Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

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kaylan1
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Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by kaylan1 » 10 Feb 2009 18:09

:D Hi,

The subject on Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units is a difficult one.
very little is known about them.
Without them the Soviet forces could never winn the War. I saw a document with the
order to prepare 20.000 transfer or marsch-Bns for the front each 3 months.

Could someone tell me the Organisation of the Replacement Army at the Home Districts as
Replacement-Brigades ect ect.

Is there a Order of Battle of them.

Thanks :D

With Regards,

Kaylan1 :)

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Qvist
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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Qvist » 10 Feb 2009 20:02

The subject on Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units is a difficult one.
very little is known about them.
Without them the Soviet forces could never winn the War.
Very true - the Red Army replacement effort in general was clearly of pivotal importance to the outcome to the war, and as you say it is extremely hard to come by much specific information about it. I hope somebody targets this issue for systematic treatment before too long. Or have things happened in this field in Russian-language historiography that isn't widely known?

cheers

Michate
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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Michate » 11 Feb 2009 13:01

IIRC (but very vaguely), the Dupuy Institute may have created a report, where they compared German and Soviet replacement systems?

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 11 Feb 2009 17:17

Michate wrote:IIRC (but very vaguely), the Dupuy Institute may have created a report, where they compared German and Soviet replacement systems?
It must be that one:
http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/reports/h48.htm

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 11 Feb 2009 18:03

kaylan1 wrote: Could someone tell me the Organisation of the Replacement Army at the Home Districts as
Replacement-Brigades ect ect.
I can't remeber any systematic research on this subject, but probably there were some in classified or special military literature. Regarding the question: there were no such organization as German Erzatzheer in the Soviet Union. Territorial organs responsible for conscription of reservists and recruits and their training were military districts, but there were no such entity as the Repalcament Army and all the disctricts were directly subordinated to the People's Commissar for Defence. In principle that made the organization of the High Command simpler and helped to avoid such problems that aroused in the WWI when the commander in chief of the Operational Army had no authority over territories outside the theatre of operation. Then replacement units existed not only in the rear disctricts. There were two types of replacement units: frontline units (army and front replacement rifle regiments) that were under control of the Operational Army and rear units under control of military districts. Theoretically replacement system had to work in two stages: rear replacement units had to train replacements and to send them to army replacement regiments from where they were to be distributed by combat units according to their needs. However in February 1942 Soviet Fronts were granted right to conscript men from the territory under their control and to direct them to army replacement regiments (directive by Stavka of 9 February 1942). At the same time they still continued to recieve replacements from military districts, of course. In 1944-45 Soviet citizens were conscripted in the same manner outside the territory of the USSR (former POWs, displaced persons etc).

To show how the system looked like that is a planned organization of replacement units according to the mobilization plan of 1941 (memorandum by People's Commissar for Defence and Chief of General Staff of February 1941):

Replacement rifle brigades HQs – 20
Replacement rifle regiments – 60
Replacement army rifle regiments – 40
Replacement artillery regiments (divisional artillery) – 20
Replacement artillery regiments (corps artillery) – 6
Replacement regiments of GHQ reserve artillery – 4
Replacement mountain artillery regiments – 2
Replacement signal battalions (in replacement rifle brigades) - 20
Replacement sapper battalions (in replacement rifle brigades) – 20
Replacement machineguns battalions (fortified regions) – 5
Replacement cavalry regiments – 4
Replacement mountain cavalry regiments – 6
Replacement horse artillery regiments – 1
Replacement tank regiments for mechanized corps – 13
Replacement armored regiments – 3
Replacement armored train regiment -1
Replacement automobile regiments - 6
Replacement tractor battalion – 4
Replacement anti-aircraft artillery regiments – 4
Replacement anti-aircraft machinegun battalions – 3
Replacement air observation battalions – 2
Replacement degassing battalions – 3
Replacement chemical defense battalions – 3
Replacement mortar battalions – 3
Replacement signal regiments – 8
Replacement special purpose radio battalions [radio interception] – 2
Replacement engineer regiments – 5
Replacement pontoon battalion – 4
Replacement railroad regiments – 1
Replacement railroad exploitation regiment – 1
Replacement road exploitation regiment - 3

This list doesn't include officer schools and schools for Airforces personnel.

The largests replacement units were brigades consisiting of several rifle regiments (3 according to the quoted plan), an artillery regiment (divisional artillery), sapper and signal battalion. Smaller special units were subordinated to a district commander. In 1944 replacement rifle brigades were renamed divisions. By that time their number reached 50 - the 50th Replacement Rifle Division for some time had a national status and was known as 50th Lithuanian.

Those who are able to deal with Russian can find regulation on war-time replacement units approved in 1941 here:
http://www.rkka.ru/docs/real/zap/main.htm

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Qvist
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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Qvist » 11 Feb 2009 18:31

Thank you Art, very interesting. It would seem then that the frontline replacement units functioned more or less analogously with the US Army replacement batallions (at least if you disregard the fact that they also recruited locally from late 1942)? Do you know anything about the basis on which they allocated men? Did they operate on the basis of requests from units, or was the distribution process controlled by superior HQs? Did they parcel out men in small packets according to need and to many different units, or was it usual for whole replacement units to be integrated into the same recipient formation? How did they deal with the different arms and branches? Specialist personnell? Did they have a training role (like the German Feldersatzbataillone)?

cheers

kaylan1
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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by kaylan1 » 11 Feb 2009 20:48

Hi :D ,

The Replacement brigades where replaced by Replacement-Divisions in 1943 by oder of the NKO,did the Organisation
of the Replacement Divisions also chanced?
or was it simply a name chanche.

Is somebody know the number of units after 1941?

What the difference between Replacement and Reserve units(Reserve-Rifle-Brigades)?

Is there info on Replacement Flak Units such as Flak-Replacement_brigades(see Dunn book on Battle of Kursk).


Thanks, :)


With regards,


Kaylan1 :D

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 12 Feb 2009 08:33

kaylan1 wrote:The Replacement brigades where replaced by Replacement-Divisions in 1943 by oder of the NKO
Actually it happened in May 1944 (NKO order #73 on renaming replacement and training rifle brigades). The text hasn't been published but since the order was non-secret it hardly prescribed any changes in organization. In 1943 the NKO issed 2 orders on reorganization of replacement rifle rigades and regiments (#079 and #00100), the text is not available.
What the difference between Replacement and Reserve units(Reserve-Rifle-Brigades)?
What is the name in Russian?

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 12 Feb 2009 13:17

Qvist wrote: Do you know anything about the basis on which they allocated men? Did they operate on the basis of requests from units, or was the distribution process controlled by superior HQs?
I have a text of a document that regulates the procedure of replacements allocation. That is a directive by the General Staff to chiefs of Fronts’ and separate armies’ staffs of 16 July 1941 signed by the deputy chief of the Staff V.D. Sokolovsky:
In view of requests by some fronts and armies regarding the order of manning units of operational fronts, formation of new units and subordination of local military administration organs ithe following explanation is given:
1. Units of the operational army will be supplied with privates and junior commanders according to orders by mobilization department of the General Staff from rear replacement units. Replacements as a rule are delivered via army replacement regiments or to the disposal of fronts’ and armies’ staffs.
From army replacement regiments replacements are distributed depending on needs by corps, divisions and separate units by front’s or army’s staff’s orders (depending on subordination of a replacement regiment). Requests for filling shortfall of privates and junior commanders are to be submitted three times a month on dates set up by the list of fixed-time reports.
Depending in battle conditions in case of urgent need in privates and junior commanders, requests for filling shortfall are submitted by a front’s or separate army’s staff to the mobilization department of the General Staff immediately by ciphered telegram.
In exceptional cases dictated by battle situation the staff of the front gives an order to the staff of the district situated on its territory for filling shortfall of personnel, horses and motor transport. In this case the district’s staff is obliged to carry out the order, simultaneously reporting to the mobilization department of the General Staff.
2. Supply with commanding personnel will be performed by orders of the Red Army Cadres Department and other central departments (air forces, politics&propaganda etc).
3. Orders on horses will be placed by the mobilization department of the General Staff from replacement cavalry regiments, horse depots and deliveries from civil economy and horses will be sent by parties to army replacement regiments for distribution among troops.
4. Motor transport will be delivered from industry or civil economy to fronts and armies and in single cases directly to a unit. Depending on number of vehicles motor transport will be sent by marsh battalions or by separate parties. Distribution of arriving vehicles will be made by a front’s or army’s staff
5. New formations of units are made only according to General Staff’s directives.
6. Regional military commissariats on front’s territory are subordinated to the front commander via the staff of the respective district.
7. Front commanders are to give directives on these subjects to armies’ commanders.
It must be added that on 29 July 1941 the NKO established Glavupraform (Main Directorate (or Department) for Formations and Manning) which took over the task of the Mobilization Department of the GS dealing with formation of new units and organization of repacements for the front.

Regarding other questions I can conclude based on the text of the above mentioned regulation:
1. Army replacement regiments were supposed to provide trained personnel of all specialities needed by rifle units and probably, although it wasn't expicitly stated, by motorized infantry, artillery, signal units etc of mechanized units. That includes riflemen, machingunners, mortar and AT tank crews, artillerymen, sappers, signal personnel, service personnel et cetera. Other specialist such as tankers, corps and heavy artillery crues, pontooners, anti-aircraft crues were to be sent from rear replacement units directly to frontline units according to plans established by the mobilization department of the General staff.
2. Nothing is said about training role of army replacement personnel, but it's mentioned that had to contain only personnel with sufficient training. However Stavka' directive of 9 February 1942 charged them with training of newly conscripted recruits.
3. Nothing is said about the manner in which replacements were to be sent from frontile replacement units. Rear units had to send enlisted personnel in march units (battalions, companies, squadrons, platoons) or in mixed parties. Commanders were either included in march units or sent in individual orders according to Cadres Department directives. In exceptional cases enlisted specialists were to be sent individually. As far as I can see from other sources normal way of delivering replacements from rear was to send them with march battalions (in the initial period of the war) or later march companies (there was an order precribing the switch from battalions to companies, I try to find it). March battalions consisted of about 1000 men each with about 10 commanders. Composition of battalions by speciality was regualted by orders.

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Qvist » 12 Feb 2009 14:27

Hi Art,

Thanks for the reply, and for the effort that must have gone into it, especially the translation.

A couple of immediate reflections:

As it appears here, the allocation system was less centralised than on the German side, where March batallions were normally dispatched from Germany to a specific division on the basis of decisions in Allgemeine Heeresamt, but more so than the US system (in the sense that allocations to individual units rested with the the Front or army level, which I don't think was the case in the US Army).

The main differences compared to the German system:

1. As you have pointed out, the absence of a Soviet equivalent to the Ersatzheer, and no clear division between "home" and "field" areas. Of course, since most of the war was fought on soviet territory, this would in any event have been a distinction difficult to maintain. It is interesting to note that when the fighting reached German territory, the Germans adjusted by instituting a system very similar to the Soviet: The districts of the EH that was in the zone of operations were absorbed into the Field Army, and the relevant Fielad Army commands took over the EH tasks, including recruitment and training of inductees in these areas.

2. No equivalent to the general German philosophy of a "home" and "field" component of each division, which again underlay the strong tendency to dispatch replacements from home to specific divisions.

Other than that, the systems seem in many important respects similar.

cheers

kaylan1
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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by kaylan1 » 12 Feb 2009 21:05

Thanks Art, :D
for the information.

Is there a list of Replacement units raised till the end of WW2?
50 Replacement -Divisions.
Brigades,regiments ect ect.

Is there a good book on then(in english or russian),


Thanks, :)

kaylan1

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 13 Feb 2009 17:06

kaylan1 wrote: Is there a list of Replacement units raised till the end of WW2?
50 Replacement -Divisions.
Brigades,regiments ect ect.
Quoting from "Red Army..." by Feskov, Kalashnikov and Golikov:
The principal units of replacement and training troops were replacement regiments which were combined into replacement brigades and rifle divisions. Replacement regiments and brigades existed at the start of the war, and appearance of divisions in spring-summer 1944 was due to renaming of almost all existing brigades. Their composition didn't change, almost all of them preserved 4 rifle and 1 artillery replacement regiments....
Dramatic increase of the number of replacement and training briagdes and separate regiments occured right after the start of the war. Allready in August 1941 there were 39 replacement brigades and by the end of the I period of the war their number reached 46 (of them 5 training) and 16 separte regiments. In all during the war 50 replacement and training divisions and briagdes were created, about 400 [rifle] regiments, more than 100 artillery regiments of all types, about 40 tank regiments including 14 and 15 motorcicle, about 15 cavalry regiments and 3 brigades. Antiaircraft crews were trained in 26th, 32nd, 59th, 90th, 92nd, 139th and several other repacement antiaircraft regiments. Their own replacement units existed in other branches - air forces, signal troops, engineers, railroad and automobile troops...
Training of privates and sergeants was especially peculiar in signal troops due to their specific character. In addition to 13 replacement signal regiments existing before the war, allready in July 1941 4 schools for training radio specialists were created (in Moscow, Leningrad, Voronezh and Gorkiy) and in August - 10 more courses for training signal personnle in every rear district (each had capacity of 1000 men). The capacity of theses replacement units reached 318 thousands men, of them 72,5 thousands artillerymen, 12,0 mortar crews, 103,5 tank troopers 2,5 airborne troopers, 19,5 cavalrymen, 30,5 signal personnel, 26,4 automobile troopers, 8,2 road troopers, 17,2 engineers and 10,0 air forces personnel.
Replacement and training rifle and artillery regiments had their numeration distinct from linear units (though tank regiments had numbers in the same serioes as linear). Numbers of replacement divisions and briagdes formed a series from 1 to 50, regments from 1 to 398 (including front and army reiments)
Then the list of replacement units belonging to the Operational Army (mostly army and front rifle regiments) is available in the Volume 15 of list of the units of Soviet Operational Army (in Russian):
http://www.soldat.ru/files/f/0000085c.rar
There is a database on dislocation of replacement and training rifel regiments and replacement artillery regiments here:
http://www.soldat.ru/spravka/zsp/about.html
http://www.soldat.ru/spravka/zsp/
but it doesn't look completely mistakes-free.
Is there a good book on then(in english or russian),
As I have mentioned I can't remember anything systematic. There was a book entitled "Строительство и боевое применение советских танковых войск в годы Великой Отечественной войны" (Development and combat employment of Soviet tank forces in the years of the GPW) it had some description of replacement and training tank units as I remeber.

kaylan1
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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by kaylan1 » 13 Feb 2009 21:06

:D Thanks Art,

thanks for the information. :D

One Question: whats is Full title of the Book
"Red Army..." by Feskov, Kalashnikov and Golikov:"



Thanks,

With Regards,

Kaylan1 :)

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 17 Feb 2009 11:42

kaylan1 wrote: One Question: whats is Full title of the Book
"Red Army..." by Feskov, Kalashnikov and Golikov:"
I talked about this book:
Image
It was published in Tomsk in 2003. Must be avaiable in the Web.

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by kaylan1 » 17 Feb 2009 13:14

:) Thanks Art.

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