Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 05 Apr 2021 10:32

Replacements sent from military districts to the front. Which must include convalescents from hospitals situated in the zone of interior (but not convalescents from the hospitals in the frontline zone). Also personnel used for formation of new units or replenishment of divisions and units in the Stavka's reserve is not included. Schadenko estimated that replacements and new formations consumed more than 11 million men, which, however, includes considerable redistribution of personnel between units

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 07 Apr 2021 20:59

State Defense Committee Decree No. GKO-474ss, 13 August 1941

On replacement units and march battalions

1. The State Defense Committee considers formation of march battalions and uninterrupted replenishment of the operational army with march battalions as the main task of the Glavupraform [Main Directorate for Formations] and commanders of military districts
2. Responsibility for conditions of replacement units and timely formation of march battalions is assigned to the Deputy People’s Commissar for Defense and the chief of the Glavupraform comrade Shchadenko.

5. It is established that replacement units are meant exclusively for formation of march battalions to replenish the operational army, therefore taking personnel, weapons and equipment from replacement units for formation for new divisions is prohibited.
6. The chief of the Glavupraform comrade Shchadenko is obliged to observe the training circle at least 1.5-2 months for untrained contingents and at least 3 months for junior commanders [NCOs].

9. It is established that weapons released in units with transfer to reduced tables of divisional organization should be used by fronts’ and armies’ commanders to arm unarmed march battalions arriving to their disposal.
State Defense Committee Decree No. GKO-474ss, 13 August 1941
On plan for the development of replacement units and formation of march battalions.

The State Defense Committee decrees:
1. The following plan of development of replacement units and formation of march battalions is approved:
1) From 15 August to 31 December 1941 2000 march battalions with the strength of 2 million men are to be formed, of them at least 750,000 armed, including from 15 to 31 August 1941 – 220 march battalions, of them 120 armed and in September 1941 – 400 march battalion, of them 150 armed.
2) By 15 August 1941 the total strength of the replacement personnel of existing replacement units is brought to at least 700,000.
3) By 1 September 1941 18 new replacement rifle brigades, 8 replacement cavalry regiments, 5 replacement engineer regiments, 4 replacement pontoon bridge battalions, 8 replacement anti-aircraft artillery regiments, 5 replacement anti-aircraft machine gun battalions, 3 replacement mortar battalions, 6 replacement chemical protection battalions and 6 replacement air warning battalions are formed.
4) In order to expand training of junior commanders the second set of training units is formed in existing replacement rifle brigades and replacement cavalry regiments by 25 August 1941.

2. Deputy People’s Commissar for Defense comrade Shchadenko and chief of the PCD’s Personnel Directorate comrade Rumyantsev are obliged to staff all new formed replacement rifle brigades and replacement regiment with officers by 25 August 1941.

3. Chief of the Main Artillery Directorate com. Yakovlev is suggested to:
a) Send 60% of daily production of rifles to the Glavupraform for armament of marching battalions.
b) Release 130,000 rifles for armament of march battalions during August.
c) All newly formed and existing replacement rifle brigades are supplied with weapons according to the attached rate, and all other newly formed replacement units at 30% of the full tables of equipment (Appendix 1)


Appendix No.1 to the decree GKO No.475ss of 13.08.1941
Minimal rate of equipment for supply of newly formed replacement rifle brigades

Item/TOE rate per 1 brigade/Minimal rate per 1 brigade/Needed for 19 brigades according to the minimal rate
Combat rifles/11,812/1600/30,400
Self-loaded rifles/3,087/90/1710
Sniper rifles/1356/45/855
Carbines/1885/-/-/-
Pistols/1740/-/-/-
Machine pistols/574/30/570
Light machine guns/562/70/1330
Heavy machine guns/168/30/570
Anti-aircraft machine guns/15/-/-/-
Large caliber machine guns/33/3/57
50-mm mortars/114/45/855
82-mm mortars/30/15/285
120-mm mortars/30/3/57
45-mm guns/60/4/76
76-mm guns/20/8/152
122-mm howitzers/12/5/95
152-mm howitzers/5/1/19
In a nutshell, a two-fold expansion of existing replacement system was ordered in shortest time and with a minimal supply of weapons and equipment. Up to that point there were 60 infantry replacement regiment with a totals strength of some 200,000 men which could provide not more than 100,000 replacements per month.

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 11 Apr 2021 13:00

Replacements sent to the front from interior districts.

December 1941
Karelian Front - 4,000 men
7 Separate Army - 2,900
Leningrad Front - 16,700
Volkhov Front - 9,400
North-West Front - 9,600
Kalinin Front - 29,700
West Front - 62,200
Bryansk Front - 16,100
South-West Front - 35,000
South Front - 66,800
Separate Maritime Army - 9,200
Transcaucasus Front - 9,100
Supreme Commands's reserve - 400
Total 272,100

January-April 1942
Karelian Front - 49,800 men
7 Separate Army - 16,900
Leningrad Front - 162,200
Volkhov Front - 132,800
North-West Front - 94,600
Kalinin Front - 237,400
West Front - 410,400
Bryansk Front - 118,400
South-West Front - 155,900
South Front -178,300
Transcaucasus Front -35,100
Crimean Front - 99,200
Supreme Commands's reserve - 241,300
Total 1,932,300 men.

From "Strategic overview of the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945", 1961.
Compare with 2,147,437 replacements quoted by Shchadenko for the first half of 1942.

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by per70 » 11 Apr 2021 20:45

In "The Price of Victory", the authors quote a report dated 1 May 1942 from Colonel Efremov, Chief of the Organization and Records Department.
Which gives the following numbers for fields replacements:

July '41: 126 000
August '41: 627 000
September '41: 494 000
October '41: 585 000
November '41: 299 000
December '41: 550 000
January '42: 751 000
February '42: 770 000

These numbers seem to be a bit higher than what Shchadenko reported.
Do you know if there is any difference in what type of replacements these two reports were counting?

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 12 Apr 2021 06:47

Personnel transferred from replacement units to newly formed divisions and units, to military schools, to the Far East and Transbaikal Fronts, in other words not directly to the operational army. There were similar controversies regarding the real number of replacements later in 1943.

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by per70 » 12 Apr 2021 15:51

Thanks. I dont have any more question with regards to the Transfers to Far East and Transbaikal Fronts and military schools

But with regards to the transfer to newly formed units.

A footnote in the "Price of Victory" says: "This should be read as 126,000 of them were sent as field replacements for fronts and 2,330,000 contributed to the creation of new formations and units."

And another quote:
"During the entire period from 1 December to 1 March, the overall number of replacements was 3,220,000 men, of whom 2,074,000 arrived as part of the field replacements and 1,146,000 in the composition of formations."

So it seems as if the report (or authors) at least tries to distinguish between those men used to form new units, and those used as replacements.


Am I interpreting you correctly in that you believe they fail to do so adequately?

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 13 Apr 2021 08:13

I suspect that the Yefremov's numbers were most probably not entirely accurate and contained a great deal of double-counting.

March replacements received by the operational fronts from interior districts in October-November 1942:

Karelian Front, 7 Separate Army - 4,360
Leningrad, Volkhov, North-West Front - 67,944
Kalinin, West, Bryansk Fronts - 102,350
Voronezh, South-West Front - 105,211
Don, Stalingrad Front - 47,283
Total 327,148
(for some reasons the Transcaucasus Front is missing)
From the Volume 6 of the official Soviet history of WW2.

Again, the numbers are in accord with 1,160,000 replacements in July-December 1942 quoted by Shchadenko. The monthly figures were something like 160-200,000 men.

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by per70 » 13 Apr 2021 09:35

Two reports showing number of march battalions arriving at Briansk Front during September 1941.

https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=114719516
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=114719517

I get a total of 86,831, but am a bit uncertain about deciphering the handwritten notes at the end of the last report.

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 14 Apr 2021 06:40

per70 wrote:
11 Apr 2021 20:45
July '41: 126 000
August '41: 627 000
September '41: 494 000
October '41: 585 000
November '41: 299 000
December '41: 550 000
January '42: 751 000
February '42: 770 000
Shchadenko in a report from March 1942 quoted 3.4 million replacements (3,406,100 replacements plus 4,388,800 in newly formed divisions and brigades) sent to the operational army up to that point, which is considerably smaller than Yefremov's numbers.
GKO on 1 February 1942 decreed that at least 300,000 replacements should be sent to the operational fronts every month beginning from February. Which was hardly reasonable if actual numbers in the previous months had been much bigger.

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 14 Apr 2021 21:40

per70 wrote:
13 Apr 2021 09:35
Two reports showing number of march battalions arriving at Briansk Front during September 1941.

https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=114719516
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=114719517

I get a total of 86,831, but am a bit uncertain about deciphering the handwritten notes at the end of the last report.
According to Ivlev more than 1000 march battalions were formed in the summer of 1941 with numbers in the range from 200 to 1652. The battalion with the largest number which was actually sent to the front was No. 1293, the remaining battalions were reformed as march companies. Each battalion was supposes to consists of about 1000 men, that suggests more than a million of replacements until early September 1941.
Beginning from 5 September 1941 replacements were sent as march companies, squadrons, batteries. March companies had through numbering from September 1941 to August 1942, then numbering was began anew. The standard size of the march units was:
march rifle company - 254 men
march specialist (signals, sapper, mortar, gun) company - 141 men
march machine gun company - 141 men
march anti-tank company - 144 men
march service (administrative) company - 254 men
march artillery battery - 197-227 men
march cavalry squadron - 190 men and 186 riding horses.
https://arhizorro.ru/marshi-2/

From fragmentary information I've seen the numbering of march infantry companies in September 1941 began from something like 2000, by September 1942 the numbers were as large as 13600. Apparently this through numbering was only applied to infantry replacements (rifle, machine gun, anti-tank companies), other had their own numbers, and there were apparently some nonstandard replacement parties. By the end of the war the numbering of march companies reached the 20,000 mark, at least the numbers 19377, 19378 and 19379 popped up in April 1945
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=455141158

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 15 Apr 2021 08:13

Organization of the replacement rifle regiment, shtat 04/161, 1941:
1. training battalion with:
-- mortar battery
-- three rifle companies, each 156 men, three platoons of 50 men
-- machine guns company, 200 men, two platoons of 63 men, large caliber platoon of 44 men, anti-aircraft platoon of 25 men
2. three rifle battalions, each 755 men with:
-- three rifle companies, each 192 men with three platoons of 56 men
-- machine gun company, 173 men with two platoon of 46 men, anti-aircraft platoon of 46 men, large caliber platoon of 29 men
3. 45-mm gun battery, 40 men
4. Signals company
5. Reception center
6. Convalescent battalions

Total personnel: 202 officers in permanent personnel and 177 as replacements, 457/6 NCOs, 82/3983 privates, total 741 permanent personnel, 4166 replacements.

Organization of the replacement rifle regiment, shtat 04/816 adopted in January 1942:
1. 2 training battalions, each with 831 men:
-- mortar company, 143 men with platoons:
--- 50-mm mortars, 56 men
--- 82-mm mortars, 56 men
--- 120-mm mortars, 56 men
-- three rifle companies, each with 155 men, each with 3 platoons x 50 men
-- machine gun company with 195 men:
--- two platoon, 64 men
--- TN platoon [?], 38 men
2. 3 rifle battalions, each with 599 men:
-- three rifle companies each 196 men, 3 platoons x 63 men
3. Machine gun battalion, 717 men:
-- three machine gun companies, 202 men, 4 platoons x 50 men
-- TN [?] company, 105 men, 2 platoons x 50 men
4. Mortar battalion, 665 men:
-- 50-mm company, 256 men, 4 platoons x 63 men
-- 82-mm company, 256 men, 4 platoons x 63 men
-- 120-mm company, 138 men, 3 platoons x 45 men
5. 45-mm battery, 130 men, 3 platoons x 41 men

Total personnel: 202 officers in the permanent composition + 101 replacements, 343+318 NCOs, 51+4060 privates, total 596 permanent personnel and 4479 replacements.

Organization of the replacement rifle regiment, shtat 04/291, adopted in July 1942
1. 1st training battalion, 791 men:
-- 6 training companies, each 128 men, 3 platoons x 42 men
2. 2nd training battalion, 569 men:
-- machine gun company, 276 men:
--- 2 platoons with 38 men
--- TN platoon, 40 men
--- anti-aircraft platoon, 22 men
-- two mortar companies, each 121 men:
--- 50-mm platoon, 46 men
--- 82-mm platoon, 46 men
--- 120-mm platoon, 24 men
-- two 45-mm gun platoons, each 23 men
3. three rifle battalions, each 581 men:
-- four rifle companies, each 148 men, 3 platoons x 46 men
4. Machine gun battalion, 824 men:
-- four machine gun companies, each 166 men, 4 platoons x 40 men
-- TN company, 153 men, 3 platoons x 50 men
5. Mortar battalion, 711 men:
-- 50-mm company, 270 men, 4 platoons x 66 men
-- 82-mm company, 254 men, 4 platoons x 62 men
-- 120-mm company, 182 men, 4 platoons x 44 men
6. 45-mm battery, 130 men, 3 platoons x 42 men
7. Sniper company, 166 men, 3 platoons x 54 men

Total personnel: 244+118 officers, 351+440 NCOs, 22+3833 privates, total 617 permanent personnel and 4391 replacements.
From the scheme available in an online publication
http://save-memory.ru/storage/digest/3c ... 4e3cb3.pdf

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 18 Apr 2021 19:28

The State Defense Committee's Decree No.GKO-613ss of 2 September 1941
The State Defense Committee decrees:
1. For training of ski units 67 replacement ski regiments should be formed by 1 October 1941, each consisting of three 8-company ski battalions and one training battalion. The total strength of the regiment is 3.870 men.
Formation of regiments should be carried out in the following districts:
Arkhangelsk Military District - 7
Moscow Military District - 8
Oryol Military District - 8
Volga Military District - 12
Ural Military District - 14
Siberian Military District - 14
Transbaikal Military District - 4
The replacement ski regiments should be manned with officers and enlisted personnel trained in skiing.
Privates should be provided from conscription of recruits born in 1922.
….
According to this decree a part of existing replacement units were reorganized as ski replacement units and additional ski replacement regiments were formed. By December 1941 they included 8 replacement ski brigades:
1 Replacement Ski Brigade (7, 10, 94, 257, 258, 25, 260 Replacement Ski Regiments ) - Moscow MD
20 Replacement Ski Brigade (16, 17, 25, 269, 270, 272, 272 Replacement Ski Regiments) – Moscow MD
21 Replacement Ski Brigade (26, 28, 32, 273, 274, 275, 276 Replacement Ski Regiments) – Ural MD
22 Replacement Ski Brigade (19, 40, 69, 277, 278, 279, 280 Replacement Ski Regiments) – Ural MD
23 Replacement Ski Brigade (21, 22, 76, 285, 286, 287, 288 Replacement Ski Regiments) – Siberian MD
29 Replacement Ski Brigade (27, …, 293, 294, 295, 296 Replacement Ski Regiments) -Arkhangelsk MD
34 Replacement Ski Brigade (14, 71, 75, 281, 282, 283, 284 Replacement Ski Regiments) – Moscow MD
43 Replacement Ski Brigade (105, 120, 128, 289, 290, 291, 292 Replacement Ski Regiments) – Siberian MD
which gives at least 56 replacement ski regiments.
Although these units were called “replacement” they were in fact formation centers for independent ski battalions, which were self-sustained combat units. After these ski battalions were formed and sent to the front in the winter of 1941/42 these ski replacement units reverted to normal operations, i.e. training of infantry replacements for the front.

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 24 Apr 2021 09:29

The State Defense Committee
Decree No.GKO-1227ss of 1 February 1941
Moscow, Kremlin

The State Defense Committee decrees:

1. For uninterrupted replenishment of divisions and brigades of the operational army with personnel a dispatch of at least 300,000 men of trained contingents to the front in march replacement each month is established in 1942 beginning from February.
2. Chief of the Glavupraform com. Shchadenko is obliged to submit monthly reports and requests for weapons for armed replacements dispatched according to the SDC decision.

Chairman of the State Defense Committee I. Stalin
The State Defense Committee
Decree No.GKO-1457ss of 16 March 1942
Moscow, Kremlin

Fronts and armies complain about poor training of march replacements arriving to them.

The State Defense Committee finds this complains justified. This shortcoming in work of military districts is explained by their overburden, as they are tasked not only with training of march replacements but also with formation of new divisions and brigades.
The districts evidently believe that their main task is formation of new divisions and brigades, as far as training of march replacements is concerned, this work is considered a secondary business.
On the other, hand fronts and armies in their majority misuse arriving march replacement. Instead of giving replacements to divisions withdrawn into reserve and allowing divisions to absorb them, armies and fronts throw replacements to battle from the march, thus increasing the number of unnecessary losses and diminishing the value of these replacements.

In order to eliminate this shortcomings the State Defense Committee considers it necessary:

First, districts are relieved from the task of forming new divisions and brigades, given to them by the State Defense Committee decree No.1229 of 1 February 1942 [*], so that they concentrate on preparation and training of march replacements.
Second, it is established as a rule that front shouldn’t give march replacements to divisions from the march, but instead should include them into those divisions that are withdrawn to the rear for replenishment.

The State Defense Committee decrees

1. Formation of new divisions and brigades provided for by the decree of the State Defense Committee No.1229 of 1 February 1942 is immediately stopped, except five rifle divisions and ten rifle brigades, of them: three rifle divisions and five rifle brigades for the Far East Front, two rifle divisions and three rifle brigades – for the Transbaikal Front and two rifle brigades for the Moscow Defense Zone.
2. Privates, as well as junior and medium commanding personnel, released owing to refusal from further formation of new rifle divisions and brigades, are to be used for reinforcement of replacement brigades and regiments, and higher commanding personnel is enrolled into the reserve of the People’s Commissariat for Defense.
3. The present practice of sending uncontrolled march replacements to the front is abolished and a strict order in use of these replacements only for replenishment of divisions and brigades withdrawn from the front is established.
4. A planned withdrawal of rifle divisions and brigades from the front (before they are depleted) is established for replenishment, resupply, sanitary treatment, training and rest, they are replaced with full-strength divisions and brigades from the Supreme Command’s reserve.

Chairman of the State Defense Committee I. Stalin
* Comment: the decree No.1229 of 1 February 1942 provided for formation of new 50 divisions and 100 brigades until 1 October 1942.

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 25 Apr 2021 10:42

State Defense Committee decree No.GKO-2100ss of 26 July 1942:

3. People’s Commissariat for Defense (com. Shchadenko) is obliged to conscript beginning from 10 August 1942 all citizens born in 1924 regardless of their occupations and positions and send them:
a) to military schools and replacement units – 450,000
b) to the Navy – 100,000
c) to the NKVD forces – 75,000
d) to the Transbaikal Front – 25,000
4. Relieved in place of recruits of the 1924 class are: from the Navy 100,000 men, from the NKVD forces 75,000, from the Transbaikal Front 25,000, total 200,000 men of trained privates and NCOs fit for combat units, which are transferred to the operational army by 1 September 1942.
5. Military councils of fronts and armies are obliged to transfer by 10 August 1924 recruits born in 1924 conscripted in the frontline area for training in military schools and specialized replacement units (artillery, tank, signals etc) and replacement rifle brigades according to the plan of the chief of the Glavupraform com. Shchadenko.

10. For training of recruits of the 1924’s class 5 replacement rifle brigades of the standard organization – each with 20,864 men are to be formed by 15 August 1924.
https://ru.wikisource.org/wiki/%D0%9F%D ... 2_26.07.42
Between July and December 1942 the number of replacement brigades increased by 5 (from 41 to 46) which must be a result of new formations following this decree.

From the memorandum by Ye. Schadenko attached to the draft decree:
Personnel in replacement units as of 1 April 1942 – 562,000 men
Personnel received by the replacement units in April-June 1942 – 1,127,000 men total
(including 958,500 by the replacement rifle brigades, and 168,500 by the specialized replacement units)
In replacement units as of 1 July 1942 – 543,100 men (including 326,700 in replacement rifle brigades and 217.400 in specialized replacement units).
That indicates the rate of 350-400 thousand men transferred from the replacement units each month to the operational front, to newly formed units, units replenished in the strategic reserve, to military schools etc.

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Re: Soviet Replacement/Reserve Units

Post by Art » 03 May 2021 08:40

Soviet replacements in 1942:
From interior military districts - 3,307,378 men, including:
2,147,437 in the 1st half of 1942
1,159,941 in the 2nd half

From hospitals and replacement units of the operational army:
2,182,141 men, including:
1,082,796 in the 1st half 1942
1,099,346 in the 2nd half

All replacements - 5,489,519 men

In addition, newly formed and rebuilt units transferred to the operational army with:
5,756,221 men total, including:
3,627,347 in rifle units
2,128,874 in other arms

Which gives 11,245,740 men in replacements and new formations. This number includes 5,759,265 "recycled" personnel:
4,342,641 convalescents from hospitals
1,288,624 personnel released from service and auxiliary units
128,000 former POWs etc after filtration.

"New" personnel received by the army as replacement and formations in 1942 - 5,486,475 men, distributed as:
increase of the Red Army's strength in 1942 - 1,443,841 men
increase of the number of hospital patients - 319,500
compensation of discharges or furloughs for medical reasons - 863,740
compensation of irrevocable losses in 1942 - 2,859,394 men, incl.:
killed and missing 2,544,505
non-battle deaths - 113,830
died in hospitals - 201,059

From Shchadenko's report to Stalin from 14 February 1943.

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