1st Guards Tank Army (Soviet Union)


1st Guards Tank Army (Soviet Union)

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=1st Tank Army (1942-April 1944)
1st Guards Tank Army (1944-1998)


caption=
dates=1942-1998
country=Soviet Union, Russia
allegiance=
branch=Armoured Forces
type=Field army
role=Breakthrough and Exploitation in Deep Operations
size=500-800 Tanks
command_structure=
current_commander=
nickname=
patron=
motto=
colors=
march=
mascot=
battles=Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Kursk
Battle of Berlin
notable_commanders=Kirill Moskalenko
Mikhail Katukov
anniversaries=

The 1st Guards Tank Army was a Soviet armoured formation that fought as part of the Red Army on the Eastern Front during World War II. The army was commanded throughout most of the war by Mikhail Katukov. It fought in the early defense during the Battle of Stalingrad, and Operation Uranus.

The 1st Tank Army was formed by Stalingrad Front from 38th Army in July 1942, and assigned to Stalingrad Front, but disbanded in August 1942. It was commanded by General K.S. Moskalenko.

The Army was reformed in January-February 1943 in the North-Western Front on the basis of HQ 29th Army, under the command of famous tank unit commander Mikhail Katukov. 3rd Mechanised Corps (later to become 8th Guards Mechanised Corps) and 6th Tank Corps (later to become 11th Guards Tank Corps) joined it on formation, and served with the army thoroughout the war. [Bonn, 2005, p.351, 354] It was quickly transferred to Voronezh Front for the defense of the Kursk salient's southern shoulder. It was awarded a Guards title and became the 1st Guards Tank Army in April 1944.

On 1 January 1945, the Army's principal combat formations were: [ [http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=56179 Axis History Forum • View topic - Russian Guardian Unit ] ]

*8.Guards Mech.Corps (Gen.Maj.Dremov)
**19th Guards Mech.Brigade
**20th Guards Mech.Brigade
**21st Guards Mech.Brigade
**1st Guards Tank Brigade

*11.Guards Tank Corps (Gen.Badashanyan)
**40.Guards Tank Brigade
**44.Guards Tank Brigade
**45.Guards Tank Brigade
**27.Guards Motor Rifle Brigade

It participated in the Battle of Kursk, the Lvov-Sandomierz Operation, the Vistula-Oder Offensive, and the Battle of Berlin.

The 1st Guards Tank Army was awarded the Order of the Red Banner postwar, and became part of the Soviet occupation force in Germany, known as Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, with its headquarters in Dresden. In 1968, it, along with the 11th Guards Tank and 20th Guards Motor Rifle Divisions, took part in the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, but then immediately returned to their respective garrisons. [Craig Crofoot, manuscript available at Microarmormayhem.com, 2007] In the late 1980s the Army included the 20th Guards Motor Rifle Division and 9th and 11th Tank Divisions. The headquarters was withdrawn to Smolensk, in the Moscow Military District in the early 1990s, and lost the 'Tank' from its title in 1995. It was disbanded in 1998. In its last period within the Russian Army it comprised the 4th Guards 'Kantemir' Tank Division and the 144th Motor Rifle Division (which had been withdrawn from Tallinn in Estonia).

References

*Bonn, K.E. 'Slaughterhouse - The Handbook of the Eastern Front', Aberjona Press, 2005
*Duncan, Andrew 'Russian Forces in Decline - Part 3', Jane's Intelligence Review, November 1996.
*Feskov et al, 'The Soviet Army in the period of the Cold War', Tomsk University Publishing House, 2004


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