12th Guards Tank Division
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The 12th Guards Uman, Orders of Lenin, Red Banner and Suvorov Tank Division was a tank division of the Soviet Ground Forces. It drew its history from the World War II 16th Tank Corps. It was redesignated successively as 12th Guards Tank Corps (1943) and 12th Guards Tank Division (1946).
The division was initially formed as 16th Tank Corps in the Kiev Military District. It became part of the 2nd Tank Army upon the army's formation. During the war, it participated in fighting at Kharkov, Stalingrad, Kursk, Grel, Uman-Botoshany Offensive, Targul-Fmmes, Lublin-Brest Offensive, Vistula-Oder and other operations and actions.
It took part in the counter-attacks against the Germans advancing on Stalingrad in the later summer of 1942, the winter counter-offensives of 1942/43, the Battle of Kursk in July (as part of the Central Front), then across Ukraine with the Central, Belorussian, and 1st Belorussian Fronts. In the summer of 1944, it was with the 2nd Tank Army, and took part in the offensives, reaching the outskirts of Warsaw. On 20 November 1944, it was awarded ‘Guards’ status and re-designated the 12th Guards Tank Corps. The Corps took part in the Vistula-Oder and Berlin Operations, ending the war in the Berlin area.
As part of the occupation forces, it was assigned to the 2nd Guards Tank Army (also 2nd Guards Mechanised Army). In later 1945, it was reorganized into the 12th Guards Tank Division. During the occupation period and post-war era, its assignments remain unclear. Initially it was assigned to the 2nd Guards Mechanised Army, but then transferred to the 4th Guards Mechanised Army, which became the 20th Guards Combined-Arms Army in 1957. It eventually became part of the 3rd Shock Army - actually 3rd Red Banner Army. 3 CAA headquarters was located in the city of Magdeburg. Other divisions of the army were the 10th Guards Uralsko-Lvovskaya Tank Division, the 47th Guards Tank Division, and the 207th Motor Rifle Division.
Division headquarters was located in the town of Neuruppin. On the outskirts of town, closer to Altruppinu was the location of the three regiments: 48th Guards Tank Regiment, the 353rd Guards Tank Regiment and 332nd Guards Tank Regiment. After the withdrawal from Germany, the 12th Guards Tank Division was disbanded. The commander of the 48th Guards Tank Regiment in 1989 Guard colonel Кухновец (Kuhnovets). Chief of Staff was Guard Colonel Fedotov. It was to be deactivated in the Moscow Military District, and the division actually disbanded around 1991.
For most of the 1970s and 1980s the division comprised the following major units:
- 12 Guards Tank Uman Division (Neuruppin) (disbanded 1991)
- 48 Guards tank Vapnyarsko-Varshavsky regiment (Neuruppin)
- 332 Guards tank Warsaw red banner of order A. Nevsky regiment (Neuruppin)
- 353 Guards tank Vapnyarsko-Berlin regiment (Neuruppin)
- 200 Guards motor-rifle Fastov regiment (Burg)
- 117 self-propelled artillery regiment (Mahlwinkel)
- 933 antiaircraft-missile Upper Dnieper regiment (Burg)
- 18 independent Guards reconnaissance Demblin battalion (Mahlwinkel)
- 490 independent signal battalion (Neuruppin)
- 136 independent Guards Demblin engineer battalion (Neuruppin)
- (?) individual company of chemical protection (Neuruppin)
- 1074 independent battalion of materiel supply (Wulkow)
- 64 independent is repair-restoration battalion (Neuruppin)
- 208 independent medical-sanitary battalion (Neuruppin?)
- Craig Crofoot, Group of Soviet Forces Germany, V3.0.0, 2007, manuscript available via www.microarmormayhem.com
- Graham H. Turbiville, 'Restructuring the Soviet Ground Forces: Reduction, Mobilization, Force Generation,' Military Review, December 1989