Talk:List of infantry divisions of the Soviet Union 1917–57

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Why was this created?!--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 07:33, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

For the record, to satisfy attribution, this article was created with this edit at 23:23, 5 March 2008. The text was copied from List of Soviet Union divisions 1917–1945. The text was then deleted from List of Soviet Union divisions 1917–1945 with this edit at 23:29, 5 March 2008. -- PBS (talk) 00:13, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

58th Mountain Rifle Division[edit]

58th RD was indeed formed in Meleks in Transcaucasian MD, but as 2nd formation. This is a different unit to the 58th MtRD which was a part of 12th Army in Ukraine --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 03:23, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

When to create an article[edit]

May I suggest that any list entry that has more then two lines is a candidate for an article stub?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 08:00, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Have to disagree Mrg. Two sentance articles on rifle divisions tend to instantly get marked for deletion, and then PROD'ed. We have to add extra data - like what you did with the 80th - before they're safe from that. Um, wasn't quite sure about what you were trying to do with the name there. You created the article without the (Soviet Union) at the end, then linked '80th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)' so there was no working link - it was just red. I've fixed that now, but thought you might want to know. Buckshot06 (talk) 08:08, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
I think its a stupid behaviour to delete small articles because they are small. There are 64000+ articles in Military History project alone, and trust me that many would not be surviving if this rule was implemented. I think I will consult the project coordinators on the matter. Some articles, though dealing with noteworthy subjects will never get past a paragraph. It is after all a reference work!--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 10:57, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand why we have to stop at two-sentance articles. You've got access to masses of Ru-language material, and even if, in some cases, where you don't have the time, you can point the sources out to me and I can machine-translate them. It's much, much better to create reasonable articles than stubs first time, and we have the material, so why don't we avoid any controversy before it starts? Buckshot06 (talk) 23:08, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I didn't say 'stop'. I said, if there is more then two lines, they are candidates for articles. I'll email you the doc files for some divisions I have now when I have set it up on my PC (since I still don't have old files), but you can expand yourself in this way.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 02:27, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Revert if you want to, but I have a real problem working with such long lists. --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 10:22, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Article/list structure, purpose and usefulness[edit]

May be I misunderstand the need for Lists.

Infantry divisions of the Soviet Union 1917–1957 probably needs to start with a "List of", however, this is not the real issue. The real issue is that I for one tend to look at larger formations such as Armies and Fronts, and military districts that these divisions were a part of, and also the context of their activities, the operations.

I had decided not to contribute to the list because it is difficult. Why is it difficult? Because, inconveniently, the Soviet Army did not assign divisions to higher formations in numerical sequence! Not only that, but succeeding formations of same numerical designation were liable to serve with different higher formation!

So what's new; that's standard practice across all armies - which doesn't stop pages along the lines of Formations of the United States Army during World War II or List of German divisions in World War II being created Buckshot06 (talk) 01:59, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

These newly formed divisions had their own combat histories, with the consequences that when I do come across data on the division NUMBER, it is unlikely to be at the same time as I come across data on ALL manifestations of that unit NUMBER. This means that the access to the list for the purpose of expanding it is discontinuous. Not only that, but the length of the list, and the section-less and break-less formatting provide for difficult navigation once I'm there.

Besides this, I fail to see the need for redundancy in having summaries of articles a click away!

Another problem is that the list actually fails to describe the one thing that serves as its defining commonality, Red Army, and later, Soviet rifle troops. Neither Soviet nor 'rifle divisions' are even mentioned in the article on infantry the current list is linked to! I appreciate the work done my User:W. B. Wilson, I really do, but it seems to me that a substantial rethinking and reorganisation of the article/list is required, something I did not intend to address just yet due to other commitments.

This is not helped when one considers that Poirier and Conner decided to order divisional military district assignments by alphabetical order of their place of formation! Unfortunately the cities in Soviet Union are not distributed among their regional administrative divisions in alphabetical order either! This presents a wider problem of linking articles dealing with evolution of Imperial Russian, Soviet and Russian Federation's militaries historically due to this arbitrary alpha-numeric serialisation unrelated to actual administrative of geographic reality.

However, since Kirill had made a proposal, I would suggest going with a historical structure and using:

X military district
Y rifle division on formation link to article if more then the basics (date, CO and disbandment) are known
Z rifle division on formation - basic data if only date, CO and disbandment are known

The benefit there is that since most editors edit based on context and not numerical sequence, as information comes to hand on the unit's participation in any of the operations in other articles, they can be added to unit article (as Buckshot06 does now) since finding a number on a non-sequential list page is easy with basic Edit/Find function in the browser. The military district sections would also help to avoid the 10s or 50s sections that have no meaning, and provide context and interlinking elsewhere. I would suggest retaining the article though, and not as a list, but as a place to describe the Soviet rifle forces of the period before their conversion to motor-rifle form. This expansion on the nature of Soviet rifle troops will compensate for the reduction in size through creation of stubs from already available data, and make for a much more useful article that actually fills a current 'hole'.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:49, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Mrg, appreciate your interest, but surely it would be much better to add the data to the Military District articles. Or, better still, why don't you start a new article, arrange it how you like, and see what works. Both W.B. Wilson and I value this article specifically for the full listing of divisions in one place. This does stop you from reordering the data in different ways in another article. There are large numbers of articles in the Formations of the United States Army series you can use for further ideas if you wish. Buckshot06 (talk) 01:56, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Narodnoe Opolcheniye[edit]

Buckshot06, you do not have to English-afy everything. There is already a set up disambig page for the Narodnoe Opolcheniye and that is how the troops have been known since before the Russian Empire. This is also their most used name in English.

Says who? My initial google search (yes I know it's flawed, but it gives an indication) for two spellings of Narodnoe Opolcheniye division gives around 7,500 hits. 'People's Militia' division Soviet gives 215,000 hits. Buckshot06 (talk) 10:48, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

It is also confusing because the military police in Russian is voyennaya militsia. I'm loath to undo your edits yet again.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 10:40, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Again, this is the en-wiki, not the Ru-wiki - and I've gone with the accepted translation. Your position is incompatible with your move request for the Romanian Air Force on the main WPMILHIST talk page. Why should Russian units have their title in Russian if the Romanian Air Force should have its title in English. Moving the NO page to People's Militia is on my to-do list. Is there a Military Police in Russia? - new to me if there is. Last I knew there was only a Commandant's Service or Commandants' Points. Buckshot06 (talk) 10:45, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, and I have studied Russian and Soviet military history for 25 years, and you just do "Google tests". Because Romanian is in Romanian, and Opolcheniye is the actual English term for them going back to Napoleonic times. And yes, there is a military and a civilian police in Russia, and they are not called police. It is BECAUSE you use translations that you don't understand what's what. Komendantsky patrul' is the administrative function of the facility duty officer, and is performed by the facility (garrison) troops. Voyennaya militsiya are the equivalents of the military police anywhere else. They have their own units, uniforms, vehicles, etc. and are called MVD, Ministry of Interior Functions [1], the inheritors of NKVD. The Komendants are just for garrisons. They have no power outside the garrisons. They can have patrols to bring in drunken soldiers, but the military police function is MVD. This is because if push comes to shove, an Army General has absolutely no power over an MVD sergeant, as it should be. They can arrest and press charges, have investigative organs, traffic control units, counter-terrorism units, tanks, fighter aircraft. I'm sure you didn't realise this because you probably thought in terms of the redhats, but in Russia things are done differently. So no, there are no "military police", but there is police, which is military, and more military then anywhere in the English speaking world.
There is a difference between quality and quantity Colin. Do you know what that is? I this what most people aspire to. To eat in a $250 a plate restaurant rather then Macas. To drive a car rather then walk. To read books rather then Google. Now I know that sounds insulting, but you really do ask for it.
Yes, that is insulting, and I continually wonder why you insult people rather than addressing the basic differences which would forward the discussion instead of pissing people off. Simply, you want the Russian term used. I want the English term used, in accordance with WP:UE, 'Do not use a systematically transliterated name if there is a common English form of the name'. Why don't you confine yourself to addressing that instead of insulting me? Buckshot06 (talk) 23:05, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
IF you must use Google, at least search the books which represents the people who have felt passionate enough to research and write on the subject then casting a wide "net" to trawl in every mirror site on the planet. Its the difference between going out for tuna, and fishing off the peer for white bait.
Opolcheniye is not an English word. That's all there is to it. The MVD, on the other hand, is not part of the Ministry of Defence - they're the Ministry of the Interior, and yes of course I know about the Internal Troops. But there are no 'Military Police', 'Ground Forces Police' in Russia, though Putin and others have talked of introducing them. Buckshot06 (talk) 23:02, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

For the record, a literal translation of opolchenye

You've said it right there, again. It's a translation, it's not the English word. Buckshot06 (talk) 23:02, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

is derived from o-pol(k)-cheniye, to allocate to a polk, i.e. to regimentalize the volunteers (narod), so militia is wrong, because militia in England is a selective registred preallocated system of voluntary recruitment and opolcheniye is not at all.

Soviet Military Law and Administration - Page 195 by Harold Joseph Berman, Miroslav Kerner - Military law - 1955 - 208 pages Citizens in units of the people-in-arms (narodnoe opolchenie) were declared subject to the Statute on Military Crimes and under the jurisdiction of military ..

Russia at War, 1941-1945 - Page 300 by Alexander Werth - World War, 1939-1945 - 1964 - 1100 pages By July 10, the first opolcheniye division was sent to the front, ... These three opolcheniye divisions were rushed to the so-called Luga defence line, ..

900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad - Page 680 by Harrison Salisbury - History - 1983 ... Opolcheniye Leningrado; and Karasev. CHAPTER 20. THE ENEMY AT THE GATES The description of Smolny is based on GN ...

Imperial and Soviet Russia: Power, Privilege, and the Challenge of Modernity by David Christian - Communism - 1997 - 478 pages Page 333 He also ordered the formation of militia (opolcheniye) units. A Soviet novel written by Konstantin Simonov in the late 1950s gives a vivid description of ...

T.L.S. - Page 230 Music History and criticism Periodicals - 1963 Both the Moscow opolcheniye monograph and the Sebastopol monograph are ... The story of the Moscow opolcheniye — those 140000 or 150000 civilians who ..

The Eastern Front, 1914-1917 - Page 168 by Norman Stone - History - 1998 - 352 pages The disintegration of III Army in Galicia was similarly written down by its chief of staff, and corps commanders, to the opolcheniye's surrendering in ...

The Golden Ring: Cities of Old Russia - Page 178 by Vadim Evgenʹevich Gippenreĭter, Alekseĭ I. Komech - Social Science - 1991 After a siege lasting six months the patriotic opolcheniye (national popular army) stormed the monastery and expelled the Poles - thanks mainly to the ...

The Aspirations of Bulgaria - Page 101 by Stojan Protić - Balkan Peninsula History War of 1912-1913 - 1915 Complementary units, the Serbian third ban or the Bulgarian Opolcheniye, are not included in the stipulated effective. ...

Soldiers of the Tsar: Army and Society in Russia, 1462-1874 - Page 8 by John L. H. Keep - Social Science - 1985 - 432 pages ... the militia (opolcheniye), or the rewards system, which included the bestowal of remarkably lavish gifts on individual servitors by the tsar, ...

this one is interesting since the standard usage in social sciences it to give the English translation/explanation in brackets and not the other way around

The Slavonic and East European Review - Page 358 by Modern Humanities Research Association - Europe Economic conditions Periodicals - 1943 ... for the abysmally low standard of efficiency of the levy (opolcheniye) provided by the service gentry, still the backbone of the Russian armed forces. ...

This one translates it from its administrative function!

Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb - Page 43 by Richard Rhodes - History - 1995 - 731 pages ... as coming from him; but the things of which he spoke — opolcheniye [ie, civilian reserves], partisans, occupied territories, meant the end of illusions. ...

here the author has no clue. how can civilians be a reserve?!

Readings in Russian History - Page 197 by Sidney Harcave - Soviet Union - 1962 In 1611, largely as a result of their activities, a popular levy (opolcheniye) was formed to liberate the country from the invader. ...

same as above

VOKS Bulletin - Page 21 by Vsesoi︠u︡znoe obshchestvo kulʹturnoĭ svi︠a︡zi s zagranit︠s︡eĭ (Soviet Union) - Soviet Union - 1933 ... chief of the opolcheniye (people's guards) Dmitri Pozharsky. ...

From a cultural exchange publication in the 30s putting a political spin on the term

You like Oxford, so here is one from that "stable"

The New Oxford Companion to Music by Denis Arnold, Percy Alfred Scholes - Music - 1983 - 2017 pages Page 1600 ... notably his four-act Ilya bogatyr ('Ilya the Bogatyr', 1807) and the two- act Ivan Susanin (composed 1815, performed 1822). Like his ballet Opolcheniye, ...

Here is one from before the Revolution

The Russian Year-book - Page 77 by Howard Percy Kennard, Kennard, Howard Percy, d. 1915, Netta Peacock - Russia - 1911 ... and the war strength about fear millions, but this figure includes garrison troops, and the Opolcheniye* (now numbering about a million) ...

A World in Flames: A History of World War II - Page 93 by Martha Byrd - World War, 1939-1945 - 1970 - 356 pages With little training or equipment, these Opolcheniye, or "home guard" battalions, died by the thousands.12 But Moscow held. ...

Of course there was no "home guard" in USSR!

Selected Philosophical Works - Page 621 by Alexander Herzen - Philosophy, Russian - 1956 - 629 pages 1611), one of the leaders of the first Opolcheniye (1610-1611) (People's Volunteer Army) against the Polish invaders. P. 569 275 Figner, ...

Hope and Glory - Page 238 by Leslie Arlen - Fiction - 1982 - 386 pages So what we are having to use is the opolcheniye — what you might call our national guard, eh? — the factory regiments. But these are only part-time soldiers ...

Soviet Literature 1947 Page 195 ... opolcheniye (a kind of home guard-TV.), the "communist volunteers," as he called them, often insufficiently trained and under-armed, who nevertheless ...

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians by Sadie, Stanley Page 39 ... which was first performed on 27 May 1812. The same year, inspired by the war. Cavos composed a nationalistic ballet entitled Opolchenie ili lyubov' k Otechestvu (1812) a ballet

In French

La grande histoire de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. - Page 74 by Pierre Montagnon - 1993 La guerre de partisans, la formation de milices populaires (opolcheniye) dans les villes menacées, toutes les formules doivent être utilisées pour repousser ...

D'une Russie à l'autre: vie et mort de l'URSS - Page 335 by Jean Elleinstein - Soviet Union - 1992 - 763 pages Des bataillons ouvriers (opolcheniye) furent constitués dans les grandes villes, à Moscou, Léningrad, Odessa, Kiev, etc. Des milices se formèrent pour la ...

Les Grands dossiers du Troisième Reich - Page 270 by Jacques Robichon - Germany - 1969 - 499 pages En tout, vingt-cinq bataillons de travailleurs participèrent à la défense de Moscou, sans compter les régiments d'opolcheniye, les bataillons de femmes,

A History of the Soviet Army - Page 223 by Michel Garder - Soviet Union - 1966 - 226 pages Odessa, 43, 104, 138 OGPU, 36, 77, 78, 80, 94 Okrug (see Regions, military) Opolcheniye, 19 Ordzhonikidze, GK, 77, 86, 94 and n. ...

Variant spelling

The Commander: A Life of Barclay de Tolly - Page 181 by Michael Josselson, Diana Josselson - Biography & Autobiography - 1980 - 288 pages (One-third was made up of opolchenie, many of whom were still armed only with pikes; their officers led or, rather, drove them with curses and knouts. ...

The Siege of Leningrad: Epic of Survival - Page 60 by Alan Wykes - Saint Petersburg (Russia) - 1968 - 160 pages About a hundred thousand of the opolchenie never returned. They were defending the city ... Unlike the bulk of the opolchenie they had specialized training. ...

A History of Warfare - Page 221 by John Keegan - History - 1994 - 496 pages That of the Cossacks was one; another was that of the opolchenie, ... Inadvertently, he admitted the part the opolchenie played in driving the Grand Army's ...

The Times History of the War [2]- Page 503 by Ian Drury, Times (London, England) - World War, 1914-1918 - 1914 The " Opolchenie " included all men fit to bear arms from their 21st to the ... Except for the above-mentioned first four contingents the Opolchenie could ...

The Times History and Encyclopedia and History of the War' was a weekly publication by one of Great Britian's most reknowned and respected publishers.

Another well respected publisher from USA...

Memorandum - - Page 31 by Rand Corporation - Research - 1961 In both emergencies 26 The parallel between the British Local Defence Volunteers (later Home Guard), armed with shotguns and old rifles, and the opolchenie, ...

Odessa, 1941-1944: A Case Study of Soviet Territory Under Foreign Rule - Page 31 by Alexander Dallin, Larry L. Watts - History - 1998 - 296 pages The registration of volunteers and conscription of the opolchenie were entrusted to the oblast and city committees of the Party.4 Full-scale mobilization of ...

The Windsor Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly for Men and Women - Page 608 1914 Then fifteen years in the reserve and five years in the Opolchenie. Into the Opolchenie, of which there are two categories, enter also the most fit of those ...

Bulletin of the New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations by New York Public Library - Bibliography - 1970 Page 50 ... opolchenie ... opolchenie. ...

Ivan's War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945 by Catherine Merridale - History - 2006 - 480 pages Page 408 4, part 1, p. 56. 13. Overy, Russia's War, p. 118. 14. AE Gordon, "Moskovskoe narodnoe opolchenie 1941 goda glazami ...

The World's Work ...: A History of Our Time - Page 486 by Walter Hines Page, Arthur Wilson Page - 1914 ... difficulty in German Army 24 Oriental trend ol Germany 133 Opolchenie. See Russia, Army. ...

The New York Times Current History - Page 329 by New York Times Company - World War, 1914-1918 - 1917 The first of these measures relates to the conscription of the opolchenie of the second category — a measure adopted by all the belligerent countries, ...

Whirlwind by Joseph R. Garber - Fiction - 2005 - 404 pages Page 43 She drinks. There is nothing else she can do. He rambles on: a military family, through and through. First there were the opolchenie serfs pressed into ...

Report of the International Commission to Inquire Into the Causes and ... by International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars, Nicholas Murray Butler, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Division of Intercourse and Education - Balkan Peninsula - 1914 - 413 pages Page 76 A volunteer of the Macedonian legion (Opolchenie), who was previously known to a member of the Commission as an honorable and truthful man, recounted the ...

The Re-shaping of the Far East by Bertram Lenox Putnam Weale, Bertram Lenox Simpson - Eastern question (Far East) - 1905 Page 509 In war the total strength is approximately 4000000 trained men, whilst, by having recourse to the " opolchenie" many millions more of partially trained and ...

Zhukov - Page 144 by Otto Preston Chaney - Biography & Autobiography - 1996 - 560 pages ... be relatively insensitive to German "wedge" tactics of the armored forces. By the middle of July stubborn defensive fighting (with volunteer opolchenie .

The Second World War: Europe and the Mediterranean - Page 123 by Thomas B. Buell, John H. Bradley, Jack W. Dice - History - 2002 - 448 pages ... and escarpment plus countless infantry trenches around the city.l24 The male citizens not engaged in war production served in hastily formed opolchenie ...

The art of warfare in the age of Napoleon - Page 203 by Gunther Erich Rothenberg - History - 1978 - 272 pages While some Russian troops, especially Lithuanians deserted, the great majority remained steadfast and a hastily mustered militia, the opolchenie, ...

Gunther is not around any more, but he got his books reviewd her Rothenberg, Gunther Erich, 1923-

Battle: A History of Combat and Culture (review) The Journal of Military History - Volume 68, Number 3, July 2004, pp. 943-945

The United Service 1904 Page 123 But in case of national emergency this force could be swelled to about 7500000 fighting men by the calling out of the Territorial Reserve and the Opolchenie ... Royal United Services Institute or RUSI was founded in 1831, the oldest such institute in the world, at the initiative of the Duke of Wellington. Its original mission was to study naval and military science, what Clausewitz called the ‘art of war’.
  • Here, is how you get "people's militia

Writing the Siege of Leningrad: Women's Diaries, Memoirs, and Documentary Prose by Cynthia Simmons, Nina Perlina - History - 2002 - 304 pages ... volunteered for what eventually became known as the "people's militia" (narodnoe opolchenie). In some cases, people were under pressure to volunteer, ...

of course they did not become known as people's militia in Russia, but were translated as such in English. However, they were a type of troops like hussars or uhlans. The only reason strelkoviye is translated to rifle, but Streltsy is not, is because of an inability to accept that the English fusilier comes from French

Russia as Seen and Described by Famous Writers edited by Esther Singleton - Russia - 1904 - 361 pages Page 357 ... in the active army and six in the Zapas ; and in Caucasia, three years in the active army and 15 in the Zapas. The Opolchenie is a reserve force of ...

Stalinism and Nazism: Dictatorships in Comparison - Page 192 by Ian Kershaw, Moshe Lewin - Political Science - 1997 - 381 pages Such losses amounted to 30 per cent of all ammunition and 50 per cent of all fuel and food reserves.32 The militia units (narodnoe opolchenie), for example, ...

Russia as I Know it - Page 91 by Harry De Windt - Soviet Union - 1917 - 232 pages ... on a war footing, to about 8000000 men, this number including the reserves, but not the Cossacks or " Opolchenie " (a kind of "Landsturm"), which may ...

where Landsturm does not get translated to Irregular military

The Foe Within: Fantasies of Treason And the End of Imperial Russia by William C. Fuller - True Crime - 2006 - 304 pages ... and asked him for a posting to the opolchenie, or home guard. ...

The Russo-Japanese War: Reports from British Officers Attached to the ... - Page 298 by Great Britain War Office, Great Britain War Office. General Staff - Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905 - 1908 At the end of August 25 battalions of Siberian Militia (Opolchenie) were en route for Manchuria to take the place of the Frontier Guards, who were to be ...

Note: there were no "Frontier Guards" - they are pogranichniky, or literally 'border walkers'

The Great War - Page 216 by William R. Griffiths, Thomas E. Griess - History - 2003 - 272 pages Opolchenie. ...

The Russian Army of the Napoleonic Wars - Page 20 by Albert Seaton - History - 1979 - 48 pages In all the Russian Army in 1812 numbered 700000 men not including the Cossack hosts or the opolchenie, the home guard militia. In the early summer of 1812 ...

I can add George Nafziger, p.54, The Russian Army 1800-15, search in Amazon for George F. Nafziger
GEORGE F. NAFZIGER, USNR-Ret., has authored numerous books and articles on the subject of military history. Nafziger is a former Director of the Napoleonic Society of America and the Napoleonic Alliance. He is also owner of The Nafziger Collection, a publishing house specializing in the Napoleonic Wars and World War II history.[3]

Where Nation-states Come from: Institutional Change in the Age of Nationalism - Page 252 by Philip G. Roeder - Political Science - 2007 - 417 pages ... narodnoe opolchenie," Pravda October 16, 1991, 1, 3; ...

FUBAR (F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition): Soldier Slang of World War II - Page 280 by Gordon L. Rottman - Language Arts & Disciplines - 2007 - 296 pages ... Members of the opolchenie (volunteer militia), aged 17-55, raised early in the war to serve as last-ditch combat and labor units. ...

The Initial Period of War on the Eastern Front, 22 June-August 1941 ... - Page 429 by David M. Glantz - History - 1993 - 511 pages It shows Soviet formations raised from 22 June to 1 December 1941. The combat power of those formations may have been minimal, for some were opolchenie ...

Storm of Steel: The Development of Armor Doctrine in Germany and the Soviet ... - Page 41 by Mary R. Habeck - History - 2003 - 309 pages ... opolchenie). Here again, only the infantry can be, inevitably, the main type offeree in terms of both numbers and preparation...[4]

The Russian empire, 1801-1917 - Page 752 by Hugh Seton-Watson - History - 1988 - 840 pages ... anniversary of the invasion, a collection of documents relating to the mobilization of the Russian people to meet it, entitled Narodnoe opolchenie v

The War of the Rising Sun and Tumbling Bear: A Military History of the Russo ... - Page 19 by Richard Michael Connaughton - History - 1988 - 300 pages After eighteen years he passed into the Opolchenie or militia. There were few exemptions from military duty, although Cossacks, Finns and Christians in the ...

The Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Land Warfare: An Illustrated World View by Byron Farwell - History - 2001 - 900 pages Page 119 On 3 September 10000 Russian opolchenie [qv] from Moscow began work on fortifications. On 5 September the cavalry of French Marshal Joachim Murat [qv] ...

Report of the Special Commission on Military Education and Reserve. December ... by Robert Lovejoy Raymond, Walton Atwater Green - Military education - 1915 - 76 pages Page 93 The Opolchenie, or territorial army, is divided into two classes or bans. The first includes not only the trained men who have passed through the first line ...

British Military Intelligence in the Crimean War, 1854-1856 by Stephen M. Harris - History - 1999 - 182 pages 11 By September five of Russia's six infantry corps were in the Crimea and the opolchenie (temporary militias composed of mostly peasant 'volunteers') was ...

Captured Soviet Generals: the fate of Soviet generals captured by the ... - Page 41 by Aleksander A. Maslov, David M. Glantz, Harold Steven Orenstein - History - 2001 - 329 pages Pashko, Narodnoe opolchenie ...

The Horizon History of Russia - Page 123 by Ian Grey - Russia - 1970 - 404 pages ... to lead what became the second opolchenie. In Moscow Cossacks held the Polish occupation forces under siege in the Kremlin. ...

I'll end with British Documents on the Origins of the War, 1898-1914 - Page 263 by Great Britain Foreign Office, George Peabody Gooch, Harold William Vazeille Temperley - World War, 1914-1918 - 1926 In Moscow and Kieff 1910 to 1913 classes Ban of Opolchenie taken in addition, bnt not here as yet. Reported that 200000 reservists taken in Petersburg. ...

This ought to be enough. So you see, some choose to translate the term because they need to show what kind of troops Opolchenye are since English readers understand the hussars to be light cavalry, and the cuirassiers to be heavy cavalry although neither are English words. The reason Opolchenye is not very common is because they were only called out four times in 200 years, 1812, 1855, 1916 and 1941. However, that it no reason to English-ise them as you would put it. This is a reference work, not a place to display simplified vocabulary.

David Glantz seems to call these units 'People's Millita' (see, in particular, pages 561 and 797 of 'Colossus Reborn' - on pg 561 he translates 'Narodnoe Opolcheniye' into 'people's militia'). --Nick Dowling (talk) 10:29, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
No, actually he left the narodnoye opolchenie in the transliterated form when translating from Russian quote, adding the people's militia in brakcets and then reproducing that in the introduction to the quote. on p.561. However that doesn't reall mean much. The point is that opolcheniye is the name of distinctly Slavic troops, not just Russian, in the same way that hussars are hungarian, cossacks are Ukrainian, and landstrum are German. It is also not a militia in the Englsih sense since there was no standing organisation for it before the war, any war. Militia give the impression it is an organised reserve force, which it was not. I can contact Mr Glantz if you like, however I think this is unnecessary. As you can see form the many othr sources there are widely ranging interpretations of the meaning of opolcheniye, stmming largely from lack of either understanding of Russian, or the wish to fit the term into the the Englsih reader's frame of reference, there being nothing similar in England. Even during the 1803 popular movement to create militia, it was formed based on a certain structure that existed, or was created for its administration, but was restricted by the Act of Parliament from serving overseas. There were no restrictions palced on the opolcheniye, and many units became regualr with time. Opolcheniye literally means "regimentation" or more literary, joining the regiment, which are self-formed. In any case, if you rename this, all other similar articles will need to be renamed from cossack to people's militia (Ukranine),a nd from landstrum to people's militia (Germany), Prussia actually, etc. You probably know my opinion already, but I think its a bad thing to apply general Englsih terms to everything in a reference work. Interestingly Opolcheniye is not listed here, but take note of the Militsiya as I already suggested to Buckshot06.
He also uses 'People's milita' in 'When Titans Clashed' and the large hardcover version of his book on the Seige of Leningrad. He only mentions them in passing, however. --Nick Dowling (talk) 11:42, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Oh fuck. Why am I arguing this?! Any idiot can write Russian people's militia, or Battle of Berlin! The point of being a reference is to actually inform the reader of something thay can not know themselves! If Buckshot can do a better job on the Eastern Front articles, let him. I have had jack of all these "discussions". You also Philip if you are reading. There is no way of writing on a non-English language subject without transliterating some terms which will never have a meaning in English because they are foreign to the culture, language and history of English-language societies. If you can not deal with that, then the readers who may want to know about the subject will have to wait in ignorance until somone else has the initiative to continue. Yes, I take ownership of articles, but in real life editing, not like the play-editing here, this is expected. Here, some really fucked up "policy and conventions" dictate change in facts because one individual somewhere in the world deems it to be so based on what? So here is the deal, I will edit the articles as sources I bring suggest I should, and according to best accepted academic standard. I will contact authors if there is a problem, and if they fail to reply, they will be removed from the references. If I am reverted I will immediatelly take the issue to arbitration although I know that if there were any admins who had a clue about the eastern front they would not allow the sort of rubbish that was there to remain--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:36, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

An issue with the Soviet wartime units[edit]

I touched on this before, and will have to again. The list of divisions you have is inadequate for reference when I write articles on operations. I have been putting off saying this, but there is no way of saying it any other way. You need to appreciate that a division 123 (Ist formation) is not same as division 123 (IInd formation) with very few rare exceptions. I can not use the list you have as it is now because in Perecheni the units are completely different, including the subunits. You may argue with me, but I can not change the way Soviet General Staff worked. That is all I can say. As I get further into the articles, I will need to split off different formations of the same numbered units. Please, I do not expect any help from you, but do not hinder me either. I am not trying to prove you wrong every time. Its just how things are, and you have a few things to learn, and I have had more years then you have had at it, and that's all there is to it. You can learn, or you can obstinately !@#$ up what I'm trying to do. The only one who suffers is the Wikipedia user.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 14:02, 5 May 2008 (UTC) PS. I do not mind if you or anyone else fixes up the few spelling of minor grammatical mistakes I make, but I usually choose my words carefully, so if you are not sure it is not either of those, please ask me before correcting.

Request for comment[edit]

To clarify, my position is, in accordance with WP:UE, that this troop type - the Soviet 'home guard' formations, in Russian, 'Narodnoe Opolcheniye,' can and should be translated into English as 'People's Militia,' which is the usage David Glantz gives. Buckshot06(prof) 00:25, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Simply put, "Narodnoe Opolcheniye" undoubtedly means "People's Militia" (or "People's Home Guard"). There is no real "confusion" about the translation of the name, the phrase is readily understandable. The word "narod" means "a people" or "nation", "Narodnoe" is simply an adjective meaning "People's". The most frequently used translation should be used. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 00:45, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Do you want to clarify DIREKTOR? Do you believe en:wikipedia should use 'Narodnoe Opolcheniye' or 'People's Militia?' Buckshot06(prof) 01:16, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
As I said, the name should be translated. There is no real problem here, if the most common translation used by sources is "People's Militia" then it must be used. The only other imaginable alternative is "People's Home Guard", as "narodnoe" in this context most certainly means "(the) People's". --DIREKTOR (TALK) 02:17, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

A bit of history - Narodnoe Opolcheniye was so used for political purposes when Moscow assumed the leading role in the 16th Century Russia, before there was a Russia. It sought to emphasise the Tsar as the "father" of all of Russians, that included other principalities that sought to remain independent. Before the unification of Russians under the leadership of Moscow, each city and town had its own Opolcheniye not named Narodnoe, but named after the city or town, so Novgorodskoye Opolcheniye, Suzdalskoye Opolcheniye, Vladimirskoye Opolcheniye, etc. Maybe someone will write articles for them also one day. They were not militia either. When attacked, the city/town people would simply arm themselves and gather into a polk, which is translated in its modern meaning as a regiment. However, this was not always so. For example in the Slovo o polku Igoreve it refers to the entire force led on a campaign. Dal' vol.III, pp.262, gives other usages such as rat', voisko, opolcheniye, tolpa and vataga. It just happens that some words were retained and some were not. Even if one considers that the units that are the subject of the article were gathered into regiments from volunteers, this still does not warrant the use of peoples' militia, because there are many so-named forces in history and across the globe.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 02:40, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

If we need disambiguation, we can always put (Soviet Union) after it, if necessary. Here of course that doesn't apply however, as it's clear that it's a Soviet force. Buckshot06(prof) 05:39, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Let me ask you a question Buckshot06, what is militia called in English?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 05:47, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't fully understand the point of your question. The English word for militia is militia. Buckshot06(prof) 05:52, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
No, the Renaissance Latin word for armed forces raised from all able-bodied men in England is militia.
The modern English word Militia is defined by The Militia Act of 1757 which created a more professional force. Better records were kept, and the men were selected by ballot to serve for longer periods. Proper uniforms and better weapons were provided, and the force was 'embodied' from time to time for training sessions.
The English, or rather the Anglo-Saxon word for it is fyrd.
The Russians never adopted Latin, and retained this particular word for armed force raised from all able-bodied men. It is not a form of military forces, but a remnant of a medieval social organisation brought into being more for patriotic purposes then any fighting capability in the modern era. Army ranks in Russia and Soviet Union were filled from levies and conscriptions, and it took a special order to incorporate the opolcheniye units into the regular 1941 Red Army due to the necessities of the time, and because all volunteers were soon subjected to conscription anyway, however were conscripted "backwards", in their exiting opolcheniye units rather then being summoned from home; failure to be conscripted from home constituted desertion--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 06:12, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm going with David Glantz's translation: People's Militia. Buckshot06(prof) 06:34, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
My preference is also for 'People's Milita' on the grounds that it's Glantz's usage. This term is consistantly used in the text and indexes of his books - see page 315 of 'Before Stalingrad', page 331 of 'The Seige of Leningrad', page 649 of 'The Battle of Leningrad', page 366 of 'Stumbling Colossus', page 797 of 'Colossus Reborn' and page 407 of 'When Titans Clashed'. Nick Dowling (talk) 10:26, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
I'd also support 'People's Milita' as it can be directly translated into english and appears to have common usage. Skinny87 (talk) 11:58, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
So what? Glantz is one author, and Narodnoe Opolcheniye was not particularly his focus in any of the books; used only in passing. What about the other sources I pasted above?! What other type of forces is Narodnoe Opolcheniye like? Would I have to contact Glantz to get some consideration? --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:27, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

"Narodnoe" means "people's". "Opolcheniye" means "militia". There is no real argument here. Even your description of "opolcheniye" above fits the English term "militia". --DIREKTOR (TALK) 12:34, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Oh, for crying out loud. Look, can't we have something like People's Militia (Narodnoe Opolcheniye) or Narodnoe Opolcheniye (People's Militia) as a compromise and per WP:UE? Skinny87 (talk) 12:36, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
That's exactly the standard - 'People's Militia (ru:'Narodnoe Opolcheniye')' we use for article first sentences. However, I believe that in accordance with WP:UE, we should use the English titling consistantly, and, in accordance with the MOS, mention the Russian wording. I think that's entirely fair. Buckshot06(prof) 13:01, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
The point is not UE despite Buckshot06's suggestion. Anything can be expressed in English if one tries! The point is that there is no translation for Opolcheniye. If you look up, you will see the many sources from books I pasted that are very divided on how to translate it into English, and all get it wrong because they fail to understand the origin and the conditions in which Opolcheniye existed.
As I wrote above, it is not a militia, certainly no in the modern sense of the word, and certainly not in England where, from its inception in late 16th century, it had been a fairly organised force by comparison. Even during the flood of volunteers in 1803 careful rolls were kept by the shires. This simply did not ever exist in Russia, or Soviet Union. Basically people just turned up to the designated building. Even with the attempts to organise the Opolcheniye in 1941 by assigning specific units to specific city areas, and using actual army officers, there were huge problems as people kept turning up, had no military training, and there were no weapons for them.
But this is not even the crux of the matter. What I want to know is, why are Cossacks, Hussars and Landwher not translated as Militia, but Opolcheniye is? Hussars were the national Hungarian "militia" of the Austro-Hungarian Empire border with the Ottoman Empire along with the Pandurs, and the Grenz infantry. Landwehr is far more a militia then Opolcheniye ever was by virtue of having records of service! Cossacks worked on the same basic principles as the Opolcheniye. Even the Francs-tireurs are far more like militia then the Opolcheniye. So why is it again that Buckshot06 is making an example of something that I have done? So how is that fair?!
That article was sitting virtually untouched sine December 2006, and not one editor or viewer questioned the name. As soon as I start expanding it, Buckshot06 is in like a shot changing it, moving it, and all without exhibiting any understanding of the subject or producing one source outside to the Glantz that I cited in the first place. Glantz is more interested in the tactics, operations and strategy of Red Army. His approach is not always reference-pedantic in terms of terminology as the name of Operation August Storm suggests. I can contact him no problem, but that is unnecessary as far as I'm concerned.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 13:08, 2 June 2008 (UTC")

"Opolcheniye" is "militia", direct translation. The fact that historical militias in England were more organized than the WW2 Soviet militia is completely and utterly irrelevant. The fact that the article had a wrong title for a long period of time is equally irrelevant. The Cossacks, Hussars and the Landwehr? To my knowledge, a direct translation was not possible (I do not speak Hungarian). --DIREKTOR (TALK) 13:16, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Here's the thing: even if I did not know what a militia is, a ridiculous notion, I would still not need to look it up. All I need to know is that "opolcheniye" is directly translated into "militia", and that I most certainly do. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 14:26, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

The term "militia" is derived from Latin roots:

  • miles /miːles/ : soldier[1]
  • -itia /iːtia/ : a state, activity, quality or condition of being[2][3]
  • militia /mil:iːtia/: Military service[4]

In English, the word "militia" dates to 1590 when it was recorded in a book by Sir John Smythe, Certain Discourses Military with the meanings: a military force; a body of soldiers and military affairs; a body of military discipline[5]

  1. ^ Charlton T. Lewis, An Elementary Latin Dictionary, p. 505, Oxford U. Pr., 1997.
  2. ^ Noun Formation, Class Notes in Latin, U. Idaho
  3. ^ John B. Van Sickle, Roots of Style: A Guide to Latin & Greek Elements in English, Brooklyn College, City University of New York.
  4. ^ Charlton T. Lewis, An Elementary Latin Dictionary, p. 505, Oxford U. Pr., 1997.
  5. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, March 2002. Oxford University Press.

I do not think it is necessary for you to share your revelations, as I do not see the point. The English translation of "Opolcheniye" would still be "militia" even if you wrote up the entire history of the word's use and its military meaning. This is why I do not see the point of this discussion. Anyway, I responded to the RfC, I'm done here. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 14:58, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for responding like that DIREKTOR; that about covers my thoughts too. Buckshot06(prof) 20:58, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Firstly I posted the definition because the proposed translation of the term into English is not supposed to be derived from the popular understanding of it, but, in an encyclopaedic work, from some sort of baseline reference, and in this case that reference is Latin. How various societies have applied the term since its earliest recording is not relevant. The definition used in Oxford Dictionary clearly states that the militia was "a body of soldiers and military affairs; a body of military discipline" based on the Latin etymology. Opolcheniye were not soldiers. Opolcheniye were not disciplined.
If buckshot wants to insist on UE, he should be aware of such a thing as word borrowing, for which English is famous because as such English is composed mostly of either words derived from Old German (via Angles and Saxones), or from Old French via the Normans. And yes, English also borrowed words from Russian [] The process of this borrowing is far from predictable or consistent, as exemplified by Webster's for example

Webster’s 1 records 90 words of Russian borrowings, though some are mis-etymologised. This is the case of caftan (Turkic), protopope (Greek), shaman (Tungus) or ukase (French). This group also includes such words as britska, czarina or Kremlin, here derived from Russian, which cannot be treated as an etymologically proven fact. Webster’s 1 admits into its pages three ephemeral words, i.e., mykiss, nerka and opolchenie, which are not found in the subsequent editions. Webster’s 2 is the largest dictionary of English and, because of its immense coverage of both current as well as obsolete words, was for years regarded by many—even after the appearance of the third edition in 1961—as the dictionary par excellence (Landau 2001: 86). There are 291 words of Russian provenience in it, and the number visibly surpasses that of Webster’s 1, which should not be surprising. On the one hand, the 1917 revolution and World War I drew public attention, which clearly intensified the borrowing from Russian into English. On the other hand, the dictionary followed less restrictive inclusion criteria, so a number of hapax legomena (e.g., chort, izvozchik, korova or molka) were allowed into its wordlist. Moreover, several words in Webster’s 2 have brand-new etymologies (caftan, Calmucks, liman, parka) or slightly modified forms, e.g., Dukhoborts (Dukhobors in Webster’s 1), Ivan (Ivan Ivanovitch in Webster’s 1) or plet (plitt in Webster’s 1). The purpose of Webster’s 3 has to record the standard English vocabulary of predominantly the 20th century, so all items that had gone out of use by the mid-18th century were dropped. The dictionary, in Quirk’s words ‘a meticulously complete register of English vocabulary’ (qtd. in Morton 1994: 197), comprised approximately 450,000 entries in a single volume. It comes as a surprise that Russian borrowings recorded in Webster’s 3 are as numerous as in Webster’s 2, even though the Soviet Union, with all the intricacies of its political and social system, aroused great interest in the American media. However, though the figures are almost the same, there are considerable differences in the selection of entries, because a number of outdated words (e.g., besprizorni, garnetz, nefte or sotnia) were left out, while new borrowings (e.g., apparatchik, chum, makhorka or shashlik) were included in the revision process for Webster’s 3. Interestingly, some of the newcomers (e.g., blin, chinovnik, gusli or kovsh) are by no means new, since they were attested in English texts as early as the 19th century. Three loans which appeared in Webster’s 1 but not in Webster’s 2, i.e., Molokane, osseter and polynia, were readmitted into Webster’s 3 (as Molokan, osetra and polynya, respectively).

I'm not sure why you are insistent that everything has to be translated into English based on this awareness--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 22:38, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

I was asked to comment at my talk. This is not the subject of my expertize, so I am simply trying to make sense of what I read and apply my understanding of WP conventions. Foreign loanwords should be avoided, when possible, but sometimes they must be used. Whether it was to be avoided here is the question we must answer. If the term's particular translation has a clear prevalence in English sources, we must translate it the same way. Glantz is clearly an example of a respected source. But Glantz alone does not demonstrate the prevalence. If other major sources use a different wording, we have no universally accepted in English texts term. As a non-native speaker, it is hard for me to judge whether Militia is the best translation indeed. It relays the meaning all right but Mrg argues that it may be misleading. I see this point too. So, I cannot state my clear preference but one thing is clear to me. Glantz alone, no matter how respectable an author, does not get to define the universal English usage. So, unless other sources are brought up, we should not use the argument of prevalence. --Irpen 00:06, 3 June 2008 (UTC) small> 01:44, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

While I personally have no problem with the use of the term “Narodnoe Opolcheniye” here – as long as it is explained what that is, the fact that all of the other unit types here are rendered into English equivalents and the term is readily translated into an accurate term, consistency and WP:UE would commend using “People’s Militia” instead and wikilinking the first use (not in a header) to Narodnoe Opolcheniye. Askari Mark (Talk) 02:03, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

This reminds me the debate about Oblast. In Ukrainian articles the idea of using province to refer to the administrative unit (it is also called this way in Russian and slightly different in Belarusian) was initially popular. We ended up deciding against it because oblast is a very specific type of the administrative unit while "province" is too general and inexact. So we use: "XXX was born in the city of XXX of [[Kiev Oblast]] ''([[oblast|province]]''), Ukraine and from that point on use Oblast throughout. For Russian Voyevodstvo and Polish wojewodztwo the anglicized term Voivodship does exist, but Oblast is variously translated as province, region, etc. So, there is no established term.

Perhaps, if Opolchenie being such a narrow and specific type of the military formation of people that anglicized militia is too inexact warrants to use a loanword? It is up to experts to decide on this but it's possible. If the anglicized version prevailed in English usage, that would have ended the debate. I don't see this being demonstrated, Glantz notwithstanding. Despite he is a very respectable author, he does not get to define the universal usability if others do not follow suit. --Irpen 02:36, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Ok Irpen, point taken. I will attempt to include all the alternative translations used in different sources in the main article.
In reply to Askari Mark, all the other unit types in the list are part of the regular army forces, and for the most part conform to widely applied European military standards even if they use Russian names. However, the etymology is not by all means apparent in some cases. For example the translation of the Rifle Division comes from Strelkovaya Diviziya, in turn from the word strelok that in Russian simply means "a shooter". So how did they become "rifle"? The association with rifles comes from the post-Napoleonic period when in imitation to the British Rifle Brigade, the Russian Army created strelkoviye polki in replacement to the Jegers, and these were initially armed with British rifles, notably the Siberian and Lithuanian strelki. The word itself comes from strela, an arrow, but in Russian the name for the archer is derived from the bow, luchnik. The reference is therefore more to the ability to shoot straighter then those armed with muskets. The Red and later Soviet Army made a point of renaming all infantry troops into "rifle" to distinguish them from the non-Soviet units on maps that are always known as pekhotniye (pekhota), although this is a uniquely Russian term denoting the foot troops of any description, so on a WWII map one would see Soviet unit 20c vs German unit 20p because in wartime red and blue mapping pencils were not always available, and despite the German unit designation being infanterie.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 04:18, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

This conversation has now moved on to Talk:Narodnoe Opolcheniye#Requested move --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:49, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

Mrg3105 has asked that a merger be considered between this page, the infantry divisions 1917-57, and the original page, divisions of the USSR 1917-45. This page is at ~150 k at the moment, the other being 60k ish, and size was the reason why the pages were split originally. I'll find the original talkpage discussion on it. (It was split; it's here and here) There is also ongoing material needed to be added from the 'Higher Numbered Rifle Divisions' article from the Journal of Slavic Military Studies which I've been reluctant to keep adding while the article was unstable. This will see this page grow still further. In summary, because both pages are large and have good potential to grow larger still, I do not believe they should be merged. Comments and disagreement welcome however. Regards to all, Buckshot06(prof) 14:28, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Oppose - per Buckshot. --Eurocopter (talk) 15:16, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, the page is HUGE! --DIREKTOR (TALK) 17:53, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment - The thing about proposals is that they are intended to be discussed, and counter-proposals offered, and not simply opposed. When participating in a discussion of a proposal, adoption of a categorical opposition is indicative of an immediate attempt to create a conflict rather then strive to seek consensus.
Ah, no. It means they oppose your suggestion. Buckshot06(prof) 05:49, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
op·poser n. Synonyms: oppose, fight, combat, resist, withstand, contest--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 06:22, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Nope: it just means that they don't agree to the proposal. You've been around long enough to know that a simple oppose or support vote is a perfectly acceptable response to this kind of proposal. Nick Dowling (talk) 11:54, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
  • New proposal - split the list into multiple lists that cover each formation of the divisions, and reduce the period to that covering the existence of the Red Army only, i.e. from the end of the Russian Civil War (1924) to 1947 when it was renamed the Soviet Army.
That is:
  • List of rifles divisions of the Soviet Union 1917–1924
  • List of 1st formation rifles divisions of the Soviet Union 1924–1947
  • List of 2nd formation rifles divisions of the Soviet Union 1940–1947
  • List of 3rd formation rifles divisions of the Soviet Union 1940–1947
  • List of motor-rifles divisions of the Soviet Union 1947-1957
  • List of motor-rifles divisions of the Soviet Union 1957-1991
Supporting argument - Each successive formation of the same-numbered division during the Second World War in fact represents distinctively different unit, which rarely shared personnel, and subunits. Moreover, it excludes many divisions that were disbanded after the Civil War (c.1922), and creates a base on which to begin building the order of battle for the Soviet Army with the wholesale disbandment of divisions during the 1945-1947 period. By the 1957, the Soviet Army had already largely converted from the wartime to Cold War structure, including conversion of many corps to divisions. The above lists would also much better represent the different stages in the evolution of Soviet infantry over the course of the history of the Soviet Union--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:32, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As per earlier discussion between W.B. Wilson and myself, the good thing about this page is that it has all the information in the same place(which is why I see it as valuable as an overview). I don't have any objection to the creation of the possible pages listed above, but this page is valuable as an overview. I suggest Mrg that you go ahead, copy the data, and create the new pages as you suggest. As with the Formations of the United States Army series, it's by no means bad to have the information presented in different ways, as Eurocopter and I are doing at List of Regiments of the Russian Air Force and its associated pages. I should add also that the split above risks substituting four or five very skeletal pages with large amounts of blanks for the current completely presented page. Buckshot06(prof) 05:49, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I failed to understand the last time how this list "is valuable as an overview", and I fail to understand even more how it will be useful if I do create additional lists--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 06:22, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Given the vast amount of data being included here, it seems to make sense to keep the current article structure, which is a good compromise between keeping information in the one place and keeping article size down. I don't understand Mrg's second proposal, but it looks overly complex and not accessable to anyone other than specialists in Soviet military history (what are the different formations of rifle divisions? - are these different iterations of units which are disbanded/destroyed and later reformed?). Nick Dowling (talk) 10:48, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Again, I fail to understand the logic of opposition, increasingly so with the two more recent additions.
If the article is already too large, and is incomplete, then it is only likely to get larger, so its subdivision into more "skeletal" articles is a good thing because it will at once reduce the size of the original, and be able to better inform the readers what the difference is between 1st formation of a division, and its 2nd formation. If Nick is unsure, then how much is the less informed reader of the article likely to be unsure?
The proposal above is complex because it deals with a complex subject which is not covered by the article introduction at all, and in fact misinforms the reader from the very introductory statement that "The Soviet Union's Red Army raised over four hundred and fifty rifle divisions (infantry) during the Second World War".
In fact some 250 of these were in the A or B (Б) category of readiness even in 1939, and another 200 existed in the V (В) category that were completely unknown to the German intelligence. The divisions formed during the war, were those that were formed to replace divisions disbanded due to high losses, due to reallocation of the divisions' troops to units of other Arms, or due to the renaming of a division as a guards unit. In effect the divisions formed with the pre-exiting number were entirely new units, hence called XXth 2nd formation, that only rarely shared subunits, and almost never the personnel of the previous 1st formation. Their listing together as if they were descendants of their former selves is completely wrong, as I have tried to point out several times to Buckshot06.
To clarify, a division 123rd (1st formation), readiness category B organised to 1937 tables may have been disbanded at Vyazma in 1941, and a new division 123rd (2nd formation), readiness category A organised on 1942 tables formed in Rostov thousands of km away, then renamed 45th Guards division in 1944, and a new 123rd (3rd formation), readiness category A organised to 1944 tables division formed in Minsk. Consequently the only connection would be that sometimes some of the numbering of subunits would be retained in the 3rd formation division since their parent division was renamed and not disbanded, but that is all. The personnel, the equipment, the location of formation, all were different. Not that individual experiences did not create exemptions to the rule, as the case of an artillery lieutenant from the 150th division (1941, Odessa) who after several reassignments during the course of the war found himself commanding an artillery battalion of a regiment in the 150th division 3rd formation in Berlin, 1945, staffed predominantly with conscripts and volunteers from the Far East (Turga, Olovyanninskiy rayon, Chitinskaya Oblast, Russia, coordinates: 51° 3' 0" North, 116° 37' 0" East). --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 01:11, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Mrg3105 for that information. I'm well aware that they were separate formations with no commonality except the designation - and obviously I'm aware you disagree on the presentation. This is why I'd suggest you reformat the data differently in a new page. To clarify things on this page, I'll insert Craig Crofoot's estimated 2,000 divisions note in the lead. Buckshot06(prof) 04:55, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, whatever. I can see I will have to do it myself. The least you can do is to phrase that introduction in a better way, and fix the reference, adding the page number if you have it.
I think Craig's note on number of divisions was among the data you passed on to me, and if not, I have to say for once 'I just saw it on the net somewhere' - I cannot remember where it was. How would you suggest we rephrase the introduction? Buckshot06(prof) 05:07, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Absolute number of divisions[edit]

From memory what Craig told me is that his estimation of rifle divisions, including the various varieties such as mountain, NKVD, motorised, was in the region of 2,000, but I count about 1,045 purely rifles divisions in the Perecheni working on the premise of 208 pages @ 5 divisions per page. Perecheni excludes the NKVD divisions, but they are covered by Glantz in the companion to Colossus reborn (54 though about a dozen were internal service formed in 1945). This number includes the rifles, mountain rifles, motorised rifles and opolchenie rifles, as well as those renamed to guards status. The highest rifles numbered division is 422 2nd formation, but it has no first formation listed. There were also the 10 guards airborne divisions. I think what Craig may have meant was that if the brigades and regiments that were included in the corps are added to division-equivalent it works out to about 2,000 divisions. However, divisions alone I would say the number of 1,100 would be a good number close to reality--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 05:59, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
So Perecheni makes no mention of the division no.s 423-474 listed by James Goff in his article, working from the Frunze Academy's 1968 list of political officers and 1964 list of division commanders? Buckshot06(prof) 06:24, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't have this article--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:20, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Didn't think you had. I can send it to you if you like. But my question shouldn't be too hard to answer: does Perecheni lists the 423rd - 474th Rifle Divisions?
Sure, send it along. I said above when discussing Perecheni that "The highest rifles numbered division is 422 2nd formation, but it has no first formation listed." Perecheni only discusses the operational units subordinated to the General Staff. Divisions formed that were neither operational, nor subordinated to the General Staff are by default not listed. I will try to make time to look into the higher-numbered divisions.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:20, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
So BSSA lists formations that were in the Operational Army, and also formations in inactive fronts, military district etc, but Perecheni only lists the Operational Army's formations? On me writing a type of divisions article, I can't really. I'm leaving in less than a month, and have to focus on thesis-based material on Liberia etc. I actually think such an article might be more suited for you to write, since you have better access to the shtats(?)/tables and other Russian data. It could also be written to explain the kind of questions that Nick Dowling had. Also where did you get the material on the opolchenye/home guard divisions. As no source is given at all, this is hardly your high standards on referencing you like to talk about. Buckshot06(prof) 02:36, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
The material on the opolchenie is from several online websites, and I will reference it when I can get to it. There is no shortage of sources, the problem being that in English authors either did not understand or bothered to explain what opolchenie was, and in Russian sources that the knowledge is so obvious that the only description I can find is in military encyclopaedic works. The article is incomplete because cities other Moscow and Leningrad formed such divisions also. Just another project to add to the list--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 22:52, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

(od) Would you object, then, if I removed the material until you find the references? No question of the name - that'll be decided at the RM - but this page is almost 100% referenced and solid, apart from that section. The number of half-worked-on pages you have on your list is very long, and I'd like to keep this page up to scratch until you find the references to back it. Whoops, or better still, insert the links here, and I can use machine translation etc to set up translations of titles, whatever - then all you'd need to do is provide the sites. Buckshot06(prof) 10:53, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

I would object its removal. I also object to the suggestion that this list has "all the other sections heavily footnoted and sourced", if that is what you were referring to in your message left on my talk page. It is certainly not "almost 100% referenced and solid" given earlier discussion. If my articles are "half-worked-on pages" it is only because there is so much to do that I really don't know where to turn first. In any case, at least most of my articles have cited references which is far more then I can say about most articles in Wikipedia, and even MilHist Project. I will reference the section when I have time. If it makes you happy, you can put unreferenced template on the section for now though. There is way too much to machine translate, and what I used is but a small part of the content of the sites, so I'll have to do it myself. I also want to try and find some English sources aside from Glantz--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 12:58, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
(I would object to its removal) I do not understand why you say this page is not solid, but I realise that it's not explicitly said that W.B. Wilson was adding material from Poirer & Conner, and that's the ~nearly 95+% of it. I'll make that note. My problem with your style is that you take on so much, and leave virtually all of it unfinished! Please just take five minutes, look up the sites you used, and drop the links here - I can do all the rest, even if slowly, from there. Otherwise, given that I found footnote tags in it that were copied (that you hadn't inserted the footnote of), I'd have to consider removing it for copyright infringement!! Please just make the time to look them up, take five or ten minutes and give me the links; then I can go from there. Buckshot06(prof) 22:17, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Narodnoye Oplcheniye[edit]

From my talk page:

Hi Alex,
You recently made edits on the Talk:List of infantry divisions of the Soviet Union 1917-1957, including Narodnoe Opolcheniye (literally People's Militia). There is an ongoing RfC and an RM concerning Narodnoe Opolcheniye, and I wanted to point out that the translation is neither literal, nor functional because militia, as used in the English speaking countries is not the same as Opolcheniye as it existed in Russia or the Soviet Union. Please visit the Talk:Leningrad Narodnoe Opolcheniye Army and Talk:Narodnoe Opolcheniye for discussion on RMs --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 22:34, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Hi, Mrg. From my background Narodnoye Opolcheniye seems to be infinitely better than People's Militia - it was indeed was not a Militia in American sense. They were regular conscripted army formations albeit much worse equipped and trained, with the history of the term going back to medieval times. We have many Russian loan words like Spetznaz, Smersh and Oblast, I would think Narodnoye Opolcheniye can go the same way. On the other hand I guess that an ordinary reader of Wikipedia who does not know Russian would be taken aback by this mountain of characters that does not seem even form something pronounceable. I think it is important to give the reader at least some anchor with recognizable words. This, I put in the parenthesis (People's Militia) in the section's title and the first time the word is used so the reader can understand what is going on.

Since English is my second language I am trying to avoid all the copyediting and grammatic disputes assuming that native speakers are better than me in this regard. Still if People Militia will be chosen as the best name of the divisions I think we need a sentence explainging that they were not militia. Alex Bakharev (talk) 02:13, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Alex, I just think that use of anything in brackets in a section title does not look particularly good in a reference work. The article is linked to the main article of Narodnoye Opolcheniye where the explanation of the term and the literal translation is given, as well as usage through Russian history, and many alternative translations into English going back to the Crimean war. Actually you have given me an idea. It seems to me that there is no reason to use Narodnoye Opolcheniye, and only Opolcheniye is required because there is no other type of Opolcheniye, and it is usually used in its own right in Russian published works. I might propose this, but would like to remove the People's Militia and its brackets--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 02:31, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I was going to suggest a compromise (along the lines of my earlier comment) that goes in the opposite direction: Change the section header to "People's Militia" (or other such English rendering as the editors here would approve) and then leave the Russian term untranslated (but properly transliterated) in the names of the respective units. Askari Mark (Talk) 03:17, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
But its not "militia". Why promote something that is not true by pandering to the sources fro meaning that never bothered to look into the meaning of the term?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 11:53, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. It appears to me that you subscribe to a very narrow definition of what is quite a broad term. Could you please explain your definition of a "militia" and how these units differ from a militia? It would help to understand where you're coming from. Askari Mark (Talk) 19:18, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
We can start with the definition in Wikipedia "The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary[1] citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service."
Opolcheniye was never a military force, since it was never a standing force, never had force structure, official organisation, or was enacted by any laws in Russia or the Soviet Union--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:05, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Hang on! It was constituted by order of the government, and bore arms. I call that a military force, and it falls within the definition of 'military.' Buckshot06(prof) 00:57, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
This is something you missed, opolcheniye was never constituted by any government, but was administered by appointed officers after it constituted itself as a crowd of willing and able. Arms were issued after it was constituted, although in the case of pre-Crimean War opolcheniye, its members came armed with whatever was at hand, often armed by wealthy land owners--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 01:09, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

(od) Your source page does not back this up in the case of the Leningrad force. The raising of the destroyer battalions was formalised by a city decree and the transformation of the battalions into a NO force was the result of appeals for volunteers by the Leningrad city authorities. Buckshot06(prof) 03:53, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

I have not fully documented the process, but the appeals for volunteers were made well after several tens of thousands had already arrived at the various points of NO congregation such as the rayon and oblast ispolkoms, the Party HQ building, and various other places. The destroyer battalions were a supplementing of the дежурники (druzhinniki) patrols, or quasi-militsiya security patrols that existed before the war, and were responsible for ensuring there was no civil unrest and "agitation" of the population. These are covered by yet another very confused article Voluntary People's Druzhina that can not adequately translate the term because there is no real equivalent in English due to its medieval origin in Druzhina.
Destroyer battalions were only intended to cope with rear areas and installation security despite their names. Although I listed them with opolcheniye, they were in fact under the authority of the NKVD, and not either the Army or the Party structure. These were governed by the Центральный штаб истребительных батальонов (Central Staff of destroyer battalions) with General Major G.A. Petrov in charge (генерал-майор Г.А.Петров).
These appeals for volunteers were made by Leningrad Party officials while they had telegraphed and telephoned Moscow incessantly to get an idea of what to do with the ever growing crowds of opolchentsy. The call for opolcheniye was a measure to give the gathering an appearance that someone was in charge. This was soon dispelled by the lack of equipment, and arms for the opolchenye
The term volunteers, though seemingly applicable is not quite right either. You see, these people that turned up to join opolchenye were not able to volunteer for service in regular forces for some reason or other. Those that could volunteer, did, and were sent on to the regular training units. The word for those was доброволец (dobrovolets)
I have not yet begun to add the other cities in RSFSR, the 1.3mil opolcheniye of Ukraine, all the other republics, and the independent regiments that were not part of the 60-odd divisions raised--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 06:00, 3 July 2008 (UTC)


See also for other higher numbered Guards Rifle Divisions.

goes nowhere--Shattered Wikiglass (talk) 06:46, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Duplicate divisions[edit]

There were few caes of duplicating numbers for simultaneously existing division. What I remember:

2 Rifle Division (III) - reorganized from 2 ( former Odessa) Cavalry Division in Sevastopol in November 1941. On 29 January 1942 renamed 109 Rifle Division 2 Rifle Division (IV) - formed in Archangelk Military District in the end of 1941. Before 29.01.1941 the number was duplicate.

186 Rifle Division (I) - pre-war division, Ural military ditrict. 186 Rifle Division (II) - formed in Murmansk in September 1941 as Polar Rifle Division, on 28 September 1941 was renamed 186 RD. Only in June 1943 was renamed 205 Rifle Division. Till that time both division bore the same number.

1 Tank Division (I) - pre-war division, Leningrad military district. 1 Tank Division (II) - created by reorganizing 1 (Moscow) Motorized Division on 18 August 1941. On 22 September renamed 1 Guards Motorized Rifle Division. Between these dates two 1 Tank Divisions existed.

(Axis History Forum) Buckshot06 (talk) 09:16, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

References and inline citations[edit]

This is a useful list but it is let down by the quality of its citations.

The references section and the inline citations are a mess. I propose to alter them all to short citations. At the moment there are half citations with no page numbers and/or publishers etc, but because of the layout it is difficult to see what is missing.

The article notes that Robert G. Poirier and Albert Z. Conner is the main source, but there is only one citation to that general reference.

Also what does "5.45." mean? It appears after quite a few of the entries.

--PBS (talk) 00:39, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

5.45 refers to May 1945; before BSSA was fully out this was only main reference date Poirer and Conner could access. Buckshot06 (talk) 02:16, 24 February 2013 (UTC)