Talk:List of Soviet armies

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Old talk[edit]

I oppose to merging, since the article is supposed to give specifics about the "Soviet Army Army". It is not like a subtopic of a general topic. And to merge into a subsection of an article about a significantly different topic is all the more wrong idea. Mikkalai 21:18, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

But that article covers two topics equally: Army#Military land forces, and Army#Military unit (covering all countries and including half of what's here). Currently, this article has one sentence of content, and one sentence disambiguating the former. (I would agree that Army (formation) or some such should be a separate article, but that's another topic.)
Wouldn't it be better to have a section describing "military organization" or "command structure" in Red Army, or a separate article at Red Army organization or Soviet military organization?
Do you expect this one to grow into a bit more of a substub anytime soon? I'm fine with leaving it if you feel strongly about it, but this article just seems to be an odd orphan that doesn't belong anywhere. Michael Z. 2005-01-22 16:54 Z

Home for information on Soviet Armies of WW2[edit]

Please do not delete or merge this page. It is a good respository for info on Soviet armies that don't have enough info to deserve their own page. 10:21, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Split to a list[edit]

Everything below the contents should be split off to List of Soviet armiesMichael Z. 2007-06-27 02:28 Z

Please explain your reasoning. I merged the two proceeding articles (see the 'what links here' page) because otherwise the article that is not a list becomes a really small stub. Buckshot06 17:00, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Oops, long delay before replying.
Well, WP:EMBED and related guidelines discourage large lists embedded in articles. This article isn't that small, and like any article I believe it is stronger on its own as an article. If you still think it is too much of a stub, perhaps it should be combined with several others to create a featured article at formations of the Soviet Army or Organization of the Soviet Army.
The list could aso be more useful on its own, especially using the related changes feature, and could also incorporate the development function mentioned at WP:LIST#Purpose of lists if every army were linked, including red links. Michael Z. 2007-08-27 19:08 Z

Please, un-merge the lists[edit]

Merging the Civil War list with the WWII list makes it hard for readers to find out how many armies were present in the Civil War, and the Civil War material is irrelevant to those looking up WWII, and vice-versa. Jacob Haller 17:34, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Independent, not Separate[edit]

The translation of отдельная as separate is not quite right. The Army with such a designation was intended to operate within the operational and strategic design of the Red Army as a whole, but independently due to some particularity of its deployment of the threat faced. From this POV it seems to me that Independent is a better English word to use. At the start of WW there were several of them, the best known being the 9th Independent Army that later became Independent Coastal Army, and the 7th Independent Army that was operating against Finland in some fairly remote terrain. There were also independent armies of the reserve, the 51st, 52nd, 54th and 56th Independent Armies. The other Army sized organisations usually left out are the Fortified Regions. Although they did not have the manpower of the Armies, they did occupy the frontages of the Armies, so in a strategic sense were very much on the Army level in terms of impact on planning.--Mrg3105 (talk) 05:49, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Reserve Armies[edit]

I need to check this, but I ma mostly sure that the correct designation for these was (example) 5th Army of the Reserve of STAVKA. The STAVKA reserves had lots of different units from all Arms and Services and the Armies of Reserve were eventually renamed and renumbered on being fielded in active Front assignments. I know its semantics maybe, but here the Reserve means not that the Army was a reserve one of reserve status as in Australian Army Reserve, but that it was a formation in Reserve of the higher echelon of Command.--Mrg3105 (talk) 02:32, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

2nd Formation[edit]

Buckshot06, I actually think I'm right on that one. A second, or subsequent formation Army (or any other echelon unit) is actually a separate entity that has nothing to do with the previous manifestation. The 63rd Army 2nd Formation is not the original 63rd Army reformed, but an entirely new Army, and should have its own entry. I'm sorry if the sources you have do not make this clear. The appellation '2nd formation' is for administrative purposes to ensure that any service personnel records are stored in the right place. --Mrg3105 (talk) 22:38, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

I am well aware of that. Craig Crofoot, however, notes there were over 2,000 divisions formed in the Red Army during the entire war, and our Divisions page is already straining its size limits. There were a number of Armies that were formed four times in WW2, many, many, three times, and a number twice, not to mention the chain of redesignations and reorganisations. We haven't scratched the surface of Soviet armies in WW2 here yet - maybe twenty of the ninety+ armies have their own pages.

Quite simply the Army (Soviet Army) page is near overload now. Once we have every army with a page that's roughly like Seventh United States Army I think we can start thinking about that. But even then I would disagree. Commonweath units keep their history intact no matter how many times they've been formed and reformed, and so do US units. Otherwise we'd have, instead of the single page for a US Army listed above, about five stumpy pages. That's the rule for Western formations, and I believe it should stay that way.

But let me tell you what the usual practice is for major changes in a way a page is set up, like listing second formations. It's not to insert one change like that, when there are 40 odd second formations numerically before 63rd Army. When you want to suggest a major page change like that, the etiquette is to raise the proposal on the talk page, wait a while and see what other people think, and see where the discussion goes before making initial, undiscussed changes which stand a high chance of getting reverted. You will suffer very many less reverts and get far more cooperation if you raise proposed changes on the talk page first. Cheers Buckshot06 (talk) 23:21, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Firstly I didn't even look at the other Armies. I just thought that you had not had the time to put the subsequent formations in, and just created the original Armies.
  • The solution for not having overloaded Divisions page is to create the Military District pages first. All divisions were first created in districts, and only later assigned to the Armies and Fronts. With all due respect for Craig, he can't change the fact that subsequent formations were distinct and separate units.
  • I would suggest linking the Armies to the Military District pages also, which will alleviate the overload on that page also, and allow addition of subsequent formations.
  • The Seventh United States Army existed for about two and a half years before 1945. The First on the other hand had a Lineage from 1918. So how do you suggest the lineage of the 63rd Army 2nd formation is recorded if the 63rd Army lineage is through the 1st Guards Army? The 63rd Army 2nd formation was no more after 1944, having existed for about a year. I will have a problem with this when linking to Armies, Fronts and divisions from operations because each one would require a disambig tag! Would it not be easier to just create separate pages to start with?
Would it not be better to have everything on the same page?
  • It was not my intention to make a major page change. I just didn't think you got to the subsequent formations yet because you only have the 40th Army (due to Afghanistan) completed. As it happens I had the 63rd Army translated some years ago for a wargame, so had it ready and decided to create it. I'm sorry if you feel a personal offense for me doing so. I just didn't see a need to discuss something which is obvious, namely that the two units are distinct entities. As you know, I am all for cooperation :o). However this issue is actually not a matter of cooperation but data consistency, something that seems to come up fairly regularly in Wikipedia.--Mrg3105 (talk) 23:50, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
PS. You know that the Military Districts also had 2nd Formations, as did the Fronts?--Mrg3105 (talk) 00:03, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, of course. Are you aware that most of the MD pages (at least for present & 1989) exist already? It was my first priority so that everything had a place it could 'sit' if no other linkages were present. See Category:Military districts of Russia and the Soviet Union. Allow me to explain my priorities for creating Army articles. 1) Exists currently, which is why you will see a 'bulge' of data at 58th Army, though I really don't think I have enough data to create it yet. Also 3rd Shock Army. 2) Important or unusual wartime service, which is why 2nd Shock Army deserves a page. 3) Other armies. Cheers Buckshot06 (talk) 00:55, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I appreciate that you are focusing on the current Russian Federation and their last Soviet lineage formations. This is why there are so few MDs.
I am not concerned in what order the units are added. In all likelyhood it will not be a numerical or 'importance' order when I start adding the operations. I am however trying to work within the syntax framework you have set up. The current approach is going to affect me because I may in fact get to 2nd formation units before I get to the 1st formation units (and formations).
I can see that it will be difficult to begin working on the operations if, when I start linking the Fronts and Armies, there will be conflicts with your existing pages. May I suggest that I complete the MDs and Fronts first so the Armies and divisions can be moved to those pages to reduce 'cram', and then go on from there?
Most of the fronts exist as well. See Category:Soviet fronts. Indeed, have a through look at Category:Military units and formations of the Soviet Union in general. But no armies or divisions need to be 'moved,' that's the purpose of the Divisions of the Soviet Union 1917-1945 and Army (Soviet Army) to provide a central list. Buckshot06 (talk) 01:40, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
The 1860 date was drawn directly from a machine translated copy of the Russian Ministry of Defence's Moscow Military District page, for what it's worth. The problem with the 'X formation' strategy is we get thousands of stub pages with a few lines. With the material you had, I would not have probably created the 63rd Army page - it's just so short. Expand the baseline reference at Military district, to the 33 total MDs immediately after WW2, and when you get more than 150 words or two or three paragraphs of data, create the page, as X Military District, add all formation data to that, and if that goes over six or seven big paragraphs, create the second formation page. Otherwise we get all these small stubs. Better still, find a way to get hold of the original unit/formation histories in translation, and then we can write more than these really small articles. Buckshot06 (talk) 01:44, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
You mean there is a minimum length for the articles? Initially I have barely enough for a brief history for each MD. Eventually as units which were formed there are populated the article will expand, particularly when you start adding cities within the MD, and their defence industries.
There are no unit histories for most units, just excerpts from Ministry of Defence records suplemented by veteran memoirs. There are now unit veteran councils in Russia, and some have written short histories. During USSR I'm sure you are aware there were histories published for most Fronts and some Armies and even divisions, but getting a hold of them here is not feasible.What is the problem with stubs? They will be fleshed out eventually. I think there is a template for starter articles. I have just started one for Military Railways, and that is almost empty despite two sources ;o) I can't do it all myself. but I need these pages to take care of the redlinks.--Mrg3105 (talk) 02:09, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Imperial Russian Army adminstration structure[edit]

By the way, I am very surprised a the Russian version of the MDs because it says they were created in the 1860s, but I thought only the Zemstvo were created for civilian administration. I thought the administrations were based on gubernya system (replacing the Inspectorates), but that part of Russian military history during later 19th century is not my strong point. In any case, I have a list of the MDs and their histories, so I will have a look at your current setup, and create the rest. I would like to propose that the appellation "X formation" be used in the actual formation/unit name to avoid confusion. Is that ok with you?
What is the problem with documenting 2,000 divisions? :o) As I see it, Wikipedia offers a great opportunity to do so. Even if we will not complete it, someone will, which is the entire point of Wiki.
BTW, speaking of Craig, he is a co-author of the book you quote. Cheers--Mrg3105 (talk) 01:19, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

See Category:Soviet fronts. Indeed, have a through look at Category:Military units and formations of the Soviet Union in general. But no armies or divisions need to be 'moved,' that's the purpose of the Divisions of the Soviet Union 1917-1945 and Army (Soviet Army) to provide a central list. Buckshot06 (talk) 01:40, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
So there need so be created Category:Military units and formations of the Russian Empireand Divisions of the Russian Empire 1692-1917 and Army (Russian Imperial Army)?--Mrg3105 (talk) 02:14, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
I've already created Category:Military units and formations of Imperial Russia. Put everything in there for now - battalions, regiments, divisions, corps, everything. Once there are more than four divisions (or battalions, or whatever) set up the subordinate category. A central article? I'd create Military units and formations of Imperial Russia and list everything there for a start. Once you've got more than 100 or so units/formations listed, set up the subordinate pages. Redlinks? In my view, it's simple. Don't create the redlinks until more information is available. Just place the information in the 'parent' articles. See Formations of the Soviet Army for the list of 'parent' articles. Glantz's books (I'm looking at Slaughterhouse, 2005) list tens and tens of unit and formation histories, plus hundreds of articles in VIZh etc. Otherwise we get these awful stub tags - and nobody yet has access to the information to fill them out. Wait until more information is available from wikieditors with access to these books who can translate, and until then, just work on articles you have the information for. The list of campaigns article would be really useful - I would suggest that as your first focus, if you wanted my opinion. Buckshot06 (talk) 02:23, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Air Armies[edit]

Do you mind if I move the Air Armies to the Soviet Air Force article? I need to expand the table substantially and it seems to me they are misplaced with the Army armies anyway. Cheers-- mrg3105mrg3105 00:05, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

There's no size problems with the article at the moment. They're in the template together, I don't see any reason why they can't go in the same article. There's already a list of Air Armies at the SAF article. Buckshot06 (talk) 01:14, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I appreciate that, but firstly they are "Soviet Air Armies in the last years of the Soviet Union ", and as you will see they will need some 'adjusting', and also intuitively I would not look for Air Armies in the Army section :o)-- mrg3105mrg3105 01:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Well adjust the SAF article then. I believe they belong in both, and this article is currently well under the size limit, so what's the problem? Buckshot06 (talk) 01:50, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Amh, I need to add about 100 lines ;o)-- mrg3105mrg3105 02:01, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Don't think that's a problem. It's only 40 kb. However, I strongly suggest you add any second formation material within the existing structure, without adding extra boxes. Buckshot06 (talk) 02:03, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not even talking about second formations. This is (future) VVS and PVO as of May 1945. Second formations will have to wait ;o)-- mrg3105mrg3105 02:08, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Add away. Don't write on talk pages, just add text, providing it is referenced. You'll get a notice in the edit box if the page is getting too big. But if you like, place most of it at Soviet Air Forces (which is smaller) and just link it here. Buckshot06 (talk) 02:14, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
No, this is not referenced. This is just the OOB table from one of the Russian sites. I can't do all-in-one job. I have to have a structure in place and then work away at that by finding references which will in part come from my library (that I have not even begun to use). I need to see what needs to be done before I start adding sources and references. This is how encyclopaedias work btw. They get a big-wig professor at some uni to write the article from his head, and then assign it to a post-grad to do the sources and referencing though he/she would not get the credit (hope you are not a 'big-wig' professor somewhere):o) -- mrg3105mrg3105 02:23, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Whatever you're going to do, I suggest you simply start, just as long as you know where the references are going to come from. Buckshot06 (talk) 02:28, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Good advice. Its interesting, but I got this OOB from a site with good reputation, but it has not been proofread. I have found several minor errors due to scanning.-- mrg3105mrg3105 04:17, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Guards Armies syntax[edit]

Please remind me what the correct syntax is for these. In current use:
Soviet Third Guards Army
Fourth Guards Army (Soviet Union)
Seventh Guards Army
Soviet 8th Guards Army
14th 'Budapest' Guards Army
--mrg3105mrg3105 09:15, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

All Soviet sources seem to use Xth Guards Army. Thus the standard we're working towards adopting is Xth Guards Army (Soviet Union) as per the WP:MILHIST unit conventions. We can possibly leave the (Soviet Union) out as no other countries had such formations. But I simply haven't got around to renaming them. Buckshot06 (talk) 18:59, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
10th Guards Army: After war the Army was in the Baltic region (Estonia), forming part of the Leningrad Military District and having four Guards Rifle Corps. Prior to the beginning of 1950s it was registered in the same place, including within its structure the 1st Machine-Gun Artillery Division (it of sea infantry), and divisions of guards - 36th МД (was 29th RD), 7, 8, 118, 122nd RD (some of them became brigades). Feskov et al 2004

Combined Arms Armies[edit]

Combined is capitalised because its the first word
Arms is capitalised because its Arms, as in Arms and Services, and not "arms" as in small arms
Armies is capitalised because it refers to formations and not "national armies"

--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 01:08, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

If you've read my edit summary, you'll know why I did it - I was following the WP:MOS. I would much rather have 'Rifle Corps (Soviet Union)' but the MOS dictates 'Rifle corps (Soviet Union)'. Cheers Buckshot06(prof) 01:20, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
MOS is wrong--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 01:25, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, go and argue the case for changing it. That's your right. Buckshot06(prof) 01:31, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Seems the MOS agrees with me--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 03:22, 14 May 2008 (UTC)


Here is a discussion.

  • The article is called Army (Soviet Union). Instead it contained two lists!
  • Now it has a structure that will reflect the purpose for the article, and the lists have been converted into appropriate List articles.

Anyone has anything to add?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 08:50, 19 May 2008 (UTC)


Current title, List of Armies of the Soviet Union, is unfit for title because Soviet Union was formed only in 1922. During Russian Civil War those armies were under Soviet Russia.--Staberinde (talk) 14:09, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes, there were temporarily three lists created that detached the identity of the state from the Army and were named for the Russian Civil War, Red Army and Soviet Army, but Buckshot06 likes to keep everything in one place--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 14:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I believe the minor irregularity in the title is outweighed by the benefit of keeping everything together, yes. Buckshot06(prof) 22:41, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
This is your belief entirely. There is every reason to split the lists, and of all people I would have thought that you would appreciate this since the Civil War Armies ceased to exists, and the Armies of the Second World War nearly so, and were completely transformed after 1950s. The lists as I had created them reflected distinct periods of development in the ground forces of the Soviet Union, and are in fact so regarded in the Soviet historiography of them.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 23:01, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Do you want to clarify your intentions regarding this article? So far you've reorganised Army (Soviet Army) as a discussion of the 'nature' of Soviet armies, left it there with a whole bunch of empty subheadings, and non done any more on the two other lists you've created; changing one coherent article into four disconnected half-filled in pieces with not enough content to fully provide context, while you dispute the name that I've moved this to. Is this series, and rounding it out, in your editing priorities for the next little while? Buckshot06(prof) 23:29, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, I am supposed to be editing the operations on the Eastern Front. However I am continuously frustrated by the lack of articles that describe the units and formations which I insert into the operations, and Armies come up very frequently. The article Army (Soviet Union) is supposed to be about the actual organisation and use of formations called Armies, and not lists of these formations, which is what it was. I see no reason to include Russian Civil War Armies in the same article, and also no reason to combine the pre and post 1946 lists given the cessation of combat heralded enormous transformation in their number, structure and doctrine within a few years. Shorter lists are far more manageable, and if I work on the SWW and you work on post SWW periods, there is no need to combine all that in same list as long as the articles are accessible through the template.
As for the article reorganisation, feel free to fill it out, but there is only one of me, and I CAN ONLY DO SO MUCH. If I add the article to my list of sanboxes, it will do nothing to have it written faster, so I'm hoping that someone rather then criticising me will actually expand the article with content along the suggested structural guidelines before I do. Since you have had the Ground Forces sandbox deleted, I gather it won't be you, but I live in hope of other editors having a modicum of interest beyond OOBs and unit histories.
My intention on splitting the lists into three was to eventually reorder them into regional structures, i.e. military districts and Fronts, rather then numerical sequence--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:06, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
All the military district and practically all the Front articles are already created - go ahead and insert the armies they parented there (I've done wee bits in places, but not much). I don't understand what's stopping you. If each front needs a listing of units under it, there's already precedent in the List of higher formations British 1st Armoured Division served under and List of component units of British 1st Armoured Division article for a listing of lower/higher formations. I don't understand why that would affect this page. Buckshot06(prof) 01:57, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Because covering period 1923-1946 is not as difficult as covering Army locations between 1923 and 1993 when there were significant changes in MDs alone.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 02:46, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, what sort of a structure were you eventually thinking of creating? Buckshot06(prof) 02:51, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I had been thinking in terms of table with columns of 5 years for peacetime deployment, and 6 months for wartime deployment between 1923 and 1946 with the starting column being the initial MDs post-Civil War. That may be difficult in terms of presentation since it requires displaying 17 columns on the article (including the Fronts column after 1939). The cells would contain links where available to specific Army history section in the article, the cell link itself being a known date. The effect would be that of a very large template like the one you created. I see this as the only solution for the 90-odd entries.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 03:08, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

If Russian civil war armies remain in article, then why not rename it simply to List of Soviet Armies? That title would effectively cover both Soviet Russia and Soviet Union.--Staberinde (talk) 08:52, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Title again[edit]

I would like to point out one more time that Soviet Union was formed in 1922. So current title is inaccurate due article including civil war armies. I still think that it should be moved to List of Soviet Armies.--Staberinde (talk) 16:23, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Woody in my opinion there was a little too quick. I fully agree, as a major contributor to this article, with the proposed List of Soviet Armies title. Regards to all, Buckshot06(prof) 19:05, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
The respective titles should be capitalized List of armies of the Soviet Union and List of Soviet armies, please. Michael Z. 2008-10-13 22:35 z
'List of Soviet armies' is just fine with me. We can send the others to Redirects for Discussion if need be. Buckshot06(prof) 07:55, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
List of Soviet armies is fine for me too.--Staberinde (talk) 12:09, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to move this to 'List of Soviet armies' within 24 hours unless anybody else protests. Buckshot06(prof) 17:53, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Better links[edit]

The title change is great - but it means that we must add the Red Army (Bavaria) as this was another Soviet Army. I am not sure that the same can be said for the Lenin Boys as they were more akin to the Cheka. However read this which indicates that the However my main point is that the First Army link goes to First Army (Soviet Union) and actually winds up with 1st Red Banner Army which does not really work out. We need clarity about the changes in structure so that the querent can have a clear idea of the changes and continuities which make up the history of the Soviet Armies. My own interest is with the early days of the Red Army, particularly before the foundation of the Soviet Union.Harrypotter (talk) 20:32, 7 June 2010 (UTC)