18th Machine Gun Artillery Division

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184th Rifle Division (II) (1941-1946)
18th Machine Gun Artillery Division (1946-1949; 1978-present)
Active 1941-1949; 1978-present
Country Soviet Union
Allegiance Russian Ground Forces
Type fortification artillery formation
Part of Eastern Military District
Garrison/HQ Goryachiye Klyuchi, Kurilsky District, Sakhalin Oblast
Nickname(s) Dukhovshchinskaya (Духовщинская)
Engagements Battle of Kursk,[1]
Battle of Stalingrad,[2]
Battle of Smolensk,[3]
Third Battle of Kharkov,[4]
Dukhovshchinsk-Demidovo Operation[5]

The 18th Machine Gun Artillery Division is a division (military) of the Russian Ground Forces.

It was first formed as the 184th Red Banner Rifle Division (Russian: 184-я Краснознамëнная стрелковая дивизия, abbreviated: 184-я сд) which was a Soviet Red Army division during World War II (till 1940 – 2nd Division of Lithuania).[6] It was with 29th Rifle Corps of 11th Army on June 22, 1941, as part of the Baltic Military District. Most of the soldiers rebelled and joined the cause of the Lithuanian Activist Front.[7] Some of its remnants went to make up the Second Formation of the 16th Rifle Division. Its Second Formation was activated in October 1941, a redesignation of the 4th NKVD Rifle Division, which had been active in the Crimea since September 1941. The Division fought as part of the 62nd Army during the Battle of Stalingrad under Colonel Koida from July 17 to September 15, 1942.[8]

Among the most notable division members was Roza Shanina. On July 12, 1944 the division liberated Trakai jointly with the 45th Rifle Corps. During the counter-offensive in Eastern Prussia the division hoisted the flag of the Soviet Union on the Soviet state border.[9] It was then transferred to the Far East and fought as part of 45th Rifle Corps, 5th Army, during the invasion of Manchuria.[10]

During the war the division was part of the 2nd Guards Corps (39th Army), 3rd Tank Army, 5th Army, 62nd Army. It disbanded in 1945-46.[11]

109th Fortified Region had been serving in the Far East. Circa 1946 it became the 18th Machine Gun Artillery Brigade.[12]

On June 8, 1946 on the basis of the 184th Rifle Division and the 18th Machine Gun Artillery Brigade, the 18th Machine-Gun Artillery Division was created in Primorski Krai, comprising the 38, 40, and 49th Machine-Gun Artillery Regiments. It was disbanded in 1949.[13]

The 18th MGAD was reformed in 1978 in the Kuriles.[14]

Defence of the Kuril Islands[edit]

The main responsibility for the defence of the Kuril Islands falls to the 18th Machine Gun Artillery Division of the Eastern Military District. The headquarters of the Division are located in Goryachiye Klyuchi on the Iturup Island. It also has garrisons on Kunashir Island and Shikotan Island.[15] The 18th Artillery Division is the only division-strength military unit remaining in the Armed Forces of Russia, along with the 201st Military Base in Tajikistan. All other divisions have been transformed to brigades, following the Russian military reform.[16] The division's aging infrastructure is in need of overhaul.[17] There are also Border Guard Service troops stationed on the islands.[18][19]

According to RIA Novosti military analyst Ilya Kramnik, the 18th Artillery Division is unlikely to be able to defend the Islands by itself from an attack.[20] In case of attack by Japan, the Russian forces on the Kuril Islands are expected to hold out for only one to four days unless they receive support.[21]

Russia in planning to start construction of two new military posts in 2013. By late 2011 the islands airfields were being refurbished.[22] Also in 2011, it was reported that the K-300P Bastion-P system was being deployed in the islands.[23]

Commanders
Name Date
Brigadier-General Vladas Karvelis August 30, 1940 - ? 1941
Brigadier-General Vasiliy Abramov  ? - ? 1941
Brigadier-General Stanislav Poplavsky January - March 1942
Colonel Samuil Koyda March 15, 1942 - January 18, 1943; February 11, 1943 - March 1, 1943
Major Pavel Galuza January 23, 1943 - February 10, 1943
Colonel Stepan Khoteyev March 18, 1943 - May 23, 1943
Colonel Samuil Tsukaryov May 24, 1943 - December 12, 1943
Colonel Aleksandr Belov December 13, 1943 - June 1, 1944
Major-General Basan Gorodovikov June 10, 1944 - December 11, 1944; February 19, 1945 - September 3, 1945
Colonel Ivan Mayskiy December 12, 1944 - January 15, 1945
Major-General Rakhim Maksutov January 17, 1945 - February 18, 1945

References[edit]

  • Feskov, V.I.; Golikov, V.I.; Kalashnikov, K.A.; Slugin, S.A. (2013). Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской [The Armed Forces of the USSR after World War II: From the Red Army to the Soviet: Part 1 Land Forces] (in Russian). Tomsk: Scientific and Technical Literature Publishing. ISBN 9785895035306.