1st Guards Tank Army (Russia)
|1st Tank Army (1942 – April 1944)|
1st Guards Tank Army (1944–1999, 2014–)
Soviet Guards badge worn by soldiers of the army
|Active||1942–1998, reinstated 2014|
|Country|| Soviet Union (1942–1991)|
Russia (1991–1999, 2014–)
|Role||Breakthrough and Exploitation in Deep Operations|
|Engagements||World War II|
|Lieutenant General Aleksandr Chayko|
The 1st Guards Tank Army is a tank army of the Russian Ground Forces.
The army traces its heritage back to the 1st Tank Army, formed twice in July 1942 and in January 1943 and converted into the 1st Guards Tank Army in January 1944. The army fought as part of the Red Army on the Eastern Front during World War II. The army was commanded throughout most of the war by Mikhail Katukov. It fought in the early defense during the Battle of Stalingrad, and Operation Uranus, also participated at the Battle of Kursk, Proskurov-Chernovtsy Operation, Lvov-Sandomierz Operation, Vistula-Oder Offensive and the Battle of Berlin. After the war, the army was stationed in East Germany as part of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany.
After the end of the Cold War and the resultant withdrawal of Soviet units in Germany, the army was relocated to Smolensk, disbanded in 1999. The army was reformed in 2014 as part of a Russian military expansion.
The 1st Tank Army was first formed within the Stalingrad Front from 38th Army in July 1942, under the command of Major General Kirill Moskalenko. The army was encircled and partially destroyed, and was disbanded as a result in August 1942, its headquarters becoming the Southeastern Front headquarters.
The 1st Tank Army was formed a second time on 30 January 1943 (order No.46021) from the headquarters of the 29th Army, under the command of famous armoured troops commander Lieutenant General of Tank Troops Mikhail Katukov, personally appointed by Stalin. The army was transferred to the North-Western Front. 3rd Mechanised Corps (later to become 8th Guards Mechanised Corps) and 6th Tank Corps (later to become 11th Guards Tank Corps) joined it on formation, and served with the army throughout the war. It was quickly transferred to Voronezh Front for the defense of the Kursk salient's southern shoulder. It was awarded a Guards title and became the 1st Guards Tank Army in April 1944, and Katukov was promoted to Colonel General.
On 1 January 1945, the Army's principal combat formations were:
- 8th Guards Mechanized Corps (Major General Ivan Dremov) (3 January 1944 – 9 May 1945)
- 19th Guards Mechanized Brigade
- 20th Guards Mechanized Brigade
- 21st Guards Mechanized Brigade
- 1st Guards Tank Brigade
- 48th Guards Separate Tank Regiment
- 353rd Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment
- 400th Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment
- 265th Guards Mortar Regiment *
- 405th Guards Mortar Battalion *
- 358th Guards Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment
- 8th Guards Motorcycle Battalion
- 11th Guards Tank Corps (Colonel Hamazasp Babadzhanian) (25 August 1944 – 9 May 1945)
- 40th Guards Tank Brigade
- 44th Guards Tank Brigade
- 45th Guards Tank Brigade
- 27th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade
- 399th Guards Heavy Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment
- 362nd Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment
- 1454th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment
- 350th Light Artillery Regiment
- 270th Guards Mortar Regiment *
- 53rd Guards Mortar Battalion *
- 1018th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment
- 9th Guards Motorcycle Battalion
- Army Troops
- 64th Guards Tank Brigade
- 11th Guards Separate Tank Regiment
- 19th Light Self-Propelled Artillery Brigade
- 197th Light Artillery Brigade
- 79th Guards Mortar Regiment *
- 17th Motorised Engineer Brigade
- 191st Guards Liaison Aviation Regiment
- 6th Motorcycle Regiment
- 12th Guards Motorcycle Regiment
The 1st Guards Tank Army was awarded the Order of the Red Banner postwar, and became part of the Soviet occupation force in Germany, known as Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, with its headquarters in Dresden. In 1968, it, along with the 11th Guards Tank and 20th Guards Motor Rifle Divisions, took part in the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, but then immediately returned to their respective garrisons. In the late 1980s the Army included the 20th Guards Motor Rifle Division, 9th Tank Division, and 11th Guards Tank Division. The headquarters was withdrawn to Smolensk, in the Moscow Military District in the early 1990s, and lost the 'Tank' from its title in 1995. In its last period within the Russian Army it comprised the 4th Guards 'Kantemir' Tank Division and the 144th Motor Rifle Division (which had been withdrawn from Tallinn in Estonia). It was disbanded in 1998.
Components of the Army while in Germany
- 9th Red Banner Order of Suvorov Babruysk-Berlin Tank Division, Riesa (call sign – Strelka). Withdrawn to Smolensk
- 11th Red Banner Order of Suvorov Carpathian-Berlin Guards Tank Division, Dresden (call sign – Rapid). Withdrawn to Slonim
- 20th Red Banner Order of Suvorov Carpathian-Berlin Guards Motor Rifle Division, Grimma (call sign – Strekach). Withdrawn to Volgograd
The army was formed as the main ground forces manoeuvre and reserve operational formation of the Western Military District in addition to the 6th Combined Arms Army (headquartered in Saint Petersburg) and the 20th Guards Combined Arms Army (headquartered in Voronezh). It is considered the elite of the Russian Ground Forces. The army carries on the traditions of the chronologically first army of the Soviet Union to reach 'Guards' status. Further it has the 2nd Motor Rifle and the 4th Tank guards divisions, which are considered the elite formations of their respective combat arms. The most decorated divisions of the Soviet Army, they were garrisoned the closest to Moscow. Due to their proximity to the capitol their personnel was put to extra scrutiny, they were considered a very prestigious posting, received the latest hardware and thus known as the 'household' divisions of the Soviet Army. Their loyalty to the regime was demonstrated by their involvement in the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt. The divisions retained their elite status within the Russian Army.
Today the Army is composed of,
- Army Headquarters (Odintsovo, Moscow Oblast)
- 60th Command Brigade (Selyatino village near Odintsovo, Moscow Oblast)
- 2nd Guards Motor Rifle 'Tamanskaya' Division (Kalininets, Moscow Oblast)
- 4th Guards Tank 'Kantemirovskaya' Division (Naro-Fominsk, Moscow Oblast)
- 6th Separate Tank 'Częstochowa' Brigade (Mulino, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast)
- 27th Separate Guards Motor Rifle 'Sevastopol' Brigade (Mosrentgen, Moscow City)
- 112th Guards Missile 'Novorossiysk' Brigade (Shuya, Ivanovo Oblast) (9K720 Iskander)
- 288th Artillery 'Warsaw' Brigade (Mulino, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast)
- 49th Missile Air Defence Brigade (Krasnyi Bor, Smolensk Oblast) (Buk-M2)
- 96th Separate ISTAR Brigade (Sormovo, Nizhny Novgorod City)
- unknown Combat Engineer Regiment (in formation until the end of 2018) (unknown location in Moscow Oblast)
- 20th Separate NBC Defence Regiment (Tsentralny, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast)
- 69th Separate Logistics Brigade (Dzerzhinsk, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast)
Commanders of the Army
- Katukov, Mikhail Yefimovich – Guard ColGen, 1943–1947
- Belov, Yeftikhin Emelyanovich – Guard LtGen, 1947–1951
- Govorunenkov, Pyotr Dmitrievich – Guard GenLt, 1951–1953
- Yakubovsky, Ivan Ignatyevitch – Guard GenLt, 1953–1957
- Tolubko, Vladimir Fyodorovich – Guard MajGen, 1957–1958
- Ukhov, Vladimir Dmitrievich – Guard MajGen, 1958–1961
- Ivanovski, Yevgeny Filippovich – Guard MajGen, 1961–1964
- Kotsasnov, Konstantin Grigoryevich – Guard GenLt, 1964–1968
- Gerasimov, Ivan Aleksandrovich – Guard GenLt, 1968–1971
- Lushev, Pyotr Georgievich – Guard GenLt, 1971–1973
- Snetkov, Boris Vasilievich – Guard LtGen, 1973–1975
- Popov, Nikolai Ivanovich – Guard LtGen, 1975–1979
- Sovotskin, Roman Mikhailovich – Guard LtGen, 1979–1981
- Osipov, Vladimir Vasilyevich – Guard LtGen, 1981–1983
- Shein, Boris Pertovich – Guard LtGen, 1983–1986
- Tchernitsov, Anatoli Kupyanovich – Guard LtGen, 1986–1990
- Kolchkin, Gennadi Andreevich – Guard LtGen, 1990–1992
- Shevtsov, Leonti Pavlovich – Guard LtGen, 1992–1993
- Sosyedov, Vasili Petrovich – Guard LtGen, 1993–1995
- Roshchin, Viktor Mikhailovich – Guard LtGen, 1995–1999
- Did not exist (1999–2014)
- Chayko, Aleksandr Yurevitch – Guard LtGen, 2014–present
- Bonn, 2005, p.351, 354
- Craig Crofoot, manuscript available at Microarmormayhem.com, 2007
- "ВЗГЛЯД / Россия закрывает "черную дыру" на границе с Украиной". vz.ru.
- http://bmpd.livejournal.com/1324525.html[permanent dead link]
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- Military personnel of the Soviet Armed Forces, assigned to service in a guards units or formations, added to the particular rank designation the wording Guard …, e.g. Guard Lieutenant General. This tradition is continued in the Russian Federation.
- Bonn, K.E. 'Slaughterhouse – The Handbook of the Eastern Front', Aberjona Press, 2005
- Duncan, Andrew 'Russian Forces in Decline – Part 3', Jane's Intelligence Review, November 1996.
- V.I. Feskov, Golikov V.I., K.A. Kalashnikov, and S.A. Slugin, The Armed Forces of the USSR after World War II, from the Red Army to the Soviet (Part 1: Land Forces). (В.И. Слугин С.А. Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской (часть 1: Сухопутные войска)) Tomsk, 2013.
- Glantz, David M. 'Companion to Colossus Reborn' University Press of Kansas, 2005.