Gusev would go on to command several Soviet armies during the remainder of the War, rising to the rank of Colonel General on May 5, 1945; the 25th was immediately assigned to the 34th Army. When Army Group North paused in its advance on Leningrad in early August, Northwestern Front was ordered by the STAVKA to mount a counterstroke to retake the city of Staraya Russa which would be led by 34th Army; the orders included the following:"6. With the 34th Army's assault from the Lovat River line, dispatch the 25th Cavalry Division along the Dedovichi and Dno axis to operate in separate squadrons against the enemy rear area." This attack was planned for August 12, but was preempted by the renewal of the German drive on August 10, so achieved mixed results. The 25th, operating in a mobile group with the 163rd and 202nd Motorized Divisions, advanced 40km westward through the German defenses and reached the Dno - Staraya Russa rail line by August 14.
This enveloped the German X Army Corps in the latter city and threatened the rear of the panzer group advancing on Novgorod. 16th Army was forced to intervene with the LVI Panzer Corps, which by August 25 had driven 34th Army back to the Lovat line with 30 percent losses. However, this delayed the German advance on Leningrad by ten days. In September the division was moved to the reserves of Northwestern Front for rebuilding, where it would remain into December. In that month it was assigned to 52nd Army in Volkhov Front. On January 20, 1942, General Gusev was assigned to take command of 2nd Shock Army's 13th Cavalry Corps, to which the 25th was soon subordinated. Lt. Col. David Markovich Barinov, Gusev's chief of staff, took command of the division the next day, he would remain in this post until it was disbanded. Meanwhile, Volkhov Front began its Lyuban Offensive across the Volkhov River on January 6, before its full forces, most its artillery, was in place; as a result the attackers were slow to make gains, at heavy cost.
It was not until the night of January 23-24 that the Front commander, Gen. K. A. Meretskov, was able to convince himself that 2nd Shock Army had torn enough of a hole in the German defenses that he could commit the 13th Corps, plus a rifle division of 59th Army, into the gap. German counterattacks at once began trying to close it, while on the one hand the mobile group was in a position to do harm in the German rear, its 30,000 troops represented a target for destruction should the gap be closed. Over the following weeks more Soviet forces were fed into the pocket, but a counterattack by German 18th Army succeeded in closing the gap on March 20. A week a new gap was opened near the village of Miasnoi Bor, but it was only 3-5 km wide; the Red Army forces in the salient continued to operate under these circumstances through April and into May. On May 12, Soviet intelligence indicated that 18th Army was about to attack again to cut the corridor. In light of this, orders came from the STAVKA to begin a phased withdrawal from the salient on May 14.
During June and July individual men and small parties of the 25th Cavalry, by now dismounted, made their way through the thinly-held German lines. The division was disbanded on July 15, its survivors were combined with those of the 19th Guards Rifle Division to begin that division's rebuilding. On July 27, Lt. Col. Barinov was promoted to colonel and took command of 19th Guards, whose commander had been listed as missing in action two days earlier. Main Personnel Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Soviet Union. Командование корпусного и дивизионного звена советских вооруженных сил периода Великой Отечественной войны 1941 – 1945 гг. Moscow: Frunze Military Academy. Pp. 306, 354 Nikolai Ivanovich Gusev David Markovich Barinov HSU David Markovich Barinov
5th Guards Tank Division
The 5th Guards Tank Division was an armored division of the Soviet Ground Forces and Russian Ground Forces, active from 1945 to 2009, in two different formations. The 5th Guards Stalingrad-Kiev Red Banner Tank Division was formed in September 1945 at Sherlovaya Gora, Chita Oblast, from the 5th Guards Tank Corps. In mid 1957 it became the 122nd Guards Motor Rifle Division; the second formation drew its heritage from an illustrious Soviet World War II cavalry formation, the 5th Guards Cavalry Corps. After the end of World War II, the corps relocated from Ploiești in Romania, where it was part of the Southern Group of Forces, to Novocherkassk in Rostov Oblast, by the fall of 1945; the corps was reorganised as the 5th Guards Cavalry Division on 6 May 1946, part of the North Caucasus Military District. Its two cavalry divisions, the 11th Guards and 12th Guards, became regiments with the same numbers in the new division. A third regiment, the 7th Guards Cavalry Regiment, was renumbered from the 37th Guards Cavalry Regiment.
On 6 September 1951, the division was awarded the honorific "named for E. A. Shchadenko", in honor of Soviet cavalry commander Yefim Shchadenko. On 18 November 1954 18th Guards Heavy Tank Division was formed from 5th Guards Cavalry Division. With the beginning of the Nikita Khrushchev era, the Strategic Rocket Forces were emphasised at the expense of the Ground Forces, the Ground Forces were reduced and reorganized. On 5 March 1962, the division dropped the designation "Heavy" and became the 18th Guards Tank Division. Between 1 and 2 June 1962, the division was involved in the Novocherkassk massacre, the suppression of a strike caused by food shortages. On 11 January 1965, the division was renumbered the 5th Guards Tank Division to reflect its World War II title. In April 1966, the division was transferred to Kyakhta, on the Mongolian–Russian border, to reinforce the Transbaikal Military District in the light of deteriorating relations with the People's Republic of China. On 22 February 1968, the division was awarded the Order of the Red Star.
By May 1970, the division was part of the 29th Army. The division was expanded into the 48th Separate Guards Army Corps, as an experiment in rapid reaction units along with the Belorussian Military District's 120th Guards Motor Rifle Division, from 1982 to 1989; the three tank regiments and single motor rifle regiment of the division were expanded into two tank brigades and two motor rifle brigades, the 1319th Air Assault Regiment and 373rd Separate Helicopter Regiment, both newly formed, were added to the corps. The 57th Army Corps was upgraded in status to Army level in 2003; the 29th Army was subsequently disbanded. Adam Geibel wrote that 5th "Don" Guards Tank Division, stationed in Buryatia, had received ‘a few’ of the initial group of 150 T-90s produced. On 1 June 2009, the division became the 37th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade, as part of the 2008 Russian military reform; the brigade included more than 200 tracked vehicles and more than 100 wheeled vehicles in 2013. Elements of the brigade fought in the War in Donbass and were located in the Northern operational area in February 2015.
The 37th's troops fought in the Battle of Debaltseve during this time, where their heavy equipment and weaponry was crucial to the defeat of Ukrainian forces in the battle. In September 2016, a conscript from the brigade was run over by a Kamaz truck while sleeping during an exercise; the division's second formation included the following units: 108th Tank Regiment 140th Guards Tank Regiment 160th Guards Tank Regiment 311th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment 861st Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment 940th Anti-aircraft Rocket Regiment Alyohin, Roman. Воздушно-десантные войска: история российского десанта. Moscow: Eksmo. ISBN 9785699332137. Baron, Samuel H.. Bloody Saturday in the Soviet Union: Novocherkassk, 1962. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804740937. Feskov, V. I.. I.. A.. A.. Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской. Tomsk: Scientific and Technical Literature Publishing. ISBN 9785895035306
7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division
The 7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division is an elite guards division of the Russian Airborne Troops. The 7th Guards Airborne Division was formed in September 1948 based on 322nd Guards Rifle Regiment which fought in Eastern Europe in World War II. In October 1948 the division was relocated to Lithuania. During the Cold War period, the division served in the suppression of the Hungarian and Czech revolutions. On August 1993, the division was relocated to Russia, it took part in various counter-insurgency operations in the Caucasus region. On 1 December 2006 it was renamed as 7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division. In 2014 the division's 247th Guards Air Assault Regiment took part in the War in Donbass in Ukraine. There were two separately formed 7th Guards Airborne Divisions in the Red Army and Soviet Ground Forces/Soviet Airborne Troops; the first division was formed during the Second World War at Ramenskoye in December 1942. It fought at Demyansk, Korsun, on the Dnieper River, at Targul Frumos and Budapest.
It ended the war with 4th Guards Army of the 3rd Ukrainian Front in May 1945. As part of a postwar military reorganization, this division was retitled the 115th Guards Rifle Division in June 1945; the second formation of the 7th Guards Airborne Division was started in September 1948 based on 322nd Guards Rifle Regiment. The first formation of the division was formed during the Second World War at Ramenskoye in December 1942, it fought at Demyansk, Korsun, on the Dnieper River, at Targul Frumos and Budapest. On May 8, 1945, the divisional commander, Major General Dmitrii Aristarkhovich Drichkin, set up his headquarters in the village of Erlauf, some 60 miles west of Vienna and 50 miles east of Linz. Anxious to meet the Allies, he sent out scouts. At midnight, he met Major General Stanley Eric Reinhart, commander of the U. S. 65th Infantry Division. For the duration of their presence on the Danube river, both commanders continued to cooperate in an unusually effective manner. Twenty years public affairs officer Captain John J. Pullen described their first cordial encounter for the National Observer.
For the 50th anniversary, Erlauf erected a Soviet-sponsored memorial. It features a local girl, linking arms with a GI on her right, a Soviet soldier on her left. To this day, an enlarged photo and a small exhibit mark the spot where this historic encounter took place: A life-size Major General Reinhart, smiling at General Drichkin, as they compare their watches one minute past midnight, on 9 May 1945, the moment the unconditional surrender of Germany became effective; as part of a postwar military reorganization at the end of June 1945, the first formation of the 7th Guards Airborne Division was retitled as the 115th Guards Rifle Division. The 22nd Guards Tank Division was activated on 4 June 1957 in Novomoskovsk, Dnepropetrovsk Oblast, from the 115th Guards Rifle Division; the baptism of fire of the second formation division's predecessor regiment took place in 1945, fighting around Lake Balaton under the 37th Guards Rifle Corps, 9th Guards Army, 3rd Ukrainian Front. On 26 April 1945, the 322nd Guards Rifle Regiment of the 103rd Guards Rifle Division was awarded the Order of Kutuzov, second class, for exemplary performance.
In commemoration, the division's official day is 26 April, by an order of the Defense Minister of the USSR. At the end of the war, the 322nd Guards Rifle Regiment was in the city of Czechoslovakia. During the war, the regiment was thanked on six occasions by the Supreme Commander. In all 2,065 of its soldiers and officers were decorated for valor and heroism by the Soviet Union; the 7th Guards Airborne Division was established on 15 October 1948 on the basis of the 322nd Guards Air Landing Regiment of the 103rd Guards Airborne Division at Polotsk in the Belorussian Military District, becoming part of the 8th Guards Airborne Corps. The division was relocated to the cities of Kaunas and Marijampole, Lithuanian SSR. Personnel from these bases took part in actions against Lithuanian partisans. Units in this premier division of airborne troops have mastered the landing of Antonov An-8, An-12, An-22, Il-76 aircraft, tested a number of new parachute systems, all generations of BMD, 2S9 Nona artillery systems.
In 1956, the division was involved in "Operation Whirlwind", the suppression of the Hungarian revolution. On 3 November 1956, the 108th Parachute Regiment landed at the Tököl airbase in Il-12 and Li-2 aircraft and disabling six antiaircraft batteries positioning themselves to defend the base. On 4 November 1956 the regimental staff, together with fighters from the 119th Parachute Regiment, entered the city of Budapest and took part in street fighting until the city was secured on 7 November. In 1968, the division participated in Operation Danube to suppress the Prague Spring uprising; the 108th Regiment distinguished itself in the most dangerous and difficult missions, for which about two hundred of its personnel received high government awards. On 23 June 1969, troops of the 108th Airborne Regiment were tasked to fly from Kaunas to Ryazan, where they were to demonstrate their vehicle assault landing skills to the Minister of Defence of the USSR, Andrei Grechko; the group of three An-12 aircraft took off early in the morning, reaching a cruising altitude of 3,000 metres.
Approaching the city of Kaluga, a plane carrying the staff of a company and battalion command collided with an Ilyushin Il-14 passenger plane, at 3000 meters without clearance, with the loss of all aboard. The division was involved in many major exercises and maneuvers, such as "Shield-76", "Neman", "West-81", "West-84" and "Watch-86", in the latter three exerc
30th Mechanized Brigade (Ukraine)
The 30th Konstanty Ostrogski Mechanized Brigade is a formation of the Ukrainian Ground Forces. The full name of the unit is 30th Independent Mechanized Brigade "Konstanty Ostrogski". Between September 1 and October 1, 1941, the 83rd Cavalry Division was formed in the city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan; the division consisted of the following units: 215th Cavalry Regiment 226th Cavalry Regiment 231st Cavalry Regiment Separate Chemical SquadronFrom September 5, 1941, the commanding officer of the division was Lieutenant General Selivanov. On November 7, 1941, the division was sent to the Volga Military District where it was assigned to the newly forming Cavalry mechanized group of the 61st Army; until December 28, 1941, the division was fortifying near the station of Lysi Gory Saratov Oblast. The first battle that the division took part in was near the city of Ryazhsk, Ryazan Oblast as part of the Cavalry mechanized group of the 61st Army as part of the Bryansk Front and the Soviet winter counter offensive in front of Moscow.
In January 1942 the division was assigned to the 7th Cavalry Corps and was assigned to be a Mobile Group in the Moscow Defense Zone for the 61st Army. The division remained with the 7th Cavalry Corps for the rest of 1942 and when the Corps was redesignated as the 6th Guards Cavalry Corps in January 1943 the division became the 13th Guards Cavalry Division on 19 January 1943; the division was under the command of General Major Pyotr Zubov. The 13th Guards Cavalry Division fought at Dubno in 1944, as well as at the Battle of Debrecen and was with 6th Guards Cavalry Corps of the 2nd Ukrainian Front in May 1945. Feskov et al. trace the unit's history. At the beginning of June, the division relocated to Novohrad-Volynskyi. On 1 August 1945, the division was converted into the 11th Guards Mechanized Division. During November and December 1956, the division fought in the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. 44 soldiers of the division were killed during the campaign in Hungary. The division moved back to Novohrad-Volynskyi in January 1957.
On 4 June 1957 it became the 30th Guards Tank Division, part of the 8th Tank Army. In 1960, the division's 58th Separate Tank Training Battalion was disbanded. On 19 February 1962 the 335th Separate Missile Battalion and the 108th Separate Equipment Maintenance and Recovery Battalion were activated. In 1968 the 151st Separate Guards Sapper Battalion became the 151st Separate Guards Engineer-Sapper Battalion; the 1043rd Separate Material Supply Battalion was created from the motor transport battalion in 1980. During the Cold War, the division was maintained at 25% strength. In November 1990, the division was equipped with 224 T-72 main battle tanks; the 30th Guards Tank Division, along with the rest of the 8th Tank Army and the Carpathian Military District, became part of the Ukrainian Ground Forces according to the order of Ukraine About Armed Forces of Ukraine from December 6, 1991. In February 1992, all units of the division pledged their allegiance to Ukraine, it was still designated a tank division as of Decree N 350/93.
On October 20, 1999, the division was awarded the Novohrad-Volynskyi designation. On July 30, 2004, the division was reformed into a brigade; the brigade is the only mechanized brigade that does not have any conscripts. It is a part of Joint Rapid Reaction Forces. Over a hundred soldiers from the brigade have served in peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone, Lebanon and Kosovo. A battalion of the brigade was part of POLUKRBAT in the 2006 rotation; as of October 12, 2007, the 2nd Mechanized Battalion of the brigade is deployed in Kosovo as part of the POLUKRBAT. The current commander of the brigade served as a commander of the 5th Separate Mechanized brigade in Iraq. In 2015 the brigade took part in the Battle of Debaltseve during the War in Donbass. On 18 November 2015 the Soviet decorations of brigade's full name were removed, leaving the full name of 30th Separate Guards Mechanized Novohrad-Volynskyi Rivne Brigade. On 22 August 2016, its Guards title was removed; as part of Ukrainian Independence Day celebrations on August 24, 2018, the brigade received the new honorific "Konstanty Ostrogski".
In 1960, the division included the following units. 276th Tank Regiment 282nd Guards Tank Regiment 325th Tank Regiment 319th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment 855th Guards Artillery Regiment 937th Guards Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment 54th Separate Guards Reconnaissance Battalion 151st Separate Guards Sapper Battalion 214th Separate Guards Communications Battalion 197th Separate Chemical Defence Company 112th Separate Medical-Sanitary Company Separate Motor Transport Battalion 276th Armor Regiment 325th Armor Regiment 282nd Guards Armor Regiment 319th Mechanized Regiment 855th Guards Artillery Regiment 937th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment 214th Separate Guards Signal Battalion 54th Separate Guards Reconnaissance Battalion 151st Separate Guards Combat Engineer Battalion 108th Separate Maintenance Battalion 1043rd Separate Combat Service Support Battalion 112th Separate Medical Battalion 404th Separate Chemical Battalion As of 2017 the brigade's structure is as follows: 30th Mechanized Brigade, Novohrad-Volynskyi Headquarters & Headquarters Company 1st Mechanized Battalion 2nd Mechanized Battalion 3rd Mechanized Battalion Tank Battalion 2nd Motorized Infantry Battalion "Horyn" Brigade Artillery Group Headquarters & Target Acquisition Battery Self-propelled Artillery Battalion Self-propelled Artillery Battalion Rocket Artillery Battalion Anti-tank Artillery Battalion Anti-Aircraft Missile Artillery Battalion Engineer Battalion Maintenance Batta