2nd Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

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2nd Rifle Division
Active

24 September 1919 –

28 January 1946

The Soviet 2nd Rifle Division was a rifle division that served during the Second World War. Originally formed in 1919 from the 1st Ryazansk Rifle Division, the division was twice destroyed and reformed during the war. The division contained two or three rifle regiments.

Formed at Moscow, September 1918. Fought at Ufa on the Eastern Front, April–July 1919. Fought against Yudenich with the 7th Army, October–December 1919. Fought in the Polish Campaign in the Western Front, May–August 1920, and against Bulak-Balakhovich, October 1920.

Second World War[edit]

During the war there were four distinct formations that bore the title of 2nd Rifle Division.

1st Formation[edit]

Formed in 1919 in the Belorussian Military District. On 22 June 1941 the division was part of the 1st Rifle Corps, 10th Army and took up defensive positions on the right flank of the army stationed in the Bialystok "bulge". The division escaped from the Bialystok pocket only to be annihilated by the German army in a pocket west of Minsk in early July 1941. The division was removed from the Soviet order of battle on 24 July 1941 and officially disbanded on 19 September 1941.[1][2]

  • 13th Rifle Regiment (originally 4th Rifle Regiment)
  • 200th Rifle Regiment (originally 5th Rifle Regiment)
  • 261st Rifle Regiment (originally 6th Rifle Regiment)
  • 164th Light Artillery Regiment (originally 2nd Artilllery Regiment)
  • 243rd Howitzer Regiment (possibly formed after September 1939)
  • 70th Antitank Battalion
  • 94th Antiaircraft Battalion
  • 320th Sapper Battalion
  • 91st Medical Battalion
  • 87th Decontamination Platoon
  • 84th Auto-Transport Battalion

The full honorific title of the division was the 2nd Belorussian Red Banner Rifle Division in the name of M.V. Frunze.

2nd Formation[edit]

Formed from the 2nd Moscow Milita Division on 26 September 1941, the second formation served in the 32nd Army. The division received new equipment to supplement the equipment issued by the Moscow Militia. With the start of the German offensive against the Western Front at the end of September the division was forced into combat before it was fully brought up to strength. By 10 October 1941 the division had been driven into the 19th Army's and was encircled and destroyed by the Germans in the Vyazma pocket in October 1941. The division was destroyed by the end of October and officially removed from the order of battle on 23 November 1941.[2][3]

  • 1282nd Rifle Regiment from 4th Milita Regiment
  • 1284th Rifle Regiment from 5th Militia Regiment
  • 1286th Rifle Regiment from 6th Militia Regiment
  • 970th Artillery Regiment from Artillery Regiment (no number)
  • 694th Separate Antitank Artillery Battalion
  • 469th Reconnaissance Company
  • 858th Separate Signals Battalion
  • 492nd Medical Battalion
  • 331st Decontamination Company
  • 328th Auto-Transport Company

3rd Formation[edit]

Formed in Sevastopol fortress on 23 November 1941 from the dismounted 2nd Cavalry Division, this formation served with the Separate Coastal Army and was renamed the 109th Rifle Division on 29 January 1942.[2][3]

  • 383rd Rifle Regiment (formed from NKVD Border Troops)(renumbered 381st Rifle Regiment 29 January 1942)
  • 1330th Rifle Regiment (reservists)(renumbered 456th Rifle Regiment 29 January 1942)
  • Mixed Rifle Regiment (Border Troops plus dismounted cavalry)(becomes 602nd Rifle Regiment 29 January 1942)
  • 51st Artillery Regiment (from Corps troops)(renumbered 404th Artillery Regiment 29 January 1942)
  • 105th Medical Battalion (renumbered 93rd Medical Battalion 29 January 1942)

4th Formation[edit]

Commenced forming in Arkhangelsk on 21 December 1941 possibly from an unknown 400-series Rifile Division. By the end of March 1942 the division was "ready" for combat and transferred to the Volkhov Front. The division took part in numerous operations, including the rescue of 2nd Shock Army (May-Jul 1942), Operation Iskra in January 1943, and the Leningrad-Novograd Strategic Offensive Operation in early 1944. During the summer of 1944 the division took part in the operations to clear the Baltic States, ending in Estonia at the end of 1944. During December 1944 the division was transferred to the 2nd Belorussian Front's 50th Army. It took part in the East Prussian Strategic Offensive Operation ending the war near Kongsberg as part of the 81st Rifle Corps in the 3rd Belorussian Front. With the 81st Rifle Corps, it was withdrawn to the Eastern Ural Military District immediately after the war. The division was disbanded on 28 January 1946.[2]

  • 13th Rifle Regiment (II)
  • 200th Rifle Regiment (II)
  • 261st Rifle Regiment (II)
  • 164th Artillery Regiment
  • 70th Separate Antitank Artillery Battalion
  • 96th Mortar Battalion (until 29 October 1942)
  • 59th Reconnaissance Company
  • 15th Sapper Battalion
  • 192nd Separate Signals Battalion (formally the 773 Sep Signals Company, 43 Sep Signals Battalion)
  • 91st Medical Battalion
  • 497th Decontamination Company
  • 84th Auto-Transport Company

Subordination[edit]

Date Front (District) Army Corps Notes
1 January 1942 Arkhangelsk Military District
1 February 1942 Arkhangelsk Military District
1 March 1942 Arkhangelsk Military District
1 April 1942 Volkhov Front
1 May 1942 Leningrad Front (Group troops Volkhov direction) 59th Army
1 June 1942 Leningrad Front (Volkhov military force) 59th Army
1 July 1942 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 August 1942 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 September 1942 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 October 1942 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 November 1942 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 December 1942 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 January 1943 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 February 1943 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 March 1943 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 April 1943 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 May 1943 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 June 1943 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 July 1943 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 August 1943 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 September 1943 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 October 1943 Volkhov Front 4th Army
1 November 1943 Volkhov Front 4th Army
1 December 1943 Volkhov Front 59th Army
1 January 1944 Volkhov Front 59th Army 112th Rifle Corps
On 1 February 1944 Volkhov Front 59th Army 112th Rifle Corps
1 March 1944 Leningrad Front 8th Army 112th Rifle Corps
1 April 1944 Leningrad Front 8th Army 112th Rifle Corps
1 May 1944 Leningrad Front 8th Army 112th Rifle Corps
1 June 1944 Leningrad Front 8th Army 112th Rifle Corps
1 July 1944 Leningrad Front 8th Army 112th Rifle Corps
1 August 1944 Leningrad Front 8th Army 112th Rifle Corps
1 September 1944 2nd Baltic Front 42nd Army 110th Rifle Corps
1 October 1944 2nd Baltic Front 42nd Army 110th Rifle Corps
1 November 1944 2nd Baltic Front 42nd Army 124th Rifle Corps
1 December 1944 2nd Baltic Front 42nd Army
1 January 1945 2nd Belarusian Front 50th Army
1 February 1945 3rd Belorussian Front 50th Army 81st Rifle Corps
1 March 1945 3rd Belorussian Front 50th Army 81st Rifle Corps
1 April 1945 3rd Belorussian Front 50th Army 81st Rifle Corps
1 May 1945 3rd Belorussian Front 50th Army 81st Rifle Corps

External links and Sources[edit]

See also[edit]

List of infantry divisions of the Soviet Union 1917–1957

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sharp, Charles C., Red Legions, Soviet Rifle Divisions Formed Before June 1941, 1996
  2. ^ a b c d Crofoot, Craig, Journal of the Soviet Army, 2nd Rifle Division
  3. ^ a b Sharp, Charles C., Red Tide, Soviet Rifle Divisions Formed From June to December 1941, 1996