413th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

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413th Rifle Division (6 August 1941 – 1946)
Portrait photo of General A.D. Tereshkov.jpg
Major General Alexey Tereshkov
Active1941–1946
Country Soviet Union
BranchRed Army flag.svg Red Army
TypeDivision
RoleInfantry
EngagementsBattle of Moscow
Defense of Tula
Battle of the Dniepr
Operation Bagration
Vistula-Oder Offensive
Battle of Berlin
DecorationsOrder of the red Banner OBVERSE.jpg Order of the Red Banner

Order of suvorov medal 2nd class.jpg Order of Suvorov 2nd class

OrderOfKutuzov2nd.jpg Order of Kutuzov 2nd class
Battle honoursBrest
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Mjr. Gen. Alexey Tereshkov
Mjr. Gen. Ivan Stepanovich Khokhlov

The 413th Rifle Division was formed as a standard Red Army rifle division in the summer of 1941 in the Far Eastern Front. It was considered to be a "sister" division to the 415th, and was one of the divisions of Siberians sent west to help defend Moscow during the winter of 1941-42, it spent much of the next year in the same general area, southwest of the capital, before slowly pushing westward as part of 50th Army. In the latter stages of Operation Bagration the division was given special recognition for its role in the liberation of Brest; the 413th had a distinguished career as a combat unit, ending its combat path north of Berlin.

Formation[edit]

The 413th Rifle Division began forming on Aug. 6, 1941, entirely from assets in the Far Eastern Front. Soldiers and officers came from the South Kazakhstan and Blagoveshchensk Infantry Schools, the Khabarovsk Infantry and Military-Political Schools, and the Vladivostok Artillery Academy. Command cadre came from the staffs of the 1st and 2nd Red Banner Armies, and included many veterans of the Lake Khasan and Khalkhin-Gol fighting, its order of battle was as follows:

  • 1320th Rifle Regiment
  • 1322nd Rifle Regiment
  • 1324th Rifle Regiment
  • 982nd Artillery Regiment[1]
  • 291st Antitank Battalion (in Jan., 1942)
  • 425th Sapper Battalion
  • 487th Signal Battalion
  • 207th Reconnaissance Company

At the time of its formation its personnel were noted as being mostly Siberian and Kazakh.[2]

The division was considered to be ready for combat by Oct. 1, and over the course of the month was railed westward to join Western Front on Oct. 31, and was then assigned to 50th Army, near Tula, on Nov. 5. It was one of six divisions transferred from Far Eastern Front to the fighting front from September to November. Contrary to the German understanding at the time, there were no wholesale transfers from the far east to the Moscow front.[3]

Combat service[edit]

The 413th first went into action less than a week after joining its Army. At this time it had a personnel strength of about 12,000 troops and about 100 artillery pieces and mortars of all types, making it quite a strong front-line division for that period. A week after that, the division's infantry strength had been reduced to just 800 men,[4] under the impact of the German Second Panzer Army's renewed drive towards Moscow from the south. Although Tula was deeply outflanked by the beginning of December, it never fell. In conjunction with 10th Army, the 50th Army went on the offensive and drove Guderian's forces back from the southern approaches to Moscow.[5]

The 413th remained under command of 50th Army until April 1944, fighting in the same general area southwest of Moscow until the summer of 1943, then assisting in the slow advance through Bryansk towards the Dniepr River in the autumn and winter, it was in 38th Rifle Corps in the summer, then briefly in 46th Rifle Corps in the autumn. It would be reassigned to this corps in March, 1944, and spend most of the duration under its command.[6] Prior to the start of Operation Bagration the division, along with its corps, was transferred to 3rd Army; the corps was held in reserve to exploit the breakthrough of German 4th Army's lines by the two assault corps, which was accomplished successfully.[7] As part of the pursuit force following the defeated Germans, the 413th took part in the liberation of the famous city of Brest, on the pre-war border with Poland, on July 28, and received the name of that place as an honorific.[8]

Into Germany[edit]

In August the division, with its corps, was briefly assigned to 65th Army, then the division was briefly assigned to 114th Rifle Corps in 70th Army in September, probably for rebuilding. In November it was back in 46th Corps, in 65th Army, where it would remain for the duration. By this time 65th Army was in 2nd Belorussian Front, and under these commands it would take part in the East Prussian Offensive, the East Pomeranian Offensive, and the Berlin Strategic Offensive; when the shooting stopped, the division was on the Baltic coast hear the mouth of the Elbe, and the final honorific title of its men and women was "413th Rifle, Brest, Order of the Red Banner, Order of Suvorov, Order of Kutuzov Division"[9] (Russian: 413-я стрелковая Брестская Краснознамённая орденов Суворова и Кутузова дивизия).

Postwar[edit]

The division remained in Poland with the Northern Group of Forces postwar. In August 1945 it moved to Belgorod in the Voronezh Military District;[10] the division was briefly transferred to the 96th Rifle Corps before being disbanded by the summer of 1946.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Charles C. Sharp, "Red Tide", Soviet Rifle Divisions Formed from June to December 1941, Soviet Order of Battle World War II, Nafziger, 1996, p 113-14
  2. ^ David M. Glantz, Colossus Reborn, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 2005, p 594
  3. ^ Walter S. Dunn, Stalin's Keys to Victory, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 2007, pp 82-83
  4. ^ Sharp, p 144
  5. ^ Glantz, "Ivan Vasilievich Boldin", in Stalin's Generals, ed. Harold Shukman, Orion Books, Ltd., London, 1993, pp 49–50
  6. ^ Sharp, p 144
  7. ^ Dunn, Jr., Soviet Blitzkrieg, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 2000, pp 183, 185
  8. ^ Sharp, p 144
  9. ^ Sharp, p 144
  10. ^ Feskov et al 2013, p. 409
  11. ^ Feskov et al 2013, p. 497
  • Feskov, V.I.; Golikov, V.I.; Kalashnikov, K.A.; Slugin, S.A. (2013). Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской [The Armed Forces of the USSR after World War II: From the Red Army to the Soviet: Part 1 Land Forces] (in Russian). Tomsk: Scientific and Technical Literature Publishing. ISBN 9785895035306.

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