Southern Group of Forces
The Southern Group of Forces was a Soviet Armed Forces formation formed twice following the Second World War, most notably around the time of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. On June 15, 1945, the 26th and 37th Armies in Romania and Bulgaria, plus a division which had reached Yugoslavia, were grouped into the Southern Group of Forces, it was commanded by Fyodor Tolbukhin. In 1946, the 37th Army became the 10th Mechanised Army. 57th Army to become 9th Mechanised Army, was part of the Group. Colonel general Vyacheslav Tsvetayev commanded the army between its disbandedment. After the signing of the Paris Peace Treaties in 1947, the SGF disbanded, along with HQ 26th Army, passed on its functions to the 10th Mechanised Army, which had now been redesignated the Special Mechanized Army; the Group was re-created for a second time with its staff in Budapest during September 1955. Lenskii says that it was re-created in 1955 to control the Soviet troops in Hungary following the disbandment of the former Central Group of Forces which had controlled troops in Austria and Hungary from 1945 to 1955, the Soviet withdrawal from Austria.
Under its command were the 2nd Guards'Nikolayevsk-Budapest' Mechanised Division, the 17th Guards'Yenakievskiy-Danube' Mechanised Division, two air divisions, other troops. Lenskii says their function was'to cover the boundary with neutral Austria and to guarantee communications in the case of the advancement of troops from the USSR'. On October 24, 1956 the 33rd Guard Kherson Mechanized Division stationed in Romania near the Romanian-Hungarian border, two divisions from the Carpathian Military District, the 11th Guards'Rovenskaya' Mechanized and 128th Guards Rifle Division, entered Hungary under the control of a Rifle Corps; the forces in Hungary and those entering totalled 31,500 men. The 33rd Guards Mechanised Division took the lead role in suppressing the Hungarian Revolution in Budapest, lost, according to Soviet sources, 14 tanks and assault guns as well as 9 armoured personnel carriers. Seven months afterward, on May 28, 1957, an agreement on the status of Soviet troops, comprising the Southern Group of Forces, was made between the USSR and Hungary.
The 11th Guards Mechanised and 128th Guards Rifle Divisions returned to the Carpathian Military District and were replaced by the 21st Guards'Poltava' Tank Division and the 27th'Cherkassy' Motor Rifle Division, both under the command of the Carpathian Military District's 38th Army. 2nd Guards Mechanised Division was re-formed into the 19th Guards Tank Division, the 17th Guards Mechanised Division was re-formed into the 17th Guard Motor Rifle Division and withdrawn to the USSR. The 33rd Guards Mechanised Division was replaced by the 35th Guards'Kharkov' Mechanised Division. Either in 1957 or 1965, three of the four divisions in the Group were redesignated, toward the end of the 1980s the Group comprised: 13th Guards Tank Poltava Division - in Veszprém. 36th Air ArmySmaller units included the 327th Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment, headquartered at Szolnok and tasked with airfield defence. In 1967, the 22nd Missile Brigade became part of the Southern Group of Forces at Dombóvár; the removal of Soviet troops from Hungary began during May 1989, with the withdrawal and disbandment of 13th Guards Tank Division.
The 19th Guards Tank Division was withdrawn to the Belorussian Military District and the 254th Motor Rifle Division to the Kiev Military District. The 93rd Guards Motor Rifle Division was withdrawn in early 1991 to the Kiev Military District and the Group disbanded on 16 June 1991. December 1956 - October 1960 - Army General Mikhail Kazakov October 1960 - August 1961 - Colonel General Matvei Nikitin August 1961 - September 1962 - Army General Pavel Batov September 1962 - October 1969 - Colonel General Konstantin Provalov October 1969 - December 1975 - Colonel General Boris Ivanov December 1975 - March 1979 - Colonel General Fedot Krivda March 1979 - August 1982 - Colonel General Vladimir Sivenok August 1982 - August 1985 - Colonel General Konstantin Kochetov August 1985 - June 1988 - Colonel General Alexey Demidov June 1988 - December 1990 - Colonael General Matvei Burlakov December 1990 - September 1992 - Lieutenant General Viktor Shilov The following units were part of the Southern Group of Forces Air Forces, designated the 36th Air Army between 1967 and 1981.11th Guards Fighter Aviation Division 5th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment 14th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment 515th Fighter Aviation Regiment 1st Guards Fighter Bomber Aviation Regiment 727th Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment 328th Separate Guards Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment 396th Separate Guards Helicopter Regiment 294th Separate Electronic Warfare Helicopter Squadron 8th Separate Target-Towing Aviation Squadron 201st Separate Mixed Aviation Squadron 37th Separate Helicopter Unit 38th Separate Helicopter Unit 72nd Separate Helicopter Unit 74th Separate Helicopter Unit 18th Separate Communications and Automated Control Regiment The 11th Guards Fighter Aviation Division moved from Parndorf in Austria to Veszprém-Jutas in Hungary in Nove
25th Army (Soviet Union)
The 25th Army was a Red Army field army of World War II that served in the Russian Far East. Formed in June 1941, the 25th Army did not see combat until the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945, when it advanced into northern Korea. After World War II it was responsible for the Soviet Civil Administration in the northern Korean Peninsula, helped establish a Communist state in North Korea under the rule of Kim Il-Sung; the army remained in North Korea until it was withdrawn in 1948, was stationed in Primorsky Krai until its 1957 disbandment. It was formed in the Soviet Far East Front on the basis of the headquarters of the 43rd Rifle Corps on 20 June 1941 in accordance with an order of 8 March. Headquartered at Voroshilov, it was commanded by Lieutenant General Filipp Parusinov; the army comprised 39th Rifle Corps with 32nd Rifle Division, 40th, 92nd Rifle Divisions, as well as the 105th Rifle Division and the 106th, 107th, 108th, 110th, 111th Fortified Areas as Army troops. The army was responsible for defending the border in Primorsky Krai.
On 10 August 1943, the army became part of the Maritime Group of Forces, which on 20 April 1945 became part of the Far Eastern Front, was soon directly subordinated to the Stavka. In June, Colonel General Ivan Chistyakov took command of the army. On 5 August, the army became part of the 1st Far East Front, redesignated from the Maritime Group of Forces in preparation for the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. At the time, the 393rd Rifle Division and the 7th and 113th Fortified Areas were in the army's direct subordination. By the beginning of the invasion on 9 August, the army included the 39th Rifle Corps with the 40th, the 384th, the 386th Rifle Divisions, the 393rd Rifle Division, the 7th, 106th, 107th, 108th, 110th, 111th, the 113th Fortified Areas. During the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, the army fought in the Harbin-Kirin Offensive. By the end of 10 August the army overcame Japanese resistance to capture the Dongning, Dongxin-zhen, the Hunchun fortified areas, cut the Dongning-Tumyntsa-Hunchun road, advanced through Japanese defenses to a depth of 15 kilometres to 20 kilometres.
On 11 August, the 25th Army captured Laoheishan and Hunchun, on the next day captured the ports of Unggi and Rason on the east coast of Korea alongside landing forces of the Pacific Fleet. As a result of its advances, the army received the 5th Army's 17th Rifle Corps and the 88th Rifle Division and 10th Mechanized Corps from front reserve. With the reinforcements, the army received a new task: to advance south and cut the communications between Japanese troops in Korea and those in Manchuria, in cooperation with the Pacific Fleet landing forces, to capture ports on the east coast of Korea. In fulfilling this task, the army defeated parts of the Japanese 3rd and 34th Armies and captured Wangqing on 15 August, Chongjin on 16 August and Yanji on 17 August, among others. Between 18 and 20 August, the army disarmed surrendered Japanese troops, was redeployed to the Pyongyang area at the end of the month; the army's headquarters was established at Pyongyang on 26 August after Chistyakov rejected the option of Hamhung on the previous day after the 25th Army was given the task of occupying what would become North Korea.
The location of the 25th Army's headquarters in Pyongyang determined the location of the future North Korean capital. After the end of the war with Japan it included 39th Rifle Corps and 88th Rifle Corps and 8 fortified regions but they were all reorganised in 1946 into machine-gun artillery divisions. There were the 72nd, 76th, 218th, 259th Tank Brigades. On 1 October, the army became part of the Primorsky Military District; the two corps were disbanded in August 1946 and 65th Rifle Corps was transferred to the 25th Army from the 5th Army. The division of Korea between the United States and the Soviet Union after the defeat of Japan had been agreed to at the Tehran Conference in 1943; the 25th Army served as the occupation force in north of the 38th parallel while the U. S. Army Military Government in Korea was established in the south. Under the Soviet Civil Administration the 25th Army helped place Kim Il-Sung and the Korean Workers' Party into power, they assisted with the purges of former collaborators, businessmen and religious leaders.
These people would either flee to the future South Korea or would be banished or imprisoned in the Hamgyong Province. In late 1948, the army was withdrawn from North Korea and stationed in southern Primorsky Krai on the Korean and Chinese borders, as well as on the Peter the Great Gulf coast, its headquarters was located in Shkotovo. In March 1953 the army included the 9th, 10th, 21st, 24th Machine-Gun Artillery Divisions; the 10th Mechanized Division had become part of the 65th Rifle Corps by this time, the 40th Rifle Division was directly subordinated to the army. In April 1953, the Primorsky Military District was disbanded, the army became part of the Far Eastern Military District; the army's last commander was Lieutenant General Ivan Rubanyuk, who assumed command on 18 May 1953. The 65th Rifle Corps and its divisions were disbanded in the summer of 1956 and the remaining 25th Army rifle divisions became motor rifle divisions in the spring of 1957. On 1 May, the army included the 40th, 84th, 147th, the 148th Motor Rifle Divisions.
In December 1957, the army was disbanded and its remaining divisions transferred to the 5th Army. The 84th, 147th, 148th Divisions were disbanded along with the 25th Ar
Kuzma Petrovich Podlas was a Soviet lieutenant-general, killed in action in World War II. In Russian Civil War, Podlas was a kombrig ) in the Red Army. After the war, he graduated from Frunze Academy. In 1935, he was promoted to the rank of komdiv In 1938, Podlas was appointed deputy commander of Kiev Special Military District. Shortly thereafter he was sentenced to 5-year imprisonment. However, in 1940 he was released among a few other general officers such as Gorbatov and Rokossovsky and reinstated in his previous position. Following adoption of general ranks in the Red Army, he was created major general. In August 1941, he took command of the 40th Army, trying to stop the advance of Guderian's 2nd Panzer Group to Moscow. After that, he was promoted to lieutenant general. On 22 October 1941 he was awarded the Order of Lenin. In February 1942 Podlas was given command of the 57th Army, he was killed in action in the Kharkov Counteroffensive. He was a recipient of the Order of the Red Banner. General Podlas is mentioned in Khruschev's Secret Speech as one of the military commanders who were wrongly accused during Joseph Stalin's Great Purge
The Belgrade Offensive or the Belgrade Strategic Offensive Operation was a military operation in which Belgrade was liberated from the German Wehrmacht through the joint efforts of the Soviet Red Army, Yugoslav Partisans, the Bulgarian People's Army. Soviet forces and local militias launched separate but loosely cooperative operations that undermined German control of Belgrade and forced a retreat. Martial planning was coordinated evenly among command leaders, the operation was enabled through tactical cooperation between Josip Broz Tito and Joseph Stalin that began in September 1944; these martial provisions allowed Bulgarian forces to engage in operations throughout Yugoslav territory, which furthered tactical success while increasing diplomatic friction. The primary objectives of the Belgrade Offensive centered on lifting the German occupation of Serbia, seizing Belgrade as a strategic holdout in the Balkans, severing German communication lines between Greece and Hungary; the spearhead of the offensive was executed by the Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front in coordination with the Yugoslav 1st Army Corps.
Simultaneous operations in the south involved the Bulgarian 2nd Army and Yugoslav XIII Army Corps, the incursion of the 2nd Ukrainian Front northwards from the Yugoslav-Bulgarian border placed additional pressure on German command. There were additional skirmishes between Bulgarian forces and German anti-partisan regiments in Macedonia that represented the campaign's southernmost combat operations. By the summer of 1944, the Germans had not only lost control of all the mountainous area of Yugoslavia but were no longer able to protect their own essential lines of communication. Another general offensive on their front was unthinkable, by September it was clear that Belgrade and the whole of Serbia must shortly be free of them; these summer months were the best the movement had seen. In August 1943, the German Wehrmacht had two army formations deployed in the Balkans: Army Group E in Greece and the 2nd Panzer Army in Yugoslavia and Albania. Army Group F headquarters in Belgrade acted as a joint high command for these formations, as well as for Bulgarian and Quisling formations.
After the collapse of the uprising in December 1941, anti-Axis activity in Serbia decreased and the focus of resistance moved to other, less populated areas. Although Serbia had great significance to the Germans few troops remained there. In the following years, Tito tried to reinforce the partisan forces in Serbia with experienced units from Bosnia and Montenegro. From the spring of 1944, the Allied command had assisted in these efforts; the Germans opposed these efforts by concentrating forces in the border regions of Bosnia and Montenegro, in order to disturb Partisan concentrations, to inflict casualties on Partisan units, to push them back with a series of large-scale assaults. In July 1944, German defenses began to fail. After the failure of Operation Draufgänger – a 1944 anti-partisan operation in Montenegro and Northern Albania – three divisions of the Narodnooslobodilačka vojska Jugoslavije – managed to cross the Ibar River to the east and threaten the main railroad lines. After the failure of Operation Rübezahl in Montenegro in August 1944, two additional NOVJ divisions broke through the German blockade entrenching themselves in western Serbia.
Army Group F command responded by deploying additional forces: the 1st Mountain Division arrived in Serbia in early August, followed by the 4th SS Panzergrenadier Division from the Thessaloniki area. Developments in Romania in late August 1944 confronted Army Group F command with the necessity of an immediate large-scale concentration of troops and weapons in Serbia in order to cope with a threat from the east; the Allied command, the NOVJ supreme command, predicted this scenario and developed a plan for the occasion. On 1 September 1944, a general attack from the ground and from the air on the German transport lines and installations began; these attacks hindered German troop movements, with units disassembled and tied to the ground. In the meantime, the 1st Proletarian Corps, the main partisan formation in Serbia, continued with reinforcing and developing its forces and with seizing positions for the assault on Belgrade. On 18 September Valjevo was taken, on 20 September Aranđelovac. Partisans achieved control of a large area south and southwest of Belgrade, thus forming the basis for the future advance towards Belgrade.
In response to the defeat of German forces in the Jassy-Kishinev Operation in late August 1944, which forced Bulgaria and Romania to switch sides, to the advance of Red Army troops into the Balkans, Berlin ordered Army Group E to withdraw into Hungary. But the combined actions of Yugoslav partisans and Allied air forces impeded German movements with Ratweek. With the Red Army on Serbia's borders, the Wehrmacht put together another provisional army formation from available elements of Army Group E and the 2nd Panzer Army for the defense of Serbia, called "Army Group Serbia"; as a result of the Bulgarian coup d'état of 1944, the monarchist-fascist regime in Bulgaria was overthrown and replaced with a go
5th Combined Arms Army
The 5th Combined Arms Red Banner Army is a Russian Ground Forces formation in the Eastern Military District. It was formed in 1939, served during the Soviet invasion of Poland that year, was deployed in the southern sector of the Soviet defences when Adolf Hitler's Operation Barbarossa began in June 1941 during World War II. In the disastrous first months of Barbarossa, the 5th Army was destroyed around Kiev. Reformed under Lelyushenko and Govorov, it played a part in the last-ditch defence of Moscow, in the string of offensive and defensive campaigns that saw the Soviet armies liberate all of Soviet territory and push west into Poland and beyond into Germany itself; the 5th Army itself only advanced as far as East Prussia before it was moved east to take part in the Soviet attack on Japan. Since 1945 under the Soviet and now Russian flag it has formed part of the Far East Military District keeping watch on the border with the People's Republic of China; as the Russian armed force shrunk it found itself part of the larger Eastern Military District in the twenty-first century.
The 5th Army was created in August 1939 in the Special Kiev Military District from the Northern Army Group. In September 1939 the 5th Army took part in the Soviet invasion of Poland, justified by the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact; the Army was placed under the command of I. G. Sovietnikov. On 22 June 1941, the 5th Army consisted of the 15th Rifle Corps, as well as the 27th Rifle Corps, the 22nd Mechanised Corps, the 2nd Fortified Region, seven artillery regiments, 2 NKVD border regiments, an engineer regiment; the Army's rifle divisions were assigned to cover the Lutsk-Rovno approaches to the Ukraine and were tasked to man the Kovel and Vladimir-Volynsk fortified districts. The Army was stationed in barracks up to forty miles from the frontier, would need three to four days to take up its positions. On 22 June, the 15th Rifle Corps managed to take its place in the line, holding the sector from Vlodava to Vladimir-Volynsk, but that same day, the southern end of the line at Vladimir-Volynsk "began to buckle in," in John Erickson's words.
The main German thrust in the sector came at the junction point between the 5th Army and its neighbour to the south, the 6th Army, both the 5th and 6th Armies committed their mechanised forces to try to stem the gap, but without success. The Commander Southwestern Front, Mikhail Kirponos, decided to halt this with an attack into the flank of Panzer Group 1 using all the available mobile forces – five mechanised corps; this was unsuccessful in the face of the thrusting German advance, lack of coordination from the various Soviet formations, acute shortage of equipment and spares, lack of proper equipment radio sets. Meanwhile General M. I. Potapov, now commanding the 5th Army, was ordered on 29 June to make another attack on Panzer Group 1's flank from the woods of Klevany. Amid these efforts, Kirponos managed to withdraw most of his Front to a new line on the old Soviet/Polish border, prevented the Germans from rupturing the Soviet defensive line; the 11th Panzer Division took Berdichev on 7 July, the juncture between the 5th and 6th Armies was broken.
The gap between the 5th and 6th Armies widened to forty miles. To remedy the situation another counterattack was ordered, Potapov, now commanding the 15th and 31st Rifle, 9th, 19th and 22nd Mechanised Corps, was directed to strike northwards from Berdichev and Lyubar. However, his forces had been badly worn down: the 9th Mechanised Corps had 64 tanks left, the 22nd less than half that number, the rifle regiments of 31st Corps had "no more than three hundred men." Potapov's force cut the Zhitomir highway and kept up the pressure for a week, afterwards remained as a thorn on the German Sixth Army's northern flank. By 7 September the 5th Army was threatened with being split in two by the Second Army coming from the east and the Sixth Army's northern outflanking of Kiev; the Stavka refused permission for the 5th Army to withdraw, as they were still hoping for results from a counterattack by the Bryansk Front. By 9 September Stalin had given authority for the 5th Army to withdraw but by it was trapped, on 20 September Potapov and his command group were taken prisoner.
In the disastrous battle, the German forces encircled forces from the 5th, 21st, 26th, 37th Armies, captured Kiev, claimed 665,000 prisoners. The 5th Army was re-raised for the second time in October 1941, under the command of Dmitri Lelyushenko, as part of the Soviet Western Front. Recent sources give the actual re-raising date as 11 October 1941, it included two three tank brigades. At the Battle at Borodino Field, on a former Napoleonic battlefield, the first elements of the reforming Army to arrive at the front—two regiments of the Soviet 32nd Rifle Division and the 18th and 19th Tank Brigades—attempted to halt the German 10th Panzer Division and Das Reich divisions which were striking for Mozhaisk. Lelyuschenko was wounded and General L. A. Govorov took over. What thin reserves there were ran out, Mozhaisk fell on 18 October; that year the Army took part in the Klin-Solnechogorsk offensive operation. On 15 November, another German strike toward Moscow opened, but while
337th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)
The 337th Rifle Division was first formed in August 1941, as a standard Red Army rifle division, at Astrakhan. Like the 335th Rifle Division, this formation was assigned to the southern sector of the Soviet-German front during the winter counteroffensive, but was encircled and destroyed during the German spring offensive that formed the Izium Pocket; the division was formed again from July until August 13, 1942, serving in the Caucasus and along the coast of the Black Sea before being moved to the central part of the front to take part in the Soviet counteroffensive following the Battle of Kursk. As the front advanced towards the Dniepr River the 337th was recognized for its role in the liberation of the Ukrainian city of Lubny and was granted its name as an honorific; as the division continued to advance through northern and western Ukraine and into Hungary, it earned further honors before ending its combat path in western Austria. The division first began forming on August 22, 1941 at Astrakhan in the North Caucasus Military District.
Its basic order of battle was as follows: 1127th Rifle Regiment 1129th Rifle Regiment 1131st Rifle Regiment 899th Artillery Regiment 616th Sapper BattalionIts first commander, Col. Sergei Mikhailovich Bushev, was appointed on the same day. In October, while still formed, the division was assigned to 57th Army, just in the process of forming-up in the Reserve of the Supreme High Command at Stalingrad. In January, 1942 the division went into combat with its Army in Southwestern Front, taking part in the Barvenkovo–Lozovaya Offensive which led to the creation of the Izium salient south of Kharkov. By the end of January, 1942, the 337th was reassigned to 6th Army, still in Southwestern Front, in the northeastern sector of the salient. Maj. Gen. Ilia Vasilevich Vasilev took command of the division on February 26; when the Soviet offensive to liberate Kharkov began in May, the 337th was in a defensive deployment along a long sector on the right bank of the Northern Donets River, holding the north shoulder of the salient with the 47th Rifle Division to the west and the 304th to the east, facing the German 44th Infantry Division in its own salient based on Andreevka and Balakleia.
Through the course of the offensive, the German counter-offensive, which began on May 17, it maintained these positions as the situation deteriorated both to the south and the north. On May 22 the 1st Panzer Army in the division's rear linked up with the 44th Infantry to its front, the 337th was encircled. On May 23 the 3rd Panzer Division, freed up by the collapse of the Soviet offensive north of Kharkov, drove into its positions across the Donets, causing havoc. On May 25, while directing breakout efforts, General Vasilev was wounded in the chest, died that day near the village of Kamenka. On the same date the division headquarters disintegrated and the division was disbanded. A new 337th Rifle Division was formed in the high summer of 1942, once again in the North Caucasus Military District, its order of battle remained the same as that of the first formation, with the addition of the 889th Antitank Battalion. Col. G. M. Kochenov was appointed to command on August 13, but he would be replaced by Col. Nikolai Ivanovich Dementev on September 6.
With German panzers driving towards the Prokhladnyi and Mozdok regions, on August 23 the STAVKA ordered the formation of a new 24th Army to defend the Makhachkala region. The 337th was assigned to this new Army, but on August 28 the order was countermanded, re-designating the new Army as the 58th; as German Army Group A continued its drive to capture the Caucasian oil fields, on September 29, Lt. Gen. I. I. Maslennikov, commander of the Transcausasus Front's Northern Group of Forces, received orders for defense of the region from the STAVKA, including the following:"...2. To secure this defense... concentrate: a) The 337th Rifle Division, 256th Rifle and 9th and 10th Guards Rifle Brigades, 52nd Tank Brigade in the Kalaus and Balashov regions..." By October 23 the division was in 44th Army. It appeared to Maslennikov that, although the Germans had taken Mozdok and some territory to its south, they were a spent force and he was proposing a counterattack with a group that would include the 337th.
In the event this was forestalled two days when the "spent" Germans launched a renewed drive to the southwest and to the east. In January, 1943 the division was moved to the 47th Army in the Black Sea Group of Forces of the Transcaucasus Front, which became the North Caucasus Front the next month. On January 27, Colonel Dementev was promoted to Major General, but just five days he was wounded, he was first replaced by Col. S. F. Sklyarov for about a month until Col. Grigorii Osipovich Lyaskin was appointed to command of the division on March 8. In April the combat path of the 337th veered northwards as it and its Army were transferred to the Steppe Military District in the Reserve of the Supreme High Command, backing up the Soviet forces deployed in the Kursk salient. Following the Battle of Kursk the division re-entered the fighting front in late July in the Voronezh Front to take part in the Belgorod-Khar'kov Offensive Operation; as the offensive expanded into eastern Ukraine, on September 18, the division was recognized for its role in the liberation of Lubny as follows:"LUBNY" - 337 Rifle Division... by the order of the Supreme High Command the 337th Rifle Division is awarded the name Lubny.
In the same month Voronezh Front
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established after the 1917 October Revolution; the Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; the Red Army provided the largest land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II, its invasion of Manchuria assisted the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan. During operations on the Eastern Front, it accounted for 75–80% of casualties the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS suffered during the war and captured the Nazi German capital, Berlin. In September 1917, Vladimir Lenin wrote: "There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, and, to create a people's militia and to fuse it with the army."
At the time, the Imperial Russian Army had started to collapse. 23% of the male population of the Russian Empire were mobilized. The Tsarist general Nikolay Dukhonin estimated that there had been 2 million deserters, 1.8 million dead, 5 million wounded and 2 million prisoners. He estimated the remaining troops as numbering 10 million. While the Imperial Russian Army was being taken apart, "it became apparent that the rag-tag Red Guard units and elements of the imperial army who had gone over the side of the Bolsheviks were quite inadequate to the task of defending the new government against external foes." Therefore, the Council of People's Commissars decided to form the Red Army on 28 January 1918. They envisioned a body "formed from the class-conscious and best elements of the working classes." All citizens of the Russian republic aged 18 or older were eligible. Its role being the defense "of the Soviet authority, the creation of a basis for the transformation of the standing army into a force deriving its strength from a nation in arms, furthermore, the creation of a basis for the support of the coming Socialist Revolution in Europe."
Enlistment was conditional upon "guarantees being given by a military or civil committee functioning within the territory of the Soviet Power, or by party or trade union committees or, in extreme cases, by two persons belonging to one of the above organizations." In the event of an entire unit wanting to join the Red Army, a "collective guarantee and the affirmative vote of all its members would be necessary." Because the Red Army was composed of peasants, the families of those who served were guaranteed rations and assistance with farm work. Some peasants who remained at home yearned to join the Army. If they were turned away they would prepare care-packages. In some cases the money they earned would go towards tanks for the Army; the Council of People's Commissars appointed itself the supreme head of the Red Army, delegating command and administration of the army to the Commissariat for Military Affairs and the Special All-Russian College within this commissariat. Nikolai Krylenko was the supreme commander-in-chief, with Aleksandr Myasnikyan as deputy.
Nikolai Podvoisky became the commissar for Pavel Dybenko, commissar for the fleet. Proshyan, Steinberg were specified as people's commissars as well as Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich from the Bureau of Commissars. At a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, held on 22 February 1918, Krylenko remarked: "We have no army; the demoralized soldiers are fleeing, panic-stricken, as soon as they see a German helmet appear on the horizon, abandoning their artillery and all war material to the triumphantly advancing enemy. The Red Guard units are brushed aside like flies. We have no power to stay the enemy; the Russian Civil War occurred in three periods: October 1917 – November 1918: From the Bolshevik Revolution to the First World War Armistice, developed from the Bolshevik government's nationalization of traditional Cossack lands in November 1917. This provoked the insurrection of General Alexey Maximovich Kaledin's Volunteer Army in the River Don region; the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk aggravated Russian internal politics.
The situation encouraged direct Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, in which twelve foreign countries supported anti-Bolshevik militias. A series of engagements resulted, amongst others, the Czechoslovak Legion, the Polish 5th Rifle Division, the pro-Bolshevik Red Latvian Riflemen. January 1919 – November 1919: Initially the White armies advanced: from the south, under General Anton Denikin; the Whites defeated the Red Army on each front. Leon Trotsky reformed and counterattacked: the Red Army repelled Admiral Kolchak's army in June, the armies of General Denikin and General Yudenich in October. By mid-Nove