It had 2.4 million men under its service during the Cold War. At the end of World War II the Red Army had over 500 rifle divisions and their experience of war gave the Soviets such faith in tank forces that the infantry force was cut by two-thirds. The Tank Corps of the war period were converted to tank divisions. MRDs had three motorized rifle regiments and a regiment, for a total of ten motor rifle battalions and six tank battalions. The Land Forces Chief Command was created for the first time in March 1946, four years it was disbanded, only to be formed again in 1955. In March 1964 the Chief Command was again disbanded but recreated in November 1967, the personnel strength of the Ground Forces was reduced from 9.8 million to 2.4 million. Elsewhere, they may have assisted the NKVD in suppressing resistance in Western Ukraine. Soviet troops, including the 39th Army, remained at Port Arthur, control was handed over to the new Chinese communist government. Soviet Army forces on USSR territory were apportioned among military districts, there were 32 of them in 1945.
Sixteen districts remained from the mid-1970s to the end of the USSR, the greatest Soviet Army concentration was in the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, which suppressed the anti-Soviet Uprising of 1953 in East Germany. East European Groups of Forces were the Northern Group of Forces in Poland, and the Southern Group of Forces in Hungary, in 1958, Soviet troops were withdrawn from Romania. The Central Group of Forces in Czechoslovakia was established after Warsaw Pact intervention against the Prague Spring of 1968. In 1969, at the east end of the Soviet Union, the Sino-Soviet border conflict, prompted establishment of a 16th military district, in 1979, the Soviet Union entered Afghanistan, to support its Communist government, provoking a 10-year Afghan mujahideen guerrilla resistance. Throughout the Cold War, Western intelligence estimates calculated that the Soviet strength remained ca.2.8 million to ca.5.3 million men, by the middle of the 1980s the Ground Forces contained about 210 divisions.
About three-quarters were motor rifle divisions and the tank divisions. There were a number of artillery divisions, separate artillery brigades, engineer formations. However, only relatively few formations were fully war ready, three readiness categories, A, B, and V, after the first three letters of the Cyrillic alphabet, were in force. The Category A divisions were certified combat-ready and were fully equipped, B and V divisions were lower-readiness, 50–75% and 10–33% respectively
The Workers and Peasants Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and after 1922 the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution, the Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. The Red Army is credited as being the land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II. During operations on the Eastern Front, it fought 75%–80% of the German land forces deployed in the war, inflicting the vast majority of all German losses and ultimately capturing the German capital. In September 1917, Vladimir Lenin wrote, There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, at the time, the Imperial Russian Army had started to collapse. The Tsarist general Nikolay Dukhonin estimated that there had been 2 million deserters,1.8 million dead,5 million wounded and 2 million prisoners and he estimated the remaining troops as numbering 10 million.
Therefore, the Council of Peoples Commissars decided to form the Red Army on 28 January 1918 and they envisioned a body formed from the class-conscious and best elements of the working classes. All citizens of the Russian republic aged 18 or older were eligible, in the event of an entire unit wanting to join the Red Army, a collective guarantee and the affirmative vote of all its members would be necessary. Because the Red Army was composed mainly of peasants, the families of those who served were guaranteed rations, some peasants who remained at home yearned to join the Army, along with some women, flooded the recruitment centres. If they were turned away they would collect scrap metal and prepare care-packages, in some cases the money they earned would go towards tanks for the Army. Nikolai Krylenko was the supreme commander-in-chief, with Aleksandr Myasnikyan as deputy, Nikolai Podvoisky became the commissar for war, Pavel Dybenko, commissar for the fleet. Proshyan, Steinberg were specified as peoples commissars as well as Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich from the Bureau of Commissars, at a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, held on 22 February 1918, Krylenko remarked, We have no army.
The Red Guard units are brushed aside like flies and we have no power to stay the enemy, only an immediate signing of the peace treaty will save us from destruction. This provoked the insurrection of General Alexey Maximovich Kaledins Volunteer Army in the River Don region, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk aggravated Russian internal politics. The situation encouraged direct Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, a series of engagements resulted, amongst others, the Czechoslovak Legion, the Polish 5th Rifle Division, and the pro-Bolshevik Red Latvian Riflemen. The Whites defeated the Red Army on each front, Leon Trotsky reformed and counterattacked, the Red Army repelled Admiral Kolchaks army in June, and the armies of General Denikin and General Yudenich in October. By mid-November the White armies were all almost completely exhausted, in January 1920, Budennys First Cavalry Army entered Rostov-on-Don. 1919 to 1923 At the wars start, the Red Army consisted of 299 infantry regiments, Civil war intensified after Lenin dissolved the Russian Constituent Assembly and the Soviet government signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, removing Russia from the Great War
Pochinkovsky District, Smolensk Oblast
Pochinkovsky District is an administrative and municipal district, one of the twenty-five in Smolensk Oblast, Russia. It is located in the central part of the oblast. The area of the district is 2,380.75 square kilometers and its administrative center is the town of Pochinok. The population of Pochinok accounts for 28. 3% of the total population. Постановление №261 от30 апреля2008 г, «Об утверждении реестра административно-территориальных единиц и территориальных единиц Смоленской области», в ред. Постановления №464 от27 июня2014 г, «О внесении изменений в реестр административно-территориальных единиц и территориальных единиц Смоленской области». Закон №132-з от28 декабря2004 г, Закона №103-з от23 ноября2011 г. Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования, Опубликован, Вестник Смоленской областной Думы и Администрации Смоленской области, №14, часть II, стр
Astrakhan is a city in southern Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on two banks of the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea at an altitude of 28 meters below sea level. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 520,339, the oldest economic and cultural center of the Lower Volga, it is often called the southernmost outpost of Russia and the Caspian capital. The city is located in the part of the Volga delta. The distance to Moscow by road is 1,411 kilometers, Astrakhan is in the Volga Delta, which is rich in sturgeon and exotic plants. The fertile area formerly contained the capitals of Khazaria and the Golden Horde, Astrakhan was first mentioned by travelers in the early 13th century as Xacitarxan. Tamerlane burnt it to the ground in 1395, from 1459 to 1556, Xacitarxan was the capital of Astrakhan Khanate. The ruins of medieval settlement were found by archaeologists 12 km upstream from the modern-day city. In 1556, the khanate was conquered by Ivan the Terrible and this year is traditionally considered to be the foundation of the modern city.
In 1569, during the Russo-Turkish War, Astrakhan was besieged by the Ottoman army, a year later, the Ottoman sultan renounced his claims to Astrakhan, thus opening the entire Volga River to Russian traffic. The Ottoman Empire, though defeated, insisted on safe passage for Muslim pilgrims. In the 17th century, the city was developed as a Russian gate to the Orient, many merchants from Armenia, Safavid Persia, Mughal India and Khiva khanate settled in the town, giving it a cosmopolitan character. For seventeen months in 1670–1671, Astrakhan was held by Stenka Razin, the city rebelled against the Tsar once again in 1705, when it was held by the Cossacks under Kondraty Bulavin. A Kalmuck khan laid a siege to the kremlin several years before that. In 1711, it became the seat of a governorate, whose first governors included Artemy Petrovich Volynsky, six years later, Astrakhan served as a base for the first Russian venture into Central Asia. It was granted town status in 1717, in 1702,1718 and 1767, it suffered severely from fires, in 1719 it was plundered by the Safavid Persians, and in 1830, cholera killed much of the populace.
Astrakhans kremlin was built from the 1580s to the 1620s from bricks taken from the site of Sarai Berke and its two impressive cathedrals were consecrated in 1700 and 1710, respectively. Built by masters from Yaroslavl, they retain many features of Russian church architecture
Brest formerly Brześć nad Bugiem Brest-on-the-Bug and Brest-Litovsk, is a city in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the Polish city of Terespol, where the Bug and Mukhavets rivers meet. It is the city of the Brest voblast. The city of Brest is a site of many cultures. It was the location of important historical events such as the Union of Brest, the Brest Fortress was recognized by the Soviet Union as the Hero Fortress in honor of the defense of Brest Fortress in June 1941. During medieval times, the city was part of the Kingdom of Poland from 1020 until 1319 when it was taken by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and it became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569. As a result of the Partitions of Poland, it was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1795, after World War I, the city returned to Second Polish Republic. In 1941 it was again by the Nazis during Operation Barbarossa. After the war, once the new boundaries between the USSR and Poland were ratified, the city part of the Soviet BSSR until the breakup of the country in 1991.
It is part of sovereign Belarus of today, several theories attempt to account for the origin of the citys name. It might have come from the Slavic root beresta meaning birch, the name of the city could originate from the Slavic root berest meaning elm. And finally, the name of the city could have come from the Lithuanian word brasta meaning ford, once a center of Jewish scholarship, the city has the Yiddish name בריסק, hence the term Brisker used to describe followers of the influential Soloveitchik family of rabbis. The traditional Belarusian name for the city is Берасце, Brest became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1319. In the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth formed in 1569 the town was known in Polish as Brześć, after World War I, and the rebirth of Poland, the government of the Second Polish Republic renamed the city as Brześć nad Bugiem on March 20,1923. After World War II the city part of Soviet Belarus with the name simplified as Brest. Brests coat of arms features an arrow pointed upwards and a bow on a sky-blue shield and it was adopted on January 26,1991.
An alternative coat of arms has a red shield, Sigismund II Augustus, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, first granted Brest a coat of arms in 1554. The city was founded by the Slavs, as a town, Brest – Berestye in Kievan Rus – was first mentioned in the Primary Chronicle in 1019 when the Kievan Rus took the stronghold from the Poles. It is one of the oldest cities in Belarus and it was hotly contested between the Polish rulers and Kievan Rus princes, laid waste by the Mongols in 1241, and was not rebuilt until 1275
Second Battle of Kharkov
Its objective was to eliminate the Izium bridgehead over Seversky Donets or the Barvenkovo bulge which was one of the Soviet offensives staging areas. On 12 May 1942, Soviet forces under the command of Marshal Semyon Timoshenko launched an offensive against the German 6th Army from a salient established during the winter counter-offensive, after initial promising signs, the offensive was stopped by German counterattacks. The operation caused almost 300,000 Soviet casualties compared to just 20,000 for the Germans, by late February 1942, the Soviet winter counter-offensive, had pushed German forces from Moscow on a broad front and ended in mutual exhaustion. Stalin was convinced that the Germans were finished and would collapse by the spring or summer 1942, Stalin decided to exploit this perceived weakness on the Eastern Front by launching a new offensive in the spring. Vasilevsky wrote Yes, we were hoping for, but the reality was more harsh than that, despite the caution urged by his generals, Stalin decided to try to keep the German forces off-balance through local offensives.
Although Stavka believed that the Germans had been defeated before Moscow, most generals and front commanders believed that the principal effort would be a German offensive towards Moscow. Stalin had agreed to prepare the Red Army for a strategic defence but gave orders for the planning of seven local offensives. One area was Kharkov, where action was ordered for March. The forces of Marshal Semyon Timoshenko and Lieutenant General Kirill Moskalenko penetrated German positions along the northern Donets River, fighting continued into April, with Moskalenko crossing the river and establishing a tenuous bridgehead at Izium. In the south, the Soviet 6th Army had limited success defending against German forces, catching the attention of Stalin, it set the pace for the prelude to the eventual offensive intended to reach Pavlohrad and Sinelnikovo and eventually Kharkov and Poltava. By 15 March, Soviet commanders introduced preliminary plans for an offensive towards Kharkov, the build-up of Soviet forces in the region of Barvenkovo and Vovchansk continued well into the beginning of May.
By 11 May 1942, the Red Army was able to allocate six armies under two fronts, amongst other units, the Soviet Southwestern Front had the 21st Army, 28th Army, 38th Army and the 6th Army. By 11 May, the 21st Tank Corps had been moved into the region with the 23rd Tank Corps, there were three independent rifle divisions and a rifle regiment from the 270th Rifle Division, concentrated in the area, supported by the 2nd Cavalry Corps in Bogdanovka. The Soviet Southern Front had the 57th and 9th armies, along with thirty rifle divisions, a brigade and the 24th Tank Corps. At its height, the Southern Front could operate eleven guns or mortars per kilometer of front, forces regrouping in the sector ran into the rasputitsa, which turned much of the soil into mud. This caused severe delays in the preparations and made reinforcing the Southern and Southwestern Front take longer than expected, senior Soviet representatives criticized the front commanders for poor management of forces, an inability to stage offensives and for their armchair generalship.
Because the regrouping was done so haphazardly, the Germans received some warning of Soviet preparations, the commander of the 38th Army, placed the blame on the fact that the fronts did not plan in advance to regroup and showed a poor display of front management. The primary Soviet leader was Marshal Semyon Timoshenko, a veteran of World War I, Timoshenko had achieved some success at the Battle of Smolensk in 1941 but was eventually defeated
Central Group of Forces
After the end of the Second World War, the Soviet High Command reorganized its troops on the territories it liberated from the Nazi occupation and now occupied. Stavka Directive Nr 11097 on 10 June 1945 created several new formations, known as Groups of Forces, equivalent to military districts and its first commander was Marshal of the Soviet Union Ivan Konev. Headquarters was at Baden bei Wien, during the summer of 1945, 7th and 9th Guards Armies were withdrawn back to the Soviet Union. By the end of the summer, the corps directly subordinated to the group had been withdrawn, Army General Vladimir Kurasov commanded the Group from 12 June 1946 to 20 April 1949. In August 1946, the 4th Guards Army was withdrawn to the Odessa Military District, on 20 March 1947, the 5th Guards Army was disbanded. In May 1947, the 3rd and 4th Guards Mechanized Armies, in February 1949, the 2nd Air Army was renumbered as the 59th. On 20 April 1949, Kurasov was replaced by Lieutenant General Vladimir Svirivdov, on 14 May 1953, Colonel General Sergey Biryuzov replaced Sviridov in command.
Colonel General Aleksey Semenovich Zhadov took command on 31 May 1954, in June 1955 the group included the following units. The dispositions of the group did not change between and its disbandment in September, the group was disbanded in September 1955 due to the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Austria. The 2nd and 17th Guards Mechanized Division became part of a newly formed Special Corps on Hungarian territory, the 13th Guards Mechanized Division and 95th Guards Rifle Division were moved to the Carpathian Military District. The remaining units, including the headquarters of the 59th Air Army, were disbanded, the Central Group of Forces was reinstituted as a legacy of the 1968 Prague Spring events. Till that time, no Soviet troops were garrisoned within Czechoslovakian territory. The Central Group of forces had a strength of about 85,000 and included 28th Army Corps headquarters. Forces included two divisions, three mechanized infantry divisions, three missile brigades, an artillery brigade, and an airborne assault brigade.
Four of the five Soviet ground divisions in Czechoslovakia were stationed in the Czech lands, Group headquarters was located in Milovice. Also at Milovice was the 131st Mixed Aviation Division, which arrived from Ivano-Frankovsk in the Ukrainian SSR in August 1968,1996 Janes Intelligence Review information indicated the division had been moved to Smolensk in the Moscow Military District where it was disbanded. Russian forum information indicates that it was withdrawn to Chuguev in Ukraine using the same garrison as the disbanded 75th Guards Tank Division. It appears that there wasn’t enough space for the entire Division, the remainder of the division departed for Ukraine, with the last arriving by May 1991
The political commissar is the supervisory political officer responsible for the political education and organization, and committed to the civilian control of the military. Historically, the commissaire politique first appeared in the French Revolution, guarding it against anti-Revolutionary thought, in the communist government established by the October Revolution, the political commissar remained in the Red Army until 1942. In the Red Army and the Soviet Army, the political commissar existed, by name, only during the 1918–24, 1937–40, in the periods of the Red Armys history when political officers were militarily subordinate to unit commanders, the position of political commissar did not exist. The political supervision of the Russian military was effected by the political commissar, revolutionary Military Councils were established at army-, front-, fleet-, and flotilla-level, comprising at least three members — commander and two political workers. The political workers were denominated members of the RVS, not commissars, in 1919, the title politruk was assigned to political officers at company level.
Despite being official political commissars, they were not addressed as commissar, beginning in 1925, the politico-military doctrinal course towards edinonachalie was established, and the political commissar, as a military institution, was gradually abolished. Earlier, in 1924, the RVSs were renamed as Military Councils, such high-level political officers were known as ChVS, on 10 May 1937 the political commissar was reinstated to the Red Army, and Military Councils were created. These events derived from the purges that began in the Soviet armed forces. Again, in August 1940, the political commissars was abolished, yet the Military Councils continued throughout the German-Soviet War, below army level, the edinonachalie system was restored. In July 1941, consequent to the Red Army’s defeats at war’s start, the commissar had an influential role as a second commander within the military units during this time. Their ranks and insignia generally paralleled those of officers, when this proved less-than-effective, General Konev asked Stalin to subordinate the political officer to commanding officers, the commissars work was refocused to morale-related functions.
The term commissar itself was abolished in August 1942, and at the company- and regiment-level. Though no longer known by the original title, political officers were retained by all the Soviet armed forces. Soviet Army, Soviet Navy, Soviet Air Force, Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces, et al, the position of political commissar exists in the Peoples Liberation Army of China. Usually, the political commissar is a military officer, although this position has been used to give civilian party officials some experience with the military. The political commissar was head of a party cell within the military, today the political commissar is largely responsible for administrative tasks such as public relations and counseling, and mainly serves as second-in-command. The position of political commissar exists in the Republic of China Army of the Republic of China, opposed to this was Sun Li-jen, who was educated at the American Virginia Military Institute. Chiang Ching-kuo arrested Sun Li-jen, charging him of conspiring with the American CIA of plotting to overthrow Chiang Kaishek, Sun was placed under house arrest in 1955
Artillery is a class of large military weapons built to fire munitions far beyond the range and power of infantrys small arms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach fortifications, and led to heavy, as technology improved, more mobile field artillery developed for battlefield use. This development continues today, modern self-propelled artillery vehicles are highly mobile weapons of great versatility providing the largest share of an armys total firepower, in its earliest sense, the word artillery referred to any group of soldiers primarily armed with some form of manufactured weapon or armour. In common speech, the artillery is often used to refer to individual devices, along with their accessories and fittings. However, there is no generally recognised generic term for a gun, mortar, and so forth, the United States uses artillery piece, the projectiles fired are typically either shot or shell. Shell is a widely used term for a projectile, which is a component of munitions.
By association, artillery may refer to the arm of service that customarily operates such engines, in the 20th Century technology based target acquisition devices, such as radar, and systems, such as sound ranging and flash spotting, emerged to acquire targets, primarily for artillery. These are usually operated by one or more of the artillery arms, Artillery originated for use against ground targets—against infantry and other artillery. An early specialist development was coastal artillery for use against enemy ships, the early 20th Century saw the development of a new class of artillery for use against aircraft, anti-aircraft guns. Artillery is arguably the most lethal form of land-based armament currently employed, the majority of combat deaths in the Napoleonic Wars, World War I, and World War II were caused by artillery. In 1944, Joseph Stalin said in a speech that artillery was the God of War, although not called as such, machines performing the role recognizable as artillery have been employed in warfare since antiquity.
The first references in the historical tradition begin at Syracuse in 399 BC. From the Middle Ages through most of the era, artillery pieces on land were moved by horse-drawn gun carriages. In the contemporary era, the artillery and crew rely on wheeled or tracked vehicles as transportation, Artillery used by naval forces has changed significantly also, with missiles replacing guns in surface warfare. The engineering designs of the means of delivery have likewise changed significantly over time, in some armies, the weapon of artillery is the projectile, not the equipment that fires it. The process of delivering fire onto the target is called gunnery, the actions involved in operating the piece are collectively called serving the gun by the detachment or gun crew, constituting either direct or indirect artillery fire. The term gunner is used in armed forces for the soldiers and sailors with the primary function of using artillery. The gunners and their guns are usually grouped in teams called either crews or detachments, several such crews and teams with other functions are combined into a unit of artillery, usually called a battery, although sometimes called a company
Battle of Smolensk (1941)
The First Battle of Smolensk was a battle during the opening stage of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, in World War II. It took place around the city of Smolensk between 10 July and 10 September 1941, about 400 km west of Moscow, the Wehrmacht had advanced 500 km into the USSR in the 18 days after the invasion on 22 June 1941. During the battle the German army encountered unexpected resistance, leading to a delay in their advance on Moscow. Three Soviet armies were encircled and destroyed just to the south of Smolensk, on 22 June 1941, the Axis nations invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. At first, the met with spectacular success, as the surprised Soviet troops were not able to offer coordinated resistance. After three weeks of fighting, the Germans had reached the Dvina and Dnieper rivers and planned for a resumption of the offensive, the main attack aimed at Moscow, was carried out by Army Group Centre. Its next target on the way to the Soviet capital was the town of Smolensk, the German plan called for the 2nd Panzer Group to cross the Dnieper, closing on Smolensk from the south, while the 3rd Panzer Group was to encircle the town from the north.
After their initial defeats, the Red Army began to recover and took measures to ensure a more determined resistance, Stalin placed Field Marshal Semyon Timoshenko in command and transferred five armies out of the strategic reserve to Timoshenko. These armies had to conduct counter-offensives to blunt the German drive, the German high command was not aware of the Soviet build-up until they encountered them on the battlefield. Facing the Germans along the Dnieper and Dvina rivers were stretches of the Stalin Line fortifications, the defenders were the 13th Army of the Western Front and the 20th Army, 21st Army and the 22nd Army of the Soviet Supreme Command Reserve. The 19th Army, was forming up at Vitebsk, while the 16th Army was arriving at Smolensk, the result was a disaster, as the offensive ran directly into the anti-tank defenses of the German 7th Panzer Division and the two Soviet mechanized corps were virtually wiped out. On 10 July, Guderians 2nd Panzer Group began an attack over the Dnieper, his forces overran the weak 13th Army and by 13 July, Guderian had passed Mogilev.
His spearhead unit, the 29th Motorised Division, was already within 18 km of Smolensk, the 3rd Panzer Group had attacked, with the 20th Panzer Division establishing a bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Dvina river, threatening Vitebsk. As both German panzer groups drove east, the 16th, 19th and 20th armies faced the prospect of encirclement around Smolensk, from 11 July, the Soviets tried a series of concerted counter-attacks. The Soviet 19th Army and 20th Army struck at Vitebsk, while the 21st, several other Soviet armies attempted to counter-attack in the sectors of the German Army Group North and Army Group South. This effort was part of an attempt to implement the Soviet prewar general defense plan. The Soviet attacks managed to slow the Germans but the results were so marginal that the Germans barely noticed them as a large coordinated defensive effort, Hoths 3rd Panzer Group drove north and east, parallel to Guderians forces, taking Polotsk and Vitebsk. The 7th Panzer Division and 20th Panzer Division reached the area east of Smolensk at Yartsevo on July 15 and this advanced bridgehead became the center of the Yelnya Offensive, one of the first big coordinated Soviet counter-offensives of the war