9th Rifle Division
The 9th Kursk Infantry Division was created on the 20 July 1918 as one of the first divisions of the Soviet Union during the Russian Civil War. The division was stationed in the Caucasus region, later the Transcaucasian Military District and soon renamed 9th Infantry, and later 9th Rifle division. In 1922 the division was renamed the 1st Caucasus ('Kavkaz') Rifle Division.
After service during the Civil War, during which the division changed its name numerous times, the division was awarded the honorific name "of the Central Executive Committee of the Georgian Soviet Socialist" (Russian: ЦИК ССР Грузии) in 1928. For the 10th anniversary of Red Army on February 29, 1928 the division was awarded the Honored Revolutionary Order of the Red Banner and added the Red Banner (Krasnoznamennaya) to its title.
During 1931 the division was reorganised into a mountain rifle division.
On 23 February 1936 the division was awarded the Order of the Red Star and on the 23 February the name was slightly changed to "of the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic". In July of the same year the division was renamed again as the 9th Red Banner Mountain Rifle Division.
Second World War combat history
Before the war the division consisted of the following units:
- 36th infantry regiment (later, as the 36th Motor Rifle Regiment, a Georgian national unit. Originally 309th Caucasian infantry regiment.)
- 121st infantry regiment
- 93rd infantry regiment
- 256th artillery regiment
- 1448th self-propelled gun regiment
- 55th separate anti-tank destroyer divizion (battalion)
- 26th reconnaissance company
- 140th self-propelled artillery gun battalion
- 232nd separate communications battalion (and 1432nd separate communications company)
- 123rd medical-sanitary battalion
- 553rd separate company of chemical defence
- 161st auto-transportation company
- 104th field bread bakery
- 156th divisional veterinary treatment station
- 203rd field post station
- 216th field pay branch of the State Bank
The division began the war in the Transcaucasian Military District with the 40th Rifle Corps alongside the 31st Rifle Division. During the war the division was at various times serving as part of the 46th, 37th, 56th, Separate Coastal, 69th, 18th, 5th Guards Army and 60th Armies. The division took part in the Battle of the Caucasus. The division participated in the fighting for Feodosiya, Tuapse, in the Kuban and Taman Peninsula, and Krakow.
On September 3, 1943 for the liberation of Kuban region and the capital of the region, Krasnodar, the division was awarded the honorary name “Krasnodarskaya”, and the division was reformed again and became known as the 9th Plastunskaya  Krasnodar Red Banner, Order of Red Star Rifle Division (Russian: 9-я пластунская стрелковая Краснодарская Краснознамённая, ордена Красной Звезды дивизия). Its enlisted and non-commissioned personnel came largely from the cossacks of the Kuban region.
During the period 1944 – 1945 the division participated in the Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive (13 July – 29 August 1944 also known as the 6th Stalin's Shock), and the liberation of Poland and Czechoslovakia for which in April 1945 the division was awarded the Order of Kutuzov 2nd class. With 60th Army of the 4th Ukrainian Front in May 1945.
Post-war service history
After the war the division was returned to Krasnodar, and in 1950 the division was relocated to Maykop. After the reforms of 1956 the division became the 9th Motor Rifle Division and was based at Maykop for many years.
On 12 September 1992 the division was reorganised as the 131st Separate Motor Rifle order of Kutuzov and Red Star Brigade of the 67th Army Corps, North Caucasus Military District (Russian: 131 Отдельная мотострелковая орденов Кутузова и красной Звезды бригада (ОМСБ)). The brigade participated in the First Chechen War of 1994–96, including the New Year 1995 assault on Grozniy during the combat for the railway terminal where it suffered severe casualties in dead and wounded following an ambush by superior enemy numbers. The battle for Grozny cost 157 casualties, including 24 officers (including Colonel Savin), one warrant officer (Russian: прапорщик) and 60 NCOs and soldiers killed and 12 officers, one warrant officer and 59 NCOs and soldiers missing (presumed dead). The brigade also lost 22 T-72 tanks, 45 BMP-2s, and 37 cars and trucks. although other sources give higher losses attributed to the 81st Motor Rife Regiment which participated in the operation. The brigade was forced to withdraw from combat, was surrounded, and forced to abandon all of its equipment, with the personnel escaping individually or in small groups. From March 1995 the brigade participates in the Gudermes operation. In all the brigade suffered 1,282 casualties during the campaign.
On 26 April 1995 the brigade returned to Adygeya but was recalled to combat service three months later to participate in further operations in Chechnya, eventually as two manoeuvre groups from 20 February to 7 October 1996.
Since the Chechnya campaigns the brigade has remained in the Caucasus region, and has again changed its name to 131st Separate Motor-Rifle Krasnodar Red Banner, Order of Kutuzov and Red Star Kuban cossack brigade (Russian: 131-й отдельная мотострелковая Краснодарская Краснознаменная, орденов Кутузова и Красной Звезды Кубанская казачья бригада) Two of its battalions are participating in the peace-keeping missions in Georgia in the regions of Urta and along the Abkhazian-Georgian border. These battalions and the brigade's tank battalion are staffed completely with professional service personnel serving under the new contracts. The brigade has achieved first place in the performance assessment within the military district during 2005.
- 526th Separate Motor Rifle Battalion – Military Unit No.03768,
- 527th Separate Motor Rifle Battalion – Military Unit No.03769,
- 529th Separate Motor Rifle Battalion (омсб) – Military Unit No.03841,
- 558th Separate Motor Rifle Battalion – Military Unit No.03833,
- 9th Separate Tank Battalion – Military Unit No.03842
- other lighter support units
Colonel V.T. Maslov (1941)
Colonel V.S. Dzabakhidze (1941–42)
Colonel M.V.Yevstigneyev (1942–43)
Colonel A.E.Shapovalov (1943)
Colonel S.M. Chorniy (1943)
Colonel, from October 1943, General-Major P.I. Metal'nikov (1943–45)
Colonel I.A. Savin (1994–95)
Colonel Oleg Kozlov (1995–96)
Major-General S.G. Sudakov (from August 2004)
References and notes
- Мужество с майкопской пропиской
- The word "Plastunskaya" comes from the Russian plastun which literally means 'crawler'. The military meaning of this evolved during the 19th century when units were formed to infiltrate the enemy lines by crawling to avoid detection, greater effects of artillery fire and negotiation of barbed wire barriers.
- See ru:9-я пластунская стрелковая дивизия
- See also Кrasnodar Red Banner, Order of Kutuzov, Красной Звезды им ВС Georgian SSR
- Шевченко И. Н., Калиновский П. Н., Девятая пластунская, М., 1970; (Shevchenko, I.N., Kalinovsky P.N., Ninth plastun, Moscow, 1970
- Петрашин И. М., Пластуны Кубани, Краснодар, 1977. (Petrashin I.M., Plastuns of Kuban, Krasnodar, 1977)