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Soviet Cavalry Corps in WWII

Discussions on all aspects of the USSR, from the Russian Civil War till the end of the Great Patriotic War and the war against Japan.
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Soviet Cavalry Corps in WWII

Postby Art on 30 Jun 2007 12:11

As was promised the new topic is opened. I hope to provide gradually information on Cavalry Corps in this topic, the information from other members will be welcomed.
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Postby Art on 30 Jun 2007 12:35

mwiffan wrote:In the pre-war years the cavalry force was being downsized with the cavalry units in effect being converted into the mechcorps, correct?

Yes, it's interesting that after the war started some kind of backward process was going: the 210 mechanized division (stationed in Belorussia) was converted back into 4th Cavalry Division, from which it was created several months before.
From 1938 to June 1941 the number of Cav Corps went from 7 to 4 (32 divisions to 13). The active corps being the 2nd, 4th and ??

The following corps existed:
2nd CC - Odessa Military District. Had 5th and 9th Cavalry Divisions, lately became 1st Guards.
4th CC - Central Asian Military District (18th, 20th , 21st Mountain-Cavalry Divisions). the corps HQ stayed there utill Autumn 1942, in october 1942 it was sent to Stalingrad front allready with other divisions. The first action of the corps was Stalingrad offensive.
5th CC (lately 3rd Guards)- Kiev Special Military District, 3th and 14th Cavalry divsions.
6th CC - West Special Miliatry District (6th, 36th CD) - it was the most short living of four, was defeated in Belorussia in the first days of "Barbarossa".
In addition there was a number of separate divisions - 8th CD in Far-East Front, 24th Cavalry and 17th Mountain-Cavalry Divisions in Transcuacasian MD, 32th CD in Odessa MD (in Krimea). In all there were 13 divsions - 9 Cavalry and 4 Mountain-Cavalry. The war-time strength of cavalry after mobilization was set on 112 thousands men. But as soon as war started the extra cavalry divisions began to be raised. It should be noted that they have the different organization from the pre-war ones - 3 cavalry regiments instead of 4 and the strength of roughly 3 thousands men instead of 9200, that's why they were frequently called "light" divisions.
from a altavista translated document. Unfortunatly I do not seem to have kept the original

It was an article of Isaev, I guess. Well, it gives good enough information.
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Postby Art on 30 Jun 2007 12:58

Here is a short overview of Soviet cavalry coprs from "Red Army.." handbook by Fes'kov at al. It should be noted that it has come incorrections which I'm going to comment later.
1st Cavalry Corps created on South-West front in December 1941 with 35th, 56th, 64th cavalry divisions for some time didn’t have the number and was called Separate. But already in the beginning of January after receiving 64th division instead of 66th the corps participated in the actions on South Front. It existed not for long time and in the end of March was disbanded, as well as divisions it comprised. The remains of the corps were used for reinforcement of 2nd Cav. Corps. For the whole period the corps was commanded by major general F.A. Parkhomenko.
2nd Cavalry Corps, created before the war with 5th and 9th divisions, after successful battles after the war start in the South and South-West fronts and no less successful actions after the transfer to West Front in October became 1st Guard. In the spring of 1942 it also included during the raid in enemy rear in the vicinity of Vyazma the divisions of 10th Corps which were subsequently used for replacements for the Corps. From June 1942 7th Guard division was included in the corps. Having this composition the corps passed through all the war changing West Front for Voronezh (1st Ukrainian) were it finished its battle way. After Moscow battle the successes of the corps were not so impressive, although it avoided the failures too.
The second formation of the corps with the same number was ill-fated. Formed in South front with 62nd, 64th and 70th Cavalry divisions and then handed to South-West front with inclusion of 38th division instead of 64th it participated in the composition of 6th Army in the notorious May offensive to Kharkov and Krasnograd where it was destroyed almost completely. Its remains were converted in 62nd division disbanded two months later.
3rd Cavalry Corps created from major general Dovator’s cavalry group with 50th and 53rd divisions existed with this number no more than a week and then was renamed as 2nd Guards. Almost immediately 20th division was included in the composition of the corps, that division became Guards two years later. In spring 1943 during the offensive of Central Front instead of 20th division 7th which arrived from Far East with 19th corps acted in the composition of the corps. For the whole course of the war corps stayed on central direction acting in Central and Bryansk and then in 1st Ukrainian and Central fronts. But it didn’t have such successes as in Moscow region, so its units didn’t receive many awards.
4th Cavalry corps had pre-war history, but was committed to actions later than many other corps, though it participated in the Iranian campaign. After leaving there or sending to the front all its former divisions, the corps was withdrawn in the end of the year [1942] to the territory of Central-Asian Military District were it included newly raised divisions - 61st, 81st, 97th. Having this composition it arrived in the end of October 1942 to Stalingrad Front. Committed to actions without disbanded 97th division in the composition of 51st and then 5th Shock Armies the corps suffered considrable casualties (including both divisional commanders) being encircled and in the beginning of May the corps and its divisions were disbanded.
5th Cavalry Corps was raised before the war and was committed to actions on south-West front with 3rd and 14th divisions. In the end of December it became 3rd Guards Corps and almost immediately it included 32nd division. With these divisions it passed throughout all the war, being the most mobile from cavalry corps and changing in the years of war the highest number of fronts – South-West, West, Bryansk, Stalingrad, Don, South, Kalinin, 3rd and 2nd Belorussian.
The corps of second formation with the same number was created on South Front with 34th, 60th, 79th divisions after relatively successful winter offensive as a part of 37th Army the corps experienced the bitterness of May defeat on South-West front at Kharkov and was disbanded as well as its divisions.
6th Cavalry Corps was most ill-fated among cavalry corps – both formations were completely destroyed: the pre-war corps in 10th Army (6th, 36th Divisions) in the end of June in Belorussia, the second formation (26th, 28th, 49th divisions) along with 6th Army and 2nd Corps at Kharkov. However, the last one showed a good performance in Autumn 1941 on South Front being still the cavalry group without number and in winter of 1942 in the course of all-out Red Army offensive.
7th Cavalry Corps created in the region of Moscow with 29th, 83rd, 91st divisions arrived to Bryansk Font in winter, changing its composition already in spring with inclusion of 17th and 11th divisions instead of 29th and 91st. In summer only 11th and 83rd remained in the corps. Having this composition the corps became in January 1943 6th Guard. After inclusion in spring 1943 of 8th Far-East division from disbanded 19th corps, it passed throughout the rest of the war in West and then 2nd Ukrainian Fronts
8th Cavalry Corps created in Moscow Defense Zone with 21st, 52nd and 55th divisions participated in winter and spring battles on the south wing of Moscow battle in 61st Army and then in Bryansk Front . After disbandment of 52nd division in March the corps included 112th division and till the end of the war acted having this composition, in February 1943 becoming 7th Guards. But almost immediately the corps had serious setback at Kharkov suffering heavy casualties, the staff of the corps being defeated and commander being taken as POW. Through all the war the corps stayed at central part of the front acting in Voronezh, Steppe, Central, West, and 1st Belorussian Fronts.
9th Cavalry Corps created on West Front having 4th, 17th and 44th divisions after heavy fighting on the central part of this front was disbanded already in April as well as 4th, 44th and lately 17th divisions. Although according to some data the corps with the same number was created at North Caucasus with 113th, 114th and 115th divisions but it didn’t participate in actions and seemingly the formation of the corps wasn’t completed. It’s quite possible that HQ of 9th Rifle Corps which ceased to exist in May was used for uniting these divisions.
10th Cavalry Corps also didn’t exist for long time and according to some data its formation wasn’t completed. Its history ended in March with handing its divisions (41st, 57th, 75th) for manning 1st Guard Corps.
11th Cavalry Corps had come more long way. In winter-summer 1942 it underwent no less ordeals than 1st Guards, it carried out a raid in enemy rear too but from Rzhev to Vyazma. Unlike 1st guard its fate was less successful. Being encircled along with troops of 39th Army Kalinin Front with 18th, 24th, 82nd divisions the corps acted for more than two months separately from the main forces of the front. Its remains coming from encirclement wwere in summer merged in one 24th division which was disbanded a year later.
12th Cavalry Corps formed in South Front with 30th, 38th, 68th divisions almost didn’t take part in actions and was disbanded and its divisions became separate. The corps was for all the period commanded by colonel S.V. Sokolov.
13th Cavalry Corps created in Volkhov front with 25th, 27th 80th divisions participated together with 2nd Shock Army in the battles near Luban were it was encircled, suffered heavy casualties leaving almost all the horses for feeding the Army, but managed to join the main forces of the front. It was almost immediately disbanded. By that time instead of disbanded 27th division it included 87th.
14th Cavalry Corps was created in Arkhangel military District to cover the direction to Vologda with 76th, 78th, 94th divisions handed from 39th Army sent to the front. It didn’t participate in actions and after a month was disbanded as well as its divisions.
15th Cavalry Corps remained by the end of war the only corps which didn’t receive Guards name since it didn’t participate in actions carrying out as the separate corps the iimportant task of covering the communications in Iran and south-west borders with Turkey. That caused that corps for 3 years had 4 divisions (1st, 23rd Cavalry, 39th Mountain-Cavalry and 68th Mountain-Rifle) and 149th Tank Brigade. Its divisions for longer period then the others retained the old organization and only by 1944 they were reorganized according to the new TOE introduced already in spring 1943. The corps was subordinated to the staff of Transcaucasian Front and then to 4th Army.
16th Cavalry Corps was formed in Far-East Front with 7th, 8th ad 51st divisions and was almost immediately disbanded. The HQ and divisions a month later served as a basis for forming 189th and 19th Corps. The corps was commanded by major general Managarov.
17th Cavalry Corps was formed as volunteer Cossacks from the volunteer divisions of Don and Kuban (10th, 12th, 13th, 15th, and 116th) and became the only corps which in 1942 not only deserved the Guards title but also served as a basis for creating 5th Guards Corps. In spring 1942 10th division was disbanded and the others became Guards in August. From November 1942 the corps comprised 2 Guards (9th, 10th) and 30th Cavalry Divisions (110th divisions formerly included in the Corps was disbanded) and went thought all the war with this composition, practically side by side with fellow 5th Guards. Beginning from north Caucasus the corps in South, South-West and then 1st Belorussian and 2nd Ukrainian Front liberated Ukraine, Romania, Hungary and Czechoslovakia from September 1944 being the part of Cavalry-Mechanized Group (lately 1st Guards CMG). It became the most highly awarded cavalry corps.
18th Cavalry Corps was created on Far East in spring 1942 with 7th and 84th divisions but it didn’t participate in actions unlike its divisions (although they were committed to action in different time). Though the corps included 67th division arrived in 1942 but it was disbanded as well as the corps HQ.
19th Cavalry Corps created simultaneously with 18th on Far East having 8th and 51st divisions in winter of 1943 left for Central Front with 7th division of the neighbor 18th Corps and then handed it to 2md Guards. The main action of the corps was the raid to Diesna River in spring 1943. But the actions of the corps didn’t last for long as it was affected by the general reduction of the Red Army Cavalry; furthermore the losses in raid were considerable. But at the same time its 8th division manned at the expense of disbanded 51st division was included in the 6th guards Corps where it met the end of the war. The only commander of the corps was major general M.P. Kostantinov – the former commander of 6th Cavalry division defeated in Belorussia in summer 1941.
5th Guards Cavalry corps was created in November 1942 via division of 4th Guards Corps and included 11th, 12th Guards and 63rd Cavalry Divisions. After the Battle of Caucasus the corps was transferred to Steppe Front and then after the short stay in South Front returned to 2nd Ukrainian where it stayed till the end of the war periodically being subordinated to the 3rd Ukrainian. The corps didn’t have great merits in the battle of Caucasus, though later it distinguished itself in the battle of Budapest.
Last edited by Art on 30 Jun 2007 13:48, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Art on 30 Jun 2007 13:25

Some comments on the text:
The article creates an impression that 13th Cavalry Corps was encircled together with other units of 2nd Shock Army. However that was not the case. It was withdrawn from the salient held by 2 SA before the corridor leading to the main forces of Volkhov Front was severed by Germans in the second and the last time so it managed to escape the fate of the other units of 2 SA. The corps was disbanded according to Stavka directive of 14th July 1942 in order to provide replacements for newly organized 2nd SA which was reestablished from the remains of its former units.
11th Cavalry corps wasn't encircled for two months. The corps as well as the units of 39th Army had a constant land communications via the corridor leading to the main forces of Kalinin Front and that corridor was severed only in July during German operation "Seydlitz". See the map here:
http://rshew-42.narod.ru/pic/z2.gif
The information about the 16th Cavalry Corps created on Far East loks rather surprising. The coprs with the same number was organized according to Stavka directive of 4th January 1942 in Ryazan (Moscow Military district). The corps had 11th, 73th, 74th Cavalry and 1st Don Cossack Cavalry Divisions, it didn't participate in any actions and was disbanded in March. So I suppose that in this case the source is wrong.
Last edited by Art on 30 Jun 2007 15:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Art on 30 Jun 2007 13:54

And, of course, 8th Cavalry Corps was encircled not at Kharkov but during the raid to Debaltzevo. The raid was discussed in one of the topic of this forum. The coprs received Guards title during this raid. According to the desription in "Sbornik materialov po izucheniyu opyta voiny" the coprs commander was killed in actions during the breakout attempt instead of being captured.
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Postby Alex Yeliseenko on 30 Jun 2007 15:05

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Postby Art on 30 Jun 2007 15:33

Unfortunately, the WWII part of site is still under construction.
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Re: Soviet Cavalry Corps in WWII

Postby Kelvin on 18 Aug 2010 14:20

Hi, Art, in 1944, actually how many cavalry corps was in existence ?
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Re: Soviet Cavalry Corps in WWII

Postby frontowik on 18 Aug 2010 22:56

Kelvin wrote:Hi, Art, in 1944, actually how many cavalry corps was in existence ?

Seven, all guards.
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Re: Soviet Cavalry Corps in WWII

Postby Jeff Leach on 17 Sep 2011 08:09

I've been trying to make sense of the Cavalry Groups formed in the fall of 1941

Dovator's Cavalry Group: 50 CavD, 53 CavD and later 45 CavD

Perechen 3.2 calls this "Operation Cavalry Group 29th Army under the command of GM Selivanov, GM Dovator". From the title I was wondering if GM Selivanov was commander before GM Dovator. I assume GM Selivanov is Aleksej Gordeevich Selivanov but information on the net just tells what he did later in the war.

Bychkovskij's Cavalry Group: 32 CavD, 43 CavD, 47 CavD.

Perechen 3.2 calls this "Operational Cavalry Group Southwest Front under the command of GM Bychkovskij's. Sharp says Colonel Batskelevich was commander but assume that GM A. F. Bychkovskij is the correct commander. Strangely the BSSA lists never have this unit being with the Southwestern Front but instead with Briansk and Western Fronts.

"Mobile Group 51st Army": 40 CavD, 42 CavD, 48 CavD
This is called a cavalry group on the BSSA list but I can't find it on Perechen 3.2 or any information from a quick search on the net.

Kuliev Cavalry Group Briansk Front:
This is listed in Perechen 3.2 but isn't found on the BSSA lists.

Does anyone have any better information? Really just interested in information relating to these units during 1941.
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Re: Soviet Cavalry Corps in WWII

Postby Bob_Mackenzie on 17 Sep 2011 10:01

I have this - sorry I didn't make a note of the source :(

Hopefully you can disentangle the mangled formatting. If not PM me and I'll email the formatted version

Table 22: 6 Cavalry Corps on 11 June 1941
6 CD 36 CD
Element Peacetime Shtat Actual Number Percent Actual Number Percent
Tanks 64 40 62.5% 55 85.9%
Armoured Cars 18 15 83.3% 20 111.1%
Guns, including 68 56 82.4% 66 97.1%
Field (76, 122 mm) 32 32 100.0% 38 118.8%
Antitank 16 16 100.0% 16 100.0%
AA (37 and 76 mm) 20 8 40.0% 12 60.0%
Mortars (50 and 82 mm) 64 No Info No Info

Vehicles 555 212 38.2% 319 57.5%
Tractors 21 8 38.1% 20 95.2%
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Re: Soviet Cavalry Corps in WWII

Postby Art on 17 Sep 2011 22:36

leachjeff wrote:Kuliev Cavalry Group Briansk Front:
This is listed in Perechen 3.2 but isn't found on the BSSA lists.

21 Mountain Cavalry Division, 55 Cavalry Division. Colonel Kuliev was the commander of the first one. The group was a part of the Yermakov's group on 1 Sept/Oct 1941.
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Re: Soviet Cavalry Corps in WWII

Postby Art on 18 Sep 2011 17:12

leachjeff wrote:Perechen 3.2 calls this "Operation Cavalry Group 29th Army under the command of GM Selivanov, GM Dovator". From the title I was wondering if GM Selivanov was commander before GM Dovator.

Yes:
http://srpo.ru/forum/index.php?topic=4402.5
Bychkovskij's Cavalry Group: 32 CavD, 43 CavD, 47 CavD.
Perechen 3.2 calls this "Operational Cavalry Group Southwest Front under the command of GM Bychkovskij's. Sharp says Colonel Batskelevich was commander but assume that GM A. F. Bychkovskij is the correct commander

No, these are different things. The first was initially Gorodovikov's group (32, 43, 47 Divisions) organized in the Pripyat marches in July 1941. Bychkovksy's group (or Bychkovksy's corps) included 26 and 28 Cavalry Divisions, also sometimes 30 and 49 Divisions, the first action was near Dnepropetrovks, if I remember that correct. In January 1942 it was renamed as 6 Cavalry Corps, it was near Izyum-Barvenkovo then.
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Re: Soviet Cavalry Corps in WWII

Postby Jeff Leach on 19 Sep 2011 17:26

Found this thread http://vif2ne.ru/rkka/forum/archive/62/62566.htm which lists all the Cavalry Groups and Cavalry Mechanized Groups through the war and it seem that in the period 22 June 1941 - October 1941 there were five Cavalry Groups formed and my original post was a mixed up version of this list

Gorodovikov Cavalry Group / Backalevich Cavalry Group (20.07.41 - 07.08.41 disbanded)
32 CavD (Col Backalevich), 43 CavD, 47 CavD
Part of 21st Army Western Front
Its GL O. I. Gorodovikov

Sharp's Colonel Batskelevich is probably Col Backalevich (Бацкалевич (Backalevič)), an example why I prefer transliteration of Russian names.

Cavalry Group Reserve Front / Kuliev Cavalry Group / Âkunin Cavalry Group (25.07.41 - 20.11.41 disbanded)
21 Mountain CavD (Col. Â. K. Kuliev), 52 CavD (Col. N. P. Âkunin)

Selivanov Cavalry Group / Dovator Cavalry Group (23.07.41 - 20.11.41 reorganized as 2 Cavalry Corps (II))
50 CavD, 53 CavD
GL I. V. Selivanov was commander 23(30?).07.41 - ??.08.41

Averkin Cavalry Group (20.08.41 - 30.10.41)
40 CavD, 48 CavD, 53 CavD
Part of 51st Army, commander GM D. L. Averkin

Bychkovckij Cavalry Group (30.09.41 - 30.11.41 reorganized as 6 Cavalry Corps (II))
26 CavD, 28 CavD, 49 CavD
Part of Western Front

The link above contains gives more information about the groups and there is also information about some (all?) in the book, "Советская конница в Великой Отечествинной" Г. Л. Воскобойников which can be found online from the link in Arts post (think it is also still in print).
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Re: Soviet Cavalry Corps in WWII

Postby Jeff Leach on 04 Dec 2011 22:51

when looking at Soviet Cavalry Corps, I can across an abbreviation I had trouble with

what does однс mean?
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