10th Guards Motor Rifle Division

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52nd Rifle Division (1935 – Dec. 1941)
10th Guards Rifle Division (Dec. 1941 – 1946)
10th Guards Mountain Division (1946-1957)
10th Guards Motor Rifle Division (1957–1991)
Active 1941–1991
Country  Soviet Union
Branch Red Army flag.svg Red Army, Soviet Ground Forces
Type Division
Role Infantry
Part of Karelian Front
2nd Belorussian Front
Transcaucasus Military District
Nickname Honorary title = "Pechengskii"
Engagements 1939: Battle of Petsamo
1941–1944: Arctic Defensive
1944: Petsamo-Kirkenes Operation
1945: East Pomeranian Offensive
Chojnice-Kezlinskaya Offensive

The 10th Guards Motor Rifle Division was a division of the Soviet Ground Forces. The full name of its predecessor division was the 10th Guards Rifle Pechengskii, Twice Order of the Red Banner, Order of Alexander Nevsky, Order of the Red Star Division. (Russian: 10ая гвардейская стрелковая Печенгский, дважды орденом Красного Знамени, орденом Александра Невского, орденом Красной звезда дивизия.) The 10th Guards Rifle Division was formed from the 52nd Rifle Division in late 1941.

History[edit]

In 1939 the 52nd Rifle Division took part in the Soviet invasion of Poland, then during the Winter War in the Battle of Petsamo.

At the outbreak of Operation Barbarossa the division was still in the far north, near Murmansk. As part of 14th Army it defended against the German Mountain Corps Norway's assault towards the port which began on June 19, 1941, and was finally brought to a halt along the Litsa River line on Sept. 21. In recognition of its role in the successful defense of Murmansk, the division was re-named and reorganized as the 10th Guards Rifle Division on Dec. 26, with the following order of battle:

  • 24th Guards Rifle Regiment
  • 28th Guards Rifle Regiment
  • 35th Guards Rifle Regiment
  • 29th Guards Artillery Regiment[1]

It was one of the few Guards formations formed or deployed by the Red Army in the Arctic during the war.

During the defense the 10th Guards was engaged in 150 fights of local importance. At the end of April, 1942, it began a counterattack which was unsuccessful. The counterattack failed due to severe weather conditions and a strong snowstorm on the previous day. Along with most units of the static Karelian Front, during the next two years the division operated at minimal strength in its rifle units in order to conserve manpower for the main front to the south; however it also formed a divisional ski battalion for rear area security.[2]

In Sept. – Oct. 1944 the division was subordinated to 131st Rifle Corps, itself reporting to 14th Army. Beginning on Oct. 7, 1944, it participated in the Petsamo-Kirkenes Operation and was in the first echelon advancing to the building on Mount Small Karikvayvish and seized a bridgehead on the west bank of the Titovka River on Oct. 8. After four days of fighting for the Luostari on Oct. 14 the 10th Guards crossed the Pechenga River west of Kakkuri and participated in the liberation of Pechenga. After the liberation of Pechenga the division attacked Kirkenes, supported by the 378th Guards Heavy Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment. Once the Germans had been forced back into Norway the offensive came to a halt and Karelian Front went into STAVKA reserve.[3]

In December the division was reassigned to 19th Army, which in turn was assigned to Gen. K.K. Rokossovski's 2nd Belorussian Front.[4] It crossed Poland and was positioned in Ostrow-Mazowiecki in January, 1945. On Feb. 26, during the East Pomeranian Offensive, the division moved from Baldenberg and turned northeast to Rummelsburg and on Mar. 3 captured Rummelsburg. On Mar. 21, 10th Guards was relocated to the right flank of the army – 30km southwest of Marchand and then advanced towards Pustkovits-Gdynia.

After helping to take Gdynia on Mar. 31 the division joined forces with 1st Polish Tank Brigade and attacked Zagorje, east of Janowo, located on the peninsula formed by the Gulf Puttsger Vic and the river Rod. By the end of April the 10th Guards was positioned in the forests northeast of Treptow and covered the coast of Baltic Sea from Kohlberg to Valddivinov. The division mopped-up the forests, eliminating small scattered groups of German troops. In the last days of the war the division crossed the delta of the river Oder at Swinemunde and was engaged in fighting on the island of Usedom before the German surrender.

Postwar Service[edit]

After World War II the division became the 10th Guards Mountain Division. In 1957 it became the 10th Guards Motor Rifle Division. In the postwar period it moved to Akhaltsikhe in the Georgian SSR, joining with 9th Army. The division appears to have dissolved in 1991–92.

Subordination September 1944 – May 1945[edit]

Date Front (District) Army Corps
September 1944 Karelian Front 14th Army
October 1944 Karelian Front 14t Army 131st Rifle Corps
November 1944 Karelian Front 14th Army 99th Rifle Corps
December 1944 Reserve Stavka 19th Army 99th Rifle Corps
January 1945 Reserve Stavka 19th Army 40th Guards Rifle Corps
February 1945 2nd Belorussian Front 19th Army 40th Guards Rifle Corps
March 1945 2nd Belorussian Front 19th Army 40th Guards Rifle Corps
April 1945 2nd Belorussian Front 19th Army 40th Guards Rifle Corps
May 1945 2nd Belorussian Front 19th Army 134th Rifle Corps

Order of Battle[edit]

  • 24th Guards Rifle Regiment
  • 28th Guards Rifle Regiment of the Red Banner
  • 35th Guards Rifle Regiment
  • 29th Guards Artillery Regiment
  • 14th Guards Anti-tank Battalion
  • 4th Guards Anti-aircraft Battery (up to 4 June 1943)
  • 21st Guards Mortar Battalion (until 29 October 1942)
  • 13th Guards Reconnaissance Company
  • 1st Guards Sapper Battalion
  • 8th Guards Signal Company
  • 12th Guards Medical/Sanitation Battalion
  • 7th Guards Chemical Protection Company
  • 5th Guards Truck Company
  • 6th Guards Field Bakery Company
  • 3rd Guards Veterinary Company

Commanders[edit]

  • Nikishin, Nicolai Nicolaevich (1941), Major General
  • Pashkovskii, Michael Kazimirovich (26 December 1941 – 2 March 1942), Colonel
  • Krasilnikov, Daniel Yefimovich (3 March 1942 – 23 July 1942), Major General
  • Khudalov, Chariton A. (24 July 1942 – 29 November 1943), Colonel, as of 27 November 1942 Major General
  • Grebenkin, Fedor Alekseevich (30 November 1943 – 23 March 1944), Colonel
  • Khudalov, Chariton A. (24 March 1944 – 9 May 1945), Major General

Awards and name[edit]

Award (name) Date For that received
Order of the Red Banner 19 June 1943 ?
Pechengskii 31 October 1944 For the exemplary performance of tasks of command in the battles against the German invaders, for winning the city Petsamo (Pechenga) and for displaying valor and courage
Order of the Red Banner 5 April 1945 ?
Order of Alexander Nevsky 26 April 1945 For the fulfillment of the command in the battles against the Nazi invaders in the capture of cities Laudenburg, Kartuzy (Karthauz) and for displaying valor and courage
The Order of the Red Star 4 June 1945 ?

Heroes of the Soviet Union[edit]

Award Name Position Title Date award Notes
Hero of the Soviet Union medal.png Aliyev, Said Davidovich Sniper 35th Guards Rifle Regiment Guards Sergeant 22 February 1943
Hero of the Soviet Union medal.png Borodulin, Ivan Commander Branch 28th Guards Rifle Regiment Guards Sergeant ?
Hero of the Soviet Union medal.png Generalov, Alexei Petrovich Mortar company commander of 28th Guards Rifle Regiment Guards Captain 2 November 1943 Posthumously
Hero of the Soviet Union medal.png Zhulega, Gregory Prokhorovich Assistant platoon leader Reconnaissance Btn. 35 Guards Rifle Regiment Guards Sergeant 18 June 1944
24 November 1944
29 June 1945
Hero of the Soviet Union medal.png Zimakov, Ivan Battalion commander 29th Guards Artillery Regiment Guards Major 24 March 1945 Posthumously: called artillery fire on his own position
Hero of the Soviet Union medal.png Ivchenko, Michael Lavrent'evich Sniper 28th Guards Rifle Regiment Guards Lance Corporal 2 November 1944 Posthumously: blocked machine gun embrasure with his own body
Hero of the Soviet Union medal.png Kvasnikov, Michael Savelievich Mortarman 28th Guards Rifle Regiment Guards Lance Corporal 24 March 1945 Posthumously: blocked machine gun embrasure with his own body
Hero of the Soviet Union medal.png Streltsov, Pavel 28th Guards Rifle Regiment Guards ordinary 2 November 1944 26 October 1944 Died of wounds
Hero of the Soviet Union medal.png Frolov, Andrei D. Company commander Guards Lieutenant 2 November 1944

Memory[edit]

  • Murmansk School-Museum from the School № 26.
  • Museum of professional construction school № 48 of Moscow – Museum «Heroic Path 10th Guards Rifle Division»

References[edit]

  1. ^ Charles C. Sharp, Red Guards: Soviet Guards Rifle and Airborne Units 1941 to 1945, Soviet Order of Battle World War II Vol. IV, Nafziger, 1995, p 46
  2. ^ Sharp, Red Guards, p 46
  3. ^ Sharp, Red Guards, p 46
  4. ^ Sharp, Red Guards, p 46
  • Khudalov J.A., At the Edge of the Continent, 2nd Ed., Ordzhonikidze, 1978
  • Veschezersky G.A., At Cold Rocks, Moscow, 1965
  • Rumyantsev N.M., The Defeat of the Enemy in the Arctic (1941–1944), Moscow, 1963

External links[edit]