|Country Soviet Union|
|Branch Red Army, Soviet Ground Forces|
Part of Karelian Front 2nd Belorussian Front Transcaucasus Military District
The 10th Guards Motor Rifle Division was a division of the Soviet Ground Forces. The full name of its predecessor division was the 10th Guards Rifle Pechengskii, Twice Order of the Red Banner, Order of Alexander Nevsky, Order of the Red Star Division. (Russian: 10ая гвардейская стрелковая Печенгский, дважды орденом Красного Знамени, орденом Александра Невского, орденом Красной звезда дивизия.) The 10th Guards Rifle Division was formed from the 52nd Rifle Division in late 1941.
In 1939 the 52nd Rifle Division took part in the Soviet invasion of Poland, then during the Winter War in the Battle of Petsamo.
At the outbreak of Operation Barbarossa the division was still in the far north, near Murmansk. As part of 14th Army it defended against the German Mountain Corps Norway's assault towards the port which began on June 19, 1941, and was finally brought to a halt along the Litsa River line on Sept. 21. In recognition of its role in the successful defense of Murmansk, the division was renamed and reorganized as the 10th Guards Rifle Division on Dec. 26, with the following order of battle:
It was one of the few Guards formations formed or deployed by the Red Army in the Arctic during the war.
During the defense the 10th Guards was engaged in 150 fights of local importance. At the end of April, 1942, it began a counterattack which was unsuccessful. The counterattack failed due to severe weather conditions and a strong snowstorm on the previous day. Along with most units of the static Karelian Front, during the next two years the division operated at minimal strength in its rifle units in order to conserve manpower for the main front to the south; however it also formed a divisional ski battalion for rear area security.
In Sept. – Oct. 1944 the division was subordinated to 131st Rifle Corps, itself reporting to 14th Army. Beginning on Oct. 7, 1944, it participated in the Petsamo-Kirkenes Operation and was in the first echelon advancing to the building on Mount Small Karikvayvish and seized a bridgehead on the west bank of the Titovka River on Oct. 8. After four days of fighting for the Luostari on Oct. 14 the 10th Guards crossed the Pechenga River west of Kakkuri and participated in the liberation of Pechenga. After the liberation of Pechenga the division attacked Kirkenes, supported by the 378th Guards Heavy Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment. Once the Germans had been forced back into Norway the offensive came to a halt and Karelian Front went into STAVKA reserve.
In December the division was reassigned to 19th Army, which in turn was assigned to Gen. K.K. Rokossovski's 2nd Belorussian Front. It crossed Poland and was positioned in Ostrow-Mazowiecki in January, 1945. On Feb. 26, during the East Pomeranian Offensive, the division moved from Baldenberg and turned northeast to Rummelsburg and on Mar. 3 captured Rummelsburg. On Mar. 21, 10th Guards was relocated to the right flank of the army – 30 km southwest of Marchand and then advanced towards Pustkovits-Gdynia.
After helping to take Gdynia on Mar. 31 the division joined forces with 1st Polish Tank Brigade and attacked Zagorje, east of Janowo, located on the peninsula formed by the Gulf Puttsger Vic and the river Rod. By the end of April the 10th Guards was positioned in the forests northeast of Treptow and covered the coast of Baltic Sea from Kohlberg to Valddivinov. The division mopped-up the forests, eliminating small scattered groups of German troops. In the last days of the war the division crossed the delta of the river Oder at Swinemunde and was engaged in fighting on the island of Usedom before the German surrender.
In the postwar period it moved to Akhaltsikhe in the Georgian SSR, joining the Transcaucasus Military District. It was active there by 1 January 1947, being converted into a mountain rifle division in 1949. In 1962 it became the 10th Guards Motor Rifle Division, part of 31st Army Corps. The division was disbanded in March 1992, with its lineage, honours and awards transferred to the 67th Motor Rifle Division in the Far East, which was redesignated as the 115th Guards Motor Rifle Division.