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
6th Guards Airborne Division
The 6th Guards Airborne Division was a Red Army airborne division that fought as infantry during World War II. Formed in December 1942 from an airborne corps, it first saw combat as an infantry unit in the Staraya Russa in March 1943 fought in the Battle of Kursk; the division advanced west in the Battle of the Dnieper. The division fought in the Kirovograd Offensive and the Korsun-Shevchenkovsky Offensive in late 1943 and early 1944; the 5th Guards received the Order of the Red Banner and the Order of Suvorov for actions during the Uman–Botoșani Offensive fought in the Jassy–Kishinev Offensive. The division advanced westward into Hungary, fighting in the Battle of Debrecen and the Budapest Offensive in late 1944. In the last months of the war it fought in the Bratislava–Brno Offensive and ended the war fighting in the Prague Offensive. Weeks after the end of the war, it was redesignated as the 113th Guards Rifle Division, it was downsized into a brigade between 1953, serving in the Taurida Military District.
The division became a motor rifle division in 1957 and disbanded in 1959. The 6th Guards Airborne Division was formed on 8 December 1942 from the 6th Airborne Corps in Noginsk, one of eight new airborne divisions formed due to a shortage of infantry; the former commander of the 6th Airborne Corps, Major General Alexander Kirzimov, continued in command of the new division. Although its personnel received airborne training, the division was organized as a guards rifle division and would fight as infantry for the rest of the war, it included the 14th, 17th, 20th Guards Airborne Regiments, the 8th Guards Airborne Artillery Regiment, smaller units. Before the division went into combat, Kirzimov was replaced by Colonel Mikhail Smirnov on 11 March 1943, promoted to major general on 16 October 1943; the division saw its first combat with the 1st Shock Army in the area of Koshelki south of Staraya Russa on 14 March during the Staraya Russa Offensive. After that, the division was placed in the Reserve of the Supreme High Command.
As part of the 5th Guards Army, the division fought in the Battle of Kursk and the Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive Operation. After the Battle of the Dnieper, the division captured Kremenchuk on 29 September and Znamianka on 9 December, for which it was awarded honorifics. On 8 January 1944, the division helped capture Kirovohrad during the Kirovograd Offensive. In the Korsun-Shevchenkovsky Offensive, the division stopped German attempts to relieve the Korsun Pocket. During the Uman–Botoșani Offensive, it operated with the 4th Guards Army. For its performance during the offensive, the division was awarded the Order of the Red Banner on 19 March. For crossing the Dniester, the 6th Guards Airborne was awarded the Order of Suvorov 2nd class on 8 April. 14th Guards Airborne Regiment platoon commander Starshina Sharifzyan Kazanbaev was posthumously made a Hero of the Soviet Union for saving the regimental flag during fighting in early April. In the second half of April, it entered Romanian territory; as part of the 7th Guards Army, it captured Târgu Frumos.
In October, it fought in the Battle of Debrecen. Advancing into Hungary, it fought in the Budapest Offensive. On 5 December, the division broke through the northeastern defensive lines of Budapest as part of the 7th Guards Army, with which it remained for the rest of the war. At the end of December it crossed the Hron, but was forced to retreat in the face of German resistance. On 25 March 1945, the division crossed the Hron in the area of Zhemlyari during the Bratislava–Brno Offensive. On that day, it had a strength of 5,001 officers and men, with more than 1,000 in each of its three rifle regiments; the division was equipped with 2,157 rifles, 851 submachine guns, 109 light machine guns, 49 heavy machine guns, twelve anti-aircraft machine guns, twelve 120 mm mortars divided between each rifle regiment, 51 82 mm mortars divided between the rifle regiments, five 122 mm howitzers, twenty 76 mm divisional guns, eight 76 mm regimental guns, eighteen 45 mm anti-tank guns, 36 anti-tank rifles, 131 vehicles.
After the breaking through the German lines, the division captured Šurany, advanced over the Western Carpathians, captured oilfields in Zistersdorf. The division captured Příbram on 11 May. On 13 June 1945, it was redesignated as the 113th Guards Rifle Division to reflect its infantry role as part of the 25th Guards Rifle Corps of the 7th Guards Army in the newly created Central Group of Forces, its airborne regiments became the 359th, 361st, 363rd Guards Rifle Regiments, the division included the 468th and 473rd Guards Artillery Regiments. The division was withdrawn to Zaporizhia in the Odessa Military District in late 1945 with the corps and downsized into the 43rd Separate Guards Rifle Brigade in April 1948 following the disbandment of the corps in May 1947; the brigade was subsequently moved to Yevpatoria in the Taurida Military District, where it became a division again in October 1953. By 1955, the 85th Guards Tank Regiment was added to the division. On 17 May 1957, the 113th Guards Rifle Division became a motor rifle division at Yevpatoria with the 45th Army Corps.
It included the 359th, 361st and 363rd Guards Motor Rifle Regiments formed from guards rifle regiments with the same numbers, the 85th Guards Tank Regiment and other smaller units. The division was disbanded on 1 March 1959; the following officers are known to have led the division: Major General Alexander Kirzimov Colonel Mikhail Smirnov (11 March 1943–December 1948.
Kryvyi Rih or Krivoy Rog is a city in the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine. It lies within a large urban area, administratively incorporated with Kryvyi Rih Municipality as a city of regional significance, it serves as the administrative center of the district, although it is not part of it. The city extends for 126 km from north to south. Located at the confluence of the Saksahan and Inhulets rivers, Kryvyi Rih has been a major settlement for most of its history, it was founded as a postal city in 1775 by the Cossacks. Developed as a military settlement until 1860, it formed part of Kherson Governorate, it was incorporated during the 20th century with areas of Yekaterinoslav. The township began to expand "at an astonishing rate" at the beginning of the 1880s. Kryvyi Rih's urbanization was unplanned and stimulated by mining exploitation. French and English investment contributed to a boom in metallurgy, iron mining, investigation of rich deposits of iron ore; the Yekateryninska Railway was built in 1884 to transport iron ore to the Donbas.
This catalyzed the growth of Kryvyi Rih into a major industrial town. Nationalization and investment spurred by Soviet authorities led to extensive growth. In 1934 Kryvorizhstal was built, the first of more than 500 factories. Kryvyi Rih National University was founded here. Financially, the city's postwar growth after the Nazi occupation increased after 1965 due to economic reforms. Investment spurred by Ukrainian Independence, institution of a market economy, the 2014 revolution led to extensive regeneration in the city centre; as of 2016 Kryvyi Rih is arguably the main steel-industry city of Eastern Europe. It is a large, globally important centre of the iron-ore mining and metallurgy region, known as the Kryvbas; the economy of the oblast is the third-largest in Ukraine. The city was founded in the 18th century by Zaporozhian Cossacks. Kryvyi Rih in Ukrainian means "Crooked Horn" or "Curved Bend". According to local legend, the city was founded by a "crooked" Cossack named Rih. But, records pre-dating.
It appears based on the shape of the landmass formed by the confluence of the river Saksahan with the Inhulets. The Ingulets Palanka was established in 1734. A list of villages and winter camps from that time mentions Kryvyi Rih. In 1770 the camp of Zaporizhian Sich was founded. Four years Johann Anton Güldenstädt visited the area and made the first survey and scientific description. On May 8, 1775, after the end of the Russian-Turkish War, Russian authorities opened a postal station and railway track, linking this settlement to Kremenchuk, Kinburn foreland and Ochakov, all garrisons of the Imperial Russian Army; the station was tended by five Cossacks. Kryvyi Rih was still a village in the early 1800s, it had three water mills. The first stone houses were built in 1828; the village became a township in 1860. The tallest building at the end of the 1800s was the Central Synagogue, built by the thriving Jewish community, they worked as artisans and merchants. Alexander Pol, a Ukrainian geologist and initiated iron ore investigation and production in this area.
He is credited with discovering the Kryvbas. This stimulated formation of a mining district. In 1874 Alexander II initiated a railway; this enabled transportation connecting to the nearest factories and sped up the development of the region. In 1880, with 5 million francs of capital, Paul founded the "French Society of Kryvyi Rih Ores". In 1882 16.4 thousand tons of ore were extracted from surface mines on the outskirts of town by 150 workers. A centre of capitalism, this region was the greatest area of ore extraction in the Russian empire; the first underground mine of the basin began operations in 1886. Metallurgy, a new branch of industry, was founded in 1892, when the first blast furnace of Hdantsivka ironworks was started; the export of ore to Silesia soon began. Five schools were soon established. An aerial cableway was built in the town; the city's industry attracted new people looking for a quick profit. The supply of mined ore soon exceeded demand. Many mines had to temporarily suspend operations, others had to reduce their workers and output by more than half.
Workers had harsh conditions, lacking social security, or contracts. Environmental conditions in the mines caused them to suffer lung cancer and asthma; the shutdown caused thousands of people to be out of work. At the same time, workers began to develop ideas about democracy; the labor unrest strikes. In 1905 there were anti-Jewish pogroms and repressions, younger Jews left the area, many for the United States; the First World War interrupted access to the export markets, many workers were drafted into the military. The city survived Soldier and Worker's Deputies in 1917. Soviet power was established in January 1918; the Donetsk–Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic, founded on 12 February 1918, became a self-declared republic of the Russian SFSR and sought independence from Ukraine. On 29 March 1918 it became a republic within Ukraine, but was occupied by German forces in support of the Central Rada, it was disbanded on 20 March 1918. Around this time, Kryvyi Rih's status was changed from township to city.
It was founded by Uyezd as part of the Yekaterinoslav Governorate. It included 30 volost
81st Cavalry Division (Soviet Union)
The 81st Cavalry Division was a cavalry division of the Red Army that served in the first years of the Great Patriotic War. It was formed in the autumn of 1941 and served in the region south of Stalingrad while the German Army besieged that city in the autumn of 1942. During the first stages of the Soviet counteroffensive, Operation Uranus, the 81st was given a prominent role in the exploitation to the southwest, but became overextended and vulnerable to the mobile German reinforcements arriving to attempt a breakthrough to their Sixth Army; the division was so badly mauled that it had to be withdrawn to the reserves in December, was disbanded. The 81st Cavalry Division began forming on September 1, 1941 in the Central Asia Military District at Dzhambul; when formed, by the middle of the next month, its basic order of battle was as follows: 216th Cavalry Regiment 227th Cavalry Regiment 232nd Cavalry Regiment 16th Horse Artillery Battalion The division was commanded by Colonel Dmitry Ivanovich Gustishev.
In November 1941, the division was assigned to 4th Cavalry Corps, it would remain in that corps as long as they both existed. The division continued to train. On September 20, 1942, led by the new division commander, Vasily Grigoryevich Baumshtein, the division was sent by train to Krasnovodsk; the division crossed the Caspian Sea by ship to Astrakhan. At Olya the ships were unloaded by barges; the division marched along the Volga and reached the villages of Raygorod and Svetlyy Yar, 15 to 20 kilometers southeast of Beketovki. The corps was assigned to 51st Army in Southwestern Front, south of Stalingrad, in October, 1942. In orders issued by Gen. G. K. Zhukov on October 15 to the front commander, Gen. A. I. Yeryomenko, the latter was to:"Concentrate 61st Cavalry Division in the Solodnikov region and 81st Cavalry Division in the Chernyi Yar region to protect the crossings over the Volga River." This attempt to relieve 62nd Army, along with several others in October and early November, had no success.
In Operation Uranus, the Soviet counteroffensive at Stalingrad, the division and its corps were to advance through the breakthrough made by infantry units on the second day of the offensive. The division was to advance in the sector between Lake Tsatsa and Lake Barmantsak, by the morning of the third day reach the station area and the village of Abganerovo, cutting the Stalingrad-Tikhoretsk Railway. At the start of the decisive Soviet counteroffensive on November 19 the 81st was part of the 51st Army Mobile Group that exploited into the breakthrough of the Romanian Army lines towards the southwest; this mobile group had the 4th Mechanized Corps in the lead, with the 81st and 61st Cavalry Divisions of 4th Cavalry Corps guarding its left flank. On the evening of November 20, the division left its concentration area and by dawn the next day had passed Lake Tsatsa and Semkin. At Height 143.3 to the southwest of Plovdovitye, units of the Romanian 5th Cavalry Division put up resistance. The division was soon near Abganerovskoy.
The division captured Abganerovskoy stanitsa in conjunction with the 61st. The 227th Cavalry Regiment captured Abganerovo Station. On the night of November 22 the division was on the northern outskirts of Abganerovo. On the next night the division advanced towards Aksay. Supported by attached 76mm guns and Guards Mortar units, the division was able to liberate the town of Aksay from the Romanians by noon. In the fighting, 38 soldiers of the division had been killed and 89 wounded. On the evening of November 23, the 51st Army commander, Maj. Gen. N. I. Trufanov, radioed Yeryomenko to report that:"The main mission is accomplished; the army's units are fighting with the enemy along the Karpovka, Aksay and Sadovoe line." The next objective was the town of Kotelnikovo, an important rail junction where German mobile troops were beginning to arrive. The division rested and replenished its supplies on November 24. On the night of November 25 the division moved westwards in the right flank of the 51st Army.
The division was to cover the main forces of the army from the northwest in the attack on Kotelnikovo. Unknown to the Soviet commanders, on this same day the German high command began reorganizing their forces and bringing in armored units for an eventual relief operation towards Stalingrad that would be based from this town. After an advance of 45km on the morning of November 27, with support of 35 tanks from 85th Tank Brigade but no rifle forces whatsoever, the 81st reached the western and northwestern approaches to Kotelnikovo; the division attacked into the heart of the town, trying to capture it off the march, succeeded in routing several Romanian units but ran into lead elements of 6th Panzer Division's 114th Motorized Infantry Regiment, just unloading after a long journey from France. The panzer troops, along with a unit of Cossack volunteers known as Group Pannwitz, defeated the 81st and drove it westward 10 - 12km into marshland along the Semichnaia River valley near Poklebin. On the following night the division was forced to make a breakout towards Soviet lines.
In the course of less than three weeks the 81st lost 1,897 men, 14 76mm guns, 4 45mm antitank guns, 4 107mm mortars, 8 37mm antiaircraft guns. Col. Baumshtein was killed in action near Kotelnikovo, along with his chief of staff and chief of the political section. By the middle of December the remnants of the division were withdrawn into reserve, under the command of Col. Skorokhod, on May 22, 1943, the division was disbanded. Belan, P. S.. Казахстанцы в битве на Волге. Alma-Ata: Gylym. ISBN 5628005975. Main Personnel Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Soviet Union. Командование корпус
32nd Guards Tank Division
The 32nd Guards Tank Division was a tank formation of the Soviet Army/Soviet Ground Forces. Its predecessor, the 9th Guards Airborne Division, was a Red Army Airborne division of World War II. On 19 June 1945, it became the 116th Guards Rifle Division. In 1946, it became the 14th Guards Mechanized Division. In 1957, it became the 14th Guards Motorized Rifle Division. In 1982, it became the 32nd Guards Tank Division, disbanded in June 1989; the 9th Guards Airborne Division was formed on 15 December 1942 in the Moscow Military District from the 204th and 211th Airborne Brigades and the 1st Maneuver Airborne Brigade of 1st Airborne Corps. In February 1943, it became part of the 1st Shock Army. Beginning on 12 March 1943, the division fought in the Staraya Russa Offensive Operation. After the end of the Starayarussa Operation, the division was transferred to Reserve of the Supreme High Command and in May was transferred to the 5th Guards Army of the Steppe Front. During July and August, the 9th Guards Airborne fought in the Battle of Kursk.
They were distinguished during the defence of Prokhorovka, where they repulsed German counterattacks by the Leibstandarte. As part of the 33rd Guards Rifle Corps, the division participated in the Belgorod-Khar'kov Offensive Operation. In September 1943, it fought in the Chernigov-Poltava Offensive. On 22 September, in conjunction with the 95th Rifle Division and the 84th Rifle Division, the division crossed the Vorskla River and stormed Poltava. For its participation in the capture of Poltava, the division was given the title "Poltava". At the end of September, the division captured Kremenchuk. On 6 December, the division participated in the capture of Oleksandriia. On 22 March 1944, the 9th Guards Airborne crossed the Southern Bug in the area of Ivanovka, it participated in the capture of Pervomaisk and crossed the Dniester on the night of 13 April, capturing Grigoriopol. For their actions in the capture of Pervomaisk, the division was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. During the Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive, the division repulsed German counterattacks, although its commanding officer, Ivan Pichugin, was killed on 4 August, in the area of Mielec and defending the Sandomierz bridgehead.
In the Sandomierz–Silesian Offensive, the 9th Guards Airborne broke through German defences and on 14 January 1945 crossed the Nida. On 21 January it captured Rosenberg and on 24 January crossed the Oder. For its actions in Poland, it was awarded the Order of Suvorov 2nd class on 19 February 1945. During February and March, the 9th Guards Airborne participated in the Lower Silesian Offensive and the Upper Silesian Offensive. On 20 April, during the Berlin Offensive, the division stormed Spremberg. In early May, it repulsed a German counterattack near Schwepnitz; the 9th Guards Airborne ended the war in Prague. On 4 June, it was awarded the Order of Kutuzov 2nd class for its actions during the capture of Dresden. On 13 June, the 9th Guards Airborne Division became the 116th Guards Rifle Division. In 1946, it became the 14th Guards Mechanized Division. On 20 April 1957, it became the 14th Guards Motorized Rifle Division at Juterborg, part of the 18th Guards Army; the 236th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment transferred to the 82nd Motor Rifle Division in April 1958 and was replaced by that division's 69th Motor Rifle Regiment.
In June 1964, the division became part of the 20th Guards Army. The division participated in Operation Danube in 1968 as part of the 1st Guards Tank Army; the 330th Tank Regiment inherited the honors of the 343rd Guards Tank Regiment in 1975 and became the 343rd Guards Tank Regiment. In 1976, the division became the first GSFG unit to receive the new T-64A tank. On 14 September 1982, it became the 32nd Guards Tank Division, its 216th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment became the 287th Guards Tank Regiment and the 223rd Guards Motor Rifle Regiment became the 288th Guards Tank Regiment. On 28 August 1988, the 640th Separate Missile Battalion was disbanded and absorbed by the newly formed 464th Missile Brigade. In May 1989, the 69th Motor Rifle Regiment transferred to the 35th Motor Rifle Division; the 1009th Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade was transferred to the 47th Guards Tank Division. The division was disbanded in June 1989 after withdrawal from Jüterbog to Krivoy Rog. Colonel M. V. Grachev Colonel Konstantin Nikolaevich Vindushin Major General Alexander Mikhailovich Sazonov Major General Ivan Pichugin Colonel Fedor Afanasiev Colonel Pavel Shumeev Colonel EM Golub 23rd Guards Airborne Regiment 26th Guards Airborne Regiment 28th Guards Airborne Regiment 7th Guards Airborne Artillery Regiment Zaloga, Steven.
T-64 Battle Tank: The Cold War's Most Secret Tank. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 9781472806307
Hero of the Soviet Union
The title Hero of the Soviet Union was the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, awarded or collectively for heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society. The award was established on April 1934, by the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union; the first recipients of the title received only the Order of Lenin, the highest Soviet award, along with a certificate describing the heroic deed from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Because the Order of Lenin could be awarded for deeds not qualifying for the title of hero, to distinguish heroes from other Order of Lenin holders, the Gold Star medal was introduced on August 1, 1939. Earlier heroes were retroactively eligible for these items. A hero could be awarded the title again for a subsequent heroic feat with an additional Gold Star medal and certificate. An additional Order of Lenin was not given until 1973; the practice of awarding the title multiple times was abolished by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in 1988 during perestroika.
Forty-four foreign citizens were awarded the title. The title was given posthumously, though without the actual Gold Star medal given; the title could be revoked only by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. As the Highest Honor of the Soviet Union. Individuals who received the award were entitled to special privileges; these include: A pension with survivor benefits in the event of the death of the title holder. First priority on the housing list with 50% rent reduction, tax exempt and an additional 45 square metres in living space. Annual round-trip first class airline ticket Free bus transportation Free annual visit to sanitarium or rest home Medical benefits Entertainment benefits In total, during the existence of the USSR, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded to 12,777 people, including twice – 154, three times – 3 and four – 2. Ninety-five women were awarded the title. Among the Heroes of the Soviet Union, 44 people are citizens of foreign states; the great majority of them received it during World War II.
Eighty-five people were awarded the title for actions related to the Soviet-Afghan War, which lasted from 1979 until 1989. The first recipients of the award were the pilots Anatoly Liapidevsky, Sigizmund Levanevsky, Vasily Molokov, Mavriky Slepnyov, Nikolai Kamanin, Ivan Doronin, Mikhail Vodopianov, who participated in the successful aerial search and rescue of the crew of the steamship Cheliuskin, which sank in Arctic waters, crushed by ice fields, on February 13, 1934. Valentina Grizodubova, a female pilot, was the first woman to become a Hero of the Soviet Union for her international women's record for a straight-line distance flight. Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, a Soviet partisan, was the first woman to become a Hero of the Soviet Union during World War II, posthumously. In addition, 101 people received the award twice. A second Hero title, either Hero of the Soviet Union or Hero of Socialist Labour entitled the recipient to have a bronze bust of his or her likeness with a commemorative inscription erected in his or her hometown.
Two famous Soviet fighter pilots, Aleksandr Pokryshkin and Ivan Kozhedub were three times Heroes of the Soviet Union. A third award entitled the recipient to have his/her bronze bust erected on a columnar pedestal in Moscow, near the Palace of the Soviets, but the Palace was never built. After his release from serving a 20-year sentence in a Mexican prison for the assassination of Leon Trotsky, Ramon Mercader moved to the Soviet Union in 1961 and was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union medal from KGB head Alexander Shelepin; the only individuals to receive the title four times were Leonid Brezhnev. The original statute of the Hero of the Soviet Union, did not provide for a fourth title. Both Zhukov and Brezhnev received their fourth titles under controversial circumstances contrary to the statute, which remained unchanged until the award was abolished in 1991. Zhukov was awarded a fourth time "for his large accomplishments" on the occasion of his 60th birthday on December 1, 1956. There is some speculation that Zhukov's fourth Hero medal was for his participation in the arrest of Beria in 1953, but this was not entered in the records.
Brezhnev's four awards further eroded the prestige of the award because they were all birthday gifts, on the occasions of his 60th, 70th, 72nd and 75th birthdays. Such practices halted in 1988 due to a decision of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, which formally ended it. By the 1970s, the award had been somewhat devalued. Important political and military persons had been awarded it on the occasions of their anniversaries rather than for any immediate heroic activity. All Soviet cosmonauts, starting from Yuri Gagarin, as well as foreign citizens who participated in the Soviet space program as cosmonauts, received Hero award for each flight. Apart from individuals, the title was awarded to twelve cities as well as the fortress of Brest for collective heroism during the War; the last recipient of the title "Hero of the Soviet Union" was a Soviet diver, Captain of the 3rd rank Leonid Mikhailovich Solodkov on December 24, 1991 for his leadership and participation in a series of unprecedented extreme depth diving experiments.
Following the collapse of the
97th Cavalry Division (Soviet Union)
The 97th Cavalry Division was a cavalry division of the Red Army that served in the first years of the Great Patriotic War, but did not see any combat. It began forming in November, 1941, in the Central Asia Military District as a "Turkmen National Division". Three other cavalry divisions, the 61st, 63rd and the 81st were formed in this district at about the same time from men of Central Asian nationalities, while those divisions became the latest compliment of the 3rd Formation of the 4th Cavalry Corps in November, the 97th did not join that Corps until over a year later; when formed, its partial order of battle was as follows: 279th Cavalry Regiment 298th Cavalry Regiment plus an unidentified cavalry regiment. The division was commanded by Colonel T. P. Gaikazyan, but on Feb. 28, 1942 he was replaced by the newly-promoted Major General Yakub Kuliev, who had commanded the 21st Mountain Cavalry Division. From August to December the division remained in the reserves of the Central Asia Military District.
On Aug. 28, Kuliev went on to the post of deputy commander of 4th Cavalry Corps. In January, 1943, the 97th, now under command of Colonel V. A. Koninskii, was ferried across the Caspian Sea by the Caspian Flotilla to Astrakhan to join 4th Cavalry Corps, being rebuilt in this area after taking heavy losses south of Stalingrad during Operation Uranus and Operation Winter Storm. In the event, this effort was abandoned, the division, along with the rest of the Corps, was disbanded in March. Notes SourcesMain Personnel Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Soviet Union. Командование корпусного и дивизионного звена советских вооруженных сил периода Великой Отечественной войны 1941 – 1945 гг. Moscow: Frunze Military Academy. P. 363 Yakub Kulievich Kuliev