4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Tank Division
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|4th Guards Tank Division|
4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Tank Division
|Active||1942 - 2009
2009 - 2013 (as Brigade)
2013 - present (as Division)
|Branch||Russian Ground Forces|
|Part of||20th Guards Army
Western Military District
|Garrison/HQ||Naro-Fominsk, 70km south-west of Moscow.|
|Motto||Honour and glory|
|Engagements||World War II
1993 Russian constitutional crisis
First Chechen War
South Ossetia - 1997
Second Chechen War
The 4th Guards "Kantemirovskaya" Tank Division, more usually known as the Kantemirovskaya Division (Cyrillic: гвардейская танковая Кантемировская дивизия, Gvardeiskaya Tankovaya Kantemirovskaya Divisiya) or Kantemir Division, is an elite armoured division of the Russian Ground Forces.
It is one of the key formations of the Western Military District, subordinated to the 20th Guards Army under Lt. General Andrey Tretyak. It is one of the Russian Army's 'constant readiness' divisions, with at least 80% manpower and 100% equipment holdings at all times. All of its units, as well as headquarters, are based in the town of Naro-Fominsk, 70 km south-west of Moscow.
World War II
The direct ascendant of the 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Tank Division was the 17th Tank Corps, initially formed in 1942, which commenced its combat history on 26 June 1942 just prior to the Battle of Voronezh (1942), deployed to the west of the city. For distinction in combat in the Middle Don Operation (17-30 December 1942), the Corps was renumbered as the 4th Guards Tank Corps in January 1943. It received the honorific Kantemirovsky after Kantemirovka, the village which was liberated by tank subunits as their baptism of fire.
In the August 1943 formation endured continuous combat on the Belgorod-Kharkiv direction of The Kursk Bulge. For the courage and heroism shown during the liberation of cities on the right-bank Ukraine: Zbarazh, Ternopil, and Shepetovka in April 1944 the Corps was awarded the Order of the Red Banner, and seventeen regiments and separate battalions were awarded honorifics of: Shepetovsky, Zhitomirsky, Yampolsky, and Tarnopolsky.
The 4th Guards Tank Corps was among the first to reach the river Elbe, and participated in the capture of Dresden; having made a sudden redeployment to Czechoslovakia, the Corps finished the fighting during the Second World War in the suburbs of Prague. For the courage shown by soldiers and officers of the Corps, during wartime military units were awarded 23 awards, the staff of the Corps was thanked officially by the Supreme commander in chief 18 times, 32 of its members were awarded the Hero of Soviet Union (5 of which are forever enlisted in the unit rolls), more than 20 thousand received awards and medals, five becoming full chevaliers of the Order of Glory.
On 14 June 1945 the 4th Guards Tank Corps became the 4th Guards "Kantemirovskaya" Tank Division and on 13 September 1945 it was assigned to the armies of Moscow Military District with a re-deployment to Naro-Fominsk Moscow Region.
Cold War period
The division was one of the two major Ground Forces divisions deployed in Moscow in August 1991 as part of the attempted hardline coup against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. The coup's failure strengthened Boris Yeltsin's position in the Russian SFSR, and soon afterwards in the Russian Federation, of which he became President.
During the most serious crisis of Yeltsin's premiership, the 1993 constitutional crisis, the Kantemir Division was one of several key divisions that had given their reluctant support to Yeltsin by October 4, the decisive point in the crisis.
Units of the division took part in the First Chechen War. In the early 1990s, the division came under the command of the famous 1st Guards Tank Army, along with the 144th Guards Motor Rifle Division. The 1st GTA had relocated from the former East Germany to Smolensk when Soviet troops left Germany at the beginning of the 90s; it was disbanded in 1998, as was the 144th MRD. Thereafter the Kantemirovskaya Division came under the command of the 20th Guards Army.
On 9 May 2005, eight T-80BV tanks from the division took part in the parade in Moscow to mark the 60th anniversary of VE Day. On 27 December 2005, the division was visited by Sergei Ivanov, the Russian Defence Minister. Most recently, in early 2006, the division's 13th Tank Regiment participated, along with other 20th Guards Army units, in the joint Russian-Belorussian "Shield of Union" military exercises.
The Kantemirovsky street in Moscow is named in the honour of the division.
According to the Novosti news agency the 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya, in 2009, was on the road of being disbanded by the Russian Defense Ministry. According to the Russian government, the division will be converted into two brigades. The high command of the Russian armed forces has said the newly established brigades would retain their honorary names and banners.
As of June 2015, within 2 years after the division was reconstituted, the Russian Armed Forces are planning to rebuild the famous Soviet era 1st Guard’s Red Banner Tank Army by including both the 4th Guards Tank Division and the 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Division as well as one tank and rifle brigade (from the 1990s up to its 1998 disbandment the 4th Guards TD formed part of the army). The decree providing for the reformation of the force was enacted in the winter of 2014, and the reborn army is today now a part of the Western Military District, with HQ in Odintsovo. The Division's barracks are in Naro-Fominsk, Moscow Oblast.
Subordinated units and fighting strength
2013 Guards Division consists of:
- Division HQ
- 137th Reconnaissance Battalion
- 413th Signals Battalion
- 330th Engineer Battalion
- 1088th Support Battalion
- 165th Medical Battalion
- 12th Guards Tank Regiment
- 13th Guards Tank Regiment
- 275th Guards Self-propelled artillery Regiment
- 538 Guards Air defense missile Regiment
The 4th Guards Tank Division currently has approximately 12,000 personnel in active service.
|Order of Lenin||1944||Krakow|
|Order of Red Banner||1944||Ukraine|
The division's principal vehicles are the T-80 main battle tank and the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle; it also makes limited use of the BTR-80 and MT-LB armoured personnel carriers, as well as the 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled artillery system and BM-21 Grad MLRS.
|Main Battle Tanks||310 (T-80)|
|Self-Propelled Artillery||130 (2S3 Akatsiya & 2S19 Msta)|
|Multiple Rocket Launchers||12 (BM-21)|
- Frank, Willard C; Gillette, Philip S (1992). Soviet Military Doctrine from Lenin to Gorbachev, 1915-1991. ISBN 9780313277139.
- "Russia has recreated the famous Soviet era Tank Army". Al-Masdar News. June 11, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Moscow Military District, warfare.ru, Russian Military Analysis. Retrieved on 1 September 2008.