Soviet order of battle for invasion of Poland in 1939
The Soviet order of battle for the invasion of Poland in 1939 details the major combat units arrayed for the Soviet surprise attack on Poland on September 17, 1939. As a result of joining battle after the Germans had already launched their invasion, the Soviets, prepared for battle in secrecy, met comparatively limited resistance. Several skirmishes between the German and Soviet forces did occur, but neither government was prepared for starting a larger conflict, and these were soon referred to as "misunderstandings".
Like the Germans, the Soviets employed two primary offensive axes, each managed by a Front. Each Front commander had at his disposal a mobile group of forces created from cavalry and mechanised troops; a precursor of the cavalry-mechanised groups of the Second World War.
The effects of the purge are visible in the ranks of the commanders in the order of battle, with only one Army commander serving in the appropriate rank of the Army General, in this case 2nd Class (Komandarm 2nd rank, Russian: командарм 2 ранга), the rest serving in being Corps (Komcor) and Divisional (Komdiv) Commander rank (Russian: комкор, комдив)
The two invading fronts
- 4th Rifle Corps
- Lepelska Group (staging area in and around the city of Lepiel)
- According to narod.ru, the 3rd Army also included the 150th Rifle Division (in Odessa Military District as third echelon)
- 16th Rifle Corps
- 3rd Cavalry Corps
- 5th Rifle Corps.
- 6th Cavalry Corps
- 15th Tank Corps
- 2nd Tank Brigade
- 21st Tank Brigade
- 27th Tank Brigade
- 20th Motorised Rifle Brigade
- 8th Rifle Division
- 29th Tank Brigade
- 32nd Tank Brigade
The Ukrainian Front covered the southern sector of the Polish front in 1939, and included three Armies, commanded by Komandarm 1st rank Semyon Timoshenko. As of September 17, 1939, the Front included:
- 15th Rifle Corps
- 8th Rifle Corps
- 2nd Cavalry Corps
- 17th Rifle Corps
- Front Cavalry Group (from 28 September) (initially part of 12th Army)
- 4th Cavalry Corps
- 5th Cavalry Corps
- 25th Tank Corps (subordinated to 12th Army)
- 4th Light Tank Brigade
- 5th Tank Brigade
- 1st Motor Rifle Brigade
- War and campaign articles
- Other forces in the Polish Campaign
- Table 27 in Сентябрь 1939 года. Война с запада (Russian)
- "Soviet Armies, Invasion of Poland, 17 September 1939" (PDF). United States Army Combined Arms Research Library.
- Bochka i obruchi ili Kogda nachalas' Velikaya Otechestvennaya voyna? (Chasti 1,2) Электронная библиотека echitalka.ru
- Transferred from the Kalinin Military District.