1st Guards Special Rifle Corps

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The 1st Guards Special Rifle Corps (Russian: 1-й особый гвардейский стрелковый корпус 1-ĭ osobyĭ gvardyeĭskiĭ strelkovyĭ korpus) was a hastily formed Red Army blocking formation active briefly in 1941, during the German advance on Moscow.

The Corps was created on 4 October 1941 by special request of the STAVKA supreme command, in an area of the city of Mtsensk (the Oryol Oblast). Initially its structure included the 6th Guards Rifle Division, 5th Air Assault Corps, 4th Tank Brigade, 11th Tank Brigade, the Tula military school, several Border Guard Regiments, two artillery regiments, two rocket artillery battalions and the 6th reserve aviation group. Major General Dmitri Lelyushenko was appointed the commander of the corps. The corps was given several tasks: to destroy the nearby enemy, to break through into Oryol, to slow the progress of the German tank armies, and to block the way to Tula.

The Soviet government and STAVKA command highly valued the efforts and sacrifices of the 1st Guards Rifle Corps in the Oryol-Bryansk defensive operation, which took place from 4 to 18 October 1941. On 11 November the National Commissioner of Defense renamed the 4th Tank Brigade, which played a vital role in the battle of Mtsensk, the 1st Guards tank brigade. The Commander of the brigade, Colonel Mikhail Katukov, was eventually promoted to commander of the Soviet 1st Guards Tank Army, and was twice awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union award.

On 12 October 1941, by the order of STAVKA supreme command, the corps was transformed into the 26th Army. On 25 October 1941, its field HQ was disbanded, and its constituent formations were transferred to the 50th Army of the Bryansk Front.

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