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335th Rifle Division (September 9, 1941 – November 28, 1942)
335th Rifle Division (May 25, 1944 - 1945)
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 Second Battle of Kharkov
Case Blue
Battle of the Caucasus
Soviet invasion of Manchuria

The 335th Rifle Division was first formed in September 1941, as a standard Red Army rifle division, at Stalingrad. It was a "sister" unit to the 341st Rifle Division, which was formed at about the same time and place and shared a very similar combat path in its first formation. The division was assigned to the southern sector of the Soviet-German front during the winter counteroffensive, but took severe losses during the German spring offensive that formed the Izium Pocket, and it was all but destroyed in the opening phase of Case Blue. The division was formed again nearly two years later, this time in the Far Eastern Front, and spent the rest of the war mainly on coastal defense duties. The 335th had one of the shortest and least distinguished careers of any Soviet rifle division.

1st FormationEdit

The division first formed on September 9, 1941 in the North Caucasus Military District[1] at Stalingrad. Its basic order of battle was as follows:

  • 1121st Rifle Regiment
  • 1123rd Rifle Regiment
  • 1125th Rifle Regiment
  • 898th Artillery Regiment[2]

In October, while still barely formed, the division was assigned to 57th Army, which was also just in the process of forming-up in the Reserve of the Supreme High Command. In December the division and its Army moved to join Southwestern Front, taking part in the winter counter-offensive which led to the creation of the Izium salient south of Kharkov. By the end of January, 1942, the 335th was in 9th Army in Southern Front, on the southern flank of the salient. It was still holding this position in May, when the 1st Panzer Army overran most of 9th Army just west of the division's sector, on its way to forming the Izium Pocket. While the 335th was not encircled itself, it still suffered heavy casualties in the fighting.[3]

When 1st Panzer and 17th Army launched the German summer offensive on their sectors on July 7, the 335th was still in Southern Front, but now in 24th Army. This newly-formed army, with just four damaged rifle divisions, was attempting to provide a second echelon for the Front. On July 10 the Front was ordered to form those divisions into a task force along with a special tank group to move northeastward to block the XXXX Panzer Corps in the Chertkovo area. This move availed very little, and led to a good many men of the 335th being killed or captured in the Millerovo pocket.[4] By August 1 the division was officially in 24th Army in North Caucasus Front listed as "without troops". As there weren't enough resources in the Caucasus to rebuild the division from just a headquarters, it was officially disbanded on November 28.[5]

2nd FormationEdit

After being absent for nearly two years from the Red Army order of battle, a new 335th Rifle Division was formed on May 25, 1944, in the Far Eastern Front, based on the 6th Rifle Brigade.[6] This division was assigned to the 88th Rifle Corps, a separate corps stationed on the Pacific coast near Vladivostok. During the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August, 1945, the 335th was in 1st Far Eastern Front as part of the Chuguevsk Operational Group, a covering force which saw no major combat or offensive action.[7]

PostwarEdit

The 335th ended the war without any battle honors or unit decorations. It was disbanded later in 1945 in the Primorsky Military District.[8]

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. Dunn states the division was formed in the Central Asia Military District; Walter S. Dunn, Jr., Stalin's Keys to Victory, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA, 2006, p. 81
  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. 81
  3. Sharp, "Red Tide", p. 81
  4. David M. Glantz, To the Gates of Stalingrad, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 2009, pp. 112, 177-78, 182, 539
  5. Sharp, "Red Tide", p. 81
  6. Sharp, "Red Swarm", Soviet Rifle Divisions Formed From 1942 to 1945, Soviet Order of Battle World War II, Vol. X, Nafziger, 1996, p. 125. The OoB of this formation was likely different from the 1st Formation, because many late-war divisions used lower regimental numbers made available by the conversion of rifle divisions into Guards units in 1942-43.
  7. Sharp, "Red Swarm", p. 125
  8. Feskov et al 2013, p. 577.

BibliographyEdit

  • Feskov, V.I.; Golikov, V.I.; Kalashnikov, K.A.; Slugin, S.A. (2013) (in Russian). Tomsk: Scientific and Technical Literature Publishing. ISBN 9785895035306. 



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