Girish Mahajan

330th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)

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Active  1941–1945
Branch  Red Army
Role  Infantry
Country  Soviet Union
Type  Division
330th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)
Engagements  Battle of Moscow Defense of Tula Battle of Smolensk (1943) Operation Bagration Vistula-Oder Offensive Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation

The 330th Rifle Division was formed as a standard Red Army rifle division late in the summer of 1941, as part of the massive buildup of new Soviet fighting formations at that time. It took part in the defense of Tula in 10th Army soon after reaching the front, and remained in that army for a remarkably long time, until April, 1944. It fought in the offensive push into German-occupied western Russia through 1943, then in the destruction of Army Group Center in the summer of 1944, distinguishing itself in the liberation of Mogilyov in June. In 1945 the men and women of the 330th took part in the Vistula-Oder Offensive through Poland and into Pomerania, and then finally in the fighting north of Berlin, ending the war with high distinction, but being disbanded soon after.

Contents

Formation

The 330th Rifle Division began forming in August, 1941, at Tula in the Moscow Military District. Its order of battle was as follows:

  • 1109th Rifle Regiment
  • 1111th Rifle Regiment
  • 1113th Rifle Regiment
  • 890th Artillery Regiment
  • 250th Antitank Battalion
  • 607th Sapper Battalion
  • 778th Signal Battalion
  • 389th Reconnaissance Company
  • 297th Antiaircraft Battery
  • The division was another of the partially-formed and barely trained divisions assigned to the 10th (Reserve) Army in the Reserve of the Supreme High Command in October. At this time it was noted as being made up of 90 percent Russian nationals. 10th Army was deployed in the last week of November west of the Oka River, downstream from Kashira, to defend both Kolomna and Ryazan from the German 2nd Panzer Army. The 330th went into action in December, attacking south of Tula in the Western Front.

    Operational history

    The division remained in 10th Army throughout 1942 and 1943. After the spring of 1942 this army was on a relatively quiet sector of the front, where the division could rebuild and remedy its early deficiencies in equipment and training. On February 25, 1943, Western Front was ordered to prepare an offensive by 10th and 50th Army in the direction of Roslavl and Yelnya; this order was modified two days later. In the event it was never carried out, due to developments to the south. Later that year the 330th took part in the grinding offensives westward towards Smolensk. In August it was assigned to 38th Rifle Corps, where it remained until November, when it was withdrawn for rebuilding. In December it returned to the line, now in 70th Rifle Corps. In February, 1944, Western Front became Belorussian Front (later 1st Belorussian Front), and in April the division was reassigned to 2nd Belorussian Front, in 49th Army. It would remain in this Front for the duration.

    At the beginning of June, the 330th was still in 70th Rifle Corps, but prior to the start of Operation Bagration on June 23, the division had been transferred to 62nd Rifle Corps in the same army. On June 25 the 330th took part in the liberation of Chavusy, on the way to Mogilyov. After intense fighting by elements of both the 49th and 50th Armies, Mogilyov was taken on June 28, and the division was awarded the name of the city as an honorific:

    "MOGILYOV" - The following formations and units distinguished themselves in battle as they crossed the Dnieper to claim mastery of the cities of Mogilyov, Shklov and Bykhov... The name Mogilyov is awarded to the 64th Rifle Division, the 290th Rifle Division, and the 330th Rifle Division (Colonel Gusev, Vladimir Aleksandrovich)...

    A few days later the division was transferred again, this time to 121st Rifle Corps in 50th Army. The 330th would remain in this army until January, 1945, serving also in 69th and 81st Rifle Corps. As 2nd Belorussian Front advanced into western Poland and eastern Germany, the division was a "fire brigade", serving in the Front reserves, 70th Army, and also back in 70th Corps of 49th Army. It ended the war under these commands at Gransee, due north of Berlin.

    Postwar

    The men and women of the 330th ended the war with the official title of 330th Rifle, Mogilyov, Order of the Red Banner, Order of Suvorov, Order of Kutuzov Division. (Russian: 330-я стрелковая Могилёвская Краснознамённая ордена Суворова и Кутузова дивизия.) According to STAVKA Order No. 11095 of May 29, 1945, part 6, the 330th is listed as one of the rifle divisions to be "disbanded in place". It was disbanded in Germany in accordance with the directive during the summer of 1945.

    References

    330th Rifle Division (Soviet Union) Wikipedia


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