416th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)
The 416th Rifle Division was formed for the first time as a standard Red Army rifle division late in 1941, after the Soviet winter counteroffensive had begun, but was soon re-designated. A second formation began in March 1942, this time as an Azerbaijani National Division and was completed in July, after which it remained serving in the southern sectors of the Soviet-German front until the autumn of 1944, when it was redeployed to Poland in anticipation of the final offensives into the German heartland; the 416th compiled a record of service comparable to any majority-Russian unit, saw postwar service in the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. The first 416th Rifle Division began forming on December 1941, in the Moscow Military District, its primary order of battle was as follows: 1368th Rifle Regiment 1373rd Rifle Regiment 1374th Rifle Regiment 1054th Artillery RegimentThe division was still forming up on January 27, 1942, when it was re-designated as the 2nd formation of the 146th Rifle Division while still in the Moscow region.
The second 416th Rifle Division began forming on March 15, 1942, at Sumgait in the Transcaucasus Military District, this time as a division of Azerbaijani nationals. It continued to form up in this District until July; the division's primary order of battle remained as above, was completed as follows: 444th Antitank Battalion 348th Sapper Battalion 921st Signal Battalion 222nd Reconnaissance Company The division was first assigned to the 44th Army, in late August it was defending along the Terek River on the northern approaches to Grozny. After September the 416th was transferred to the 58th Army in Transcaucasus Front's Northern Group. At year's end it was back in 44th Army, transferred to the South Front in February 1943. After liberating Rostov-na-Donu on the 14th, the front came up against the German fortified positions along the Mius River and were held there until the line was broken at the outset of the Donbass Strategic Offensive in August. 44th Army was on the front's left flank, on August 30 the 416th participated in the liberation of the city of Taganrog, received its name as an honorific.
Following, the division was moved to 28th Army, after the front was renamed 4th Ukrainian in October, the 416th was shifted once again in November, joining 37th Rifle Corps in the 3rd Guards Army. In February 1944, the division made its first major shift of commands, to the 5th Shock Army of 3rd Ukrainian Front. Apart from a brief shift with its corps to 46th Army in May, it would remain in that army for the duration. During the 1st Jassy-Kishinev Offensive in April 1944, 5th Shock assisted in the liberation of Odessa, but soon after came up against the German/Romanian defenses along the Dniestr River. On the night of 18–19 April, 37th Corps attempted an assault crossing to seize the German strongpoint at Talmazy, but was unsuccessful. A further effort was made in early May with similar results, after several successful German counterattacks, the front went over to the defense in mid-May; the division participated in the Second Jassy-Kishinev Offensive in late August. After this offensive was well underway, 5th Shock Army was withdrawn to the Reserve of the Supreme High Command.
In October it became part of the 1st Belorussian Front, the 416th became part of the 32nd Rifle Corps. Under these commands it took part in the Vistula-Oder Offensive and the East Pomeranian Offensive, during which it played a main role in the capture of the fortified city of Küstrin, leading to the final offensive on Berlin. During the Battle of Berlin, the division, with its corps, captured the Jannowitzbrücke station S-Bahn station on April 29, attacked the City Palace the next day; the division helped capture the Reichsbank on May 1. The soldiers of the 416th ended the war with the official title of 416th Rifle, Order of the Red Banner, Order of Suvorov Division, it went on to serve postwar in the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. After the war, the division became the 18th Mechanised Division the 18th MRD in 1957; the division was part of the 3rd Red Banner Army from 1957 to 1964. In 1965 it became remaining in the 2nd Guards Tank Army in Germany. After the end of the Cold War it was withdrawn to Omsk, became the 180th Motor Rifle Brigade, the 139th Weapons and Equipment Storage Base in 1997, disbanded only in 2007.
The 416th Rifle Division is featured in the 1975 Azerbaijani film Bir alaydan olanar. 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. Zeynalov, Rizvan. Azerbaijani State Publishing House. Vasilii Timofeevich Maslov
Battle of Berlin
The Battle of Berlin, designated the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviet Union, known as the Fall of Berlin, was one of the last major offensives of the European theatre of World War II. Following the Vistula–Oder Offensive of January–February 1945, the Red Army had temporarily halted on a line 60 km east of Berlin. On 9 March, Germany established its defence plan for the city with Operation Clausewitz; the first defensive preparations at the outskirts of Berlin were made on 20 March, under the newly appointed commander of Army Group Vistula, General Gotthard Heinrici. When the Soviet offensive resumed on 16 April, two Soviet fronts attacked Berlin from the east and south, while a third overran German forces positioned north of Berlin. Before the main battle in Berlin commenced, the Red Army encircled the city after successful battles of the Seelow Heights and Halbe. On 20 April 1945, Hitler's birthday, the 1st Belorussian Front led by Marshal Georgy Zhukov, advancing from the east and north, started shelling Berlin's city centre, while Marshal Ivan Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front broke through Army Group Centre and advanced towards the southern suburbs of Berlin.
On 23 April General Helmuth Weidling assumed command of the forces within Berlin. The garrison consisted of several depleted and disorganised Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS divisions, along with poorly trained Volkssturm and Hitler Youth members. Over the course of the next week, the Red Army took the entire city. Before the battle was over and several of his followers killed themselves; the city's garrison surrendered on 2 May but fighting continued to the north-west and south-west of the city until the end of the war in Europe on 8 May as some German units fought westward so that they could surrender to the Western Allies rather than to the Soviets. Starting on 12 January 1945, the Red Army began the Vistula–Oder Offensive across the Narew River. On the fourth day, the Red Army broke out and started moving west, up to 30 to 40 km per day, taking East Prussia and Poznań, drawing up on a line 60 km east of Berlin along the Oder River; the newly created Army Group Vistula, under the command of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, attempted a counter-attack, but this had failed by 24 February.
The Red Army drove on to Pomerania, clearing the right bank of the Oder River, thereby reaching into Silesia. In the south the Siege of Budapest raged. Three German divisions' attempts to relieve the encircled Hungarian capital city failed, Budapest fell to the Soviets on 13 February. Adolf Hitler insisted on a counter-attack to recapture the Drau-Danube triangle; the goal was to secure the oil region of Nagykanizsa and regain the Danube River for future operations, but the depleted German forces had been given an impossible task. By 16 March, the German Lake Balaton Offensive had failed, a counter-attack by the Red Army took back in 24 hours everything the Germans had taken ten days to gain. On 30 March, the Soviets entered Austria. Between June and September 1944, the Wehrmacht had lost more than a million men, it lacked the fuel and armaments needed to operate effectively. On 12 April 1945, who had earlier decided to remain in the city against the wishes of his advisers, heard the news that the American President Franklin D. Roosevelt had died.
This raised false hopes in the Führerbunker that there might yet be a falling out among the Allies and that Berlin would be saved at the last moment, as had happened once before when Berlin was threatened. No plans were made by the Western Allies to seize the city by a ground operation; the Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force, General Eisenhower lost interest in the race to Berlin and saw no further need to suffer casualties by attacking a city that would be in the Soviet sphere of influence after the war, envisioning excessive friendly fire if both armies attempted to occupy the city at once. The major Western Allied contribution to the battle was the bombing of Berlin during 1945. During 1945 the United States Army Air Forces launched large daytime raids on Berlin and for 36 nights in succession, scores of RAF Mosquitos bombed the German capital, ending on the night of 20/21 April 1945 just before the Soviets entered the city; the Soviet offensive into central Germany, what became East Germany, had two objectives.
Stalin did not believe the Western Allies would hand over territory occupied by them in the post-war Soviet zone, so he began the offensive on a broad front and moved to meet the Western Allies as far west as possible. But the overriding objective was to capture Berlin; the two goals were complementary because possession of the zone could not be won unless Berlin were taken. Another consideration was that Berlin itself held useful post-war strategic assets, including Adolf Hitler and the German atomic bomb programme. On 6 March, Hitler appointed Lieutenant General Helmuth Reymann commander of the Berlin Defence Area, replacing Lieutenant General Bruno Ritter von Hauenschild. On 20 March, General Gotthard Heinrici was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Vistula replacing Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. Heinrici was one of the best defensive tacticians in the German army, he started to lay defensive plans. Heinrici assessed that the main Soviet thrust would be made over the Oder River and along the main east-west Autobahn.
He decided not to try to defend the banks of the Oder with anything more than a light skirmishing screen. Instead, Heinrici arranged for engineers
Operation Uranus was the codename of the Soviet 19–23 November 1942 strategic operation in World War II which led to the encirclement of the German Sixth Army, the Third and Fourth Romanian armies, portions of the German Fourth Panzer Army. The operation was executed at the midpoint of the five month long Battle of Stalingrad, was aimed at destroying German forces in and around Stalingrad. Planning for Operation Uranus had commenced in September 1942, was developed with plans to envelop and destroy German Army Group Center and German forces in the Caucasus; the Red Army took advantage of the German army's poor preparation for winter, the fact that its forces in the southern Soviet Union were overstretched near Stalingrad, using weaker Romanian troops to guard their flanks. These Axis armies lacked heavy equipment to deal with Soviet armor. Due to the length of the front created by the German summer offensive, aimed at taking the Caucasus oil fields and the city of Stalingrad and other Axis forces were forced to guard sectors beyond the length they were meant to occupy.
The situation was exacerbated by the German decision to relocate several mechanized divisions from the Soviet Union to Western Europe. Furthermore, units in the area were depleted after months of fighting those which took part in the fighting in Stalingrad; the Germans could only count on the XXXXVIII Panzer Corps, which had the strength of a single panzer division, the 29th Panzergrenadier Division as reserves to bolster their Romanian allies on the German Sixth Army's flanks. In comparison, the Red Army deployed over one million personnel for the purpose of beginning the offensive in and around Stalingrad. Soviet troop movements were not without problems, due to the difficulties of concealing their build-up, to Soviet units arriving late due to logistical issues. Operation Uranus was first postponed from 8 to 17 November to 19 November. At 07:20 Moscow time on 19 November, Soviet forces on the northern flank of the Axis forces at Stalingrad began their offensive. Although Romanian units were able to repel the first attacks, by the end of 20 November the Third and Fourth Romanian armies were in headlong retreat, as the Red Army bypassed several German infantry divisions.
German mobile reserves were not strong enough to parry the Soviet mechanized spearheads, while the Sixth Army did not react enough nor decisively enough to disengage German armored forces in Stalingrad and reorient them to defeat the impending threat. By late 22 November Soviet forces linked up at the town of Kalach, encircling some 290,000 men east of the Don River. Instead of attempting to break out of the encirclement, German leader Adolf Hitler decided to keep Axis forces in Stalingrad and resupply them by air. In the meantime and German commanders began to plan their next movements. On 28 June 1942, the Wehrmacht began its offensive against Soviet forces opposite of Army Group South, codenamed Case Blue. After breaking through Red Army forces by 13 July, German forces encircled and captured the city of Rostov. Following the fall of Rostov, Hitler split German forces operating in the southern extremity of the southern Russian SFSR in an effort to capture the city of Stalingrad and the Caucasus oil fields.
The responsibility to take Stalingrad was given to the Sixth Army, which turned towards the Volga River and began its advance with heavy air support from the Luftwaffe's Luftflotte 4. On 7 August, two German panzer corps were able to flank and encircle a Soviet force of 50,000 personnel and 1,000 tanks, on 22 August German forces began to cross the Don River to complete the advance towards the Volga; the following day, the Battle of Stalingrad began when vanguards of the Sixth Army penetrated the suburbs of the city. By November the Sixth Army had occupied most of Stalingrad, pushing the defending Red Army to the banks of the Volga River. By this stage, there were indications of an impending Soviet offensive which would target Wehrmacht forces around the city, including increased Soviet activity opposite the Sixth Army's flanks, information gained through the interrogation of Soviet prisoners. However, the German command was intent upon finalizing its capture of Stalingrad. In fact, head of Army General Staff General Franz Halder had been dismissed in September after his efforts to warn about the danger, developing along the over-extended flanks of the Sixth Army and the Fourth Panzer Army.
As early as September the Soviet Stavka began planning a series of counteroffensives to encompass the destruction of German forces in the south, fighting in Stalingrad and in the Caucasus, against Army Group Center. Command of Soviet efforts to relieve Stalingrad was put under the leadership of General Aleksandr Vasilevsky; the Stavka developed two major operations to be conducted against Axis forces near Stalingrad and Saturn, planned for Operation Mars, designed to engage German Army Group Center in an effort to distract reinforcements and to inflict as much damage as possible. Operation Uranus involved the use of large Soviet mechanized and infantry forces to encircle German and other Axis forces directly around Stalingrad; as preparations for the offensive commenced, the attack's starting points were positioned on stretches of front to the rear of the German Sixth Army preventing the Germans from reinforcing those sectors where Axis units were too overstretched to occupy effectively. The offensive was a double envel
A field army is a military formation in many armed forces, composed of two or more corps and may be subordinate to an army group. Air armies are equivalent formation within some air forces. A field army is composed of 100,000 to 150,000 troops. Particular field armies are named or numbered to distinguish them from "army" in the sense of an entire national land military force. In English, the typical style for naming field armies is word numbers, such as "First Army". A field army may be given a geographical name in addition to or as an alternative to a numerical name, such as the British Army of the Rhine, Army of the Niemen or Aegean Army; the Roman army was among the first to feature a formal field army, in the sense of a large, combined arms formation, namely the sacer comitatus, which may be translated as "sacred escort". The term is derived from the fact that they were commanded by Roman emperors, when they acted as field commanders. While the Roman comitatensis is sometimes translated as "field army", it may be translated as the more generic "field force" or "mobile force".
In some armed forces, an "army" has been equivalent to a corps-level unit. Prior to 1945, this was the case with a gun within the Imperial Japanese Army, for which the formation equivalent in size to a field army was an "area army". In the Soviet Red Army and the Soviet Air Forces, an army was subordinate in wartime to a front, it contained at least three to five divisions along with artillery, air defense and other supporting units. It could be classified as either tank army. In peacetime, a Soviet army was subordinate to a military district. Modern field armies are large formations which vary between armed forces in size and scope of responsibility. For instance, within NATO a field army is composed of a headquarters, controls at least two corps, beneath which are a variable number of divisions. A battle is influenced at the field army level by transferring divisions and reinforcements from one corps to another to increase the pressure on the enemy at a critical point. NATO armies are commanded by a general or lieutenant general.
Armeeoberkommando Military unit Military history List of numbered armies
49th Guards Rifle Division
The 49th Guards Rifle Division was an infantry division of the Red Army. The division was formed in October 1942 from the 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Division; the 49th Guards Rifle Division was formed in the Western Front reserves near Moscow on 13 October 1942 from the remains of the 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Division. The unit was assigned to the newly formed 13th Guards Rifle Corps in the 2nd Guards Army, they were sent south to the Stalingrad area in December 1942 and went into action south of Stalingrad. When formed, its order of battle was as follows: 144th Guards Rifle Regiment 147th Guards Rifle Regiment 149th Guards Rifle Regiment 100th Guards Artillery Regiment 56th Guards Separate Anti-tank Battalion 64th Guards Anti-Aircraft Battery 1st Guards Machine Gun Battalion 51st Guards Reconnaissance Company 57th Guards Separate Sapper Battalion 77th Guards Separate Signals Battalion 561st Medical and Sanitation Battalion 52nd Guards Separate Chemical Defense Company 609th Auto-Transport Company 638th Field Bakery 641st Divisional Veterinary Hospital 572nd Field Postal Station 44th Field Office of State BankLater the division helped liberate Kherson.
It took part in the liberation of Hungary. The division ended the war in Austria. By this time the division had the following honorifics: Khersonskaya, Order of the Red Banner, Order of Suvorov 2nd Class. After the end of the war the division became a part of the Southern Group of Forces, being reorganised as the 33rd Guards Mechanised Division. In September 1949 the 33rd Guards Mechanized Division arrived in Timișoara from the Odessa Military District, becoming part of the Special Mechanized Army; the 33rd Guards Mechanized Division was detached to the Special Corps and fought in Operation Whirlwind, the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. After the end of the operation, the division became part of the newly reformed Southern Group of Forces. On 4 June 1957, the division became the 33rd Guards Motor Rifle Division; the division was based at Győr with the 38th Army. In 1958 it became part of the 14th Army; the division was disbanded there on 8 October 1960. Major General P. G. Chanchibadze Colonel D. P. Podshivailov -.
Promoted Major General 27 Nov 1942. Colonel G. Ya. Kolesnikov - Lieutenant Colonel L. I. Puzanov Colonel V. F. Margelov Colonel S. V. Salychev - Colonel V. F. Margelov. Promoted Major General 13 Sep 1944. Drogovoz, Igor. Танковый меч страны Советов. Moscow: AST. ISBN 9851311332. 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
Markian Mikhaylovich Popov was a Soviet military commander, Army General, Hero of the Soviet Union. During the German–Soviet War at various times he commanded a number of Armies and a number of Fronts, his career was uneven. In June 1941 he was Commander of the Leningrad Military District Northern Front; the Germans advanced with a terrific speed, but they were halted just before Leningrad. The army group was on 26 August renamed as Leningrad Front, he participated in Zhukov's counteroffensive before Moscow. Zhukov, who co-ordinated several fronts in this Moscow sector, tried to collect able commanders in the area. So for example the 16th Army was headed by General Rokossovsky, the 4th Shock Army’s commander was General Yeryomenko, the 5th Army was under General Govorov. On December 18 Popov was appointed Commander of the 61st Army and fought well during the counteroffensive, he maintained this position until 28 June 1942. He was shifted to the Stalingrad area, he was Assistant Commander of the Stalingrad Front Commander of the 5th Shock Army.
On December 26 this army was switched to Vatutin's Southwestern Front. In 1943 firstly he commanded a larger mechanized group, he was appointed Commander of the Bryansk Front, with which he participated in the Battle of Kursk. During the battle, the Bryansk Front was successful in crushing German opposition, was able to capture Oryol and Bryansk in August, he was promoted to Army General. After the Battle of Kursk he was sent to command the 2nd Baltic Front, he was demoted to Colonel General because of the unsuccessful actions in the Baltic area, commissar at the front. Until the end of the war he was Chief of Staff of the Leningrad Front. After the war he was promoted again to Army General. In 1956–62 he was Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Ground Forces, he died 22 April 1969 in an accidental fire. He was never given the rank Marshal of the Soviet Union, although Marshal of Aviation Golovanov and Marshal Vasilevsky considered him talented. Page from warheroes.ru in Russian Army Gen. M. M. Popov at Generals.dk
51st Army (Russia)
The 51st Army was a field army of the Red Army that saw action against the Germans in World War II on both the southern and northern sectors of the front. The army participated in the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula between December 1941 and January 1942; the army fought in the Battle of Stalingrad during the winter of 1942–43, helping to defeat German relief attempts. From late 1944 to the end of the war, the army fought in the final cutting-off of German forces in the Courland area next to the Baltic. Inactivated in 1945, the army was activated again in 1977 to secure the Kuril Islands. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the army continued in existence as a component of the Russian Ground Forces; the army was active during two periods from 1941 until 1997. The Army was ordered formed on 14 August 1941 in the Crimea based on the 9th Rifle Corps and other units as the 51st Independent Army under Colonel General F. I. Kuznetsov, with the task of guarding the Crimean Peninsula. Pavel Batov was appointed as his deputy.
Professor John Erickson in The Road to Stalingrad describes Stalin's rationale for the formation of the Army during a 12 August session within the Stavka war room: Stalin and the Stavka had concluded from the German moves underway at the time that a strike on the Crimea was and thus the formation of an Independent Army in the Crimea had been decided upon. Thus Kuznetsov was summoned, after a discussion, he was sent south to take up his new command; the army's initial forces included the 9th Rifle Corps, the 271st and 276th Rifle Divisions, the 40th, 42nd and 48th Cavalry Divisions, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th irregularly formed Crimean Rifle divisions and a number of smaller units. However, due to what Erickson describes as Kuznetsov's'sticking blindly to the prewar plan', which anticipated a seaborne assault, leaving the Perekop and Sivash approaches too thinly held, Erich von Manstein, leading the German assault, was able to push past the defenses. Therefore, the Stavka ordered. In November the army was evacuated from the Taman Peninsula and it joined the Transcaucasian Front.
The army participated in the Kerch-Feodosiya landing operation in December 1941 – January 1942 alongside the 44th Army. 51st Army was planned to be the Kerch arm of the assault, but delays caused by bad weather and a schedule change prompted by renewed German attacks on Sevastopol resulted in 51st Army troops being landed at Capes Sjuk and Chroni during the night of 26–27 December 1941. The 44th and 51st Armies formed the Crimean Front under General Dmitri T. Kozlov, formally established on 28 January 1942, which hammered at Von Manstein's Eleventh Army. On 1 February 1942, 51st Army comprised the 138th and 302nd Mountain Rifle Divisions, the 224th, 390th, 396th Rifle Divisions, the 12th Rifle Brigade, 83rd Naval Infantry Brigade, 105th Separate Mountain Rifle Regiment, 55th Tank Brigade, 229th Separate Tank Battalion, artillery units, other support units. A German offensive was launched against the Front on 8 May 1942. Army commander Lieutenant General Vladimir Nikolayevich Lvov was killed by bomb fragments on 11 May while changing his command post.
The offensive concluded around 18 May 1942 with the near complete destruction of Soviet defending forces, which Erickson attributes to bickering between Kozlov and the Front commissar, Lev Mekhlis, a trail of incompetent actions. Three armies, 21 divisions, 176,000 men, 347 tanks, nearly 3,500 guns were lost; the remains of the force were evacuated. After the evacuation 51st Army joined the North Caucasian Front at Kuban. In July, Marshal Budenny received orders to combine the Southern Front and North Caucasian Front into a single formation retaining the title of North Caucasian Front, 51st Army joined the'Don group' of that front under General Lieutenant Rodion Malinovsky, along with the 12th Army and the 37th Army. On 22 July, army commander Major general Nikolai Trufanov was relieved of command; as part of the Stalingrad Front briefly with the Southeast Front, back with the Stalingrad Front it took part in the Battle of Stalingrad. On 31 July when it came under Stalingrad Front control it was so worn down by its previous rough handling that it was only 3,000 men strong.
It was attacked on the same day by the 4th Panzer Army, able to break through. During Operation Uranus, the counterattack from Stalingrad, the 4th Mechanized Corps began its attack from the 51st Army's sector. In early December, 51st Army was deployed to cover the Kotelnikovo approaches against German relief attempts by the LVII. Panzerkorps. On 24–25 December 1942, the commander of 51st Army, Major-General N. I. Trufanov, organized a local offensive operation on the right flank with the forces of three rifle divisions, moved to the north bank of the Aksav River, on the eve of the Kotelnikovo offensive operation, which defeated the German efforts made as part of Operation Winter Storm to relieve the Sixth Army in Stalingrad. On 30 January 1943, the Luftwaffe's Kampfgeschwader 51 destroyed the 51st Army's Headquarters, near Salsk. Dropping 100 – 250 kg bombs, a wave of Junkers Ju 88s and Heinkel He 111s destroyed the communications center, working offices of the chief-of-staff, the operational headquarters and the offices of the operational duty officer.
Up to 20 buildings and personnel billets were destroyed. Casualties among personnel were very high. After Janua