The 75th Guards Rifle Division (Russian: 75-я гвардейская стрелковая дивизия 75-ya gvardyeĭskaya strelkovaya diviziya) was a Red Army infantry division during World War II and afterwards, which later became the 75th Guards Tank Division and was finally disbanded in the 1990s.
The division was formed in the Tula area (Tesnitskie camp) 1 March 1943 on the basis of units of the 95th Rifle Division (II Formation), which was given the honorary title of "The Guard" for courage and the heroism in the defense of Stalingrad. Its structure included the 90th, 161st, and 241st Rifle Regiments, the 57th Artillery Regiment, which became 212th, 231st and 241st Guards Rifle, 159th Guards Artillery Regiments correspondingly and other smaller units.
In July - August 1943, as part of the 13th Army of the Central Front, the division fought in the Battle of Kursk. Facing one of the main German thrusts (the Ponyri 2 area), divisional units resisted the German attack effectively and persistently. For its exemplary fighting performance the division was awarded the Order of the Red Banner on 21 July 1943. 5 soldiers of the division were made Heroes of the Soviet Union (all posthumously), and 173 officers and men recognized with awards and medals.
The division's soldiers then successfully helped clear left-bank Ukraine during the Chernigov-Pripyatsk (Черниговско-Припятской) operations of the Soviet Central Front. For helping clear Bakhmach the division was given the Honorary Title Bakhmach (Бахмачской) on 9 September 1943. On 25 September 1943 parts of the division forced the Dnieper River in the Tarasovichi area, seized a bridgehead and during October, fought intensely to expand it. For courage shown in battle, 57 officers and men of the division were made Heroes of the Soviet Union, and 829 recognized with awards and medals.
In November 1943, the division as part of the 60th Army of the 1st Ukrainian Front took part in the Kiev offensive operation. From January to July 1944 the division fought as part of the 65th Army of the Belarus (from 17 February 1944 1st Belarussian) Front, and for exemplary fighting performance it was awarded the Order of Suvorov, 2nd class, on 15 January 1944. In the Belorussian Strategic Offensive Operation, operating as part of the first echelon of the 65th Army, the division together with other formations broke the German defense and in persistent fighting seized Parichi (Паричи). The division then participated in the destruction of the German pocket in the Bobruisk area, cleared the city of Baranovichi and was given the Order of the Red Banner for a second time on 5 July 1944.
From August 1944 the division operated most of the time with 61st Army. As part of the 3rd and 1st Baltic Fronts, the division participated in clearing the Soviet Baltic region, and then fought in the Vistula-Oder operation. For courage shown in battle on the Vistula, 3 officers and men of the division were made Heroes of the Soviet Union, and hundreds recognized with awards and medals.
The division actively participated in the East Prussian operation as part of the 1st Belorussian Front. For courage shown in battle on the Oder, 8 officers and men of the division were made Heroes of the Soviet Union, and 1317 recognized with awards and medals.
The last operation of the division in World War II was the Battle of Berlin. The division completed fighting May 3, 1945, when the vanguard of the division came to the river Elbe near the town of Wittenberg (Brandenburg, north of Berlin). On the opposite bank of the Elbe river came troops of the 102nd Division of the 9th US Army. During the war years, about 14,000 of the division's officers and men were awarded awards and medals, including 73 who were made Heroes of the Soviet Union. The 75th Guards Division ranked third among the Rifle Divisions of the Red Army by the number of Heroes of the Soviet Union - the 167th Rifle Division had 108 Heroes and the 25th Guards Rifle Division had 77 Heroes. Colonel V.A. Gorishny (made General-major on 1.3.1943) commanded the division throughout the war.
The 75th Guards Rifle Division included the following units in April 1943: 212th Guards Rifle Regiment (former 90th RR of 95th RD)
231st Guards Rifle Regiment (former 161st RR of 95th RD)
241st Guards Rifle Regiment (former 241st RR of 95th RD)
159th Guards Artillery Regiment (former 57th AR of 95th RD)
84th Separate Guards Antitank Battalion (former 97th SATB of 95th RD)
155th Machine-gun Battalion (to 15 April 1943)
73rd Separate Guards Reconnaissance Company (former 13th RC of 95th RD)
87th Separate Guards Sapper Battalion (former 48th SB of 95th RD)
106th Separate Guards Communications Company (former 119th SCC of 95th RD)
585th (80) Medical Battalion (former 103rd MB of 95th RD)
77th Separate Guards Chemical Defence Company (former 30th SCDS of 95th RD)
726th (79) Trucking Company (former 283rd TC of 95th RD)
660th (74) Field Bakery (former 174th FB of 95th RD)
678th (78) Divisional Veterinary Hospital (former 7th DVH of 95th RD)
1593rd (25703) Field Post Office (former 1766th (2054) FPO of 95th RD)
652nd (44705) Field Ticket Office of the State Bank (former 1723rd (652) FTO of 95th RD)
212th Guards Rifle Regiment - Honorary title Riga (Рижский), Order of the Red Banner, Order of Suvorov, 3rd class
231st Guards Rifle Regiment - Order of the Red Banner, Order of Suvorov, 3rd class
241st Guards Rifle Regiment - Order of the Red Banner
159th Guards Artillery Regiment - Honorary title Riga (Рижский), Order of the Red Banner
84th Separate Guards Antitank Battalion - Order of Lenin
87th Separate Guards Sapper Battalion - Order of the Red Star
* Major General Gorishnii V.A. (1 March 1943 — May 1946)
Deputy Division Commander for political affairs
* Colonel Vlasenko I.A. (1 March 1943 — June 1944)
Head of the political department:
* Colonel Riabov A.P. (1 March 1943 — May 1943)
* Lt.Colonel Pakin B.G. (January 1945 — May 1946)
Chief of the Staff of the Division:
* Colonel Klymenko G.M. (February 1943 — end of 1943)
* Colonel Galperin B.I. (December 1944 — early 1946)
The Commander artillery of the Division
* Colonel Dalakishvili A.A. (1 March 1943 — May 1946)
The Commanders of Regiments
212th Guards Rifle regiment:
* Colonel Borisov M.S. (1 March 1943 — KIA 9 February 1944)
* Colonel Chusovitin I.A. (28 February 1944 — 28 November 1944)
* Lt.Colonel Trygubenko M.F. (acting) (December 1944)
* Lt.Colonel, Colonel Vorobiev A.P. (9 January 1945 — May 1946)
231st Guards Rifle regiment:
* Lt.Colonel Makovetsky F.E. (1 March 1943 — January 1944 critically injured)
* Lt.Colonel Maksimov V.A. (13 January 1944 — 9 January 1945)
* Lt.Colonel Zalialov A.H. (9 January 1945 — 4 June 1945)
* Lt.Colonel Svyrydenko G.M. (4 June 1945 — May 1946)
241st Guards Rifle regiment:
* Lt.Colonel Budarin N.P. (1 March 1943 — KIA 6 November 1943)
* Major Nechay P.S. (acting) (November — December 1943)
* Lt.Colonel, Colonel Myroshnychenko L.G. (December 1943 — 22 November 1944)
* Lt.Colonel Voloshanenko A.V. (22 November 1944 — May 1946)
159th Guards Artillery Regiment:
* Lt.Colonel Liovkin N.A. (1 March 1943 — November 1943)
* Lt.Colonel, Colonel Rylkov P.P. (December 1943 — 17 February 1945 critically injured)
* Lt.Colonel Subbotin (February — March 1945)
* Lt.Colonel Korotkikh (April — 5 October 1945)
* Lt.Colonel Zagorulko G.A. (5 October 1945 — May 1946)
84th Separate Guards Antitank Battalion
* Major Yasko I.K. (1943 — May 1946)
Between February and April 1946, the division was relocated to the cities of Tula and Plavsk in place of the disbanded 267th Rifle Division of the 1st Guards Rifle Corps. The staff of the 267th Rifle Сивашской Order of the Red Banner Order of Suvorov Division joined the 75th Guards Rifle Division.
On June 12, 1946, the 75th Guards Rifle Division was transformed into the 17th Guards Rifle Brigade. The brigade, stationed at Tula, was transferred in the summer of 1946 to the 13th Guards Rifle Кёнигсбергский Corps. The brigade was relocated from Tula to Kaluga. In the city of Tula the brigade released barracks for the 106th Guards Airborne Division which had arrived from the Tejkovskogo area of the Ivanovo region. In May 1946 the brigade was relocated from the city of Kaluga to the city of Dorogobuzh in the Smolensk area.
The headquarters of the 13th Guards Rifle Corps was relocated in the summer of 1946 to the city of Moscow. On April 15, 1947, the brigade was relocated from the city of Kaluga in the city of Ryazan and was a part of the 1st Guards Rifle Corps. In August – October 1948, the brigade was sent from Ryazan to the cities of Kharkov and Chuguev in the Kiev Military District, having released barracks areas for the 11th Guards Airborne Division.
In 1952 the division was reformed from the 17th Guards Rifle Brigade, and later became the 64th Guards Mechanised Division, incorporating the 160th, 205th, and 216th Guards Mechanised Regiments, and the 25th Tank Regiment. Later the division became the 75th Guards Tank Division, with the 187th MRR, 283rd Guards Tank Regiment, and 25th and 380th Tank Regiments. It served for years in the Kiev MD as part of the 6th Guards Tank Army, and finally disbanded in the late 1980s as part of the Gorbachev-inspired reductions. It was disbanded by November 1989.