76 mm divisional gun M1942 (ZiS-3)
The 76-mm divisional gun M1942 was a Soviet 76.2 mm divisional field gun used during World War II. ZiS was a factory designation and stood for Zavod imeni Stalina, the honorific title of Artillery Factory No. 92, which first constructed this gun. Artillery Factory No. 92 began designing the ZiS-3 at the end of 1940. The ZiS-3 combined the light carriage from the 57 mm ZiS-2 anti-tank gun and the powerful 76.2 mm barrel from the F-22USV, the previous divisional field gun. A muzzle brake was added to reduce recoil, allowing it to be fired without damaging the lighter carriage. Production of the ZiS-3 made greater use of casting and welding than the F-22USV. V. G. Grabin, the chief designer of Soviet medium caliber guns, ordered the gun's development on his own initiative; the state was not informed, the first ZiS-3 was kept hidden. The state had little interest in light and medium field guns. German propaganda about the Neubaufahrzeug multi-turreted prototype tank convinced state authorities that German heavy tanks had exceptionally strong armour, which in turn reduced the value of smaller guns.
Marshal Grigory Kulik, commander of Soviet artillery, ordered the production of light 45 mm anti-tank guns and 76.2 mm divisional field guns to be stopped. The beginning of the Great Patriotic War revealed that the Soviets had overestimated German armour protection; some were vulnerable to large caliber DShK machine guns. Pre-war 76 mm divisional guns penetrated German vehicles, but nearly all of these guns were lost early in the war. Marshal Kulik ordered the F-22USV back into production. Artillery Factory No. 92, in cooperation with Grabin, put the ZiS-3 into mass production from December 1941 instead. The Red Army refused to accept the ZiS-3 – the gun had not undergone the usual acceptance trials – and Artillery Factory No. 92 accumulated a stockpile of serviceable guns. Grabin convinced the army to issue the badly needed guns to units for impromptu testing at the front, where combat experience validated the gun's superiority over all other divisional field guns. Subsequently, the ZiS-3 was presented to a small group of state authorities.
Stalin was impressed by the demonstration, saying "This gun is a masterpiece of artillery systems design." The ZiS-3 underwent an official five-day acceptance trial in February 1942, was accepted into service as divisional field gun model 1942. Grabin worked to increase production at Artillery Factory No. 92. Conveyor assembly lines admitted the use of low-skilled labour without significant quality loss. Experienced laborers and engineers served as brigade leaders. More than 103,000 ZiS-3s were produced by the end of the war, making it the most numerous Soviet field gun during the war. Mass production of the ZiS-3 ceased after the war, it was replaced by the 85 mm D-44 divisional field gun. The D-44 inferior mobility due to its increased weight; the Finns captured 12 units, designated them 76 K 42. At least one ZiS-3 was produced at the Reșița Works in Reșița, during 1943; this Romanian-produced copy was tested against several Romanian-designed prototypes as well as some foreign models, until one of the Romanian prototypes was selected for production as the Tunul antitanc DT-UDR 26, cal. 75 mm, md.
1943 shortened to 75 mm Reşiţa Model 1943. This gun had the muzzle break, split-trail carriage and recoil/firing mechanisms of the ZiS-3. At least 375 DT-UDR guns were produced including three prototypes; the SU-76 was an assault gun mounting the ZiS-3 on the chassis of a T-70 light tank. More than 14,000 were produced between 1942 and 1945; the Romanian TACAM R-2 tank destroyer was a R-2 tank converted to mount the ZiS-3 in a three-sided fighting compartment. At one point during the development of the Mareșal tank destroyer, the ZiS-3 was fitted on one of the prototypes for trials; the Romanians chose their own, superior DT-UDR 75 mm anti-tank gun for the final Mareșal prototypes. The KSP-76 was a wartime light assault car mounting the ZiS-3. Soviet soldiers liked the ZiS-3 for its extreme reliability and accuracy; the gun was easy to use by novice crews. The light carriage allowed the ZiS-3 to be towed by trucks, heavy jeeps, or hauled by the crew; the gun was quite popular with the German Wehrmacht.
The gun was introduced into German service as the Kanone 7.62 cm and factories were retooled to produce ammunition for it. ZiS-3 had good anti-armour capabilities, its armour-piercing round could knock out any early German medium tank. The frontal armour of tanks, like the Tiger I and the Panther, were immune to the ZiS-3. A ZiS-3 battery had four guns. Independent anti-tank regiments consisted of six batteries with no divisions. A staff battery included a fire control section; the ZiS-3 saw combat service with North Korean forces during the Korean War. It was deployed by the People's Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola during the Angolan Civil War and the South African Border War and by Tanzania People's Defence Force during Uganda–Tanzania War in 1978–1979; the ZiS-3 was exported to S
Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov was a Soviet Red Army General who became Chief of General Staff, Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Minister of Defence and a member of the Politburo. During World War II he participated in multiple battles commanding the 1st Belorussian Front in the Battle of Berlin, which resulted in the defeat of Nazi Germany, the end of the War in Europe. In recognition of Zhukov's role in World War II, he was chosen to accept the German Instrument of Surrender and to inspect the Moscow Victory Parade of 1945. Born into a poverty-stricken peasant family in Strelkovka, Maloyaroslavsky Uyezd, Kaluga Governorate, Zhukov became an apprentice furrier in Moscow. In 1915 the Army of the Russian Empire conscripted him. During World War I, Zhukov was awarded the Cross of St. George twice, promoted to the rank of non-commissioned officer for his bravery in battle, he joined the Bolshevik Party after the 1917 October Revolution. After recovering from a serious case of typhus he fought in the Russian Civil War over the period 1918 to 1921, serving with the 1st Cavalry Army, among other formations.
He received the decoration of the Order of the Red Banner for his part in subduing the Tambov Rebellion in 1921. At the end of May 1923, Zhukov became a commander of the 39th Cavalry Regiment. In 1924, he entered the Higher School of Cavalry, from which he graduated the next year, returning afterward to command the same regiment. In May 1930, Zhukov became commander of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade of the 7th Cavalry Division. In February 1931, he was appointed the Assistant Inspector of Cavalry of the Red Army. In May 1933, Zhukov was appointed a commander in the 4th Cavalry Division. In 1937, he became a commander of the 3rd Cavalry Corps of the 6th Cavalry Corps. In 1938, he became a deputy commander of the Belorussian Military District for cavalry. In 1938, Zhukov was directed to command the First Soviet Mongolian Army Group, saw action against Japan's Kwantung Army on the border between Mongolia and the Japanese-controlled state of Manchukuo; this campaign was an undeclared war that lasted from 1938 to 1939.
What began as a border skirmish escalated into a full-scale war, with the Japanese pushing forward with an estimated 80,000 troops, 180 tanks and 450 aircraft. These events led to the strategically decisive Battle of Khalkhin Gol. Zhukov requested major reinforcements, on 20 August 1939, his "Soviet Offensive" commenced. After a massive artillery barrage, nearly 500 BT-5 and BT-7 tanks advanced, supported by over 500 fighters and bombers; this was the Soviet Air Force's first fighter-bomber operation. The offensive first appeared to be a typical conventional frontal attack. However, two tank brigades were held back and ordered to advance around on both flanks, supported by motorized artillery and other tanks; this daring and successful manoeuvre encircled the Japanese 6th Army and captured the enemy's vulnerable rear supply areas. By 31 August 1939, the Japanese had been cleared from the disputed border, leaving the Soviets victorious; this campaign had significance beyond local outcome. Zhukov demonstrated and tested the techniques used against the Germans in the Eastern Front of the Second World War.
These innovations included the deployment of underwater bridges and improving the cohesion and battle-effectiveness of inexperienced units by adding a few experienced, battle-hardened troops to bolster morale and overall training. Evaluation of the problems inherent in the performance of the BT tanks led to the replacement of their fire-prone petrol engines with diesel engines, provided valuable practical knowledge, essential to the success in development of the T-34 medium tank used in World War II. After this campaign, Nomonhan veterans were transferred to units that had not seen action, to better spread the benefits of their battle experience. For his victory, Zhukov was declared a Hero of the Soviet Union. However, the campaign – and Zhukov's pioneering use of tanks – remained little known outside of the Soviet Union itself. Zhukov considered Nomonhan invaluable preparation for conducting operations during the Second World War. In 1940 Zhukov became an Army General. In autumn 1940, G. K. Zhukov started preparing the plans for the military exercise concerning the defence of the Western border of the Soviet Union, which at this time was pushed further to the west due to the annexation of Eastern Poland.
In his memoirs Zhukov reports that in this exercise he commanded the "Western" or "Blue" forces and his opponent was Colonel General D. G. Pavlov, the commander of the "Eastern" or "Red" forces, he noted. Zhukov in his memoirs describes the events of exercise as similar to actual events during the German invasion; as historian Bobylev reports in his article in "Military History Journal", the actual details of the exercises were reported differently in different memoirs of their participants. He reported that there were two exercises, one on 2–6 January 1941, another on 8–11 January 1941. In the first one "Western" forces attacked "Eastern" forces on 15 July, but "Eastern" forces counterattacked and by 1 August reached the original border. At that time, "Eastern" forces had a numerical advantage (for example, 51
30th Mechanized Brigade (Ukraine)
The 30th Konstanty Ostrogski Mechanized Brigade is a formation of the Ukrainian Ground Forces. The full name of the unit is 30th Independent Mechanized Brigade "Konstanty Ostrogski". Between September 1 and October 1, 1941, the 83rd Cavalry Division was formed in the city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan; the division consisted of the following units: 215th Cavalry Regiment 226th Cavalry Regiment 231st Cavalry Regiment Separate Chemical SquadronFrom September 5, 1941, the commanding officer of the division was Lieutenant General Selivanov. On November 7, 1941, the division was sent to the Volga Military District where it was assigned to the newly forming Cavalry mechanized group of the 61st Army; until December 28, 1941, the division was fortifying near the station of Lysi Gory Saratov Oblast. The first battle that the division took part in was near the city of Ryazhsk, Ryazan Oblast as part of the Cavalry mechanized group of the 61st Army as part of the Bryansk Front and the Soviet winter counter offensive in front of Moscow.
In January 1942 the division was assigned to the 7th Cavalry Corps and was assigned to be a Mobile Group in the Moscow Defense Zone for the 61st Army. The division remained with the 7th Cavalry Corps for the rest of 1942 and when the Corps was redesignated as the 6th Guards Cavalry Corps in January 1943 the division became the 13th Guards Cavalry Division on 19 January 1943; the division was under the command of General Major Pyotr Zubov. The 13th Guards Cavalry Division fought at Dubno in 1944, as well as at the Battle of Debrecen and was with 6th Guards Cavalry Corps of the 2nd Ukrainian Front in May 1945. Feskov et al. trace the unit's history. At the beginning of June, the division relocated to Novohrad-Volynskyi. On 1 August 1945, the division was converted into the 11th Guards Mechanized Division. During November and December 1956, the division fought in the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. 44 soldiers of the division were killed during the campaign in Hungary. The division moved back to Novohrad-Volynskyi in January 1957.
On 4 June 1957 it became the 30th Guards Tank Division, part of the 8th Tank Army. In 1960, the division's 58th Separate Tank Training Battalion was disbanded. On 19 February 1962 the 335th Separate Missile Battalion and the 108th Separate Equipment Maintenance and Recovery Battalion were activated. In 1968 the 151st Separate Guards Sapper Battalion became the 151st Separate Guards Engineer-Sapper Battalion; the 1043rd Separate Material Supply Battalion was created from the motor transport battalion in 1980. During the Cold War, the division was maintained at 25% strength. In November 1990, the division was equipped with 224 T-72 main battle tanks; the 30th Guards Tank Division, along with the rest of the 8th Tank Army and the Carpathian Military District, became part of the Ukrainian Ground Forces according to the order of Ukraine About Armed Forces of Ukraine from December 6, 1991. In February 1992, all units of the division pledged their allegiance to Ukraine, it was still designated a tank division as of Decree N 350/93.
On October 20, 1999, the division was awarded the Novohrad-Volynskyi designation. On July 30, 2004, the division was reformed into a brigade; the brigade is the only mechanized brigade that does not have any conscripts. It is a part of Joint Rapid Reaction Forces. Over a hundred soldiers from the brigade have served in peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone, Lebanon and Kosovo. A battalion of the brigade was part of POLUKRBAT in the 2006 rotation; as of October 12, 2007, the 2nd Mechanized Battalion of the brigade is deployed in Kosovo as part of the POLUKRBAT. The current commander of the brigade served as a commander of the 5th Separate Mechanized brigade in Iraq. In 2015 the brigade took part in the Battle of Debaltseve during the War in Donbass. On 18 November 2015 the Soviet decorations of brigade's full name were removed, leaving the full name of 30th Separate Guards Mechanized Novohrad-Volynskyi Rivne Brigade. On 22 August 2016, its Guards title was removed; as part of Ukrainian Independence Day celebrations on August 24, 2018, the brigade received the new honorific "Konstanty Ostrogski".
In 1960, the division included the following units. 276th Tank Regiment 282nd Guards Tank Regiment 325th Tank Regiment 319th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment 855th Guards Artillery Regiment 937th Guards Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment 54th Separate Guards Reconnaissance Battalion 151st Separate Guards Sapper Battalion 214th Separate Guards Communications Battalion 197th Separate Chemical Defence Company 112th Separate Medical-Sanitary Company Separate Motor Transport Battalion 276th Armor Regiment 325th Armor Regiment 282nd Guards Armor Regiment 319th Mechanized Regiment 855th Guards Artillery Regiment 937th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment 214th Separate Guards Signal Battalion 54th Separate Guards Reconnaissance Battalion 151st Separate Guards Combat Engineer Battalion 108th Separate Maintenance Battalion 1043rd Separate Combat Service Support Battalion 112th Separate Medical Battalion 404th Separate Chemical Battalion As of 2017 the brigade's structure is as follows: 30th Mechanized Brigade, Novohrad-Volynskyi Headquarters & Headquarters Company 1st Mechanized Battalion 2nd Mechanized Battalion 3rd Mechanized Battalion Tank Battalion 2nd Motorized Infantry Battalion "Horyn" Brigade Artillery Group Headquarters & Target Acquisition Battery Self-propelled Artillery Battalion Self-propelled Artillery Battalion Rocket Artillery Battalion Anti-tank Artillery Battalion Anti-Aircraft Missile Artillery Battalion Engineer Battalion Maintenance Batta
Andrey Ivanovich Yeryomenko was a Soviet general during World War II and, subsequently, a Marshal of the Soviet Union. Born in Markivka in Kharkov Governorate to a peasant family, Yeryomenko was drafted into the Imperial Army in 1913, serving on the Southwest and Romanian Fronts during World War I, he joined the Red Army in 1918. He attended the Leningrad Cavalry School and the Frunze Military Academy, graduating in 1935. In addition to his education, he was appointed to command of a regiment of cavalry in Dec. 1929 a division in 1937, the 6th Cavalry Corps in 1938. On Sept. 17, 1939, Yeryomenko led his 6th Cavalry Corps into eastern Poland as part of the operations agreed to between Germany and the Soviet Union under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. In general, this Soviet operation was not efficiently organized. Yeryomenko was forced to request an emergency airlift of fuel so as to continue his advance. Despite these difficulties, the Corps kept moving, Yeryomenko earned the nickname "the Russian Guderian".
Yeryomenko was given command of the prestigious 1st Red Banner Far Eastern Army, deep in eastern Siberia, where he was serving at the outbreak of Operation Barbarossa on June 22, 1941. Eight days after the invasion began, Yeryomenko was recalled to Moscow, where he was made the Acting Commander of the Soviet Western Front, two days after its original commander, General of the Army Dmitri Pavlov, was dismissed for incompetence. Yeryomenko was thrust into a precarious position; the Nazi Blitzkrieg approach to warfare dominated the Western Front, but Yeryomenko motivated the remaining troops, halted the German offensive just outside Smolensk. During this vicious defensive Battle of Smolensk, Yeryomenko was wounded; because of his injuries, he was transferred to the newly created Bryansk Front. In late August, Yeryomenko was ordered to launch counter-offensive operations along the Bryansk Front against Guderian's Second Panzer Group as it began to move south to trap Kirponos' Southwestern Front around Kiev.
Stavka Stalin and Shaposhnikov, seemed convinced that Yeryomenko could block or distract Guderian's drive and save Kiev from encirclement. The counter-offensive failed to accomplish its objectives despite a valiant effort, leaving Bryansk Front weakened. In October the Germans launched Operation Typhoon, an offensive aimed at capturing Moscow. Most of Yeryomenko's weakened forces were encircled by Oct. 8 although small units managed to escape for days or weeks following. On Oct. 13, Yeryomenko was once again wounded, this time severely. He was evacuated to a military hospital in Moscow. In January 1942, Yeryomenko was appointed commander of the 4th Shock Army, part of the Northwestern Front. During the Soviet Winter Counteroffensive, Yeryomenko's army was part of the successful Toropets–Kholm Offensive, which liberated Toropets and much of the surrounding region, helping to create the Rzhev Salient, which became a major battlefield over the next 15 months. On Jan. 20, 1942, Yeryomenko was again wounded, this time in one leg, when German planes bombed his headquarters.
Yeryomenko refused to evacuate to a hospital. Yeryomenko's performance in the winter offensives restored Stalin's confidence, he was given command of the Southeastern Front, on Aug. 1, 1942, where he proceeded to launch powerful counterattacks against the German offensive into the Caucasus, Fall Blau. Yeryomenko and Commissar Nikita Khrushchev planned the defense of Stalingrad, rallying and re-organizing men and equipment falling back to the city from the Don River and the steppes to the west; when one of his subordinates, Gen. Anton Lopatin, doubted if his 62nd Army would be able to defend Stalingrad, Yeryomenko replaced him with Lt. Gen. Vasily Chuikov as Army commander on Sept. 11, 1942. Chuikov and the 62nd Army went on to prove themselves as the defenders of the city, confirming Yeryomenko's judgement. On Sept. 28, the Southeastern Front was renamed the Stalingrad Front. During Operation Uranus, November 1942, Yeryomenko's forces helped to surround the German 6th Army from the south, linking up with the northern penetration at Kalach-na-Donu.
German General Erich von Manstein soon attempted to counterattack the Soviet forces and break through the line to relieve the surrounded Germans. Yeryomenko repelled the attack with the forces of the 2nd Guards Army along their fall-back positions on the Myshkova River. On January 1, 1943, the Stalingrad Front was renamed Southern Front. After the end of the winter offensive, in March 1943, Yeryomenko was transferred north to the Kalinin Front, which remained quiet until September, when Yeryomenko launched a small, but successful offensive. In December, Yeryomenko was once again sent south, this time to take command of the Separate Coastal Army, put together to retake Crimea, accomplished with assistance from Fyodor Tolbukhin's 4th Ukrainian Front. In April, Yeryomenko once again was sent to command the 2nd Baltic Front. During the summer campaign, 2nd Baltic was successful in crushing German opposition, was able to capture Riga, helping to bottle up some 30 German divisions in Latvia. On March 26, 1945, Yeryomenko was transferred to the command of the 4th Ukrainian Front, the unit he controlled until the end of the war.
Fourth Ukrainian was positioned in
Kotelnikovo, Volgograd Oblast
Kotelnikovo is a town and the administrative center of Kotelnikovsky District in Volgograd Oblast, located on the Kurmoyarsky Aksay River, 190 kilometers southwest of Volgograd, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 20,428 , it was founded in 1897 as a settlement servicing the construction of a railway station of the same name. During World War II, it served as a base for the German troops of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein during the Battle of Stalingrad. A Soviet counteroffensive liberated Kotelnikovo on December 29, 1942, it was granted town status in 1955. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Kotelnikovo serves as the administrative center of Kotelnikovsky District; as an administrative division, it is incorporated within Kotelnikovsky District as the town of district significance of Kotelnikovo. As a municipal division, the town of district significance of Kotelnikovo is incorporated within Kotelnikovsky Municipal District as Kotelnikovskoye Urban Settlement. Волгоградская областная Дума.
Закон №1028-ОД от 14 марта 2005 г. «Об установлении границ и наделении статусом Котельниковского района и муниципальных образований в его составе». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Волгоградская правда", №50, 23 марта 2005 г
7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division
The 7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division is an elite guards division of the Russian Airborne Troops. The 7th Guards Airborne Division was formed in September 1948 based on 322nd Guards Rifle Regiment which fought in Eastern Europe in World War II. In October 1948 the division was relocated to Lithuania. During the Cold War period, the division served in the suppression of the Hungarian and Czech revolutions. On August 1993, the division was relocated to Russia, it took part in various counter-insurgency operations in the Caucasus region. On 1 December 2006 it was renamed as 7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division. In 2014 the division's 247th Guards Air Assault Regiment took part in the War in Donbass in Ukraine. There were two separately formed 7th Guards Airborne Divisions in the Red Army and Soviet Ground Forces/Soviet Airborne Troops; the first division was formed during the Second World War at Ramenskoye in December 1942. It fought at Demyansk, Korsun, on the Dnieper River, at Targul Frumos and Budapest.
It ended the war with 4th Guards Army of the 3rd Ukrainian Front in May 1945. As part of a postwar military reorganization, this division was retitled the 115th Guards Rifle Division in June 1945; the second formation of the 7th Guards Airborne Division was started in September 1948 based on 322nd Guards Rifle Regiment. The first formation of the division was formed during the Second World War at Ramenskoye in December 1942, it fought at Demyansk, Korsun, on the Dnieper River, at Targul Frumos and Budapest. On May 8, 1945, the divisional commander, Major General Dmitrii Aristarkhovich Drichkin, set up his headquarters in the village of Erlauf, some 60 miles west of Vienna and 50 miles east of Linz. Anxious to meet the Allies, he sent out scouts. At midnight, he met Major General Stanley Eric Reinhart, commander of the U. S. 65th Infantry Division. For the duration of their presence on the Danube river, both commanders continued to cooperate in an unusually effective manner. Twenty years public affairs officer Captain John J. Pullen described their first cordial encounter for the National Observer.
For the 50th anniversary, Erlauf erected a Soviet-sponsored memorial. It features a local girl, linking arms with a GI on her right, a Soviet soldier on her left. To this day, an enlarged photo and a small exhibit mark the spot where this historic encounter took place: A life-size Major General Reinhart, smiling at General Drichkin, as they compare their watches one minute past midnight, on 9 May 1945, the moment the unconditional surrender of Germany became effective; as part of a postwar military reorganization at the end of June 1945, the first formation of the 7th Guards Airborne Division was retitled as the 115th Guards Rifle Division. The 22nd Guards Tank Division was activated on 4 June 1957 in Novomoskovsk, Dnepropetrovsk Oblast, from the 115th Guards Rifle Division; the baptism of fire of the second formation division's predecessor regiment took place in 1945, fighting around Lake Balaton under the 37th Guards Rifle Corps, 9th Guards Army, 3rd Ukrainian Front. On 26 April 1945, the 322nd Guards Rifle Regiment of the 103rd Guards Rifle Division was awarded the Order of Kutuzov, second class, for exemplary performance.
In commemoration, the division's official day is 26 April, by an order of the Defense Minister of the USSR. At the end of the war, the 322nd Guards Rifle Regiment was in the city of Czechoslovakia. During the war, the regiment was thanked on six occasions by the Supreme Commander. In all 2,065 of its soldiers and officers were decorated for valor and heroism by the Soviet Union; the 7th Guards Airborne Division was established on 15 October 1948 on the basis of the 322nd Guards Air Landing Regiment of the 103rd Guards Airborne Division at Polotsk in the Belorussian Military District, becoming part of the 8th Guards Airborne Corps. The division was relocated to the cities of Kaunas and Marijampole, Lithuanian SSR. Personnel from these bases took part in actions against Lithuanian partisans. Units in this premier division of airborne troops have mastered the landing of Antonov An-8, An-12, An-22, Il-76 aircraft, tested a number of new parachute systems, all generations of BMD, 2S9 Nona artillery systems.
In 1956, the division was involved in "Operation Whirlwind", the suppression of the Hungarian revolution. On 3 November 1956, the 108th Parachute Regiment landed at the Tököl airbase in Il-12 and Li-2 aircraft and disabling six antiaircraft batteries positioning themselves to defend the base. On 4 November 1956 the regimental staff, together with fighters from the 119th Parachute Regiment, entered the city of Budapest and took part in street fighting until the city was secured on 7 November. In 1968, the division participated in Operation Danube to suppress the Prague Spring uprising; the 108th Regiment distinguished itself in the most dangerous and difficult missions, for which about two hundred of its personnel received high government awards. On 23 June 1969, troops of the 108th Airborne Regiment were tasked to fly from Kaunas to Ryazan, where they were to demonstrate their vehicle assault landing skills to the Minister of Defence of the USSR, Andrei Grechko; the group of three An-12 aircraft took off early in the morning, reaching a cruising altitude of 3,000 metres.
Approaching the city of Kaluga, a plane carrying the staff of a company and battalion command collided with an Ilyushin Il-14 passenger plane, at 3000 meters without clearance, with the loss of all aboard. The division was involved in many major exercises and maneuvers, such as "Shield-76", "Neman", "West-81", "West-84" and "Watch-86", in the latter three exerc
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