62nd Army (Soviet Union)
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The 62nd Order of Lenin Army (Russian: 62-я армия) was a field army established by the Soviet Union's Red Army during the Second World War. Formed as the 7th Reserve Army as part of the Stavka Reserve in May 1942, the formation was designated as the 62nd Army the following month. After an epic combat performance in the Battle of Stalingrad, the 62nd Army was granted Guards status and renamed the 8th Guards Army in April 1943.
The 7th Reserve Army was formed 28 May 1942 as part of the Stavka Reserve (RVGK). Within one month, this force had been redesignated the 62nd Army. From mid August 1942 until late January 1943, the 62nd Army, under the command of General Vasily Chuikov, fought in the Battle of Stalingrad. 62nd Army conducted an epic defense of the city against repeated and desperate attacks by the German 6th Army was unable to overcome. The Army, along with the 64th Army, was operating under the Soviet Stalingrad Front. After the German assault at Stalingrad had come to utter disaster, the 62nd Army was uniquely awarded the Order of Lenin, and granted Guards status as the 8th Guards Army.
On 13 September 1942 the Army composition was:
- 33rd, 35th Guards, 87th, 98th, 112th, 131st, 196th, 229th, 244th, 315th, 399th Rifle Divisions
- 10th, 38th, 42nd, 115th, 124th, 129th, 149th Rifle Brigades post 9-27-1942 193rd Rifle Division
- 23rd Tank Corps
- 20th Tank Destroyer Brigade
- 115th Fortified Region
- twelve artillery and mortar regiments
(Note: 33rd Guards, 87th and 229th rifle divisions were in the process of being brought up to strength; 131st and 399th rifle divisions were held in the second echelon of the Army.)
On 1 November 1942 during the height of the Battle of Stalingrad, the 62nd Army commanded the 13th, 37th, and 39th Guards Rifle Divisions, the 45th, 95th, 112th, 138th, 193rd, 284th and 308th Rifle Divisions, the 42nd, 92nd, 115th, 124th, 149th, and 160th Rifle Brigades, the 84th Tank and 2nd Motor Rifle Brigades, the 115th Fortified Region, and 20 regiments of howitzer, gun, antitank, mortar, rocket, and anti-aircraft artillery among other support units. Many of these formations were burnt-out shells by the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, with many formations reduced to hundreds of men.
Second World War Commanders
- Jul 1942 to Aug 1942: Major General V. Ia. Kolpakchi
- Aug 1942 to Sep 1942: Lieutenant General A. I. Lopatin
- Sep 1942 to Apr 1943: Lieutenant General V. I. Chuikov
- Combat Composition of the Soviet Army, 1 November 1942 (Russian)
- John Erickson (historian), The Road to Stalingrad, Cassel Military Paperbacks, 2003 edition, p.385, 403
- Born, Keith E. (ed.) Slaughterhouse. Bedford: Aberjona Press, 2005. ISBN 0-9717650-9-X.
- Glantz, David M. Companion to Colossus Reborn. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2005. ISBN 0-7006-1359-5.
- Poirier, Robert G., and Conner, Albert Z. The Red Army Order of Battle in the Great Patriotic War. Novato: Presidio Press, 1985. ISBN 0-89141-237-9.