Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 27 Feb 2011 12:01

Hi all - excellent information!

I also wrote something about this here:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0#p1447338

http://www.dws.org.pl/viewtopic.php?f=1 ... 5&start=75

What about 14, 42, 89, 134, 163, 183 and 197 Rifle Divisions? Did they also take part?

Some sources mention also 16, 20 and 39 Tank Brigades. "Czerwony Blitzkrieg" by Magnuski and Kolomyjec (see the link below) on page 85 quotes Soviet sources which mention 16 and 39 Tank Brigades:

http://www.dws.org.pl/download/file.php?id=2683

D. D. Lelushenko in "Moscow-Stalingrad-Berlin-Praga", Moscow 1987, writes that in 1939 he was the commander of 39 Tank Brigade and he participated in the "liberation of Western Belarus" together with his brigade.

Yevgeny Iwanowskij in "Ataku naczinali tankisty", Moskwa 1984, confirms that he served in 39 Tank Brigade under Lelushenko in September of 1939, and that he participated in the "liberation of Western Belarus".

Also Ivan Yakubovsky in his "Earth on fire", writes that in 1939 he was the commander of a tank company in 16 Tank Brigade and that he took part in the "liberation of western districts of Belarus."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Yakubovsky

BTW - Spearfish, may I ask what are your sources for this info posted on 10 Jan 2011 18:05 ?
HenryW wrote: 15 Infantry Division
51 Infantry Division
95 Infantry Division
Czesław Grzelak seems to confirm. But when did they cross the border?

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Art » 27 Feb 2011 22:36

Domen121 wrote: What about 14, 42, 89, 134, 163, 183 and 197 Rifle Divisions? Did they also take part?
14 Rifle Division was in the Leningrad Military District
42 Rifle Division was planned to be formed in the Kiev Military District. Formation was postponed by 9 September 1939 and wasn't actually carried out. 42 RD formed in January 1940 from the units of the Karelian Fortified Region.
89 Rifle Division was planned to be formed in the Belorussian Military District, formation was postponed and wasn't actually carried out.
134 Rifle Division - formation was planned in the Kharkov Military District, by 9 September it was postponed and carried out later, I don't know when exactly
163 Rifle Division - was formed in the Moscow Military District in August 1939 and apparently didn't participate in the Polish Campaign
183 Rifle Division - formation was planned in the Kiev Military District, was postponed on 9 September 1939 and wasn't actually carried out
197 Rifle Division - the same as above.
The NKO directive of 9 September 1939 (with list of units, whose formation was suspended):
http://rkka.ru/handbook/doc/dnko-090939.htm
HenryW wrote:
15 Infantry Division
51 Infantry Division
95 Infantry Division
Czesław Grzelak seems to confirm. But when did they cross the border?
In fact they didn't. They were in the Odessa Group aka the 13 Army of the Ukrainian Front near the Romanian border
Some sources mention also 16, 20 and 39 Tank Brigades. "Czerwony Blitzkrieg" by Magnuski and Kolomyjec (see the link below) on page 85 quotes Soviet sources which mention 16 and 39 Tank Brigades:
I wasn't really interested in the history of brigades. As E.Drig writes the 39 Tank Brigade was formed in September 1939 in the Moscow Military District. According to Meltyukhov by early October 1939 it was in the 7 Army on the Latvian Border. In general it seems doubtful that it was in Belorussia between these two events. 16 Tank Brigade didn't exist according to Drig. 20 Tank Brigade was in the Leningrad Military District.

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 27 Feb 2011 22:51

Thanks Art for this info!

BTW:
http://www.dws.org.pl/download/file.php?id=2683

D. D. Lelushenko in "Moscow-Stalingrad-Berlin-Praga", Moscow 1987, writes that in 1939 he was the commander of 39 Tank Brigade and he participated in the "liberation of Western Belarus" together with his brigade.

Yevgeny Iwanowskij in "Ataku naczinali tankisty", Moskwa 1984, confirms that he served in 39 Tank Brigade under Lelushenko in September of 1939, and that he participated in the "liberation of Western Belarus".

Also Ivan Yakubovsky in his "Earth on fire", writes that in 1939 he was the commander of a tank company in 16 Tank Brigade and that he took part in the "liberation of western districts of Belarus."
This link will not work so here is the scan:
BCz Odwodu NW.jpg
16 Tank Brigade didn't exist according to Drig.
Magnuski and Kołomyjec write (see that text with *) that probably the number of the brigade had changed before the invasion or that Yakubovsky confused the number of his brigade, etc.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Art » 27 Feb 2011 23:10

Meltykhov provides the following order of battle of the Belorussian and Ukrainian Fronts as of 2 October:

Belorussian Front:
3 Army: 10 Rifle Corps (5, 50, 115 Rifle Divisions), 3 Rifle Corps (139, 150 Rifle Divisions), 3 Cavalry Corps (7, 36 Cavalry
Divisions), 15 Tank Corps (2, 27 Tank Brigades, 20 Motorized Brigade), 25 Tank Brigade
11 Army: 16 Rifle Corps (2, 27, 100, 164 Rifle Divisions), 22 Tank Brigade
10 Army: 5 Rifle (4, 13, 121 Rifle Divisions), 11 Rifle Corps (29, 64, 145 Rifle Divisions), 4 Cavalry Division, 29, 32 Tank Brigade
Separate: 113 Rifle Division
Total: 22 rifle divisions, 5 cavalry division, 8 tank brigades, 1 motorized brigade.

Ukrainian Front:
5 Army: 15 Rifle Corps (45, 52, 87 Rifle Divisions), 8 Rifle Corps (44, 81 Rifle Divisions), 60 Rifle Division, 36 and 38 Tank Brigades
6 Army: 6 Rifle Corps (7, 41, 140 Rifle Divisions), 17 Rifle Corps (96, 97, 99 Rifle Divisions), 2 Cavalry Corps (3, 5, 14 Cavalry Divisions, 24 Tank Brigade), 26 Tank Brigade
12 Army: 49 Rifle Corps (23, 62 Rifle Divisions), 4 Cavalry Corps (32, 34 Cavalry Divisions), 80 Rifle Division, 23 Tank Brigade
Army Cavalry Group: 5 Cavalry Corps (9 and 16 Cavalry Divisions), 25 Tank Corps (4 and 5 Tank Brigades, 1 Motorized Brigade)
Separate: 13 Rifle Corps (58, 72, 146 Rifle Divisions), 27 Rifle Corps (25, 131, 141 Rifle Divisions), 36 Rifle Corps (135, 169, 176 Rifle Divisions), 37 Rifle Corps (124, 130, 187 Rifle Divisions), 30 Rifle Division, 10, 14, 49 Tank Brigades.
Total: 28 rifle divisions, 7 cavalry divisions, 10 tank brigades, 1 motorized brigade.

As Meltukhov notes there were in addition to this the 4 Rifle Coprs (10, 84, 126 Rifle Divisions, 24 Cavalry Division) on the Latvian border which was assigned to the 7 Army from 30.09 to 6.10.39 and returned again to the Belorussian Front after the last date, and the 13 Army (35 Rifle Corps (15, 51, 95 Rifle Divisions)) on the Romanian border.
All this forces included there were 56 rifle and 13 cavalry divisions, 18 tank and 2 motorized brigades.
The list No.8 of the units of the operational army quoted above gives in all 53 rifle divisions. The difference is accounted for by 30, 84 and 176 Rifle Divisions not included in the list for some reasons. Both Melukhov and list No.8 give the units assigned to the Berlorussian and Ukrainian Fronts, which covered all the territory west of Dnieper, but not the units which saw any actions or units which ever were beyond the former Polish border. That should be kept in mind.

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 27 Feb 2011 23:14

One question - numerical strength of both fronts (Ukrainian & Belorussian) provided by Krivosheev refer to situation on 17 September and only those units crossing the border on that day? Or assigned to both fronts on that day?
10 Army: 5 Rifle (4, 13, 121 Rifle Divisions), 11 Rifle Corps (29, 64, 145 Rifle Divisions), 4 Cavalry Division, 29, 32 Tank Brigade
Thanks for confirming that 5 Rifle Corps was in 10 Army!

Do you know when exactly 5 Rifle Corps was shifted to 10 Army from Cavalry-Mechanised Group?

The fact that this Corps was shifted to 10 Army can explain the heavy losses this army reported. Knowing the date of this Corps being shifted to 10 Army can help in establishing what exactly is included in these reported losses.

I already wrote about this here:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 0#p1499875
In fact it was the Mechanized Group of 6 CC that lost 25 KIA and 110 WIA (as well as 13 tanks and 2 armoured cars destroyed or knocked out), while the Mechanized Group of 16 RC lost only 6 KIA, 5 WIA and 3 tanks destroyed or knocked out.

Even though, suffering 135 casualties by a force of 328 - 365 men is definitely possible.

If it comes to losses of 101 RR from 4 RD and 119 RR from 13 RD (both divisions from 5 RC) - they are not included in the casualties of Mechanized Group of 6 CC neither in casualties of any other of those 4 mechanized units that fought in Grodno (namely two mechanized groups, one tank brigade and one motorized brigade).

I know where these losses are included - they are included in casualty reports of Soviet 10. Army (6, 33 and 12 RDs - in total 42,145 men, 330 guns & mortars, 28 tanks). Strangely this Army was in Belarusian Front's reserve and crossed the Polish border not before 19.09.1939, advancing up to the line Niemen - Usza by the end of 19.09.1939 and up to the line Nowogrodek - Horodyszcze by the end of 20.09.1939, encountering almost no resistance along its march road and being involved only in a few skirmishes during the campaign, the last of which was on 27.09.1939.

Yet despite this very little combat involvement, this Army is reported to have suffered (this report is quoted by Polish historian Czeslaw Grzelak in his book "Kresy w Czerwieni" - losses of Belarusian Front with breakdown for individual armies) around 30% of all KIA and almost 38% of all WIA casualties suffered by this Front !!!

And I discovered why this army suffered so huge losses despite being in reserves and not fighting at all. Beshanov writes that 5th Rifle Corps was shifted to this army (he doesn't provide the exact date but it is obvious from his description that it was not earlier than on 20.09.1939 and probably after the end of the battle of Grodno).

This explains everything because, as we already discussed in this thread, two regiments from two rifle divisions of this Corps (101 RR and 119 RRs from 4 and 13 RDs of 5 RC) participated in heavy combats for Grodno.

It is thus certain that losses of 10. Army from that report (30% of all KIAs and almost 38% of all WIAs of Belarusian Front in total) include losses of these two regiments from Grodno. Moreover - vast majority of losses of 10. Army must be losses of these two regiments from Grodno. Question is if the report includes losses of these regiments for the entire battle of Grodno and for the entire campaign, or maybe, for example, just since 21.09.1939?
or units which ever were beyond the former Polish border.
Dislocation of Soviet units in Poland by the end of September and in early October is more or less known.

I have a map which shows dislocation of Soviet units along the new border in early October.
As Meltukhov notes there were in addition to this the 4 Rifle Coprs (10, 84, 126 Rifle Divisions, 24 Cavalry Division) on the Latvian border which was assigned to the 7 Army from 30.09 to 6.10.39 and returned again to the Belorussian Front after the last date
It seems that even when assigned to 7 Army this Corps was in Poland - near the Polish-Latvian border.

Both maps which I mentioned above show the demarcation between 7 and 3 Armies along the line:

Dukszty - Widze - Dzisna

So more or less along the line of Dzisna river: http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/600/wilenskie1a.gif.
(map taken from: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthrea ... 9&page=180)

And HQ of the 4 Corps was located in Opsa according to these maps. All these places were in Poland.

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Art » 01 Mar 2011 21:49

Domen121 wrote:One question - numerical strength of both fronts (Ukrainian & Belorussian) provided by Krivosheev refer to situation on 17 September and only those units crossing the border on that day?
Hard to say without seeing the document he refers to. As Meltukhov writes the Ukrainian and Belorussian fronts had 2 421 300 men in early October 1939, which must stand for all the forces they possessed.
A note on the order of battle. By the start of mobilization (that is in early September) Belorussian and Kiev Military Districts had the following divisions.
Belorussian: 2, 4, 5, 8, 13, 27, 29, 33, 50, 52, 64, 100, 121, 139, 143, 145, 150, 164 Rifle Divisions; 4, 6, 7, 11, 24, 36 Cavalry Divisions. Total 18 rifle and 6 cavalry.
Kiev: 7, 15, 44, 45, 51, 58, 60, 62, 72, 81, 87, 95, 97, 99, 124, 130, 131, 135, 140, 146, 169, 187 Rifle Divisions; 3, 5, 9, 14, 16, 32, 34 Cavalry Divisions. Total 23 rifle and 7 cavalry divisions.
Divisions highlighted with bold started formation in the second half of August 1939, each from 1/3 of a previously existing division. As a result they were not combat-ready by mid-September and therefore were generally not initially assigned to operational forces. Apart of forces of the peace-time Belorussian and Kiev districts the following divisions were received by both fronts from internal districts by early October as can be seen from the comparison of the list above with the OOB in Meltukhov:
from Moscow Military District: 10, 84, 115, 126 Rifle Divisions - to the Belorussian Front
from Orel Military District: 6, 55, 113, 122 Rifle Divisions - to the Belorussian Front
from Kharkov Military District - 23, 25, 30, 41, 80, 141, 176 Rifle Divisions to the Ukrainian Front
Total 15 rifle divisions.
I wasn't interested in brigades, as I've already said, the most part were apparently from Belorussian and Kiev Military Districts.

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 01 Mar 2011 23:55

Thanks again Art! :D

BTW - Combat Diary of KSMD (Ukrainian Front) mentions that 5. Army on 26 September 1939 consisted of:

"5. Army: composition - 15 RC (45 and 87 RD), 8 RC (44, 81, 14 RD), 27 RC (three RDs from Belorussian SMD), 36 TB and 38 TB, 135, 305, 330 artillery regiments of of the Supreme Headquarters' Reserve."

It seems that this organization is different than organization of 5. Army on 17 September:

- 8 Rifle Corps (45, 60 and 87 RDs)
- 15 Rifle Corps (44, 81 RDs and 36 TB)'

I have some questions:

1. When was 60 RD detached from 5. Army (8 RC) and subordinated directly to Ukrainian Front's Supreme HQ?
2. What were the numbers of those three RDs from 27 RC from Belorussian Front (SMD)?
3. Do you know what was the composition of 5. Army on the previous days (25 and / or 24 September?).
4. When was 27 RC and 38 TB subordinated to 5 Army as well as 14 RD to 8 RC?

And also - is this some mistake with those RDs or really RDs which on 17 September were part of 8 RC (45 and 87) were later subordinated to 15 RC, while those RDs from 15 RC (44, 81) were later given to 8 RC?

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 20 Mar 2011 01:44

Hard to say without seeing the document he refers to.
Krivosheev doesn't seem to be very eager to share info about sources he used with his readers...

Is there even any kind of bibliography in his books?

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 17 Oct 2013 20:37

Just one thing to clarify:
Art wrote:They were in the Odessa Group aka the 13 Army of the Ukrainian Front near the Romanian border
Near the Polish-Romanian border (aka "Western Ukrainian"-Romanian border) according to Cz. Grzelak.

The task of this army was to block the border and thus cut off the withdrawal of Polish units to Romania.

So this army did invade Poland. It even suffered casualties in the process.
There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 19 Oct 2013 10:58

A little summary of Soviet divisions and brigades which took part in the invasion:

A) Cavalry Divisions (13 - 14):

1) Took part in 1st echelon - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 24, 32, 34, 36
2) Took part according to some sources - 2

Comments:

2 - ???


B) Tank Brigades (19 - 22; one ruled out):

1) Took part in 1st echelon - 2, 4, 5, 6, 10, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 36, 38
2) Took part in 2nd echelon - 7, 14, 29, 32
3) Took part in 3rd echelon - 49

4) Took part according to some sources - 16, 18, 20, 39

Comments:

16 - did not exist according to Drig.
18 - ???
20 - Leningrad Military District
39 - formed in September in Moscow MD, in October 7 Army Latvian border


C) Mot. Rifle Brigades (2):

1) Took part in 1st echelon - 1, 20

D) Rifle Divisions (57 - 63; four ruled out):

1) Took part in 1st echelon - 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, 25, 27, 33, 44, 45, 50, 52, 60, 72, 81, 87, 96, 97, 99, 100, 121, 131
2) Took part in 2nd echelon - 8, 10, 14, 15, 23, 29, 41, 51, 55, 58, 62, 64, 80, 95, 113, 115, 122, 124, 126, 130, 135, 139, 140, 141, 143, 145, 146, 150, 164, 169, 187
3) Took part in 3rd echelon - 30, 84, 176

4) Took part according to some sources - 12, 42, 89, 93, 109, 134, 152, 163, 183, 197

Comments:

12 - ???
42 - formed not before January 1940
89 - formation didn't take place
93 - ???
109 - ???
134 - formed after 9 September
152 - ???
163 - Moscow Military District, since August 1939
183 - formation planned on 9 September, didn't take place
197 - the same as 183


E) Air Defense (PVO) Divisions (1):

1) Took part (which echelon?) - 3

==========================================================

Grand total:

71 - 78 divisions and 21 - 24 brigades took part in the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939.

4 more divisions and 1 brigade took part according to some sources, but we ruled them out.


==========================================================

Edit:
Tank Brigades:

(...)

2) Took part in 2nd echelon - 7, 14, 29, 32
However, according to a report written after the end of the campaign by S. M. Krivoshein, commander of 29th Tank Brigade, the brigade crossed the Polish border at 5:00 on 17.09.1939 and until 12:00 captured the town of Nieśwież.

Also a similar report written by Major Bolotov - chief of staff of 32nd Tank Brigade - says that the brigade crossed the Polish-Soviet border and entered Polish territory already at 5:00 in the morning on 17.09.1939.

So counting 29. and 32. Tank Brigades as 2nd echelon (i.e. units crossing the border on 18.09.1939 or later) is wrong.

It seems, that there are also other divisions and brigades which are wrongly counted as 2nd echelon.

Especially among rifle divisions counted as 2nd echelon, many in fact crossed the border already on 17.09.1939.

This most probably refers at least to these five rifle divisions: 8, 55, 139, 143, 145.
There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 21 Mar 2022 21:21

^ It turns out that also 49 Cavalry Division (Belarusian Front) took part in the invasion and suffered casualties.

One soldier of this brigade died of wounds on 26 September (he had been injured on 23 September in Pastavy):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastavy - until 1939, Pastavy was part of the Second Polish Republic

So the number of Cavalry Divisions taking part in the invasion has to be updated to 14 or 15.
There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Art » 25 Mar 2022 17:18

Piotr Kapuscinski wrote:
21 Mar 2022 21:21
^ It turns out that also 49 Cavalry Division (Belarusian Front) took part in the invasion and suffered casualties.
It didn't exist then.
There is more or less complete official list of units here:
http://www.teatrskazka.com/Raznoe/Perec ... 08_03.html

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 25 Mar 2022 22:12

Art wrote:
25 Mar 2022 17:18
It didn't exist then.
That's weird, because a soldier from this division who died of wounds is listed in the Poland 1939 Soviet casualty list on forum patriot.ru.

I will post a link later (if I manage to find it again).
There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Piotr Kapuscinski » 28 Mar 2022 17:23

Here is the exact quote from that forum:

Дрожин (Дрожев; так в документах; указаны два варианта написания фамилии, имя и отчество не указаны) – как красноармеец 1-го кавалерийского эскадрона 66-го кавалерийского полка 49-й кавалерийской дивизии 3-й армии Белорусского фронта 23.09.1939 «получил травму в результате аварии» в Поставах и доставлен во 2-й армейский головной полевой эвакуационный пункт в Глубоком, где 26.09.1939 умер и похоронен там «в братской могиле», ныне соответственно – города одноимённых районов Витебской области Республики Беларусь. В Книгах Памяти не увековечен.

^^^
Google Translation:

Drozhin (Drozhev; so in the documents; two spellings of the surname are indicated, the name and patronymic are not indicated) - as a Red Army soldier of the 1st Cavalry Squadron of the 66th Cavalry Regiment of the 49th Cavalry Division of the 3rd Army of the Belarusian Front on September 23, 1939 "was injured as a result of an accident" in Postavy [Pastavy] and delivered to the 2nd army head field evacuation point in Glubokoye, where he died on 09/26/1939 and was buried there " in a mass grave ", now respectively - the city of the same name districts of the Vitebsk region of the Republic of Belarus. Not immortalized in the Books of Memory.

Pastavy was of course located in Poland before WW2.
There are words which carry the presage of defeat. Defence is such a word. What is the result of an even victorious defence? The next attempt of imposing it to that weaker, defender. The attacker, despite temporary setback, feels the master of situation.

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Re: Soviet orbat, Poland, September 1939

Post by Art » 29 Mar 2022 11:00

I strongly suspect that it was actually 56 Cavalry Regiment (24 Cavalry Division) which was at Postavy about this time. In any case there are no signs of presence of 49 Cavalry Division in situation reports and orders of the 3 Army.

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