75th Guards Rifle Division

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23rd Motor Rifle Division (NKVD) ? – 9 Sep 1941
8th Motor Rifle Division NKVD 5 Jan 1942 – 9 May 1942
13th Motor Rifle Division NKVD May 1942 – 2 Aug 1942
95th Rifle Division (2nd Formation) 2 Aug 1942 – 1 Mar 1943
75th Guards Rifle Division 1 Mar 43 – 11 Jun 1946
17th Guards Rifle Brigade 12 Jun 1946 – 1952
75th Guards Rifle Division 1952 – ?
64th Guards Mechanized Division ? – ?
75th Guards Tank Division ? – Nov 1989
Active Formed in September 1942 (Tula) Disbanded in 1989
Country Soviet Union
Branch Red Army
Type Infantry
Size more 10,000 (Second World War)
Part of Central Front 1943, Voronezh Front 1943, 1st Ukrainian Front 1943-44, 1st Belorussian Front 1944-45, 3rd Baltic Front 1944
Engagements World War II: Battle of Kursk (Operation Kutuzov); Battle of the Dnieper (Chernigov-Pripyat Offensive; Battle of Kiev); Kalinkovichi-Mozyr Operation; Operation Bagration; Riga Offensive; Warsaw-Poznan operation; Vistula–Oder Offensive; East Pomeranian Offensive; Battle of Berlin.
Battle honours Guards unit
The Honorary Title Bakhmach
Order of Suvorov, 2nd class
Order of the Red Banner
Order of the Red Banner
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Lieutenant-General Vasilii Akimovich Gorishny,[1] former Colonel V.A.Gorishny

The 75th Guards Rifle Division (Russian: 75-я гвардейская стрелковая дивизия 75-ya gvardyeĭskaya strelkovaya diviziya) was a Red Army infantry division during World War II and afterwards, which later became the 75th Guards Tank Division and was finally disbanded in the 1990s.

The Division was formed in the Tula area (Tesnitskie camp) 1 March 1943 on the basis of units of the 95th Rifle Division (II Formation), which was given the honorary title of "The Guard" for courage and the heroism in the defense of Stalingrad. Its structure included the 90th, 161st, and 241st Rifle Regiments, the 57th Artillery Regiment, which became 212th, 231st and 241st Guards Rifle, 159th Guards Artillery Regiments correspondingly and other smaller units.

Second World War[edit]

In July - August 1943, as part of the 13th Army of the Central Front the Division fought in the Battle of Kursk. Facing one of the main German thrust (the Ponyri 2 area), divisional units resisted the German attack effectively and persistently. For its exemplary fighting performance the division was awarded the Order of the Red Banner on 21 July 1943. 5 soldiers of the division were made Heroes of the Soviet Union (all - posthumously), and 173 officers and men recognized with awards and medals.

Officers and men of the Division take the Guards oath. Near the banner Maj. Gen. Gorishnii V.A., left - Colonel Vlasenko I.A. 1943.

The division's soldiers then successfully helped clear left-bank Ukraine during the Chernigov-Pripyatsk (Черниговско-Припятской) operations of the Soviet Central Front. For helping clear Bakhmach the division was given the Honorary Title Bakhmach (Бахмачской) on 9 September 1943. On 25 September 1943 parts of the division forced the Dnieper River in the Tarasovichi area, seized a bridgehead and during October, fought intensely to expand it. For courage shown in battle, 57 officers and men of the division were made Heroes of the Soviet Union, and 829 recognized with awards and medals.

In November 1943, the division as part of the 60th Army of the 1st Ukrainian Front took part in the Kiev offensive operation. From January to July 1944 the division fought as part of the 65th Army of the Belarus (from 17.2.1944 1st Belarussian) Front, and for exemplary fighting performance it was awarded the Order of Suvorov, 2nd class, on 15 January 1944. In the Belarus operation of 1944, operating as part of the first echelon of the 65th Army, the division together with other formations broke the German defense and in persistent fighting seized Parichi (Паричи). The division then participated in the destruction of the German pocket in the Bobruisk area, cleared the city of Baranovichi and was given the Order of the Red Banner for a second time on 5 July 1944.

Since August 1944 the division operated most of the time with 61st Army. As part of the 3rd and 1st Baltic Fronts, the division participated in clearing the Soviet Baltic region, and then fought in the Vistula-Oder operation. For courage shown in battle on Vistula, 3 officers and men of the division were made Heroes of the Soviet Union, and hundreds recognized with awards and medals.

Division actively participated in the East Prussian operation as part of the 1st Belorussian Front. For courage shown in battle on Oder, 8 officers and men of the division were made Heroes of the Soviet Union, and 1317 recognized with awards and medals.

The last operation of Division in World War II was Battle of Berlin. Division completed fighting May 3, 1945, when the vanguard of the division came to the river Elbe near the town of Wittenberg (Brandenburg, north of Berlin). On the opposite bank of the Elbe river came troops of the 102nd Division of the 9th US Army.

During the war years, about 14,000 of the Division's officers and men were awarded awards and medals, including 73 which were made Heroes of the Soviet Union. Colonel V.A.Gorishny (made General-major on 1.3.1943) commanded the division throughout the war.

Postwar[edit]

Between February and April 1946, the Division was relocated to the cities of Tula and Plavsk in place of the disbanded 267th Rifle Division of 1st Guards Rifle Corps. The staff of 267th Rifle Сивашской Order of the Red Banner Order of Suvorov Division joined 75th Guards Rifle Division.

On June 12, 1946, 75th Guards Rifle Division was transformed into the 17th Guards Rifle Brigade. The brigade, stationed at Tula, was transferred in the summer of 1946 to 13th Guards Rifle Кёнигсбергский Corps. The brigade was relocated from Tula to Kaluga. In the city of Tula the Brigade released barracks for the 106th Guards Airborne Division which had arrived from the Tejkovskogo area of the Ivanovo region. In May, 1946 the brigade was relocated from the city of Kaluga to the city of Dorogobuzh in the Smolensk area.

The headquarters of 13th Guards Rifle Corps was relocated in the summer of 1946 to the city of Moscow. On April, 15th, 1947 the brigade has been relocated from the city of Kaluga in the city of Ryazan and was a part of 1st Guards Rifle Corps. In August – October 1948, the brigade was sent from Ryazan to the cities of Kharkov and Chuguev in the Kiev Military District, having released barracks areas for the 11th Guards Airborne Division.

In 1952 the Division was reformed from 17th Guards Rifle Brigade, and later became the 64th Guards Mechanised Division, incorporating the 160th, 205th, and 216th Guards Mechanised Regiments, and the 25th Tank Regiment. Later the Division became the 75th Guards Tank Division, with the 187th MRR, 283rd Guards Tank Regiment, and 25th and 380th Tank Regiments. It served for years in the Kiev MD as part of the 6th Guards Tank Army, and finally disbanded in the late 1980s as part of the Gorbachev-inspired reductions. It was disbanded by November 1989.

Sources and references[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  • Soldat.ru forum data on history of division
  • Aberjona Press, 'Slaughterhouse: The Handbook of the Eastern Front'
  • Feskov et al., 'The Soviet Army during the period of the Cold War'