76th Guards Air Assault Division

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76th Guards Air Assault Division
Russian 76th Airborne Division patch.svg
76th Guards Air Assault Division shoulder sleeve insignia.
Active September 1, 1939[1] - present
Country Soviet Union Soviet Union
(1939 - 1991)
Russia Russian Federation
(1991 - present)
Branch Большая эмблема Воздушно-десантных войск России.png Airborne Troops
Type Airborne forces
Role Light Infantry
Airborne Infantry
Airmobile infantry
Part of Medium emblem of the Вооружённые Силы Российской Федерации.svg Russian Armed Forces
Garrison/HQ Pskov
Motto Мы всюду там, где ждут победу!
Anniversaries September 1st
Engagements

World War II

and many others
First Chechen War
Second Chechen war

South Ossetia War (2008)

2014 Crimean crisis
Commanders
Current
commander
Guards Col. Naumets Vasilevich
Notable
commanders
Gen. V. F. Margelov

The 76th Guards Air Assault Division (Russian: 76-я гвардейская десантно-штурмовая Черниговская Краснознаменная дивизия) is a division of the Russian Airborne Troops based in Pskov.

History[edit]

The 76th Air Assault Division was originally established in 1939 as the 157th Rifle Division. On 1 March 1943 it became the 76th Guards Rifle Division. The Division fought in Chernigov, Odessa, Brest and Danzig with the 70th Army of the 2nd Belorussian Front in May 1945. Soon after the war it became the 76th Airborne Division, by 1946 as part of the 15th Airborne Corps.

The 76th Division originally had three regiments: the 104th, 234th, and 237th, with the 237th Guards Airborne Regiment disbanded circa 2002.

After an experimental period, the 104th Parachute Regiment of the 76th Airborne Division became the first Russian ground forces regiment that was fully composed of professional soldiers (and not of "srochniki" - the conscripted soldiers aged eighteen).

Elements of the 104th Regiment were ambushed in Chechnya in March 2000.[2]

In 2006, the 76th Airborne Division became an Air Assault Division.

In 2008 the 76th Air Assault Division was involved in the 2008 South Ossetia war, being deployed to South Ossetia and fought in the Battle of Tskhinvali.

In 2014 the division units spearheaded the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, particularly used in operation on the Crimea Annexation.[3][4] It received the Suworow medal for this.[5]

On August 21, 2014, the Ukrainian government claimed to have captured two BMD-2 armoured fighting vehicles and the map case of an officer from the division on Ukrainian territory.[6][7][8] Russia's defence ministry denied the claim.[9]Later, graves were found in Russia, that would match the Ukrainian claims.[10] Several members of the division died on 19–20 August, under circumstances their families would not reveal.[11]

Subordinated units and fighting strength[edit]

As of 2010, the 76th Air Assault Division consisted of the following units:[12]

  • Division headquarters (Pskov, Leningrad Military District)
  • 23rd Air Assault Regiment
  • 104th Air Assault Regiment
  • 234th Air Assault Regiment
  • 1140th Artillery Regiment
  • 4th Air Defense Regiment
  • 656th Engineering Battalion
  • 728th Communications Battalion
  • 7th Maintenance Battalion
  • 1682nd Logistics Battalion

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1 сентября свою 69 годовщину отметит 76-я десантно-штурмовая дивизия (On September 1, the 76th Air Assault Division will celebrate its 69th anniversary), verified August 2008
  2. ^ Federation of American Scientists, 76th Airborne Division (Pskov), verified August 2008
  3. ^ Депутат: Псковские десантники переброшены на Украину
  4. ^ Псковские десантники, побывавшие в Крыму во время недавних событий, получили госнаграды и благодарности от президента
  5. ^ Ukas 571 des russischen Präsidenten zur 76. Luftlandedivision
  6. ^ "Сили АТО активно наступають. Терористи-найманці несуть чималі втрати". Ukrainian Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "В СНБО подтвердили захват силами АТО 2 БМД Псковской дивизии". Interfax-Ukraine. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "Evidence of Russia's 76th Guards Air Assault Division in Southeast Ukraine". The Interpreter. Institute of Modern Russia. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Ukraine media reports about ‘seizure’ of Russian airborne combat vehicle false". ITAR-TASS. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  10. ^ Fotos from the Pskow Airborne,slon.ru, August 25th 2014
  11. ^ В Воронежской области похоронили комвзвода «Псковской» дивизии (Platoon leader of Pskov Division buried in Voronezh), RIA Voronezh, 2014-08-26. Accessed 2014-08-28.
  12. ^ http://russiamil.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/structure-of-russian-airborne-troops/

External links and further reading[edit]

  • 76th Airborne Division (official site)
  • Thornton, Rod (2004) "Military Organizations and Change: The 'Professionalization' of the 76th Airborne Division", The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 17:3,449 — 474