The 150th Rifle 'Idritskaya' Division (Russian: 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 raised the Soviet flag over the Reichstag near the end of the war.
The nickname ‘Idritskaya’ was given to the division on July 23, 1944, by the order № 207 for its heroic battle in the town of Idritsa. The Division fought at Schneidemühl and Berlin.
The Division was formed three times, being initially established at Vyazma in September 1939. As part of the 3rd Army's 3rd Rifle Corps the division took part in the Soviet Invasion of Poland.
Force Composition469th Rifle Regiment
674th Rifle Regiment
756th Rifle Regiment
328th Light Artillery Regiment
418th Howitzer Regiment
Operating as part of the 9th Army on 22 June 1941, then, after the Second Battle of Kharkov, being wiped out at Izyum in May 1942. It was recreated at Turga in August 1942. It was then re-created for the third time in September 1943.
When formed for the third time, it was composed of the 127th, 144th, and 151st brigades. Initially this division fell under the command of the 34th Army. But during some time in early 1944 it was transferred to the 6th Guards Army, and then finally it was assigned to the 79th Rifle Corps of the 3rd Shock Army, of the 1st Belorussian Front, under which it would stay on the offensive all the way from Nevel, Pskov Oblast to Berlin.
On April 22, 1945, when victory for the Soviet Army was near, an order from the Military Council of the 3rd Shock Army designated the 150th Division to be one of 9 divisions to receive a special banner solely for the purpose of raising it over the Reichstag as a sign of the Soviet victory. Red Army photographer Yevgeny Khaldei took the picture of soldiers Kovaliev and another comrade of the Division's 756th Rifle Regiment hoisting the flag (called the Victory Banner) on April 30, 1945, on the roof of the Reichstag building. An earlier flag had been raised the day before while the building was being fought over with remaining German soldiers. However, as the flag was raised after dusk, there was no chance to take a picture. After taking the shot with the flag Khaldei rushed back to Moscow, and it was later decided that the true persons on the photo, Kovaliev and his comrade, were not politically correct. So they became Meliton Kantaria (a Georgian, like Stalin) and Mikhail Yegorov (a Russian).
On April 26, 1945, for its heroic overnight victory at lake Voshvanzee 150th Rifle Division was awarded the Order of Kutuzov, second degree.
In December 1946 the division was disbanded in the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany.
15 personnel were awarded the Gold Star Medal as Heroes of the Soviet Union, while a veteran of the unit was given the Gold Star Medal as a Hero of Ukraine in 2005.
The unit was reformed in 2016 as the 150th Idritsa-Berlin Order of Kutuzov 2nd Class Motor Rifle Division (Russian: 150-я Идрицко-Берлинская ордена Кутузова 2-й степени мотострелковая дивизия) in Rostov Oblast as a full motor rifle division with its division HQ scheduled to open in Novocherkassk on 1 December 2016, and will likely be part of the newly reactivated Southern Military District tank army as part of the ongoing structural reform.
The division will be equipped with T-90A MBTs, BMP-3 IFVs and BTR-80 APCs, and contains as-yet undisclosed infantry, armour, artillery and SAM regiments, as well as communications, logistics and intelligence units. The division's re-formation was completed by 2017.Major-general Sergei Alekseyevich Kniazkov (1939–1940)
Major-general Alexander Ivanovich Pastrevich (1940–1941)
Major-general Daniil Grigorevich Egorov (1941–1942)
Major-general Stepan Ivanovich Povetkin (1942–1943)
Colonel Leonid Vasilyevich Yakovlev (September 1943 – April 1944)
Major-general Vasily Mitrofanovich Shatilov (May 1944 – December 1946)