13th Army (Soviet Union)

13th Army (Soviet Union)

The 13th Army was a field army of the Soviet Union's Red Army, first created before World War II, which served from about 1939 to the 1990s.

It was first formed from Group Kozhevnikov during Russian Civil War and fought on the Soviet Southern Front, Soviet Southwestern Front, and again Southern Fronts. It then fought with the North-Western Front during the Winter War against Finland in 1939-40.

The Army headquarters was reformed in May - June, 1941 in the Western Special Military District, starting on May 5 in Mogilev. The Army staff was formed in May 1941 in the Western Special Military District in accordance with the decision of Central Committee of the Communist Party and Sovnarkom of the USSR No.1113-460cc. dated 23.04.41 [Lenskii, B&K, St. Petersburg, 2001] In the beginning of June General-Leytenant Piyotor Filatov arrived to take command (General-Lieutenant was a two-star equivalent rank, with the Soviet Army's General-Polkovnik rank being a three-star position). From the beginning of Operation Barbarossa the Army included the 21st Rifle Corps, 50th Rifle Division, the 8th Anti-Tank Artillery Brigade and a number of other separate units. From the end of June 1941 the Army conducted defensive operations in the Minsk Fortified Region, on the Borisov direction and on the Dnepr river. The formation conducted operations as part of the Soviet Western Front and the Soviet Central Front. Parts of the Army held up the Wehrmacht advance for almost three weeks near Mogilyev. The 172th Rifle Division under General Romanov especially distinguished itself in the combat. Parts of the Army participated in the Battle of Smolensk 10 July to 10 September 1941. During September and October 1941 the Army was operating as part of the Bryansk Front and included the 6th Rifle Division.

The Army fought as part of the Soviet Central Front in the Battle of Kursk in July 1943 under General N.P. Pukhov, numbering four corps with twelve rifle divisions (including the 75th Guards Rifle Division). The Army finished its war service in Germany with the 1st Ukrainian Front in 1945, consisting of the 24th Rifle Corps (117th Rifle Division, 380th Rifle Division, 395th Rifle Division), 27th Rifle Corps (6th Guards Rifle Division and 121st Guards Rifle Division), 102nd Rifle Corps (147th Rifle Division and 172nd Rifle Divisions, which took part in the Battle of Halbe), 17th Artillery Division, and many other smaller artillery and other formations. [ [http://www.tashv.nm.ru/BoevojSostavSA/1945/19450501.html Боевой состав Советской Армии на 1 мая 1945 г ] ]

The Army, which was awarded the Order of the Red Banner after the Soviet victory, was located for the entire postwar period in the L'vov and Carpathian Military Districts, initially comprising three Rifle Corps with a total of 9 rifle divisions. From 1947 to 1949 it was commanded by General Issa Pliyev who was a renown commander of several Cavalry-Mechanised Groups during the war. It was for much of this period headquartered at Rovno. Almost all its divisions were Guards formations: the 17th, 51st, 97th (the former 40th, 15th, and 97th Rifle Divisions). Only the 24th (subsequently resubordinated to Military District control) and the 161st Rifle Division were not Guards, but both were renown combat formations.

The Army is still serving with the Ukrainian Ground Forces as the 13th Army Corps.

ources, References, and See also

*Battle of Kursk order of battle
* [http://samsv.narod.ru/Arm/a13/arm.html]

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