18th Army (Soviet Union)

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18th Army
CountryFlag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg  Soviet Union
Branch Red Army flag.svg Red Army
Sizeseveral corps or, later, divisions
Part ofFront or Military District
Engagements Operation Barbarossa

The 18th Army of the Soviet Union's Red Army was formed on 21 June 1941 on the basis of HQ Kharkov Military District and armies of the Kiev Special Military District.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal sovereign state in northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Red Army Soviet army and air force from 1917–1946

The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, frequently shortened to Red Army, was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution. The Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; taking the official name of "Soviet Army", until its dissolution in December 1991. The former official name Red Army continued to be used as a nickname by both sides throughout the Cold War.

Kharkiv City in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine

Kharkiv, also known as Kharkov, is the second-largest city in Ukraine. In the northeast of the country, it is the largest city of the Slobozhanshchyna historical region. Kharkiv is the administrative centre of Kharkiv Oblast and of the surrounding Kharkiv Raion, though administratively it is incorporated as a city of oblast significance and does not belong to the raion. Population: 2,139,036

The Army's commander in 1941 was General-Lieutenant Andrew Kirilovych Smirnov. The Army composition on the beginning of the war was:

The 17th Rifle Corps was a corps of the Red Army and later the Soviet Army, formed three times.

It was caught soon after the start of Operation Barbarossa in 1941 in a huge encirclement south of Kiev along with the 6th Army and 12th Armies. This encirclement was part of the Battle of Uman. A further formation was shattered during the Battle of the Sea of Azov in September–October 1941.

Operation Barbarossa 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union during the Second World War

Operation Barbarossa was the code name for the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, which started on Sunday, 22 June 1941, during World War II. The operation stemmed from Nazi Germany's ideological aim of conquering the western Soviet Union so that it could be repopulated by Germans, and to also use some Slavs as a slave labour force for the Axis war effort and to annihilate the rest according to Generalplan Ost, and to acquire the oil reserves of the Caucasus and the agricultural resources of Soviet territories.

The Soviet Union's 12th Army was a field army formed multiple times during the Russian Civil War and World War II.

Battle of Uman battle

The Battle of Uman was the German offensive operation against the 6th and 12th Soviet Armies — under the command of Lieutenant General I. N. Muzychenko and Major General P. G. Ponedelin, respectively. The battle occurred during the Kiev defensive operation between the elements of the Red Army's Southwestern Front, retreating from the Lwow salient, and German Army Group South commanded by Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, as part of Operation Barbarossa on the Eastern Front during World War II. The Soviet forces were under overall command of the Southwestern Direction, commanded by Marshal Semyon Budyonny, which included the Southwestern Front commanded by Colonel General Mikhail Kirponos and Southern Front commanded by General Ivan Tyulenev. The battle finished by the encirclement and annihilation of 6th and 12th armies to the southeast of the Uman city.

On 1 October 1943 the army consisted of 20th Rifle Corps (8th Guards Rifle Brigade, 81st and 83rd Naval Rifle Brigades), 55th Guards Rifle Division, 89th Rifle Division, 176th, 318th, 414th Rifle Divisions, 107th Rifle Brigade, 255th Naval Infantry Brigade, 10th Guards Separate Antitank Battalion, artillery, armoured forces, and engineers. [4]

The 55th Guards Rifle Division was a Red Army military unit, engaged in the Second World War. Its full name was the 55th Guards Rifle Irkutsk-Pinsk Order of Lenin, Order of the October Revolution, three Red Banner, Order of Suvorov 2nd degree division named after the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR.

89th Rifle Division (Soviet Union) division

The 89th Infantry Rifle Division, or the Tamanyan Division, was a distinguished division in the Soviet Red Army during the Second World War. The division was primarily remembered for its second formation, composed primarily of ethnic Armenians and fought in numerous battles during the war.

318th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

The 318th Rifle Division began forming on June 15, 1942, in and near Novorossiysk on the coast of the Black Sea, as a standard Red Army rifle division; it was later re-formed as a mountain rifle division, but exactly when this happened is disputed among the various sources. It fought in the area it was formed in until September, 1943, and was granted the name of this city as an honorific. In November of that year it took part in the largest Soviet amphibious operation of the war, across the Kerch Straits into the easternmost part of the Crimea, but its small beachhead was eliminated some weeks later. After the Crimea was liberated in May, 1944, it remained there for several months before it was transferred to the Carpathian Mountains west of Ukraine as a mountain division, and spent the remainder of the war fighting through Czechoslovakia in the direction of Prague. The division continued to serve postwar in this same role, but was converted back to a standard rifle division before it was disbanded in the early 1950s.

As part of Southern, North-Caucasian, Transcaucasian Front, and the 1st and 4th Ukrainian Fronts the 18th Army conducted defensive operations in right-bank Ukraine, participated in Donbass, the Rostov defensive and offensive operations, and in the fight for Caucasus. Based on the experience of the Kerch - Eltigen landing operation, the Army was uniquely identified as 18th Desant Army (Russian : 18-я десантная армия) for amphibious operations, between 15 February and 5 April 1944 around Malaya Zemlya.

For this operation the Army included: [5]

The Army reverted to its previous designation for the clearing of right-bank Ukraine, Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia. For much of this period the 24th Rifle Division served with 18th Army, and the Division was still serving with the Army in May 1945, along with the 17th Rifle Corps (8th and 138th Rifle Divisions) and a Fortified Region. [6]

After World War II, the 18th Army was transformed into a Mountain Army in the territory of the Carpathian Military District and Northern Bukovina. This army was disbanded in May 1946. Some of its elements, along with parts of the 52nd Army were used to form the 8th Mechanised Army.


Sources and references

  1. 1 2 3 Том VIII - Книга памяти Украины
  2. samsv.narod.ru
  3. Aberjona Press, Slaughterhouse
  4. BSSA
  5. "ВОВ-60 - 18-я армия". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2008.
  6. "Боевой состав Советской Армии на 1 мая 1945 г". Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2007.

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