3rd Shock Army (Soviet Union)


3rd Shock Army (Soviet Union)

The 3rd Shock Army ( _ru. Третья ударная армия) was a field army of the Red Army formed during the Second World War. The 'Shock' armies were created with the specific structure to engage and destroy significant enemy forces, and were reinforced with more armoured and artillery assets then other combined arms armies. Where necessary the Shock armies were reinforced with mechanised, tank and cavalry formations and units. During the Second World War some Shock armies included armoured trains and air-sled equipped units. [p.762, Military Encyclopaedic dictionary, Editor in chief C.F. Akhromeyev, Moscow, Voyenizdat, 1986]

Formation

The Army was created from the 60th Army (1st formation), which had been formed in the Moscow Military District in November 1941. [Keith E. Bonn, Slaughterhouse: The Handbook of the Eastern Front, Aberjona Press, 2005, p.328-9] Initially 60th Army comprised the 334th, 336th, 348th, 352nd, 358th, 360th RDs and the 11th Cavalry Division, and was tasked to fortify the left bank of the Volga River from Unza to Kosmodemiansk.

60th Army was converted into 3rd Shock Army on 25 December 1941, under the command of General Lieutenant M.A. Puryakev. On January 1 1942 the Army was composed of the 23rd, 33rd and 257th Rifle Divisions, 20th, 27th, 31st, 42nd, 45th and 54th Independent Rifle Brigades, and a number of artillery and other units. The Shock Army was also singled out by having its own aviation units attached in view of its intended operational doctrine which included: 163rd fighter aviation regiment (Yak-1), 728th fighter aviation regiment (I-16), 128th short-range bombing regiment (Pe-2), 621st aviation regiment (R-5) and 663rd aviation regiment (Po-2). However by the beginning of April this was reduced to one light-bombing regiment (twelve Po-2) and three fighter regiments with twelve I-16s in total.

Campaign history

It was initially a part of the Moscow Defense Zone in the Reserve of the Supreme High Commander (RVGK). However, 3rd Shock was soon allocated to join North-Western Front (from 27 December 1941) as part of the Moscow counteroffensive. Matters were not improved by the lack of supplies, aggravated by horrible communications; the assault troops did not get a full meal before the offensive due to food shortages. [John Erickson (historian), The Road to Stalingrad, 2003 Cassel Military Paperbacks edition, p.280, 304]

However after a few days the offensive - the Toropets-Kholm operation - began to roll forward, with 3rd Shock approaching Kholm, but it was getting dangerously separated from its neighbour, 4th Shock Army. By mid January 3rd Shock had surrounded Kholm and its forward units had cut the road between Kholm and Toropets. Kholm itself was taken on 22 January. With some success in view, Stalin widened the operation’s goals, and with a Stavka directive of 19 January directed 3rd Shock, as part of the wider operation, to head for Velikie Luki, and thence to Vitebsk, Orsha, and Smolensk. [Erickson, 2003, p.306-7] Two days later, 3rd Shock was shifted from North-Western Front to the Kalinin Front. However the forces available were becoming dangerously thin for the enormous tasks Stalin was setting them. But the Army got no further than Velikie Luki (though not taking the town) in the face of stiffening German resistance and shortages of food, fuel, and ammunition. 3rd Shock Army was however able to take prisoner the Wehrmacht garrison of Kholm during the offensive. Velikie Luki was finally taken by Kalinin Front on 17 January 1943.

The Army’s next major effort was as part of the Nevel'-Gorodok offensive operation in October- November 1943. Nevel was taken at the start of the offensive on October 6 1943. Kalinin Front had been renamed Baltic Front on October 13 1943, [Baltic Front was very quickly renamed 2nd Baltic Front] and under Yeremenko, used two armies on the left flank, 43rd and 49th, to distract the Germans’ attention from his main blow, from 3rd and 4th Shock Armies against Third Panzer Army focused on the Nevel area. [Erickson, Road to Berlin, 1983, 133-4] This would see the Soviets astride the routes leading to the rear of Army Group North and cut vital rail links.

Following the Starorussa-Novorzhev offensive operation (February 1944), the Army’s next attack was as part of 2nd Baltic Front’s July 1944 offensive – the Rezhitsa-Dvina offensive operation. Kicking off on 10 July, by 12 July 3rd Shock Army had reached the Velikaya River, captured the bridges despite the demolition charges laid on them, and gone on to outflank Idritsa. Idritsa was liberated that same day. Five days later the Army liberated Sebezh after a deep outflanking movement. Rezhitsa (now Rezekne, Latvia) was taken on 27 July 1944, with the help of 10th Guards Army. 2nd Baltic Front was now facing central Latvia, and on 1 August 1944 the armies were on the march again, with 3rd Shock tasked to move south of Lake Luban and on to south of Madon, but after the Soviet forces seized Krustpils, some heavy fighting followed with only limited success. 3rd Shock forced a passage over a tributary of the Dvina River, the Oger, on 19 August, but then had to fend off a strong German attack mounted by three divisions with air support. Slowly the Soviets moved toward Riga, but the emphasis was shifted south, and 2nd Baltic Front found itself playing a supporting role from early October as Bagramyan’s First Baltic Front raced for the Baltic coastline itself to sever the remaining connection between the German forces in East Prussia and those in Latvia and Estonia. Riga fell on 13 October and the remaining German forces in the area were bottled up in the Courland area. [Erickson, Road to Berlin, 1983, p.313, 319-21, 414, 418, 420-1]

3rd Shock then took part in the blockade of the Courland pocket, and the first Soviet attacks started on 16 October. However by the end of October it was seen that despite some advances, there was little hope for full success, and the Army was shifted south. 3rd Shock became part of the 1st Belorussian Front from 31 December 1943. The Army was placed in the second echelon for the Warsaw-Poznan' strategic offensive operation, attacking in the direction of Poznan under Zhukov’s 1st Belorussian Front. It then took part in the Vistula-Oder Offensive between 12.1.1945 - 3.2.1945.

As the Army moved quickly across Poland in March 1945, during the Eastern-Pomeranian strategic offensive operation, it liberated a number of cities: Vangerin (now Vengozhino, Poland) and Labes (now Lobez, Poland)(together with the troops of the 1st Guards Tank Army) on 3 March, and Frayenvalde (now Khotsivel, Poland) and Regenvalde (now Resko, Poland) on 4 March 1945. The same day, in conjunction with the Polish 1st Army and the 1st Guards Tank Army 3rd Shock entered Dramburg (now Dravsko-Pomorske, Poland).A day later, 3rd Shock entered Gyultsov (now Golchevo, Poland), and on 6 March: Kammin (now Kamen'-Pomorski, Poland). On 7 March 3rd Shock entered Shtepenitts (now Stepnitsa, Poland), and liberated Gollnov (now Golenyuv, Poland) together with troops of the 2nd Guards Tank Army.

The Army was in the 2nd echelon of the 1st Belorussian Front in the Battle of Berlin. [ [http://www.tyl.mil.ru/page254.htm Rear Services of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation] ]

In April 1945 the 3rd Shock Army (HQ Stendal) as part of the 1st Belorussian Front had the following major component formations and units:
* 7th Rifle Corps (146th, 265th, 364th Rifle Divisions)
* 9th Tank Corps (23rd, 95th, 108th tank and 8th motor-rifle brigades) [ [http://velikvoy.narod.ru/geograf/gorod/2gorod/bobruysk.htm ВЕЛИКАЯ ВОЙНА - Бобруйск] ]
* 12th Guards Rifle Corps (23rd Guards, 52nd Guards, 33rd Rifle Divisions)
* 79th Rifle Corps (150th, 171st, 207th Rifle Divisions)
* 1455th Independent self-propelled assault artillery regiment
* 1508th Independent self-propelled assault artillery regiment

The Army took Pankow, a suburb of Berlin, on 23 April 1945. A week later, two regiments of the 150th Rifle Division, 79th Rifle Corps were responsible for erecting flags over the Reichstag on the 30 April 1945, one of which was known and the "Victory Flag". A future commander of the Army, V.I. Varennikov, would also command the honour guard of the "Victory Flag". The curtain came down on the Army's war service when fighting ceased in Berlin on May 8 1945.

World War Two service

Campaigns and Operation participation

*Winter Campaign of 1941-42 (Russian: Зимняя кампания 1941/42 г.) (5 December 1941 - 30 April 1942):Toropets-Kholm Offensive Operation (9 January 1942 - 6 February 1942) [for Wehrmacht known as Sychevka and Vyazma battles, not to be confused with the Soviet Sychevka-Vyazma Offensive Operation (8 January 1942 - 28 February 1942)]
*Summer-Autumn Campaign (Russian: Летне-осенняя кампания 1942 г.) (1 May - 18 November 1942)
*Winter Campaign of 1942-43 (Russian: Зимняя кампания 1942-1943 гг.) (19 November 1942 - 3 March 1943):Velikie Luki offensive operation (November 1942 - January 1943)
*Summer-Autumn Campaign of 1943 (Russian: Летне-осенняя кампания 1943 г.) (1 July - 31 December 1943):Nevel'-Gorodok offensive operation (October- November 1943)
*Winter-Spring Campaign (Russian: Зимне-весенняя кампания 1944 г.) (1 January - 31 May 1944):Starorussa-Novorzhev offensive operation (February 1944) [See also http://lenbat.narod.ru/eng/kont.htm]
*Summer-Autumn Campaign of 1944 (Russian: Летне-осенняя кампания 1944 г.) (1 June - 31 December 1944):On December 15 1944 army is returned to the reserve of the STAVKA.:Rezhitsa-Dvinsk Offensive Operation (10 July 1944 - 27 July 1944):Madon Offensive Operation (1 August 1944 - 28 August 1944):Riga offensive operation (14 September 1944 - 24 October 1944):Kurland peninsula blockade (from October 1944 - 8 May 1945)
*Campaign in Europe during 1945 (Russian: Кампания в Европе 1945 г.) (1 January - 9 May 1945)

Notable service personnel

*3rd highest ranking sniper, Guards senior sergent Michail Budenkov, sniper of 59th Guards Rifle Regiment (21st Guards rifle division, 3rd Shock Army, 2nd Baltic Front (437 confirmed). [http://www.bratishka.ru/zal/sniper/2_7.php Боевой счет лучших советских снайперов периода Великой Отечественной войны — Журнал «Братишка»] ]
*11th highest ranking sniper, senior sergent Abuhadji Idrisov, 1232nd Rifle Regiment (370th Rifle Division, 3rd Shock Army, 2nd Baltic Front (349 confirmed).

Command staffs

Commanding:
*General Lieutenant M.A. Purkaev (December 1941 - August 1942) Major General, since January 1943.
*General Lieutenant K.N. Galitskiy (September 1942 - November 1943)
*General Colonel N.E. Chibisov (November 1943 - April 1944)
*General Lieutenant V.A. Yushkevich (April - August 1944)
*General Lieutenant M.N. Gerasimov (August - October 1944)
*General Major N.P. Simonyak (October 1944 - March 1945)
*General Colonel V.I. Kuznetsov (March 1945 - to the end of the war)

Members of the military council:
*Brigade Commissioner A.P. Riazanov (December 1941 - February 1943)
*General Lieutenant P.K. Ponomarenko (February - March 1943)
*General Major A.I. Litvinov (March 1943 - to the end of the war)

Chiefs of staff :
*General Major A.P. Pokrovskiy (December 1941 - February 1942)
*General Major M.N. Sharokhin (February - August 1942)
*General Major I.O. Yudintsev (August 1942 - March 1943)
*General Major M.M. Busarov (March May 1943)
*General Major F.A. Zuev (May October 1943)
*General Major V.L. Beylin (October 1943 - August 1944)
*General Major, from July 1945. General Lieutenant M.F. Bukshtynovich (August 1944 - to the end of the war).

ervice in Germany

3rd Shock Army stayed in Germany after the end of the war, becoming part of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. During the 1960s and early 1970s the Army's divisions were equipped with the T-62 and T-55 tanks.During the late 1970s the divisions received T-64A, T-64B (one third of each battalion), and eventually T-64BV with dynamic armour.During the 1984 a decision was made to re-equip the formations with T-80BV variants (10th Guards Tank Division), replacing the T-64s [ [http://www.otvaga2004.narod.ru/publ_w2/zgv.htm Развертывание новых типов танков в GSFG/WGF] ] BMP-1/2 and variants, and various BTR variants.

During 1989-91 a past commanding officer of the Army (1969) V.I. Varennikov was the Commander in Chief of the Ground Forces of the Soviet Union. [ [http://www.warheroes.ru/hero/hero.asp?Hero_id=1889] and [http://www.valentinvarennikov.ru/] ] The Army was relocated from Germany during 1990-1991 and dispersed throughout the former Soviet Union, with many units and sub-units disbanded or converted to training units and storage depots. Army headquarters was briefly sent to the Far East Military District but then disbanded. [Army Quarterly and Defence Journal]

Cold War Component units

For most of the 1970s and 1980s the Army was composed from the following major formations: [ [http://gsvg.ru/gsvg_3.htm Состав соединений и частей 3 Общевойсковой Армии] ]
* 10th Guards Uralsko-Lvovskaya Tank Division
* 12th Guards Tank Division
* 47th Guards Tank Division
* 207th Guards Motor Rifle Division

Late in the Cold War the Army was unique in having four tank divisions as part of its formation.

3rd Combined Arms Shock Red Banner Army (Magdeburg)

*7 Guard tank Kiev-Berlin of Order of Lenin, twice Red Banner, Suvorov's order division (Roßlau) (disbanded 1990)
**55 Guard tank Vasilkovskiy Order of Lenin, Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov and B. Khmelnitsky regiment (Lutherstadt-Wittenberg)
**56 Guard tank Vasilkov Shepetovsk Order of Lenin, Order of Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov regiment (Zerbst)
**79 Guard tank Bobruiskiy Order of Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov regiment (Roßlau)
**40 motor-rifle Berlin regiment (Bernburg)
**670 Guard motorised artillery L'vov of Order of Red Star regiment (Cochstedt)
**287 Guard antiaircraft-missile L'vov of Order of Red Star regiment (Roßlau)
**4 independent reconnaissance battalion (Quedlinburg-Quarmbeck) hf pp 47368
**146 (?) independent signal battalion (Roßlau?)
**121 independent engineer battalion (Roßlau)
**(?) independent battalion of chemical protection (Roßlau?)
**183 independent battalion of materiel supply (Roßlau)
**58 independent is repair-restoration battalion (Roßlau)
**89 independent medical-sanitary battalion (Dessau)

*10 Guard tank Ural-L'vov Order of October Revolution, Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov Volunteer division in the name of Marshal of Soviet Union R. A. Malinovsky (Altengrabow) (now at Boguchar in the Moscow Military District)
**61 Guard tank Sverdlovsk-L'vov Order of Lenin, Order of Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov and B. Khmel'nitskiy regiment (Altengrabow)
**62 Guard tank Permian-Keletskiy Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov and B. Khmelnitsky regiment (Altengrabow)
**63 Guard tank Chelyabinsk-Petrokovskiy Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov regiment (Altengrabow)
**248 Guard motor-rifle Unechskiy Order of Lenin, Order of Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, B. Khmel'nitskiy and A. Nevsky regiment (Schönebeck)
**744 Guard motorised artillery Ternopol' of Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, B. Khmelnitskiy, A. Nevskiy and Red Star regiment (Altengrabow)
**359 Guard antiaircraft-missile L'vov, Orders of Kutuzov, A. Nevskiy and Red Star regiment (Altengrabow)
**112 independent reconnaissance battalion (Khalershtadt) later Altengrabow
**152 independent signal battalion (Altengrabow)
**131 independent engineer battalion (Magdeburg)
**127 independent battalion of chemical protection (Altengrabow)
**1072 independent battalion of materiel supply (Altengrabow)
**60 independent is repair-restoration battalion (Altengrabow)
**188 independent medical-sanitary battalion (Altengrabow)

*12 Guards Tank Uman Order of Lenin,Red Banner, Order of Suvorov Division (Neuruppin) (disbanded 1991)
**48 Guard tank Vapnyarsko-Varshavsky Order of Lenin, Order of Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov regiment (Neuruppin)
**332 Guard tank Warsaw red banner of order A. Nevsky regiment (Neuruppin)
**353 Guard tank Vapnyarsko-Berlin Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov regiment (Neuruppin)
**200 Guard motor-rifle Fastov Order of Lenin, Order of Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov and B. Khmel'nitskiy regiment (Burg)
**117 self-propelled artillery regiment (Mahlwinkel)
**933 antiaircraft-missile Upper Dnieper Red Banner, Order A. Nevsky regiment (Burg)
**18 independent Guard reconnaissance Demblin Order of A. Nevsky battalion (Mahlwinkel)
**490 independent signal battalion (Neuruppin)
**136 independent Guard Demblin Order of Red Star engineer battalion (Neuruppin)
**(?) individual company of chemical protection (Neuruppin)
**1074 independent battalion of materiel supply (Wulkow)
**64 independent is repair-restoration battalion (Neuruppin)
**208 independent medical-sanitary battalion (Neuruppin?)

*47 Guard tank Lower-Dnepr Red Banner, order B. Khmel'nitskiy division (Hillersleben)(withdrawn to Moscow Military District, amalgamated mid 90s with 31st Tank Division as 3rd Motor Rifle Division)
**26 tank Feodosiya Order of A. Nevsky regiment (Hillersleben)
**153 tank Smolensk Red Banner Order of Kutuzov regiment (Hillersleben)
**197 Guard tank Vapnyar-Warsaw Order of Lenin, Order of Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov regiment (Halberstadt)
**245 Guard motor-rifle Gneznenskiy Red Banner, Order of Suvorov regiment (Mahlwinkel)
**99 Guard motorised artillery Pomeranian Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov regiment (Mahlwinkel)
**1009 antiaircraft-missile Order of Red Star regiment (Hillersleben)
**7 independent reconnaissance battalion (Hillersleben later Burg)
**73 independent signal battalion (Hillersleben)
**52 independent engineer battalion (Hillersleben)
**1077 independent battalion of materiel supply(Hillersleben)
**332 individual company of chemical protection (Mahlwinkel?)
**65 independent is repair-restoration battalion (Hillersleben?)
**63 independent medical-sanitary battalion (Hillersleben)

Formation and units subordinate to Army

**792 individual company of special purpose (SpetsNaz) (Cochstedt)
**115 individual tank regiment (Quedlinburg)
**899 independent landing-assault battalion (Burg)
**232 independent battalion of protection and security (Magdeburg)
**178 individual helicopter regiment (Borstel)
**440 individual helicopter regiment (Borstel)
**296 independent helicopter squadron (Mahlwinkel)
**36 missile brigade (Altengrabow)
**448 missile brigade (Born)
**49 antiaircraft-missile brigade (Planken)
**385 artillery brigade (Planken)
**451 individual anti-tank artillery battalion (Magdeburg)
**254 individual radio-technical regiment (Cochstedt)
**15 independent radio-technical battalion (Magdeburg)
**10 independent battalion radio-electronic combat (Stahnsdorf)
**105 independent of orders A. Nevskiy and Red Star communications regiment (Magdeburg)
**457 independent radio relay cable battalion (Magdeurg)
**323 independent engineer battalion (Magdeburg)
**36 Lodz, Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov and Kutuzov 2nd degree engineer pontoon bridge regiment (Magdeburg)
**2 independent battalion of chemical protection (Burg)
**42 brigades of materiel supply (Magdeburg)
**298 independent equip. maint. and recovery battalion (Schönebeck)
**302 independent equip. maint. and recovery battalion (Schönebeck)
**(?) military hospital (Magdeburg)

Sources and references

.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 8th Army (Soviet Union) — 8th Army Active 1939 (1939) 1945 Country Soviet Union Branch Red Army Size several …   Wikipedia

  • 9th Army (Soviet Union) — The 9th Army of the Soviet Union s Red Army was a Soviet field army, active from 1939 – 43, and then after the war from 1966 to 1989. It was active during the Winter War against Finland as part of the Leningrad Military District, beginning… …   Wikipedia

  • Army (Soviet Army) — The term Army, besides its generalized meaning (see army ) specifically denotes a major military formation in militaries of various countries, including the Soviet Union. This article explains history of development, organisation, doctrinal… …   Wikipedia

  • 150th Rifle Division (Soviet Union) — The 150th Rifle Idritskaya Division ( ru. 150 я стрелковая дивизия Идрицкая ) was a formation in the Red Army fighting on the Eastern Front of World War II from 1941 to 1945. It gained most fame as the formation whose soldiers famously raised the …   Wikipedia

  • 7th Rifle Division (Soviet Union) — The 7th Rifle Division was a infantry division of the Soviet Union s Red Army, formed five separate times from 1918 to 1955. The division was first formed in September 1918 at Vladimir in the Moscow Military District. After reorganisation,… …   Wikipedia

  • List of infantry divisions of the Soviet Union 1917–1957 — The Soviet Union s Red Army raised over four hundred and fifty numbered rifle divisions (infantry) during the Second World War. Usually the rifle divisions were controlled by the higher head quarters of the Rifle Corps. But scores of these… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Soviet Union divisions 1917–1945 — Monument to the Red Army in Berlin The Soviet Union s Red Army raised divisions during the Russian Civil War, and again during the interwar period from 1926. Few of the Civil War divisions were retained into this period, and even fewer survived… …   Wikipedia

  • Southwestern Front (Soviet Union) — The Southwestern Front was a name given to a Front by the Imperial Russian Army during the First World War, by the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic during the Russian Civil War, and by the Red Army during the Second World War. In this …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Soviet Union (1982–1991) — The history of the Soviet Union from 1982 through 1991, spans the period from Leonid Brezhnev s death and funeral until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Due to the years of Soviet military buildup at the expense of domestic development,… …   Wikipedia

  • People's Commissariat for State Security (Soviet Union) — The People s Commissariat for State Security ( Народный комиссариат государственной безопасности ) or NKGB was the name of the Soviet secret police, intelligence and counter intelligence force that existed from February 3, 1941 to July 20 1941,… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.