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266th Rifle Division
Active
  • 1st formation: July–November 1941
  • 2nd formation: April 1942–June 1946
Country Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Soviet Union
Branch Red Army
Type Infantry
Engagements

1st formation:

2nd formation:

Decorations
Battle honours Kovel (2nd formation)
The 260th Rifle Division (Russian: 260-я стрелковая дивизия) was an infantry division of the Red Army during World War II, formed twice.

First formationEdit

The division began forming on 2 July 1941 near Kalinin, part of the Moscow Military District. It included the 1026th, 1028th, and 1030th Rifle Regiments, as well as the 689th Artillery Regiment. The 260th spent about a month forming near Kalinin, and on 15 August was relocated south to the frontline near Tula, where it joined the 50th Army of the Bryansk Front, under the command of Colonel Vasily Khokhlov. The division fought in the direction of Bryansk and Kaluga.[1] The division was still holding positions there when the German 2nd Panzer Group attacked in Operation Typhoon, the attack beginning the Battle of Moscow. At the time, the 260th fielded 9,755 men, 324 machine guns, 98 artillery pieces and mortars, four anti-aircraft guns, and fifteen anti-tank guns. It was surrounded in the Bryansk pocket but escaped complete destruction. Despite this, only 1,000 officers and men were left in the division by early November. It was withdrawn into the reserve north of Tula, and its remnants were disbanded on 17 November due to a lack of resources to rebuild it since the front was under unrelenting pressure from German attacks.[2]

Second formationEdit

The division was reformed under the command of Colonel Alexander Chizhov between April and 13 May 1942 at Volokolamsk, just west of Moscow in the Moscow Military District. It included the 1026th, 1028th, and the 1030th Rifle Regiments, as well as the 738th Artillery Regiment. The 260th was assigned to the Moscow Defense Zone in July, and then to the Voronezh Front reserves in September. In late September it was moved to the front as part of the 1st Guards Army of the Don Front, holding positions to the north of Stalingrad. In late September, for "nonfulfillment of military tasks" in the Samofolovka area, Chizhov was relieved of command and demoted to become chief of staff of the 273rd Rifle Division.[3] The division fought in the Battle of Stalingrad during Operation Uranus and Operation Koltso between November 1942 and February 1943, successively part of the 24th and 65th Armies of the Don Front. After the battle ended with the surrender of the German 6th Army in early February, the 260th was transferred to the Reserve of the Supreme High Command (RVGK).[4]

By 1 May it was part of the 11th Army in the RVGK. In July the army transferred to the Bryansk Front for the start of the summer offensive. The 260th became part of the army's 53rd Rifle Corps in August. At the end of the year, it transferred with the 53rd Rifle Corps to the 63rd Army of the Belorussian Front. The division transferred back to the RVGK in the Moscow Military District at the end of January 1944, joining the 125th Rifle Corps, which was in the process of formation. With the corps, the division was sent to the 47th Army of the Belorussian Front by 1 March. In May it transferred to the army's 129th Rifle Corps. The 260th fought in Operation Bagration between June and August, and in the Vistula–Oder Offensive from January 1945. In February, the division transferred to the army's 77th Rifle Corps, ending the war with the corps in the Berlin Offensive in May.[4]

Postwar, the division became part of the Group of Soviet Occupation Forces in Germany with the 129th Rifle Corps, still part of the 47th Army. In early 1946, it was transferred to the 7th Rifle Corps of the 3rd Shock Army.[5] In June 1946, the 260th was withdrawn with the corps to the Moscow Military District, where it was disbanded.[6]

CommandersEdit

The following officer commanded the division's first formation:[7]

The following officers commanded the division's second formation:[7]

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. Tsapayev & Goremykin 2014, p. 853.
  2. Sharp 1996a, pp. 50–51.
  3. Tsapayev & Goremykin 2014, p. 938.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sharp 1996b, pp. 100–101.
  5. Feskov et al 2013, pp. 381–382.
  6. Feskov et al 2013, p. 397.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Main Personnel Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Soviet Union 1964, p. 233.

BibliographyEdit



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