2nd Guards Tank Corps

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24th Tank Corps
2nd Guards Tank Corps
2nd Guards Tank Corps.png
Guards banner of the corps
Country Soviet Union (1942–1991)
 Russia (1991–2001)
BranchRed Army flag.svg Red Army (1942–1991)
Russian Ground Forces (1991–2001)
RoleBreakthrough and Exploitation in Deep Operations
SizeCorps (120–200 tanks)
EngagementsWorld War II
DecorationsOrder of Suvorov
Order of the Red Banner
Battle honoursTatsinsk
V. M. Badanov

The 2nd Tatsinskaya Guards Tank Corps was a Red Army tank corps that saw service during World War II on the Eastern Front. After the war it continued to serve with Soviet occupation forces in Central Europe. It was originally the 24th Tank Corps. The unit had approximately the same size and combat power as a Wehrmacht Panzer Division, and less than a British Armoured Division had during World War II.

World War II[edit]

The first of the Guards Tank Corps were formed when 26th Tank Corps was renamed 1st Guards Tank Corps in December 1942.[1]

24th Tank Corps[edit]

24th Tank Corps was formed in 1942 during the re-establishment of the tank corps as a formation in the Red Army. It was equipped with a mix of T-34 medium, T-60 light, KV-1 heavy, and U.S. Lend Lease M3 Stuart light tanks. It was assigned to 6th Army, and participated in the Stalingrad Defensive Operation on the Don River during July 1942, where it lost almost two-thirds of the tanks.[2] Its 24th Motorized Brigade conducted offensive operations along the Don together with 25th Guards Rifle Division.[3]

Following re-building, it was assigned to 3rd Guards Army which was under the command of General Dmitri Danilovich Lelyushenko to participate in the encirclement of German Army Group A in Operation Saturn, which was undertaken during the Battle of Stalingrad.

The 24th Tank Corps consisted of the following units:[when?]

Combat Units

  • 4th Guards Tank Brigade (Colonel G.I. Kolypov)
  • 54th Tank Brigade (Colonel V.M. Polyakov)
  • 130th Tank Brigade (Colonel S.K. Nesterov)
  • 24th Motorized Rifle Brigade (Colonel V.S. Savchenko)

Support Units

  • 13th Mining Engineer Company
  • 158th Mobile Repair Base
  • Corps Train

The Corps undertook the famous raid on Tatsinskaya during Operation Little Saturn. In honour of the successful raid, where a large number of Axis aircraft was destroyed on ground, it was renamed 2nd Guards Tank Corps, and given the honorific 'Tatsinskaya'.

2nd Guards Tank Corps[edit]

2nd Guards Tank Corps was initially based on the same units as 24th Tank Corps. The individual combat units were also renamed and renumbered as Guards units. With changing organization and equipment during the war, additional units were added. Depending on the specific tasks allotted to the Corps, units from the Reserve of the Supreme High Command (Stavka Reserve) could be added to help it achieve its mission.

At the Battle of Kursk, the following OOB applied:
Main Combat Units (totalling 187 tanks at Prokohorovka):[citation needed]

  • 25th Guards Tank Brigade
  • 26th Guards Tank Brigade
  • 4th Guards Tank Brigade
  • 4th Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade
  • 47th Guards Breakthrough Tank Regiment
  • 1500th SU-regiment (Self-propelled Artillery)
  • 1695th AA-regiment
  • 273rd Mortar regiment
  • 755th Antitank battalion

Support Units (unconfirmed)

  • Aviation Liaison Section (F.A.C.)
  • 51st Sapper Battalion
  • Corps Train

Among personnel decorated for their fighting actions with the corps was Mariya Oktyabrskaya, awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union posthumously in 1945 for her actions in the fighting around Vitebsk in 1944.

A destroyed T-34/85 of the corps' 25th Guards Tank Brigade at Nemmersdorf, October 1944

Members of the corps committed the notorious Nemmersdorf massacre, torturing and killing tens of German civilians in October 1944.[4]


On 24 July 1945, it became the 2nd Guards Tank Division in Pskov, part of the Leningrad Military District. In 1947, the division moved to Võru. On 23 May 1953, the 4th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment became the 122nd Guards Mechanized Regiment. The 873rd Artillery Regiment was activated from the 273rd Mortar Regiment and the separate howitzer artillery battalion. The 79th Separate Motorcycle Battalion was converted into a reconnaissance battalion. The 338th Separate Chemical Defence Company was activated on the same day. During 1953, the 1695th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment was downsized into the 14th Separate Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion. The division also moved to Luga, Leningrad Oblast during the year. In April 1955, the battalion became the 1108th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment. The division underwent a major reorganization in June 1957. The 25th Guards Tank Regiment was disbanded and the 26th Guards Tank Regiment became the 268th Guards Tank Regiment. The 90th Guards Heavy Tank Self-Propelled Regiment dropped the designation "Self-Propelled". The 122nd Guards Mechanized Regiment became the 272nd Guards Motor Rifle Regiment.[5]

In 1960, the division's tank training battalion was disbanded. In 1962, the 90th Guards Heavy Tank Regiment became a regular tank regiment. On 19 February 1962, the 139th Separate Equipment Maintenance and Recovery Battalion was activated along with the 201st Separate Missile Battalion. The division was transferred to Choibalsan in Mongolia during April 1968 and became part of the 39th Army. Before the move, the 79th Separate Reconnaissance Battalion was replaced by the 86th Separate Reconnaissance Battalion. After the division arrived at Choibalsan, the 272nd Guards Motor Rifle Regiment was replaced by the 456th Motor Rifle Regiment. The 51st Separate Guards Sapper Battalion became an engineer-sapper battalion. In 1980, the motor transport battalion became the 1084th Separate Material Supply Battalion. During the mid-1980s, the division replaced its T-62 tanks with newer T-72 tanks.[5]

1988 Organisation[edit]

The organisation of the division before being reduced:[6]

  • Division Headquarters, Choibalsan
  • 1st Independent Guards Communications Battalion
  • 86th Independent Reconnaissance Battalion
  • 4th Guards Tank Regiment
  • 90th Guards Tank Regiment
  • 268th Guards Tank Regiment
  • 456th Motorised Rifle Regiment
  • 873rd Artillery Regiment
  • 201st Independent Missile Battalion
  • 1108th Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment
  • 51st Independent Guards Engineer-Sapper Battalion
  • 1084th Independent Materiel Supply Battalion
  • 139th Independent Equipment Maintenance and Recovery Battalion
  • 159th Independent Medical Battalion
  • 338th Chemical Defence Company

In May 1990, the division was withdrawn to Bezrechnaya and became part of the 55th Army Corps. It was downsized into the 3742nd Guards Central Tank Reserve Base in March 2001. In 2005, the base was disbanded.[5]

Combat history[edit]












  1. ^ "26th Tank Corps (1st Guards Tank Corps)". stalingrad.ic.ru. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  2. ^ AMVAS. "Tank equipment of the Soviet tank units in Don area. 1942". www.armchairgeneral.com. Retrieved 2016-09-16.
  3. ^ Shtykov, N. (August 1982). "Battle of Stalingrad: Fighting for Brigeheads on the Upper Don". ВОЕННО-ИСТОРИЧЕСКИЙ ЖУРНАЛ [Military History Journal] (8): 32–39. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  4. ^ Ian Kershaw, The End, 2012, Penguin Books, pp. 111–117
  5. ^ a b c Michael Holm, 2nd Guards Tank Division, 2015.
  6. ^ "2nd Guards Tank Division". www.ww2.dk. Retrieved 2020-05-04.


  • Bonn, K.E. 'Slaughterhouse - The Handbook of the Eastern Front', Aberjona Press
  • Erickson, J. 'The Road to Stalingrad'
  • Glantz, D. 'From the Don to the Dnepr'
  • Porfiryev, ‘Raid to Tatsinskaya’, VIZH 11/1987