27th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

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27th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)
Active 1918 - 1950's
Country Soviet Union
Type Infantry division
Engagements Russian Civil War
Polish-Bolshevist War
World War II
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Vitovt Putna
External images
27th Rifle Division
27th Rifle Division in 1920

The 27th Rifle Division (Russian: 27-я стрелковая дивизия) was a tactical unit in the Red Army of Bolshevist Russia and then the USSR, active between 1918 and 1945. First formed during the Russian Civil War on November 3, 1918 as part of 5th Red Army. Commanded by Vitovt Putna, it was transferred to the 16th Red Army in 1920,[1] and took part in the Polish-Bolshevist War. Defeated in the battles of Radzymin and Ossów (collectively known as the Battle of Warsaw), it practically ceased to exist.

Reformed in Russia, it returned to Poland in 1939 and took part in the joint Nazi and Soviet invasion of Poland as part of the 3rd Army's 4th Rifle Corps,[2] reaching Parafianów and the line of Serwecz River on September 18, 1939. It was then stationed in Soviet-occupied Poland with its headquarters in Suchowola and regiments stationed in Augustów, Grajewo and Suchowola. By 2 October 1939, the division had been subordinated to the 16th Rifle Corps of the 11th Army.[3]

On 22 June 1941, the division was again part of 4th Rifle Corps, 3rd Army (Soviet Union), itself part of the Western Special Military District which quickly became the Western Front. During Operation Barbarossa, the division was attacked by the German 256th and 162nd Infantry Divisions. Its regiments fought separately and retreated eastwards, towards Sokółka. By June 24 the division lost 40% of its soldiers and the following day unsuccessfully tried to defend the Swisłocz river line. In accordance with Order No. 227, which prohibited any retreats, it defended the line until the end of the day when it was annihilated. Only small groups of soldiers from the division reached Soviet lines in July and early August. The division was officially disbanded on September 19, 1941.

The second formation of the division was recreated August 1941 at Arkhangelsk, (renamed from Rebolsky Direction Division on September 24, 1941) and the division subsequently fought against the Finnish Army.[4] The division was subordinated to the 26th Army of the Karelian Front in May 1942, and was deployed in the far north of Russia until the end of 1944.[5] The unit completed the war with the 19th Army of the 2nd Belorussian Front in May 1945.

27th Rifle Division subordination
in the Russo-German War[6]
Date assigned Rifle Corps Army Front (or reserve)
Jun 1941 4th 3rd Western
Sep 1941[7] - 7th Karelian
Oct 1941 - Kem Op. Group Karelian
May 1942 - 26th Karelian
Apr 1944 - 32nd Karelian
Sep 1944 127th Light 32nd Karelian
Oct 1944 132nd 26th Karelian
Dec 1944 132nd 19th Reserve
Feb 1945 132nd 19th 2nd Belorussian

Postwar, the division was stationed in Poland near Gdynia with the Northern Group of Forces and had been re-designated the 159th Motor Rifle Division by 1957. The division was inactivated in 1960.[8]

References[edit]

  • (Russian) Feskov et al., "Советская Армия в годы «холодной войны» (1945-1991)". Tomsk, 2004. ISBN 5-7511-1819-7.
  • (Russian) Various authors, S.S. Khromov (ed.), "Гражданская война и военная интервенция в СССР" in: Советская Энциклопедия. Moscow, 1983. p. 704
  • (Polish) Vladimir Beshanov, Czerwony Blitzkrieg, ISBN 978-83-926205-2-5.
  • (Polish) Grzegorz Łukomski, Bogusław Polak, Mieczysław Wrzosek, Wojna polsko-bolszewicka 1919-1920. Koszalin, 1990
  1. ^ samsv.narod.ru
  2. ^ militera.lib.ru (Table 27)
  3. ^ militera.lib.ru (Table 29)
  4. ^ samsv.narod.ru
  5. ^ Боевой состав Советской Армии
  6. ^ Боевой состав Советской Армии
  7. ^ Designated as the "Rebolsky Division"
  8. ^ Feskov et al., p. 73 and p. 92