Type Airborne, Infantry
|Country Soviet Union|
|Branch Red Army
Engagements World War II Vienna Offensive First Chechen War
The 104th Guards Airborne Division was an airborne division of the Red Army during the Cold War. It was originally formed as the 11th Guards Airborne Division (11-я гвардейская воздушно-десантная дивизия). In January 1944, the 11th Guards Airborne Division became the 104th Guards Rifle Division. On 7 June 1946, the division was renamed the 104th Guards Airborne Division. It was finally disbanded in May 1998.
The 11th Guards Airborne Division was formed on 23 December 1943 from three Guards Airborne Brigades in the Moscow Military District. It was part of the 38th Guards Airborne Corps. In January 1944, it became the 104th Guards Rifle Division, part of the 9th Guards Army. In March 1945, the division was deployed to the Budapest area. In fighting from 16 to 22 March, the division inflicted heavy losses on German troops. During the final stage of the Vienna Offensive, the division captured Sankt Pölten, thus closing off routes into Vienna. On 26 April, the division was awarded the Order of Kutuzov 2nd class. On 12 May, the division reached the Vltava, meeting American troops.
On 7 June 1946, the division became the 104th Guards Airborne Division in Narva. It relocated to Ostrov in Pskov Oblast, becoming part of the 15th Guards Airborne Corps. In 1960, the division was relocated to the Transcaucasian Military District and was based in Kirovabad (now Gyandzha), in the Azerbaijani SSR.
Most of the division's personnel fought in the Soviet–Afghan War. The division was located in Kirovabad during the events of the Kirovabad pogrom, in which Soviet Army forces were used to restore order. In 1993, the division was relocated to Ulyanovsk. From 1994 to 1996, the 104th Guards Airborne fought in the First Chechen War.
In May 1998 the division was reduced in status to become the 31st Guards Airborne Brigade.
On 4 June 2015, it was announced that the 31st Guards Airborne Brigade would be upgraded to the 104th Guards Airborne Division. The new division would include three regiments at Ulyanovsk, Orenburg and Engels. Reactivation of the division from the brigade was previously announced earlier, but did not eventuate.
104th Guards Rifle Division
The 104th Guards Rifle Division included the following units.
104th Guards Airborne Division
The 104th Guards Airborne Division included the following units in 1947.
On 1 October 1948, the 346th Guards Air-landing Regiment was used to create the 21st Guards Airborne Division, and was replaced by the 337th Guards Air-landing Regiment.