4th Mechanized Corps (Soviet Union)


4th Mechanized Corps (Soviet Union)

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=4th Mechanized Corps (1941-Dec 1942)
3rd Guards Mechanized Corps (1942-1945)
3rd Guards Mechanized Division (c.1946-1957)
47th Guards Motor Rifle Division (1957-59)


caption=
dates=1941-1959
country=Soviet Union
allegiance=
branch=Armoured Forces
type=corps
role=
size=
command_structure=
current_commander=
nickname=
patron=
motto=
colors=
march=
mascot=
battles=Operation Uranus
Operation Bagration
Baltic Offensive
Operation August Storm
notable_commanders=Andrey Vlasov
Vasily Volsky
anniversaries=
The 4th Mechanized Corps was a formation in the Soviet Red Army during the Second World War.

Initially formed in January 1941, it was serving with the 6th Army, Kiev Special Military District under the command of General Major Andrey Vlasov when the German Operation Barbarossa began in June 1941. It initially comprised the 8th and 32nd Tank Divisions, the 81st Mechanised Division, the 3rd Motorcycle Regiment, and other smaller units. [www.orbat.com/Niehorster] It fought in the Battle of Brody, and was disbanded in August 1941.

The Corps was reformed for the second time in September 1942. It was commanded by General Vasily Volsky during the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942. The corps entered the sector south of Stalingrad as part of Operation Uranus. The plan was to attack through the 51st Army's sector to obtain an encirclement by cutting through the Romanian Fourth Army led by Constantin Constantinescu.

On 20 November 1942, the Corps started feeding its initial units into the attack, between Lake Tsatsa and Barmatsak when the 126th and 302nd Rifle Divisions of 51st Army began to advance on a three-mile front supported by the 55th and 158th Independent Tank Regiments from 4th Mech Corps. The advance was made against the Romanian 6th Corps, whose units, Erickson says, began to surrender as the tanks got in among their positions.

The Corps's main attack opened late, further down the line, with three mechanised brigades hugging one road instead of the planned three, and the left-flank brigades, 36th and 59th, running into minefields. However the attack went on, until a pause at Zety on the evening on 21 November for fuel and ammunition. On the morning of 23 November 4th Mechanised Corps linked up with 4th and 26th Tank Corps in the Sovietskii-Marinovka area and the northern and southern pincers had met. The German Sixth Army was surrounded in Stalingrad.

In December 1942 the Corps gained a Guards title and became the 3rd Guards Mechanised Corps. It fought at the Battle of Kursk as part of Steppe Front. In June 1944, for Operation Bagration, it was assigned to Chernyakhovskii's 3rd Belorussian Front as part of a Cavalry Mechanized Group which also included 3rd Cavalry Corps and was tasked to hit Bogushevsk in conjunction with 5th Army and 39th Army. [Erickson, Road to Berlin, 1982, p.213] Its units included 64th Guards Heavy Tank Regiment, which operated JS-2 heavy tanks while fighting as part of the 1st Baltic Front in the Šiauliai ('Shaulay') area during July 1944. [ [http://www.battlefield.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=32&Itemid=50 The Russian Battlefield ] ] It was then moved to the Far East and took part in Operation August Storm as part of the Transbaikal Front. [ [http://orbat.com/site/ww2/drleo/012_ussr/45-08-08/_fec.html Soviet Far East Command, 09.08,45 ] ] The Corps, which gained the honorific 'Stalingrad-Krivorozhskaya,' became 3rd Guards Mechanised Division soon after the war ended, and then 47th Guards Motor Rifle Division. It was finally disbanded in 1959 while serving with 5th Army in the Far East Military District.

References

* Antony Beevor (1999). "Stalingrad: The Faithful Siege", Penguin. ISBN 0-14-028458-3.
* Keith E. Bonn, Slaughterhouse: Handbook of the Eastern Front, Aberjona Press, Bedford, PA, 2005
* John Erickson (historian), Road to Stalingrad, Cassel (2003), p.430 pp
* Feskov et al, The Soviet Army during the Period of the Cold War, Tomsk, 2004
* http://stalingrad.ic.ru/s4mech.html

ee also

* Romanian Armies in the Battle of Stalingrad


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