The Crimean Offensive, known in German sources as the Battle of the Crimea, was a series of offensives by the Red Army directed at the German-held Crimea. The Red Army's 4th Ukrainian Front engaged the German 17th Army of Army Group A, which consisted of Wehrmacht and Romanian formations; the battles ended with the evacuation of the Crimea by the Germans. German and Romanian forces suffered considerable losses during the evacuation. During late 1943 and early 1944, the Wehrmacht was pressed back along its entire front line in the east. In October 1943, the 17th Army withdrew from the Kuban bridgehead across the Kerch Strait into the Crimea. During the following months, the Red Army pushed back the Wehrmacht in southern Ukraine cutting off the land-based connection of 17th Army through the Perekop Isthmus in November 1943; the Wehrmacht was able to hold on to the Crimea after it had been cut off by land due to their ability to supply it via the Black Sea. Holding the Crimea was considered important as its loss would negatively affect the attitude of Turkey and put Romanian oilfields under risk of Soviet air attacks.
Aside from Soviet landings across the Kerch Strait and in the north-eastern sector near Sivash at the end of 1943, the Soviet Army ignored the Crimea for the next five months. Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist was removed from the command of Army Group A on March 30, 1944, he was succeeded by Ferdinand Schörner. An assault across the Perekop Isthmus was launched on 8 April by elements of the 4th Ukrainian Front's 2nd Guards and 51st Armies; the 17th Army was unable to stop the advance. Kerch was reached by the Separate Coastal Army on 11 April; the 17th Army was retreating toward Sevastopol by 16 April, with remaining Axis forces in the Crimea concentrating around the city by the end of the third week of April. The OKH intended to hold Sevastopol as a fortress, as the Red Army had done during the first Crimean campaign in 1941–42. However, the fortifications of the city had never been restored and Sevastopol was not the strong defensive position that it had been in 1941. Fighting broke out in the city outskirts towards the end of April and the city fell on 9 May, less than a month after the start of the offensive.
The Axis sea evacuation to Constanța was attacked by Soviet land-based bombers. The evacuation of the Crimea in April–May 1944 was the most complex and extensive operation of the Romanian Navy during the Second World War. From 15 April to 14 May, numerous German and Romanian warships escorted many convoys between Constanța and Sevastopol; the scale and importance of the operation can be attested by the usage in combat of all four Romanian destroyers, the largest Axis warships in the Black Sea. The last phase of the evacuation saw the fiercest combat, as Axis ships transported, under constant attacks from Soviet aircraft and shore artillery, over 30,000 troops. Of these, 18,000 were transported by Romanian ships. On 11 May, the German tanker Friederike was torpedoed and damaged by Soviet submarine L-4, preventing her participation. In total and German convoys evacuated over 113,000 Axis troops from the Crimea, most of them during the first phase of the evacuation. No Romanian Navy warships were lost during the evacuation, however the destroyer Regele Ferdinand came close to being sunk.
She was struck by a large aerial bomb, which failed to detonate. The bomb was extracted several days after the end of the operation. Two naval actions involving the Romanian Navy took place during the second phase of the evacuation, near Sevastopol. On 18 April, the Soviet Leninets-class submarine L-6 was twice attacked with depth charges and damaged by the Romanian gunboat Ghiculescu, numerous bubbles emerged from the depths after each attack, before being finished off by the German submarine hunter UJ-104. During the night of 27 April, a convoy escorted by the Romanian gunboat Ghiculescu, the German submarine hunter UJ-115, one R-boat, two KFK naval trawlers and 19 MFPs engaged the Soviet G-5-class motor torpedo boats TKA-332, TKA-343 and TKA-344, after the three attacked and damaged the German submarine hunter UJ-104. Ghiculescu opened fire with tracer rounds, enabling the entire escort group to locate the two Soviet MTBs and open fire. TKA-332 was sunk. Over 12 Soviet aircraft were shot down during the evacuation, including two by the minelaying destroyer escort Amiral Murgescu.
The last Axis pockets in the Crimea were destroyed on 12 May. The last Axis warship to leave the peninsula was Amiral Murgescu, carrying on board 1,000 Axis troops, including the German General Walter Hartmann. In a meeting with Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden, Jaenecke had insisted that Sevastopol should be evacuated and his cut off Army of 235,000 men withdrawn. After the loss of the Crimea, he was arrested in Romania and court-martialed. Only the intervention of Heinz Guderian saved his life, he was dismissed from the army on 31 January 1945. The German and Romanian formations suffered the loss of 57,000 men, many of whom drowned during the evacuation; the sinking of the Totila and Teja on 10 May alone caused up to 10,000 deaths. In total, the German losses at sea amounted to five cargo ships, one tanker, three tugs, three lighters, three motorboats and four submarine hunters, while the Romanians lost three cargo ships; the successful evacuation of Axis troops from the Crimea earned the commander of the Romanian Navy, Rear Admiral Horia Macellariu, the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
The table below is based on information from Glantz/House When Titans Clashed.: 4th Uk
76th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division (Soviet Union)
The 76th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division was an anti-aircraft artillery division of the Soviet Union's Red Army during World War II and the early postwar period. Formed in February 1944 with the 4th Ukrainian Front, the division fought in the Crimean Offensive and received the honorific Perekop for its actions there in April, it spent the next several months as a garrison for Crimea with the Separate Coastal Army but rejoined the 4th Ukrainian Front in August during the Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive. Advancing westward, the 76th fought in the Battle of the Dukla Pass, the Moravian–Ostrava Offensive, the Prague Offensive in late 1944 and 1945. From December 1944 it was part of the 38th Army; the division was disbanded by the 1950s. The 76th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division of the Reserve of the Supreme High Command was formed with the 2nd Guards Army of the 4th Ukrainian Front in February 1944, it included the 223rd, 416th, 447th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiments, independent. Colonel Mikhail Timofeyev was assigned commander on 18 February, but on 31 March he transferred to become chief of staff of another anti-aircraft artillery division.
Colonel Vasily Kharitonovich took command of the division in April, leading it in the Crimean Offensive. For its actions the division was awarded the honorific Perekop on 24 April. In May, the 591st Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment, another independent unit, became the division's fourth regiment. At the same time it transferred to the Separate Coastal Army. In July it moved north. Colonel Fyodor Bolbat took command of the division in August; the 76th fought in the capture of Drogobych during the Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive in August. During the month the division was directly subordinated to the reformed 4th Ukrainian Front, though it supported the 1st Guards Army as well, it subsequently participated in the Battle of the Dukla Pass, advancing west through the Carpathian Mountains. It was transferred to the 18th Army in November, joining the 38th Army in December; the 76th remained with the latter until the end of the war. In the final months of the war in 1945 the division fought in the Moravian–Ostrava Offensive and the Prague Offensive, ending the war in Prague.
Under Bolbat's command, the division claimed 51 enemy aircraft downed, as well as 24 pillboxes, 76 vehicles, 37 guns destroyed in ground combat. It was credited with suppressing the fire of thirteen enemy mortar and artillery batteries, damaging two tanks, capturing 120 enemy soldiers, as well as scattering and destroying up to three enemy regiments. Bolbat continued to command the division until June 1946, when he was sent to study at higher courses; the division was among those anti-aircraft artillery divisions disbanded without being converted into another unit by the end of the 1950s. 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. Gurkin, V. V.. Боевой состав Советской армии: Часть IV. Moscow: Voenizdat. Gurkin, V. V.. Боевой состав Советской армии: Часть V. Moscow: Voenizdat. 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. Tsapayev, D. A.. Goremykin, Viktor, ed. Великая Отечественная: Комдивы. Военный биографический словарь. 2. Moscow: Kuchkovo Pole. ISBN 978-5-9950-0341-0
Artillery is a class of heavy military weapons built to fire munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry's small arms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls, fortifications during sieges, led to heavy immobile siege engines; as technology improved, more mobile field artillery cannons developed for battlefield use. This development continues today. In its earliest sense, the word artillery referred to any group of soldiers armed with some form of manufactured weapon or armour. Since the introduction of gunpowder and cannon, the word "artillery" has meant cannon, in contemporary usage, it refers to shell-firing guns, howitzers and rocket artillery. In common speech, the word artillery is used to refer to individual devices, along with their accessories and fittings, although these assemblages are more properly called "equipments". However, there is no recognised generic term for a gun, mortar, so forth: the United States uses "artillery piece", but most English-speaking armies use "gun" and "mortar".
The projectiles fired are either "shot" or "shell". "Shell" is a used generic term for a projectile, a component of munitions. By association, artillery may refer to the arm of service that customarily operates such engines. In some armies one arm has operated field, anti-aircraft artillery and anti-tank artillery, in others these have been separate arms and in some nations coastal has been a naval or marine responsibility. In the 20th century technology based target acquisition devices, such as radar, systems, such as sound ranging and flash spotting, emerged to acquire targets for artillery; these are operated by one or more of the artillery arms. The widespread adoption of indirect fire in the early 20th century introduced the need for specialist data for field artillery, notably survey and meteorological, in some armies provision of these are the responsibility of the artillery arm. Artillery originated for use against ground targets—against infantry and other artillery. An early specialist development was coastal artillery for use against enemy ships.
The early 20th century saw the development of a new class of artillery for use against aircraft: anti-aircraft guns. Artillery is arguably the most lethal form of land-based armament employed, has been since at least the early Industrial Revolution; the majority of combat deaths in the Napoleonic Wars, World War I, World War II were caused by artillery. In 1944, Joseph Stalin said in a speech that artillery was "the God of War". Although not called as such, machines performing the role recognizable as artillery have been employed in warfare since antiquity. Historical references show artillery was first employed by the Roman legions at Syracuse in 399 BC; until the introduction of gunpowder into western warfare, artillery was dependent upon mechanical energy which not only limited the kinetic energy of the projectiles, it required the construction of large engines to store sufficient energy. A 1st-century BC Roman catapult launching 6.55 kg stones achieved a kinetic energy of 16,000 joules, compared to a mid-19th-century 12-pounder gun, which fired a 4.1 kg round, with a kinetic energy of 240,000 joules, or a late 20th century US battleship that fired a 1,225 kg projectile from its main battery with an energy level surpassing 350,000,000 joules.
From the Middle Ages through most of the modern era, artillery pieces on land were moved by horse-drawn gun carriages. In the contemporary era, artillery pieces and their crew relied on wheeled or tracked vehicles as transportation; these land versions of artillery were dwarfed by railway guns, which includes the largest super-gun conceived, theoretically capable of putting a satellite into orbit. Artillery used by naval forces has changed with missiles replacing guns in surface warfare. Over the course of military history, projectiles were manufactured from a wide variety of materials, into a wide variety of shapes, using many different methods in which to target structural/defensive works and inflict enemy casualties; the engineering applications for ordnance delivery have changed over time, encompassing some of the most complex and advanced technologies in use today. In some armies, the weapon of artillery is the projectile, not the equipment; the process of delivering fire onto the target is called gunnery.
The actions involved in operating an artillery piece are collectively called "serving the gun" by the "detachment" or gun crew, constituting either direct or indirect artillery fire. The manner in which gunnery crews are employed is called artillery support. At different periods in history this may refer to weapons designed to be fired from ground-, sea-, air-based weapons platforms; the term "gunner" is used in some armed forces for the soldiers and sailors with the primary function of using artillery. The gunners and their guns are grouped in teams called either "crews" or "detachments". Several such crews and teams with other functions are combined into a unit of artillery called a battery, although sometimes called a company. In gun detachments, each role is numbered, starting with "1" the Detachment Commander, the highest number being the Coverer, the second-in-command. "Gunner" is the lowest rank and junior non-commissioned officers are "Bombardiers" in some artillery arms. Batteries are equivalent to a company in the infantry
1st Czechoslovak Army Corps in the USSR
The 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps was a military formation of the Czechoslovak Army in exile fighting on the Eastern Front alongside the Soviet Red Army in World War II. The corps was the largest of the Czechoslovak units that fought on the Soviet side on the Eastern Front; the First Czechoslovak Independent Field Battalion, formed in Buzuluk in the Urals, was the first Allied unit fighting alongside the Red Army in Soviet territory. It was formed from former members of the Czechoslovak Legion, Czechoslovak citizens living in the Soviet Union, Slovak prisoners-of-war and defectors, Volhynian Czechs. Lieutenant-colonel Ludvík Svoboda was appointed to become the commander of the unit on 15 July 1942. Despite the plans of the Czechoslovak political leadership, who intended to keep the unit intact to help with the future liberation of the Czechoslovakia, the officers of the battalion tried to bring the unit into the fight as soon as possible. After sending a personal letter to Joseph Stalin, they succeed and the battalion was sent into action.
Notably, it took part in the defensive battle of Sokolovo, a part of the larger Third Battle of Kharkov, in March 1943. At the time, it was one of the most well armed infantry battalions on the East Front – equipped with automatic guns and semiautomatic infantry weapons. However, the battalion lacked heavier anti-tank weapons and artillery, to be provided by supporting Soviet units; because of this, during the battle, when facing parts of the German armored division, the battalion suffered heavy losses and was withdrawn from the front line. In May 1943, the remnants of the 1st Czechoslovak Independent Field Battalion and the 1st Czechoslovak Reserve Regiment were reorganized into 1st Czechoslovak Independent Brigade; the reinforcements were Rusyn and Ukrainian prisoners released from the gulags. The brigade played a key role in the 1943 battle of Kiev, its troops were some of the first to reach the center of the Ukrainian capital city; the brigade suffered only low losses: 82 wounded. At the time the brigade had a strength of 3,348 personnel.
After the liberation of large parts of Ukraine in 1943/44, thousands of Volhynian Czechs volunteered to enter the Czechoslovak army. At the same time, thousands of Slovak prisoners of war, captured or deserted from Slovak Army, were regrouped and trained as the new parachute unit; this enabled to build the army corps. The corps was created on his headquarters moved to Sadagura; the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps consisted of three infantry brigades and of tank, artillery and other support units. Some of these units were reorganized into higher independent units, such as Tank Brigade and Mixed Air Division. While most of the Czechoslovak units served as part of the Corps, some may have been detached for operations with Red Army formations and units as required. In late autumn 1944, when parts of Czechoslovakia were liberated, a new infantry brigade was formed and the support units transformed into higher units. By the time that the Soviet offensive entered Czechoslovakia, it had grown to corps size.
In the autumn of 1944, 13,000 members of the corps participated in the Battle of Dukla Pass, after fierce fighting they set foot on their native soil once more. Czechoslovak troops were involved in the Prague Offensive, the last major World War II battle in Europe; the Corps served within the 1st Ukrainian Front's 38th Army. From September 4, 1944, as the part of 38th Army the Corps participated in the East Carpathian Strategic Offensive Operation. During this operation, from 14,900 personnel the Corps suffered a loss of 1,630 dead and 4,069 wounded. While majority of the Corps fought in the Dukla Pass, the 2nd Parachute Brigade and the 1st Czechoslovak Independent Fighter Air Regiment were relocated behind the enemy lines as the direct support to the Slovak National Uprising. After the Uprising was suppressed, the Fighter Regiment was withdrawn, while the soldiers of 2nd Parachute Brigade continued in partisan warfare in Slovak mountains until the battlefront came to central Slovakia. In November 1944 Corps was reassigned to 4th Ukrainian Front's, 1st Guards Army, only the artillery units saw the action within the 1st Ukrainian Front's in the Soviet offensive near Jasło.
As part of 4th Ukrainian Front, 18th Army the Corps took part in the secondary battles until the end of the war and participated in the liberation of central Slovakia and east Moravia. However the 1st Tank Brigade, 1st Czechoslovak Mixed Air Division and some infantry units were reassigned again to the 1st Ukrainian Front's 38th Army and fought in the hardest fights in the Moravian-Ostrava Operation. At the end of the war the remnants of the Tank Brigade formed so called Fast Group in the Prague Strategic Offensive Operation during which the Corps suffered 112 killed, 421 wounded from a total of 48,400 personnel; the First Czechoslovak Army Corps ceased to exist shortly after the victorious end of the war. On 25 May 1945, the provisional organization of the Czechoslovak armed forces was approved, according to which there was a reorganization of the Czechoslovak army in peacetime. Since the end of the May 1945 the Corps was reorganized into the 1st Czechoslovak Army and its brigades were reorganized into respective divisions.
Jan Kratochvíl Ludvík Svoboda Bohumil Boček – acting commander Karel Klapálek The Corps's initial commander was Brigade General J
Northern Front (Soviet Union)
The Northern Front was a front of the Red Army during the Second World War. The Northern Front was created on June 1941 from the Leningrad Military District, its primary goal was the defense of the Kola Peninsula and the northern shores of the Gulf of Finland. On August 23, 1941, the Front's forces were divided into the Leningrad Front. Lieutenant General Markian M. Popov commanded the Front for the three months of its existence; the Front's major force structure was based on the 7th Army, 14th Army, 23rd Armies and the Leningrad People's Opolcheniye Army. Other forces included four Rifle Corps, two Mechanized Corps, seventeen Rifle Divisions, four Tank Divisions, two Motor Rifle Divisions, eight artillery regiments of the Reserve of Highest Command, eight Aviation Divisions, seven Fortified Regions, one Fortified Position, thirteen machinegun battalions; the formations of the Northern Front included the following subunits: 14th Army with its commander, General Lieutenant Frolov Valerian Alexandrovich, responsible for the Defence Sector No.1 which extended from the coast of the Barents Sea to include the entire Kola Peninsula and in particular the Murmansk to Kandalaksha railway.
14th Rifle Division defending the Petsamo sector 42nd Rifle Corps 104th Rifle Division 122nd Rifle Division 52nd Rifle Division 1st Tank Division 104 Gun Artillery Regiment of the Reserve of Highest Command 23rd Murmansk Fortified Region 35th, 100th, 82nd, 72nd and 101st Border Guard Detachments 1st Mixed Air DivisionNorthern Fleet commanded by Admiral Arseniy Golovko and its coast defence and naval aviation units. Separate 7th Army with its commander Lieutenant General Filip D. Garelenko responsible for the Defence Sector No.2 covering the longest sector of the Front between the Kola Peninsula and Lake Ladoga, in particular having the responsibility at once for the gap between the Ladoga and Onega lakes, the possible land assault to cut off Arkhangelsk. In fact the Stavka had determined the Army had four sectors in its responsibility.54th Rifle Division 71st Rifle Division 168th Rifle Division 237th Rifle Division 541 Howitzer Artillery Regiment of the Reserve of Highest Command 26th Sortavala Fortified Region 1st, 73rd, 80th and 3rd Border Guard Detachments 55th Mixed Air Division 153rd Fighter Aviation Regiment 72nd Bomber Aviation Regiment 23rd Army named for the Kirovsky District 76th Latvian Separate Rifle regiment on the 14 September.
2nd Division of People's Opolcheniye named for the Moskovsky District battalion of the Military-Political Border Guard School named for Voroshilov 519th Corps Artillery Regiment of Reserve of Highest Command Tank battalion of the Armoured Course for Enhancement of Command Staff 3rd Division of People's Opolcheniye named for the Frunzensky District (commander 1st Guards Division of People's Opolcheniye formed in the Kuybishev District 2nd Guards Division of People's Opolcheniye formed in the Sverdlovsk District tank battalion of the Leningrad garrison 4th Light Division of People's Opolcheniye named for the Dzerzhinsky District Separate battalion of Special Purpose 3rd Guards Division of People's Opolcheniye formed in the Petrograd District 4th Guards Division of People's Opolcheniye (Russi
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
Carpathian Military District
The Carpathian Military District was a military district of the Soviet Armed Forces during the Cold War and subsequently of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the early Post-Soviet period. It was established on 3 May 1946 on the base of the 1st Ukrainian Front, 4th Ukrainian Front, Lviv Military District, it became part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 1991 and was disbanded by being redesignated the Western Operational Command in January 1998. Two districts were formed in what was to become the district's territory in 1944 and 1945. During May 1944 in the freed territory of the West Ukraine the Lvov Military District was formed, headed by the former deputy commander of the 2nd Ukrainian Front. On 9 July 1945 the Carpathian Military District was ordered created from the headquarters of the 4th Ukrainian Front in Chernovtsy. Under the command of former front commander Army General Andrey Yeryomenko, it was responsible for troops on the territory of Stanislav, Chernovtsy, Vinnitsa and Kamenets-Podolsk Oblasts, excluding Berezdovsky, Shepetovsky and Slavutsky Districts.
The district's troops were from the 4th Ukrainian Front, but included units transferred from the Lvov and Kiev Military Districts. By the fall of 1945, the district included the 27th and 38th Armies, transferred from the Southern and Central Groups of Forces, respectively; the 35th Guards, 33rd, 37th Rifle Corps were directly subordinated to the district headquarters when 27th Army disbanded around this time. On 8 September the 133rd Rifle Corps at Stanislav was disbanded with its two divisions; the 31st Tank Division was directly subordinated to the district at Proskurov. By a decree of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union on 3 May 1946, the Lvov and Carpathian Military Districts were merged as the Carpathian Military District with headquarters at Lvov; the District's territory included 10 regions of the Ukrainian SSR – Vinnytsia, Zhitomir, Stanislav, Rovno, Kamenets-Podolsk and Chernovtsy. The 52nd Army began reorganizing on the district's territory as the 8th Mechanized Army; the newly created district included the 13th and 38th Armies, with air support provided by the 14th Air Army.
The 13th and 38th Armies totalled five rifle corps headquarters and seventeen divisions between them. In 1947, the 50th, 280th, 395th Rifle, 18th Tank, the 23rd and 25th Mechanized Divisions were disbanded; the 3rd Mountain Rifle Corps was in the Lvov Military District in September 1945. It became part of the 38th Army in the Carpathian Military District, but disbanded by 1957. Troops of the district, including 57th Air Army, took part in'Operation Danube,' the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia; the District became subordinate to the Western Strategic Direction in the late 1970s/early 80s. The 8th Tank, 13th, 38th Armies were stationed in the District for most of its existence; the 14th Air Army and 2nd Army of the Soviet Air Defence Forces were located there. Scott and Scott reported the HQ address in 1979 as Lviv-8, Vulytsa Vatutina, Bud 12. In September 1990, the 66th Artillery Corps was formed in Novye Belokorovichi, Zhitomir Oblast, from parts of the disbanded HQ 50th Rocket Army.
It took under control 81st Artillery Divisions. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk appointed Lieutenant General Petro Ivanovich Shulyak, former commander of the 13th Army, as commander of the district on April 7, 1994, in Presidential Ukaz N 143/94. Former Soviet and Western sources agree on an end-1980s figure of three tank divisions and nine or ten motor rifle divisions in the District. In its last years under Ukrainian control the District saw a large reduction in the number of troops within it as Ukraine reduced the 780,000 troops it had inherited from the Soviet Union to comply with the treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe; the District's forces at the end of the 1980s included: 8th Tank Army - Redesignated 8th Army Corps 1 December 199323rd Tank Division, 1990 converted into a military equipment storage unit 30th Guards Tank Division 13th Red Banner Army 51st Guards Motor Rifle Division 97th Guards Motor Rifle Division 161st Motor Rifle Division 38th Army 17th Guards Motor Rifle Division 70th Guards Motor Rifle Division.
Redesignated 857th Weapons and Equipment Storage Base January 1991. 128th Guards Motor Rifle Division District Troops26th Artillery Division Included 897th Guards Gun Artillery Kiev Red Banner order of Bogdan Khmelnytsky Regiment, now the 11th Artillery Brigade 81st Artillery Division 24th Motor Rifle Division 66th Guards Training Motor Rifle Division 128th Guards Tank Training Regiment, 145th, 193rd, 195th Guards Motor Rifle Training Regiments 117th Guards Tank Training Division 242nd, 254th, 286th Tank Training Regiments, 320th Guards Motor Rifle Training Regiment. Division became the 119th Guards District Training Centre. 242nd Tank Training Regiment became the 95th Airmobile Brigade. 8th Special Forces Brigade GRU (formed Izyaslav, Khmelnitskiy Oblast, Carpathian Military District, Decembe