9th Motor Rifle Division
The 9th Motor Rifle Division was a motorised infantry division of the Soviet Army and of the Russian Ground Forces. The division traced its lineage back to the formation of the 1st Kursk Infantry Division in 1918 during the Russian Civil War; the division was redesignated as the 9th Rifle Division in October of that year, fought as part of the Southern Front against the White Armed Forces of South Russia from late 1918 to early 1920. In late 1920 it fought in the Perekop–Chongar Operation, completing the defeat of the remaining White forces in Crimea, after which it participated in the Red Army invasion of Georgia in early 1921; the division was stationed in Georgia after the end of the campaign, guarding a sector of the Soviet border with Turkey. In late 1921 it was broken up into two separate rifle brigades, which were combined into the 1st Caucasian Rifle Division in 1922; the division was converted into a mountain unit in 1931, was renumbered as the 9th Mountain Rifle Division in 1936. Following the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II, the division remained in its positions on the Turkish border, although elements of the 9th fought in the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula and the early stages of the Battle of the Caucasus.
In late 1942 the entire division was relocated north to the front, fighting in the offensive that forced the withdrawal of German troops from the North Caucasus in early 1943, before spending most of the year fighting to capture the Kuban bridgehead. Reorganized as the 9th Rifle Division in September, the division transferred to Ukraine in early 1944, after which it fought in the Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive, Vistula–Oder Offensive, Prague Offensive before the end of the war in May 1945. Postwar, the division was relocated to Krasnodar in the North Caucasus and was reduced to a rifle brigade until 1949, when it became the 9th Mountain Rifle Division again. After moving to Maykop in 1950, the 9th became a regular rifle division again in 1954, converted into the 80th Motor Rifle Division in 1957. In 1964 its historic World War II designation was restored, the division spent the rest of the Cold War in Maykop. After the Dissolution of the Soviet Union, the 9th transferred to the Russian Ground Forces and reorganized as the 131st Separate Motor Rifle Brigade in late 1992.
The brigade fought in the Battle of Grozny during the First Chechen War, elements of it served in the Second Chechen War. In 2009, after the Russo-Georgian War, it was relocated to Gudauta in the disputed territory of Abkhazia, was redesignated the 7th Military Base; the 9th Kursk Infantry Division was created on the 20 July 1918 as one of the first divisions of the Soviet Union during the Russian Civil War. The division was stationed in the Caucasus region the Transcaucasian Military District and soon renamed 9th Infantry, 9th Rifle division. In 1922 the division was renamed the 1st Caucasus Rifle Division. After service during the Civil War, during which the division changed its name numerous times, the division was awarded the honorific name "of the Central Executive Committee of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic" in 1928. For the 10th anniversary of Red Army on February 29, 1928, the division was awarded the Honorary Revolutionary Red Banner and added the Red Banner to its title. During 1931 the division was reorganised into a mountain rifle division.
On 23 February 1936 the division was awarded the Order of the Red Star and on the 23 February the name was changed to "of the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic". In July of the same year the division was renamed again as the 9th Red Banner Mountain Rifle Division. Before the war the division consisted of the following units: 36th Rifle Regiment 121st Rifle Regiment 93rd Rifle Regiment 256th Artillery Regiment 1448th Self-Propelled Gun Regiment 55th separate anti-tank destroyer divizion 26th reconnaissance company 140th self-propelled artillery gun battalion 232nd separate communications battalion 123rd Medical Battalion 553rd separate company of chemical defence 161st auto-transportation company 104th Field Bakery 156th divisional veterinary treatment station 203rd Field Post Office 216th Field Cash Office of the State BankThe division began the war in the Transcaucasian Military District with the 40th Rifle Corps alongside the 31st Rifle Division. During the war the division was at various times serving as part of the 46th, 37th, 56th, Separate Coastal, 69th, 18th, 5th Guards Army and 60th Armies.
The division took part in the Battle of the Caucasus. The division participated in the fighting for Feodosiya, Tuapse, in the Kuban and Taman Peninsula, Krakow. On September 3, 1943, for the liberation of Kuban region and the capital of the region, the division was awarded the honorary name “Krasnodarskaya”, the division was reformed again and became known as the 9th Plastunskaya Krasnodar Red Banner, Order of Red Star Rifle Division, its enlisted and non-commissioned personnel came from the cossacks of the Kuban region. During the period 1944 – 1945 the division participated in the Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive, the liberation of Poland and Czechoslovakia for which in April 1945 the division was awarded the Order of Kutuzov 2nd class. With 60th Army of the 4th Ukrainian Front in May 1945, its full title in 1945 was Кrasnodar Red Banner, Order of Kutuzov, Red Star и
61st Cavalry Division (Soviet Union)
The 61st Cavalry Division was a cavalry division of the Red Army that served in the first years of the Great Patriotic War. It was formed in September – October, 1941, saw its first actions to the south of Stalingrad during the German siege of that city in the autumn of 1942; when the Soviet counteroffensive, Operation Uranus, began in November the 61st formed a significant part of the mobile forces of its 51st Army. After the positions of Romanian 4th Army were broken through the division took part in the exploitation to the southwest, but became overextended and vulnerable to the mobile German reinforcements arriving to attempt a breakthrough to their Sixth Army; the 61st suffered such severe losses that it had to be withdrawn to the reserves in December, was disbanded. The 61st Cavalry Division began forming in 1941 in the Central Asia Military District, it was recruited from men of several Central Asian nationalities. It received its first commanding officer, Colonel Nikolai Gadalin, on September 25.
When formed, by the middle of the next month, its basic order of battle was as follows: 213th Cavalry Regiment 219th Cavalry Regiment 222nd Cavalry Regiment 13th Horse Artillery BattalionIn November the division was assigned to 4th Cavalry Corps, it would remain in that Corps as long as they both existed. The 3rd formation of this Corps had been serving in the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran, it was assigned three new divisions: the 61st, 63rd and 81st Cavalry. In May, 1942, the division came under the command of Colonel Vasily Baumshtein in June, was handed over to Colonel Anatolii Stavenkov, who would remain in command until the end of February, 1943; the division crossed the Caspian Sea by ship to Astrakhan. At Olya the ships were unloaded by barges. 4th Cavalry Corps, which by now consisted of only the 61st and 81st Divisions, was assigned to 51st Army in Southwestern Front, south of Stalingrad, in October, 1942. In orders issued by Gen. G. K. Zhukov on October 15 to the front commander, Gen. A.
I. Yeryomenko, the latter was to:"Concentrate 61st Cavalry Division in the Solodnikov region and 81st Cavalry Division in the Chernyi Yar region to protect the crossings over the Volga River." This attempt to relieve 62nd Army, along with several others in October and early November, had no success. At the start of the decisive Soviet counteroffensive on November 19 the 61st was part of the 51st Army mobile group that exploited into the breakthrough of the Romanian Army lines towards the southwest; this mobile group had the 4th Mechanized Corps in the lead, with the 4th Cavalry Corps guarding its left flank. 4th Mechanized ran into trouble from Romanian guns and mechanical breakdowns, so the cavalry was unable to join the exploitation until 2200 hrs. on November 20. Once they did so, they followed in the wake of the tanks to Plodovitoe. At this point, the 61st diverged to liberate the town of 18 km southwest; the town fell to the 61st, assisted by elements of 4th Mechanized, on the following day, during which time the two cavalry divisions captured 5,000 Romanian troops between them.
While the 81st moved southwest towards Aksai, the 61st was directed southward west of Lake Barmantsak to reach the rear of the Romanian 4th Infantry Division, holding up the advance of 91st Rifle Division on 51st Army's left wing. The Soviet cavalry was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 126th Rifle Division, which would be needed if the outer encirclement front was to have any holding power against the remnants of 4th Panzer Army and other German counterattack forces. On the 22nd, while en route to its next objective, the village of Korobkin, the 61st engaged elements of the Romanian 8th Cavalry Division in a battle near Kitov State Farm, 20km north of the village. Stavenkov's cavalrymen drove their Romanian counterparts back 4km to the village of Vodianaia; the following day, the division was cooperating with the 91st and 302nd Rifle Divisions, plus two battalions of 76th Fortified Region, to liberate the town of Sadovoe, outflanking the Romanian 4th by capturing the Umantsevo region, 10km southwest of the town.
The coordinated attacks by 61st Cavalry and 302nd Rifle Division forced the regiment of Romanian 8th Cavalry to withdraw 18km south of Aksai, leaving the bulk of its artillery behind. The division took the town of Umantsevo on the 23rd, following which it was ordered to rejoin the 81st Cavalry and push southwards into the broad region between Aksai and Sadovaia, which were 45km apart. On November 24 the re-united 4th Cavalry Corps made the greatest advance of the forces of Stalingrad Front on that day, unhinging the meager Romanian defenses along the Aksai River, with 126th Rifle Division advancing gamely in the rear. Overnight on November 24-25, 4th Cavalry received orders from the Army commander, Maj. Gen. Nikolai Trufanov:"to advance along the Gromoslavka, Verkhne-Iablochnyi, Kotelnikovo march-route with 81st Cavalry Division and capture Kotelnikovo by 27 November, in cooperation with 61st Cavalry Division attacking toward Kotelnikovo from the east." This order required the cavalry, in tandem with 126th Rifle Division, to traverse 90 to 95km in three days and capture an important rail center and road junction by attacking from three sides.
Unknown to the Soviet command, on November 25 the remnants of 4th Panzer Army had been reorganized as Armeegruppe Hoth, incorporating the remnants of 4th Romanian Army, to buy time until mobile reinforcements could arrive by rail from the West and from Army Group A in the Caucasus. Within hours of departing Umantsevo on the 25th, 61st Cavalry encountered trouble. Upon reaching the village of Sharnutovskii, about ha
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
97th Cavalry Division (Soviet Union)
The 97th Cavalry Division was a cavalry division of the Red Army that served in the first years of the Great Patriotic War, but did not see any combat. It began forming in November, 1941, in the Central Asia Military District as a "Turkmen National Division". Three other cavalry divisions, the 61st, 63rd and the 81st were formed in this district at about the same time from men of Central Asian nationalities, while those divisions became the latest compliment of the 3rd Formation of the 4th Cavalry Corps in November, the 97th did not join that Corps until over a year later; when formed, its partial order of battle was as follows: 279th Cavalry Regiment 298th Cavalry Regiment plus an unidentified cavalry regiment. The division was commanded by Colonel T. P. Gaikazyan, but on Feb. 28, 1942 he was replaced by the newly-promoted Major General Yakub Kuliev, who had commanded the 21st Mountain Cavalry Division. From August to December the division remained in the reserves of the Central Asia Military District.
On Aug. 28, Kuliev went on to the post of deputy commander of 4th Cavalry Corps. In January, 1943, the 97th, now under command of Colonel V. A. Koninskii, was ferried across the Caspian Sea by the Caspian Flotilla to Astrakhan to join 4th Cavalry Corps, being rebuilt in this area after taking heavy losses south of Stalingrad during Operation Uranus and Operation Winter Storm. In the event, this effort was abandoned, the division, along with the rest of the Corps, was disbanded in March. Notes SourcesMain 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. P. 363 Yakub Kulievich Kuliev
Battle of the Kerch Peninsula
The Battle of the Kerch Peninsula, which commenced with the Soviet Kerch-Feodosia landing operation and ended with the German Operation Bustard Hunt, was a World War II battle between Erich von Manstein's German and Romanian 11th Army and the Soviet Crimean Front forces in the Kerch Peninsula, in the eastern part of the Crimea. It began on 26 December 1941 with an amphibious landing operation by two Soviet armies intended to break the Siege of Sevastopol. Axis forces first contained the Soviet beachhead throughout the winter and interdicted its naval supply lines through aerial bombing. From January through April, the Crimean Front launched repeated offensives against the 11th Army, all of which failed with heavy losses; the Red Army lost 352,000 men in the attacks. Superior German artillery firepower was responsible for the Soviet debacle. On 8 May 1942, the Axis struck with great force in a major counteroffensive codenamed Trappenjagd which concluded by around 19 May 1942 with the liquidation of the Soviet defending forces.
Manstein used a large concentration of airpower armed infantry divisions, concentrated artillery bombardments and amphibious assaults to break through the Soviet front in its southern portion in 210 minutes, swing north with the 22nd Panzer Division to encircle the Soviet 51st Army on 10 May and annihilate it on 11 May. The remnants of the 44th and 47th Armies were pursued to Kerch, where the last pockets of organized Soviet resistance were eradicated through German aerial and artillery firepower by 19 May; the decisive element in the German victory was the campaign of airstrikes against the Crimean Front by Wolfram von Richthofen's 800 aircraft-strong VIII. Fliegerkorps, which flew an average of 1,500 sorties per day in support of Trappenjagd and attacked Soviet field positions, armored units, troop columns, evacuation ships and supply lines. German bombers used up to 6,000 canisters of SD-2 anti-personnel cluster munitions to kill masses of fleeing Soviet infantrymen. Manstein's outnumbered 11th Army suffered 7,588 casualties, while the Crimean Front lost 176,566 men, 258 tanks, 1,133 artillery pieces and 315 aircraft in three armies comprising twenty-one divisions.
Total Soviet casualties during the five month-long battle amounted to 570,000 men, while Axis losses were 38,000. Trappenjagd was one of the battles preceding the German summer offensive, its successful conclusion allowed the Axis to concentrate their forces on Sevastopol, conquered within six weeks. The Kerch Peninsula was used a launching pad by German forces to cross the Kerch Strait on 2 September 1942 during Operation Blücher II, a part of the German drive to capture the Caucasus oilfields. On 8 December 1941, the Soviet supreme command, ordered General-Lieutenant Dmitry Timofeyevich Kozlov's Transcaucasian Front to begin planning for a major operation to cross the Kerch Strait and link up with the Soviet Separate Coastal Army holed up in Sevastopol, thereby liberating the Crimea from the Germans; the ambitious operation, the first major amphibious operation in Soviet history, was founded upon Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's belief in the German Wehrmacht's imminent collapse. The plan was drawn up by the Transcaucasian Front's chief of staff General-Major Fyodor Tolbukhin.
Tolbukhin's plan was too complicated for Soviet Navy's abilities. It was based on multiple small landings at separate locations at separate times instead of one large, simultaneous landing. Five transport groups from Rear-Admiral Sergey Gorshkov's Azov Flotilla would land 7,500 soldiers from the 224th Rifle Division and 302nd Mountain Rifle Division of the 51st Army on eight isolated beaches north and south of Kerch. After the Germans were distracted by this, the 44th Army would land at Feodosiya in the German rear. Naval gunfire support would be provided by the Black Sea Fleet; the Soviet Air Forces, would contribute air cover from the Taman Peninsula. The Soviets had the men and troop transports on hand but were compelled to use fishing trawlers for the actual landings due to the lack of landing craft, had little experience with large-scale joint operations and were impeded by the stormy winter weather. A German Messerschmitt Bf 110 reconnaissance aircraft noted the buildup of Soviet naval forces and reported it to Lieutenant General Hans Graf von Sponeck's XXXXII Army Corps headquarters.
Sponeck issued a general alert for enemy amphibious landings in the Kerch Peninsula. The mass of Sponeck's units had been transferred for the assault on Sevastopol and he had only the 46th Infantry Division under Lieutenant General Kurt Himer who had assumed his command on 17 December, two coastal artillery battalions equipped with obsolete World War I artillery pieces, a combat engineer regiment and a Luftwaffe anti-aircraft battalion; the 46th Infantry Division up to strength, was woefully overextended holding down the entire Kerch Peninsula against potential Soviet landings. Sponeck's only backup was the Romanian 8th Cavalry Brigade near Alushta. On the evening of 25 December 1941, the 224th Rifle Division and 83rd Naval Infantry Brigade were packed into small craft on the Taman Peninsula and began to pass the Kerch Strait. Group 2 disembarked at Cape Khroni to the northeast of Kerch, it consisted of the gunboat Don, the transports Krasny Flot and Pyenay, a tugboat, two motor barges that carried three T-26 light tanks and a few artillery pieces, 16 fishing trawlers.
Whaleboats were substituted for landing craft, resulting in tediously slow landings and the drowning of men and equipment. 697 men from the 2nd Battalion of the 160th Rifle Regiment landed at Cape
44th Army (Soviet Union)
The 44th Army of the Soviet Union's Red Army was an army-level command active during World War II. Part of the Transcaucasian Front, its main actions included the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran and the Kerch amphibious landings, before being transferred to the Southern Front on 6 February 1943. There it took part in the Rostov and Melitopol offensives; the army was disbanded in November 1943 and its units were transferred to other armies. The 44th Army was formed on 1 August 1941 from the 40th Rifle Corps, ostensibly to guard the Soviet-Iranian border in the Transcaucasian Military District, it was composed of the 20th and 77th Mountain Rifle Divisions, as well as the 17th Cavalry Division and other smaller units. Former 40th Rifle Corps commander Major General Alexander Khadeyev became the army's commander. On 23 August, it became part of the Transcaucasian Front. On 25 August, the army began its fighting in the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran by crossing the border and moving into Gilan Province.
It captured Bandar Rasht by the next day. By 1 September, the 220th Separate Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, 36th and 265th Fighter Aviation Regiments and the 205th Separate Sapper Battalion had joined the army. In October 1941, the army was relocated from Iran to Makhachkala. In late November, it transferred to the Black Sea coast at Anapa. From 25 December, it fought in the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula. Along with the 51st Army and units of the Black Sea Fleet, the army helped capture the Kerch Peninsula, it was landed at Feodosiya. On 30 December, the army transferred to the Caucasian Front. On 15 January 1942, Pervushin was wounded when an airstrike hit his command post. Major General Ivan Dashichev became acting commander, leading the army during its retreat from advancing German troops; the army suffered heavy losses from the German counterattacks and Dashichev was replaced in command by Major General Serafim Rozhdestvensky on 21 January. He was arrested soon after for "negligence in command" and would serve 10 years in the gulag.
The army moved to control of the Crimean Front on 28 January 1942. Rozhdestvensky was replaced in command on 11 February by Lieutenant General Stepan Chernyak; the army launched several unsuccessful attacks during April. On 8 May, German troops launched Operation Trappenjagd. Troops of the XXX Army Corps broke through the front lines of the 44th Army. A German landing behind the main line of resistance unhinged the 44th Army's second echelon; the army's line soon collapsed, the German troops captured 4,514 prisoners by the end of the day. The army was evacuated to the Taman Peninsula; the army suffered heavy losses during the battle. On 20 May, the 44th Army became part of the North Caucasian Front and was concentrated in Tikhoretsk, it moved to Makhachkala soon after. On 29 May, Chernyak was relieved of command because of the defeat in Crimea, he was replaced by Major General Andrei Khryashchev. On 16 June, the army was composed of the 138th, 156th, 157th, 236th and 302nd Rifle Divisions, among other units.
It was transferred to the Transcaucasian Front. Until August, the army held a defensive line from Gudermes to the mouth of the Terek River. During this time, Khryashcev was replaced in command by Major General Ivan Yefimovich Petrov. On 9 August, the army became part of the front's Northern Group of Forces. During the fall of 1942, it fought in defensive battles in the Caucasus. On 10 October, Petrov was promoted to command the front's Black Sea Group of Forces and was replaced by Major General Kondrat Melnyk. In November, Melynk was transferred to command the 58th Army and was replaced by Lieutenant General Vasily Khomenko. In December, the army pushed German troops back to positions north of Mozdok during a series of counterattacks. During January 1943, the army attacked towards Stavropol during the North Caucasian Strategic Offensive, it captured Stavropol on 21 January. On 24 January, it became part of the reformation of the North Caucasian Front; the army transferred to the Southern Front on 6 February.
It captured Azov on 7 February. By 18 February, the army reached the line of Ryasnyi on the left bank of the Sambek River, east of Taganrog; the army held the line until the beginning of the Donbass Strategic Offensive in August. During the offensive, the army helped capture Taganrog on 30 August. Along with units of the Black Sea Fleet, the 44th Army captured Mariupol on 10 September. From 26 September, it fought in the Melitopol Offensive. At the end of October, the army was placed in regrouped northeast of Kakhovka; the army was soon placed in relieving elements of the 5th Shock Army. It defended the line of Zavadovka and Britsantsy. Lieutenant General Khomenko and army artillery commander Major General Bobkov mistakenly drove their vehicles into German lines on 9 November and were killed. Stalin feared that the generals had disbanded the army, its units were transferred to other armies
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