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325th Rifle Division (Sept. 8, 1941 – April 18, 1943)
325th Rifle Division (May 7, 1944 - 1945)
Postwar photo of Mjr. Gen. N.B. Ibianskii (1st Formation)
Postwar photo of Mjr. Gen. N.B. Ibianskii (1st Formation)
Active 1941–1945
Country Flag of the Soviet Union (1924–1955).svg Soviet Union
Branch Red Army flag Red Army
Type Division
Role Infantry
Engagements Battle of Moscow
Battles of Rzhev
Operation Little Saturn
Baltic Offensive
Vistula-Oder Offensive
East Prussian Offensive
Battle honours Dvinsk (2nd formation)
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Mjr. Gen. N.B. Ibianskii

The 325th Rifle Division was formed in September, 1941, as a standard Red Army rifle division, made up of older reservists and young men with no prewar training. As with many other divisions in the 320-330 series it was flung into the fighting west of Moscow to defend the capital and then to take part in the winter counteroffensive. After a year on a quiet sector the division rejoined the fighting in the late winter of 1943, eventually distinguishing itself sufficiently to be redesignated as the 90th Guards Rifle Division. After disappearing from the Soviet order of battle for more than a year a new division was formed in the spring of 1944, which gave very creditable service for the duration, completing its combat path in East Prussia.

1st FormationEdit

The division first formed on Sept. 8, 1941 at Morshansk in the Oryol Military District.[1] Its basic order of battle was as follows:

  • 1092nd Rifle Regiment
  • 1094th Rifle Regiment
  • 1096th Rifle Regiment
  • 893rd Artillery Regiment[2]

The division formed in the eastern part of the Oryol District. It was still short of all sorts of basic equipment when it was assigned to 10th (Reserve) Army in the Reserve of the Supreme High Command in October. Short or not, it went into battle with 10th Army in early December on the southern flank of Western Front. In February, 1942, the division was transferred to 50th Army, still in Western Front, just to the north. It remained on this relatively quiet sector until February, 1943. It was then transferred to south to 21st Army, which was moving north to make up part of the new Central Front, after having helped to crush the German 6th Army in Operation Koltso. The intention of the STAVKA was that 21st Army would take part in an offensive to destroy the German forces in the salient around Oryol, liberate Bryansk, and advance into the rear of Army Group Center. In the event this operation failed to reach these ambitious objectives, but the 325th scored some successful tactical actions in its course, so when the 21st Army became the 6th Guards Army in April, the 325th was redesignated as the 90th Guards Rifle Division on Apr. 18.[3]

2nd FormationEdit

After an absence of over a year from the Red Army order of battle, a new 325th Rifle Division was formed on May 7, 1944, in the 22nd Army of 2nd Baltic Front, based on cadres from the 23rd Rifle Brigade and the 54th Rifle Brigade.[4] The division's order of battle remained the same as that of the first formation.[5] It was assigned to 44th Rifle Corps and would remain in this corps until nearly the end of the year.

On July 8, as its Front entered the general offensive, the 325th was facing the German Panther Line defenses from across the Alolya River, about 25km northeast of Idritsa.[6] In August, 44th Corps was transferred to 3rd Shock Army in the same Front, and in September to 2nd Guards Army in 1st Baltic Front.[7] By mid-September the division had advanced well into Latvia, approaching Gulbene.[8] As the advance continued the 325th gave a good account of itself in the liberation of Dvinsk and received the city's name as an honorific. In November the division and its corps were once again reassigned, now to the 43rd Army in the same Front. In a final move the division went to 103rd Rifle Corps in December, and it would continue under command of those two headquarters for the duration. In January, 1945, 43rd Army was transferred to 3rd Belorussian Front, where it would remain until April, when it was finally assigned to 2nd Belorussian Front.[9]

Into GermanyEdit

With the rest of 3rd Belorussian Front, the 325th participated in the Vistula-Oder Offensive. 43rd Army was on the Front's right wing, and by Jan. 22 had made a fighting advance of 23km, pursuing the defeated German IX Army Corps on a broad front as its remnants attempted to retreat behind the Alle and Deime Rivers. By the end of the day the division, with the rest of the 103rd Corps, reached a line from Agilla to the Nemonin River; the Army's immediate goal was the town of Labiau. Fighting continued throughout the night. The fortified town was defended by units of the German 551st and 548th Infantry Divisions and put up a stubborn defense, making it impossible for the 103rd Corps to cross the Deime and attack the town from the east. However, the river was forced to the north and south by other units of 43rd Army; the defenders, facing encirclement, sought to escape, but were destroyed by arriving Soviet mobile units. By the end of the 23rd, Labiau had been occupied.[10]

PostwarEdit

When the shooting stopped, the division had not had much time or occasion to distinguish itself, and was officially the 325th Rifle, Dvinsk Division (Russian: 325-я стрелковая Двинская дивизия). It was disbanded "in place" with the Northern Group of Forces during the summer of 1945.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Walter S. Dunn, Jr., Stalin's Keys to Victory, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 2006, p 78
  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 76
  3. Sharp, "Red Tide", p 76-77
  4. Sharp, "Red Swarm", Soviet Rifle Divisions Formed From 1942 to 1945, Soviet Order of Battle World War II, Vol. X, Nafziger, 1996, p 123.
  5. According to Sharp; Russian Wikipedia lists the rifle regiments as the 85th, 110th and 114th.
  6. The Gamers, Inc., Baltic Gap, Multi-Man Publishing, Inc., Millersville, MD, 2009, p 10
  7. Sharp, "Red Swarm", p 123
  8. Baltic Gap, p 29
  9. Sharp, "Red Swarm", p 123
  10. Soviet General Staff, Prelude to Berlin, ed. and trans. Richard W. Harrison, Helion & Co., Ltd., Solihull, UK, 2016, pp 224-26
  11. 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 linksEdit



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