270th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

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The 270th Rifle Division was a Red Army infantry division formed twice during World War II, in 1941 and 1942. After the Great Patriotic War it became a motorized rifle division and was part of the Russian Ground Forces after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

History[edit]

First Formation[edit]

The 270th began forming on 10 July 1941 at Melitopol, part of the Odessa Military District. Its basic order of battle included the 973rd, 975th, and the 977th Rifle Regiments, as well as the 810th Artillery Regiment. Formed from militia and reservists east of the Dnieper bend in about a month, the division was assigned to the Southern Front's 12th Army by late August. In September, it was transferred to the 6th Army of the Southwestern Front. In early 1942, the 270th participated in the Barvenkovo–Lozovaya Offensive, during which Soviet advances resulted in the formation of a large bulge in Soviet lines to the south of Kharkov. The German attack in the Second Battle of Kharkov trapped Soviet forces in this bulge, which became known as the Izyum pocket. The 270th was among the divisions wiped out, and was officially disbanded on 25 May.[1]

Second Formation[edit]

The 270th was begun forming in July 1942, part of the Arkhangelsk Military District. The new division included the same basic order of battle as the previous division, and was not assigned a commander until 11 October, weeks after it had left the Arkhangelsk Military District for the Voronezh Front's 6th Army. At the end of 1942, the 270th became part of the 18th Separate Rifle Corps, which became the 69th Army in February 1943. In July, the division was moved north in the Reserve of the Supreme High Command (RVGK) and at the end of August became part of the 43rd Army in the Kalinin Front, where it remained until February 1944.[2] In September 1943, the division fought at Demidov.[citation needed]

In February 1944 the division transferred back to the RVGK and became part of the 103rd Rifle Corps. As part of the corps, the 270th returned to the front in the 6th Guards Army of the 1st Baltic Front just before Operation Bagration began in June. The division then fought in Operation Bagration during the summer.[citation needed] In February 1945, the division was transferred to the 22nd Guards Rifle Corps of the 10th Guards Army, part of the 2nd Baltic Front. A month later it shifted to the 6th Guards Army's 84th Rifle Corps, blockading German troops trapped in the Courland Pocket on the Baltic coast. At the very end of the war the corps transferred to the 4th Shock Army, still in the Courland Group.[2] The division's honorifics at the end of the war were "Demidov, Polotsk," Order of the Red Banner."[citation needed]

November 1942: the division fought at Stalingrad, after which it was assigned to the 69th Army, and fought with it during the Third Battle of Kharkov in February 1943.

July, 1943: fought at the Battle of Kursk, where the 69th Army, as part of Voronezh Front, took the main thrust of the southern German attack.[which?]

Postwar[edit]

At some point after 1945, the division was reduced to the 41st Rifle Brigade.

1945-1960s: the division was based at Buzuluk in Orenburg Oblast.

1953: the 41st Rifle Brigade was expanded into the 270th Rifle Division. 1954: the Division participated in the Totskoye range nuclear tests.

Spring of 1955 the 270th Rifle Division was renamed the 44th Rifle Division. 1957: the 44th Rifle Division became the 44th Motor Rifle Division.

The 44th Motor Rifle Division disbanded on 1 March 1959, according to Vitaly Feskov and others in 2013.[3] 1965: the 44th Motor Rifle Division was renamed the 270th Motor Rifle Division. The numbering of the regiments was also changed.

Late 1960s: the 270th Motor Rifle Division was relocated from the South Ural mountains to the Far East Military District, joining the 15th Army at Khabarovsk in 1969. August 19, 1967: the division was reformed in the Far East Military District, without a formal designation or barracks location, and was linked for administration purposes to the 129th Motor Rifle Division. The Code name of the division was 61304.

March 3, 1970: the 270th Motor Rifle Division was formally re-formed, based in the city of Khabarovsk. The division was a part of 15th Army (Combined Arms) of the Far East Military District.

Status today[edit]

The division was based at Krasnaya Rechka, near Khabarovsk and was part of the 35th Army. It comprised the 509th Tank Regiment, and the 102nd, 478th, and 882nd Motor Rifle Regiments, as well as the 470th Anti-Aircraft Rocket Regiment. In 2010, the division became the 243rd Weapons and Equipment Storage Base.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sharp 1996a, p. 55.
  2. ^ a b Sharp 1996b, pp. 103–104.
  3. ^ Holm, Michael. "44th Motorised Rifle Division". ww2.dk. Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  4. ^ Holm, Michael. "270th Motorised Rifle Division". www.ww2.dk. Retrieved 2016-01-03. 

References[edit]