Since the question about the transfer of Soviet troops from Manchurian frontier, its impact on the course of operations on Eastern Front in Autumn 1941 especially on the outcome of the Battle of Moscow, and its consequences for the defensive capabilities of the forces that remained on Far East theatre appears again and again, I decided to open a thread where some information on this subject will be presented.
Later only the units of the land forces of divisional size will be considered. If someone wants to give additional information, it will be greatly appreciated.
So the following number of divisions was present on the Far East theatre (this includes Far East Front and Transbaikal Military District) at the outbreak of the Soviet-German War:
23 rifle divisions (3, 12, 21, 22, 26, 32, 34, 35, 36 motorized, 39, 40, 57 motorized, 59, 65, 66, 78, 79 Mountain, 92, 93, 94, 101 Mountain, 105, 114)
One cavalry – 8th
4 tank (58, 59, 60, 61)
3 motorized (69, 82, 239)
Total 31 divisions.
The BSSA handbook erroneously states that 57th Tank Division was in the Transbaikal Military District on 22th June. In fact the division was allready in the process of detraining in the Ukraine.
The inmformation on the transfer and commitment to actions of the divisons is summarized in the table below. The information on the transfers is based on the published directives of the Soviet Supreme Command Stavka and General Staff. The "date of transfer" stands for the date when the respective directive was issued but not for the actual start of entraining. The difference between these dates was however not big, normally up to several days. The "commitment to actions" columns are compiled using various sources including the Issues 37 and 43 of "The collection of combat documents", operational reports of the Soviet General Staff published in the book "The Battle of Moscow", Olma Press, 2001; "Mechanized Corps of the RKKA" by E. Drig and several others. In many cases the precise day of commitment to actions couldn't be found, so the approximate date is shown.
Some comments on the table:
1. 69th Tank and 69th Motorized Divisions upon arrival to European theatre were reorganized as 108th Tank and 107th Tank (later Motorized) respectively
2. 21st Rifle Division was sent to 7th Army from Ivanovo (Moscow Military District) on 21st September
26th Rifle was dispatched to North-West Front from Yaroslavl (Moscow MD) on 18th September.
3. 32nd RD was initially transferred to Arkhangelsk-Vologda, 114th to Kirov (Ural Military District). On 24th September 32nd which had already begun detraining was diverted to Volkhovstroy (west of Leningrad) and was substituted with 114th which was transferred from Kirov to Vologda. On 2nd October 114th was sent from Vologda to 7th Army. On 5th 32nd which by that time was subordinated to 4th Independent Army (Volkhov river) was sent to Mozhaisk.
4. 78th RD was committed to actions by parts. 4th November was the day when the first units of the division – 258th Rifle Regiment participated in combat.
5. 58th Tank Division arrived to the West Front in early November, but didn’t see active actions till 16th November.
6. On 20th October the order was given to transfer 94th Rifle Division to the West (deestination - Tambov) from Transbaikal Front. Later the division was substituted with 65 Rifle, but I couldn’t find the document with such an order.
7. 239th Rfiel Division was the former 239th Motorized .
So total 17 divisions were transferred, of them 14 existed in pre-war times. 6 divisions were transferred before the start of “Typhoon” operation, 11 after. Of the total number, 2 divisions were committed to actions in the Battle of Smolensk, 1 – on the North-West Front, 2 on the Svir River against Finns, 3 in the Tikhvin area, the remaining 9 in the Battle of Moscow.