Soviet Deputy-Commanders

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Jeff Leach
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Soviet Deputy-Commanders

Post by Jeff Leach » 08 Aug 2019 11:25

Are there any good articles explaining the duties of the Soviet army/front: commanders, deputy-commander, chief-of-staff and chief operations officer?

The deputy-commander (which isn't always present) seemed to serve several purposes: on-the-job training for prospective front/army commanders; a punishment for commanding officers that didn't perform up to expectations; he could even be the front's actual commander, with the front commander being there for political reasons; he could also be a very competent officer that was there to assist the front commander.

Also, wonder if anyone has seen an organization diagram for the 'Main Direction Commands' (ГЛАВНЫХ КОМАНДОВАНИЙ НАПРАВЛЕНИЙ). It might be that each one had a unique organization. They might also have been really small - just a commander and a few staff officers.

Art
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Re: Soviet Deputy-Commanders

Post by Art » 08 Aug 2019 18:48

Jeff Leach wrote:
08 Aug 2019 11:25
The deputy-commander (which isn't always present) seemed to serve several purposes: on-the-job training for prospective front/army commanders
Bingo. The NKO order of 16 January 1942 introduced deputy commanders of armies, corps, and division with a purpose "to create conditions for raising qualified and experienced candidates for positions of armies, corps, and division commanders"
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=452518740
Note that dedicated deputies were not present before that point. A chief of staff was supposed to assume commander's functions in case of emergency.
For duties of the staff see "Instruction on field service of staffs of the Red Army" from 1942:
https://mymirknig.ru/knigi/military_his ... armii.html
From what I can see this manual doesn't even mention the deputy commander and his responsibilities.
Also, wonder if anyone has seen an organization diagram for the 'Main Direction Commands' (ГЛАВНЫХ КОМАНДОВАНИЙ НАПРАВЛЕНИЙ). It might be that each one had a unique organization. They might also have been really small - just a commander and a few staff officers.
I wouldn't say so: about 180 officers of various grades:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=114810474
This table of organization was issued a months after the three "directions" headquarters were created, so they must be functioning on some improvised footing up to this point.
See also a smaller establishment of the South-West direction's staff in the same folder.

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Der Alte Fritz
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Re: Soviet Deputy-Commanders

Post by Der Alte Fritz » 09 Aug 2019 06:25

The commander of the Rear was also classed as Deputy Commander of the Front or Army

Art
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Re: Soviet Deputy-Commanders

Post by Art » 11 Aug 2019 08:20

Even earlier an NKO order of 22 September 1941 introduced deputy commanders in companies, batteries, squadrons, battalion, regiments, and brigades.

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