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313th Rifle Division (July 15, 1941 – May 29, 1945)
Colonel (later Maj. Gen.) G.V. Golovanov
Colonel (later Maj. Gen.) G.V. Golovanov
Active 1941–1945
Country  Soviet Union
Branch Red Army flag.svg Red Army
Type Division
Role Infantry
Engagements Siege of Leningrad
Continuation War
Svir–Petrozavodsk Offensive
Vistula-Oder Offensive
East Pomeranian Offensive
Berlin Strategic Offensive
Decorations Order of the red Banner OBVERSE.jpgOrder of the Red Banner twice
Order of suvorov medal 2nd class.jpgOrder of Suvorov 2nd Class
Order of Kutuzov 2nd Class Order of Kutuzov 2nd Class
Battle honours Petrozavodsk
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Maj. Gen. A.A. Pavlovich
Col. G.V. Golovanov

The 313th Rifle Division was a standard Red Army rifle division formed on July 15, 1941 in the Udmurt ASSR before being sent to the vicinity of Leningrad, first in the 7th Separate Army east of Lake Ladoga, and later in 32nd Army of Karelian Front, where it spent most of the war facing the Finnish Army in East Karelia. In consequence the division saw relatively uneventful service on this mostly quiet front until the summer of 1944, when it took part in the offensive that drove Finland out of the war. When this was accomplished, the division was redeployed to take the fight into Poland and then into the German heartland in the winter and spring of 1945. It ended the war north of Berlin after compiling a very distinguished record of service.

Formation[edit | edit source]

The 313th began forming on July 15, 1941 in the Udmurt ASSR in the Urals Military District.[1] It was under the command of Maj. Gen. A.A. Pavlovich from its formation until the middle of October. Its order of battle was as follows:

  • 1068th Rifle Regiment
  • 1070th Rifle Regiment
  • 1072nd Rifle Regiment
  • 856th Artillery Regiment[2]
  • 372nd Antitank Battalion
  • 596th Sapper Battalion
  • 202nd Reconnaissance Battalion
  • 751st Signal Battalion
  • 396th Antiaircraft Battery

In August, while still forming up, the division was assigned to the Reserve of the Supreme High Command and between September 5–9 it arrived in the Petrozavodsk area near Lake Onega and was assigned to the 7th Army. In October it moved north and became part of the Karelian Front, in the Medvezhegorskaya Operational Group, which became the 2nd Formation of the 32nd Army in March, 1942. The 313th remained on this static front, facing the Finns just south of the Arctic Circle, until the summer of 1944.[3]

Svir–Petrozavodsk Offensive[edit | edit source]

Leningrad Front began its offensive on the Isthmus of Karelia on June 10, making rapid progress towards Vyborg despite strong Finnish resistance. On June 16 the Finnish commander-in-chief, Marshal Mannerheim, issued orders to give up East Karelia, to free up forces for the main front on the Isthmus, so when Karelian Front launched its own offensive on the 20th it faced a very fluid situation. The 313th was tasked with clearing the railway southwards along the western shores of Lake Onega to link up with 7th Army.[4] It did so on June 29 at Petrozavodsk, and was distinguished with the name of the town where it had arrived at the front, and finally liberated nearly three years later, as an honorific:

"PETROZAVODSK"...313 Rifle Division (Colonel Tsygankov, Nikifor Fomich)... the troops who participated in the battles with the enemy, and the liberation of Petrozavodsk, by the order of the Supreme High Command of 29 June 1944, and a commendation in Moscow, are given a salute of 24 artillery salvos from 324 guns.[5]

Following this, the division helped continue to push the Finnish forces back to the so-called U-Line, along the Uksu River - Lake Loimola - Lake Tolva, north of Lake Ladoga, which was reached by July 10.[6]

Advance[edit | edit source]

In November, when this operation was ended, the 313th was transferred to the 19th Army in the Reserve of the Supreme High Command. It returned to the fighting front in January, 1945, in the 132nd Rifle Corps of that Army, in the 2nd Belorussian Front, and fought under those headquarters until the end of the war. At the start of the second phase of the Vistula-Oder Offensive on February 24, 19th Army attached the division to the 3rd Guards Tank Corps as an exploitation force to drive through to the Baltic coast north of Koslin to cut the path to the west of the German forces in eastern Pomerania. By the 27th the tanks had made great progress, advancing as much as 60km, forcing units of German 2nd Army to fall back without much resistance, but the rifle divisions were falling behind; the 313th reached Gross Karzenburg on this date, some 45km farther back. As well, 19th Army headquarters was losing communications with its troops, and the Front had to order a delay of the further offensive by the tank corps while the Army reorganized.[7]

Following this offensive, the 313th participated in the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation, and ended the war north of Berlin.[8] When hostilities ceased, the division carried the official title of 313th Rifle, Petrozavodsk, twice Order of the Red Banner, Order of Suvorov, Order of Kutuzov Division. (Russian: 313-я стрелковая Петрозаводская дважды Краснознамённая орденов Суворова и Кутузова дивизия.)

Postwar[edit | edit source]

The division was disbanded "in place" during the summer of 1945 with the Northern Group of Forces.[9]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Walter S. Dunn, Jr., Stalin's Keys to Victory, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 2006, p. 77. Dunn shows the 311th Rifle Division being assigned to the 48th Army in August, but also to the 7th Army in September; the latter entry is in error and should be the 313th.
  2. Charles C. Sharp, "Red Tide", Soviet Rifle Divisions Formed From June to December 1941, Soviet Order of Battle World War II, Vol. IX, Nafziger, 1996, p. 72
  3. Sharp, "Red Tide", p. 72
  4. Earl F. Ziemke, Stalingrad to Berlin, Center of Military History United States Army, Washington, DC, 1968, pp. 296-97, 302
  5. http://www.soldat.ru/spravka/freedom/1-ssr-5.html. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  6. Ziemke, pp. 299, 302
  7. Soviet General Staff, Prelude to Berlin, ed. and trans. by Richard W, Harrison, Helion & Co., Ltd., Solihull, UK, 2016, pp. 311, 316-17, 334
  8. Sharp, "Red Tide", p. 72
  9. Feskov et al 2013, p. 408.
  • Feskov, V.I.; Golikov, V.I.; Kalashnikov, K.A.; Slugin, S.A. (2013) (in Russian). Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской. Tomsk: Scientific and Technical Literature Publishing. ISBN 9785895035306. 

External links[edit | edit source]



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