The Budapest Offensive was the general attack by Soviet and Romanian armies against Nazi Germany and their Axis allies from Hungary. The offensive lasted from 29 October 1944 until the fall of Budapest on 13 February 1945; this was one of the most difficult and complicated offensives that the Soviet Army carried on in Central Europe. It resulted in a decisive victory for the USSR, as it disabled the last European political ally of Nazi Germany and sped up the ending of World War II in Europe. Having secured Romania in the summer Iasi–Kishinev Offensive, the Soviet forces continued their push in the Balkans; the Red Army occupied Bucharest on 31 August swept westward across the Carpathian Mountains into Hungary and southward into Bulgaria, with parts joining the Yugoslav Partisans in the Belgrade Offensive. In the process, the Red Army’s forces drew German reserves away from the Warsaw-Berlin central axis and destroyed the German 6. Armee and forced Army Group South Ukraine’s shattered 8. Armee to withdraw west into Hungary.
From October 1944, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th Ukrainian Fronts advanced into Hungary. After isolating the Hungarian capital city in late December, the Soviets besieged and assaulted Budapest. On 13 February 1945, the city fell. According to the historical documents, the Budapest Offensive can be divided into five periods: The First and Second Periods were marked by the two large offensives of the 2nd Ukrainian Front, led by Rodion Malinovksy; the battles in these two periods were exceptionally bloody and fierce, since the Germans offered strong resistance against the Soviet onslaught. Though the Red Army managed to gain considerable territory, they failed to capture Budapest, due to the fierce German resistance and their own lack of offensive strength. In the Third Period, the 3rd Ukrainian Front of Fyodor Tolbukhin reached the Danube river after liberating Belgrade, thus enhanced Soviet offensive power in Hungary. Now with adequate forces, the Soviet fronts launched a two-pronged attack north and south of Budapest encircling the city and trapping about 79,000 German and Hungarian troops inside the Budapest pocket.
The Fourth Period was marked by a series of strong counter-offensives launched by German reinforcements in an attempt to relieve the siege of Budapest. Some German units managed to penetrate deep into the outskirts of the city, with the most successful ones only 25 km away from the Hungarian capital. However, the Soviets managed to maintain their encirclement. In the Fifth Period, the Soviets mustered their forces to eliminate the besieged defenders in the city; the German troops fought for about half a month more before surrendering on 13 February 1945, ending four months of bloody fighting in the Budapest area. Out of the estimated 79,000 defenders less than 1,000 managed to avoid captivity. After the Budapest offensive, the main forces of Army Group South collapsed; the road to Vienna and the southern border of Germany was open for the Soviets and their allies. According to Soviet claims, the Germans and Hungarians in Budapest lost 49,000 dead soldiers, with 110,000 captured and 269 tanks destroyed.
As most of the German forces in the region were destroyed, troops were rushed in from the Western Front and, in March, the Germans launched the ill-fated Operation Spring Awakening in the Lake Balaton area. The expansive goals of this operation were to protect one of the last oil producing regions available to the Axis and to retake Budapest. Neither goal was achieved. Siege of Budapest Operation Spring Awakening Soviet occupation of Hungary Frieser, Karl-Heinz. Die Ostfront 1943/44 – Der Krieg im Osten und an den Nebenfronten. Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg. VIII. München: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt. ISBN 978-3-421-06235-2. Ungváry, Kristián. Budapest Ostroma. London: I. B. Tauris. ISBN 1 86064 727 8. David M. Glantz, The Soviet‐German War 1941–45: Myths and Realities: A Survey Essay
Russian 102nd Military Base
The Russian 102nd Military Base known as the 102nd Military Base of the Group of Russian Forces in Transcaucasia is a Russian military base in Gyumri, part of the Transcaucasian Group of Forces. It was the base of the 127th Motor Rifle Division of the Soviet Seventh Guards Army; the base is about 120 kilometers north of Yerevan. The base traces its history to the 261st Rifle Division of the Soviet Union's Red Army; the 261st Rifle Division began forming on 18 July 1941 at Berdiansk in the Odessa Military District. It was made up from a combination of reservists and volunteers, its basic order of battle was as follows: 974th Rifle Regiment 976th Rifle Regiment 978th Rifle Regiment 809th Artillery RegimentThe division went into Southern Front in August, first as part of 6th Army, but was reassigned to 12th Army, in the same Front, by September 1, it remained with that Army up to at least August 1942 but was assigned to the Transcaucasian Front's Black Sea Group of Forces. It spent much of the part of World War II, from January 1, 1943, onwards with the small 45th Army of the Transcaucasian Front, guarding the Soviet borders with Turkey.
After the war ended, the 261st Rifle Division was transferred to Leninakan. It became. On 25 June 1957, it became the 127th Motor Rifle Division. In April 1990, the division's 120th Guards Tank Regiment was divided into the 116th Separate Guards Tank Battalion and the 1360th Motor Rifle Regiment. On 21 August 1992, it became the 102nd Military Base, the first numbered military base of the Russian Ground Forces. By the mid-late 1990s the composition of the 127th Motor Rifle Division had changed, following the departure of the majority of the Soviet forces from Armenia, it consisted of the 123rd, 124th, 128th Motor Rifle Regiments, the 992nd Artillery Regiment, the 116th Independent Tank Battalion. The 123rd Motor Rifle Regiment was formed from the former 164th Motor Rifle Division stationed in Armenia. There are 3,000 Russian soldiers reported to be stationed at the 102nd Military Base located in Gyumri. In early 2005, the 102nd Military Base had 74 tanks, 17 infantry fighting vehicles, 148 armored personnel carriers, 84 artillery pieces, 18 MiG-29 fighters and several batteries of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.
A great deal of military hardware has been moved to the 102nd Base from the Russian 12th Military Base in Batumi and the Russian 62nd Military Base in Akhalkalaki, Georgia which includes 35 tanks and armored vehicles and 370 pieces of military hardware. The military base is part of a joint air defense system of the Commonwealth of Independent States, deployed in Armenia in 1995. Furthermore, the Armenian Air Force relies upon the Russian MiG-29s located at the military base, for the defense of Armenia's airspace; the Russian military base was deployed on the territory of Armenia as early as 1996. The bilateral treaty states that the Russian military will be in the base for 25 years, but Armenian authorities have said that if needed this time-frame can be reviewed, in the direction of prolongation. Although Russia does not pay the Armenian government for the military base stationed in Gyumri, the Armenian side takes care of all public utilities water, etc. In 1997, Armenia and Russia signed a far-reaching friendship treaty, which calls for mutual assistance in the event of a military threat to either party and allows Russian border guards to patrol Armenia’s frontiers with Turkey and Iran.
In August 2003 the base's commanding officer, General Major Alexander Titov, was dismissed for not maintaining military discipline and allowing corruption and the sale of state equipment. In early 2009, the motorized arm of the base was divided two separate motor rifle brigades. In 2013, the chief commander of 102nd military base Andrey Ruzinsky said in an interview that "If Azerbaijan decides to restore jurisdiction over Nagorno-Karabakh by force the military base may join in the armed conflict in accordance with the Russian Federation’s obligations within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization." A special five-year agreement concluded with Georgia on March 31, 2006, allowed Russia access to the 102nd Military Base through Georgia's land and airspace. The agreement prohibited Russia from handing over any armament transited through Georgian territory to a third country and from transiting biological, nuclear or chemical substances, as well as weapons of mass destruction or their components.
It further stipulated that the amount of military cargo should have been agreed between Russia and Georgia one year in advance. Furthermore, Georgia could refuse the transit if it posed a threat to its national security or if the final destination of the transited military cargo was a location within a conflict zone or a warring state. In December 2006, Russia accused Georgia of "sabotaging" the cargoes destined for the 102nd Military Base; the transit of Russian military personnel and cargo was suspended by the government of Georgia in the aftermath of the 2008 war with Russia. Upon expiration of its five-year term, on April 19, 2011, the Parliament of Georgia annulled the 2006 agreement with Russia; the question about the presence of the Russian military base in Armenia has been raised in the European Commission. Some argue that the presence of the base serves an obstacle to Western investment and reforms and that the Armenian public and
Austria the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2, a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion, it is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north and Slovakia to the east and Italy to the south, Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is mountainous, lying within the Alps; the majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, Slovene. Austria played a central role in European History from the late 18th to the early 20th century, it emerged as a margraviate around 976 and developed into a duchy and archduchy. In the 16th century, Austria started serving as the heart of the Habsburg Monarchy and the junior branch of the House of Habsburg – one of the most influential royal houses in history.
As archduchy, it was a major component and administrative centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Following the Holy Roman Empire's dissolution, Austria founded its own empire in the 19th century, which became a great power and the leading force of the German Confederation. Subsequent to the Austro-Prussian War and the establishment of a union with Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was created. Austria was involved in both world wars. Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with a President as head of state and a Chancellor as head of government. Major urban areas of Austria include Graz, Linz and Innsbruck. Austria is ranked as one of the richest countries in the world by per capita GDP terms; the country has developed a high standard of living and in 2018 was ranked 20th in the world for its Human Development Index. The republic declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995.
It is a founding member of the OECD and Interpol. Austria signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, adopted the euro currency in 1999; the German name for Austria, Österreich, derives from the Old High German Ostarrîchi, which meant "eastern realm" and which first appeared in the "Ostarrîchi document" of 996. This word is a translation of Medieval Latin Marchia orientalis into a local dialect. Another theory says that this name comes from the local name of the mountain whose original Slovenian name is "Ostravica" - because it is steep on both sides. Austria was a prefecture of Bavaria created in 976; the word "Austria" was first recorded in the 12th century. At the time, the Danube basin of Austria was the easternmost extent of Bavaria; the Central European land, now Austria was settled in pre-Roman times by various Celtic tribes. The Celtic kingdom of Noricum was claimed by the Roman Empire and made a province. Present-day Petronell-Carnuntum in eastern Austria was an important army camp turned capital city in what became known as the Upper Pannonia province.
Carnuntum was home for 50,000 people for nearly 400 years. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the area was invaded by Bavarians and Avars. Charlemagne, King of the Franks, conquered the area in AD 788, encouraged colonization, introduced Christianity; as part of Eastern Francia, the core areas that now encompass Austria were bequeathed to the house of Babenberg. The area was known as the marchia Orientalis and was given to Leopold of Babenberg in 976; the first record showing the name Austria is from 996, where it is written as Ostarrîchi, referring to the territory of the Babenberg March. In 1156, the Privilegium Minus elevated Austria to the status of a duchy. In 1192, the Babenbergs acquired the Duchy of Styria. With the death of Frederick II in 1246, the line of the Babenbergs was extinguished; as a result, Ottokar II of Bohemia assumed control of the duchies of Austria and Carinthia. His reign came to an end with his defeat at Dürnkrut at the hands of Rudolph I of Germany in 1278. Thereafter, until World War I, Austria's history was that of its ruling dynasty, the Habsburgs.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Habsburgs began to accumulate other provinces in the vicinity of the Duchy of Austria. In 1438, Duke Albert V of Austria was chosen as the successor to his father-in-law, Emperor Sigismund. Although Albert himself only reigned for a year, henceforth every emperor of the Holy Roman Empire was a Habsburg, with only one exception; the Habsburgs began to accumulate territory far from the hereditary lands. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian, only son of Emperor Frederick III, married the heiress Maria of Burgundy, thus acquiring most of the Netherlands for the family. In 1496, his son Philip the Fair married Joanna the Mad, the heiress of Castile and Aragon, thus acquiring Spain and its Italian and New World appendages for the Habsburgs. In 1526, following the Battle of Mohács, Bohemia and the part of Hungary not occupied by the Ottomans came under Austrian rule. Ottoman expansion into Hungary led to frequent conflicts between the two empires evident in the Long War of 1593 to 1606.
The Turks made incursions into Styria nearly 20 times, of which some are c
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
Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive Operation
The Belgorod-Kharkov Strategic Offensive Operation, or Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive Operation, was a Soviet strategic summer offensive that aimed to recapture Belgorod and Kharkov a, destroy the German forces of the 4th Panzer Army and Army Detachment Kempf. The operation was codenamed Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev, after the 18th-century Field Marshal Peter Rumyantsev and was conducted by the Voronezh and Steppe Fronts in the southern sector of the Kursk Bulge; the battle was referred to as the Fourth Battle of Kharkov by the Germans. The operation began in the early hours of 3 August 1943, with the objective of following up the successful Soviet defensive effort against the German Operation Citadel; the offensive was directed against the German Army Group South's northern flank. By 23 August, the troops of the Voronezh and Steppe Fronts had seized Kharkov from German forces, it was the last time. The operation led to the retreat of the German forces in Ukraine behind the Dnieper River and set the stage for the Battle of Kiev in autumn 1943.
Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev had been planned by Stavka to be the major Soviet summer offensive in 1943. However, due to heavy losses sustained during the Battle of Kursk in July, time was needed for the Soviet formations to recover and regroup. Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev commenced on 3 August, with the aim of the defeating the 4th Panzer Army, Army Group Kempf, the southern wing of Army Group South, it was hoped that the German 1st Panzer Army and the newly reformed 6th Army would be trapped by an advance of the Red Army forces to the Azov Sea. The Soviet forces included the Voronezh Front and the Steppe Front, which deployed about 1,144,000 men with 2,418 tanks and 13,633 guns and rocket launchers for the attack. Against this the German army could field 237 tanks and assault guns. German Army Group South commander General Erich von Manstein had anticipated that the Soviets would launch an attack across the Dnieper and Mius Rivers in an attempt to reach the Black Sea, cutting off the German forces extended in the southern portion of Army Group South in a repeat of the Stalingrad disaster.
When the Soviet Southern Front and the Southwestern Front launched just such an attack on 17 July the Germans responded by moving the II SS Panzer Corps, XXIV Corps and XLVIII Panzer Corps southward to blunt the Soviet offensive. In fact these Soviet operations were intended to draw off German forces from the main thrust of the Soviet offensive, to dissipate the German reserve in anticipation for their main drive; the Soviet plan called for the 5th and 6th Guards Armies, the 53rd Army, to attack on a 30-kilometer wide sector, supported by a heavy artillery concentration, break through the five successive German defensive lines between Kursk and Kharkov. The former two armies had borne the brunt of the German attack in Operation Citadel. Supported by two additional mobile corps, the 1st Tank Army and the 5th Guards Tank Army, both reequipped after the end of Operation Citadel, would act as the front's mobile groups and develop the breakthrough by encircling Kharkov from the north and west. Mikhail Katukov's 1st Tank Army was to form the westward-facing outer encirclement line, while Pavel Rotmistrov's 5th Guards Tank Army would form the inner line, facing the city.
A secondary attack to the west of the main breakthrough was to be conducted by the 27th and 40th Armies with the support of four separate tank corps. Meanwhile, to the east and southeast, the 69th and 7th Guards Armies, followed by the Southwestern Front's 57th Army, were to join the attack. On 3 August the offensive was begun with a heavy artillery barrage directed against the German defensive positions. Though the German defenders fought tenaciously, the two tank armies committed to the battle could not be held back. By 5 August the Soviets had broken through the German defensive lines, moving into the rear areas and capturing Belgorod while advancing some 60 km. Delivering powerful sledgehammer blows from the north and east, the attackers overwhelmed the German defenders. German reserves were shifted from the Orel sector and north from the Donbas regions in an attempt to stem the tide and slow down the Soviet attacks. Success was limited to the "Grossdeutschland" division delaying the 40th Army by a day.
Seven panzer and motorized divisions making up the III Panzer Corps, along with four infantry divisions were assembled to counterattack into the flank of the advancing Soviet forces but were checked. After nine days the 2nd SS "Das Reich" and 3rd SS "Totenkopf" divisions arrived and initiated a counterattack against the two Soviet Armies near Bogodukhov, 30 km northwest of Kharkov. In the following armoured battles of firepower and maneuver the SS divisions destroyed a great many Soviet tanks. To assist the 6th Guards Army and the 1st Tank Army, the 5th Guards Tank Army joined the battles. All three Soviet armies suffered and the tank armies lost more than 800 of their initial 1,112 tanks; these Soviet reinforcements stopped the German counterattack, but their further offensive plans were blunted. With the Soviet advance around Bogodukhov stopped, the Germans now began to attempt to close the gap between Akhtyrka and Krasnokutsk; the counterattack started on 18 August, on 20 August "Totenkopf" and "Großdeutschland" met behind the Soviet units.
Parts of two Soviet armies and two tank corps were trapped, but the trapped units outnumbered the German units. Many Soviet units were able to break out. After this setback the Soviet troops focused on Kharkov and captured it after heavy fighting on 23 August; the battle is referred to as the Fourth Battle of Kharkov b
62nd Army (Soviet Union)
The 62nd Order of Lenin Army was a field army established by the Soviet Union's Red Army during the Second World War. Formed as the 7th Reserve Army as part of the Reserve of the Supreme High Command in May 1942, the formation was designated as the 62nd Army the following month. After an epic combat performance in the Battle of Stalingrad, the 62nd Army was granted Guards status and renamed the 8th Guards Army in April 1943; the 7th Reserve Army was formed 28 May 1942 as part of the Stavka Reserve. Within one month, this force had been redesignated the 62nd Army. From mid August 1942 until late January 1943, the 62nd Army, under the command of General Vasily Chuikov, fought in the Battle of Stalingrad. 62nd Army conducted an epic defense of the city against repeated and desperate attacks by the German 6th Army. The Army, along with the 64th Army, was operating under the Soviet Stalingrad Front. After the German assault at Stalingrad had come to utter disaster, the 62nd Army was uniquely awarded the Order of Lenin, granted Guards status as the 8th Guards Army.
On 13 September 1942 the Army composition was: 33rd, 35th Guards, 87th, 98th, 112th, 131st, 196th, 229th, 244th, 315th, 399th Rifle Divisions 10th, 38th, 42nd, 115th, 124th, 129th, 149th Rifle Brigades post 9-27-1942 193rd Rifle Division 23rd Tank Corps 20th Tank Destroyer Brigade 115th Fortified Region twelve artillery and mortar regiments On 1 November 1942 during the height of the Battle of Stalingrad, the 62nd Army commanded the 13th, 37th, 39th Guards Rifle Divisions, the 45th, 95th, 112th, 138th, 193rd, 284th and 308th Rifle Divisions, the 42nd, 92nd, 115th, 124th, 149th, 160th Rifle Brigades, the 84th Tank and 2nd Motor Rifle Brigades, the 115th Fortified Region, 20 regiments of howitzer, antitank, mortar and anti-aircraft artillery among other support units. Many of these formations were burnt-out shells by the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, with many formations reduced to less than 5% of its original manpower. On 16 April 1943, the 62nd Army became the 8th Guards Army. Jul 1942 to Aug 1942: Major General V. Ia.
Kolpakchi Aug 1942 to Sep 1942: Lieutenant General A. I. Lopatin Sep 1942 to Apr 1943: Lieutenant General V. I. Chuikov Bonn, Keith E. ed.. Slaughterhouse: The Handbook of the Eastern Front. Bedford, Pennsylvania: Aberjona Press. ISBN 9780971765092. Erickson, John; the Road to Stalingrad. London: Cassell Military Paperbacks. ISBN 9780304365418. Glantz, David M. Companion to Colossus Reborn. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-1359-5. Poirier, Robert G.. The Red Army Order of Battle in the Great Patriotic War. Novato: Presidio Press. ISBN 0-89141-237-9
Azerbaijani Armed Forces
The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan were re-established according to the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the Armed Forces from 9 October 1991. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic had formed its own armed forces from 26 June 1918; however these were dissolved after Azerbaijan was absorbed into the Soviet Union as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic from 28 April 1920. After the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991–92 the armed forces were reformed based on Soviet bases and equipment left on Azeri soil; the armed forces have three branches: the Azerbaijani Land Forces, the Azerbaijani Air and Air Defence Force, the Azerbaijani Navy. Associated forces include the Azerbaijani National Guard, the Internal Troops of Azerbaijan, the State Border Service, which can be involved in state defense under certain circumstances. According to the Azerbaijani media sources the military expenditures of Azerbaijan for 2009 were set at $2.46 billion USD, however according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, only $1.473 billion was spent in that year.
IISS suggests that the defence budget in 2009 was $1.5 billion. The Ministry of Defence Industry of Azerbaijan supervises the design, manufacturing and maintenance of military equipment. In the future, Azerbaijan hopes to start building tanks, armored vehicles, military planes and military helicopters; the incumbent Minister of Defence of Azerbaijan is Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, who succeeded Safar Abiyev. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan has been trying to further develop its armed forces into a professional, well trained, mobile military. Azerbaijan has been undergoing extensive modernization and capacity expanding programs, with the military budget increasing from around $300 million in 2005 to $2.46 billion in 2009. The total armed forces number 56,840 men in the land forces, 7,900 men in the air force and air defence force, 2,200 men in the navy. There are 19,500 personnel in the National Guard, State Border Service, Internal Troops. In addition, there are 300,000 former service personnel who have had military service in the last 15 years.
The military hardware of Azerbaijan consists of 220 main battle tanks, an additional 162 T-80's were acquired between 2005 and 2010, 595 armored combat vehicles and 270 artillery systems. The air force has 35 helicopters. Azerbaijan has acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapons state. Azerbaijan participates in NATO's Partnership for Peace. Azerbaijan joined the multi-national force in 2003, it sent 150 troops to Iraq, troops to Kosovo. Azeri troops are still serving in Afghanistan. Despite the rise in Azerbaijan's defence budget, the armed forces were assessed in 2008 as not having a high state of battle readiness and being ill-prepared for wide scale combat operations. However, in 2017 Global Firepower ranked Azerbaijan 59th among 127 countries for its military strength, it was the best performance among the countries of South Caucasus. Today'National Hero of Azerbaijan' is the highest national title in the country, awarded for outstanding services of national importance to Azerbaijan in defense, as well as other deeds in other spheres.
The history of the modern Azerbaijan army dates back to Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918, when the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan Republic were created on 26 June 1918. First de facto Minister of Defense of ADR was Dr. Khosrov bey Sultanov; when the Ministry was formally established Gen. Samedbey Mehmandarov became the minister, Lt-Gen. Ali-Agha Shikhlinski his deputy. Chiefs of Staff of ADR Army were Lt-Gen. Maciej Sulkiewicz and Maj-Gen. Abdulhamid bey Gaitabashi; the Red Army invaded Azerbaijan on 28 April 1920. Although the bulk of the newly formed Azerbaijani army was engaged in putting down an Armenian revolt that had just broken out in Karabakh, the Azeris did not surrender their brief independence of 1918–20 or easily; as many as 20,000 of the total 30,000 soldiers died resisting what was a Russian reconquest. The national Army of Azerbaijan was abolished by the Bolshevik government, 15 of the 21 army generals were executed by the Bolsheviks. During World War II, Azerbaijan played a crucial role in the strategic energy policy of Soviet Union.
Much of the Soviet Union's oil on the Eastern Front was supplied by Baku. By a decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in February 1942, the commitment of more than 500 workers and employees of the oil industry of Azerbaijan was recognised with orders and medals. Operation Edelweiss carried out by the German Wehrmacht targeted Baku because of the importance of its oil fields to the USSR; some 800,000 Azerbaijanis fought within the ranks of the Soviet Army. Azeri national formations of the Red Army included the 223rd, 227th, 396th, 402nd, 416th Rifle Divisions. Azeri Major-General Hazi Aslanov was awarded a second Hero of the Soviet Union after a long post-war fight for recognition of his accomplishments. During the Cold War, Azerbaijan had been the deployment area of units of the Soviet 4th Army whose principle formations in 1988 included four motor rifle divisions; the 75th Motor Rifle Division was isolated in Nakhichevan. The 4th Army included missile and air defense brigades and artillery and rocket regiments.
The 75th Division's stores and equipment were transferred to the Nakhichevan authorities. Azerbaijan hosted the 49th Arsenal of the Soviet Main Agency of Missiles and Artillery, which contained over 7,000 train-car loads of ammunition to the excess of one billion units; the first president of Azerbaijan, Ayaz Mutallibov, did not wish to build an independent army