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53rd Army
Active 1941-1945
Country Soviet Union
Branch Red Army
Size Army
Part of

I Formation
Central Asian Military District
II Formation
Northwestern Front
Steppe Front
2nd Ukrainian Front

Transbaikal Front

Demyansk Pocket
Battle of Kursk
Battle of Belgorod
Battle of the Dnieper
Battle of the Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket
Uman–Botoșani Offensive
Jassy-Kishinev Operation
Battle of Debrecen
Budapest Offensive
Prague Offensive

Soviet invasion of Manchuria
See List

The 53rd Army was a field army of the Soviet Union's Red Army that was formed in August 1941, disbanded in December 1941, and reformed in May 1942. It fought throughout World War II before again being disbanded after the war in October 1945.[1]

First formation[edit | edit source]

The 53rd Army was created by a Stavka directive on August 23, 1941. Its immediate task was to occupy Iran[2] in conjunction with the British Army and other Commonwealth armed forces in August and September 1941. The purpose was to secure Iranian oil fields as well as safeguard the shipment of Lend-Lease war material from the US through Iran to the USSR. Units of the 53rd Army crossed the border on August 27, overcame resistance from Iranian border guards, and advanced towards Mashad.[3] The 53rd Army was disbanded in December 1941.[4]

Composition[edit | edit source]

Second formation[edit | edit source]

The 53rd Army was reformed on May 1, 1942 from divisions of the 34th Army[5] with the mission of fighting on the Northwestern Front.[1][4] Until March 1943 it fought the German 16th Army in the Demyansk Offensive and unsuccessfully attempted to cut the Ramushevo corridor.[6][7][8] After the German breakout the 53rd Army was transferred to the Stavka reserve on March 22 and then to the Reserve Front on April 10. On April 15 it was transferred a third time, to the Steppe Front, where it received new units and fought in the Battle of Kursk.[5][9] On July 16 its troops took defensive positions on a line from Podolhi to Podjarugi. The 53rd Army fought in the Battle of Belgorod, pushing back German troops from July 19 onwards.[9]

In August and September 1943 the Army fought in the Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive and the capture of eastern Ukraine.[10] Units of the 53rd Army advanced more than 200 km and in cooperation with other armies captured Kharkov on August 23[7] and Poltava a month later. On October 5 it reached the Dnieper. The 53rd Army forced the Dnieper, captured a bridgehead southeast of Kremenchug, and fought hard until mid-November to retain its foothold on the right bank.

The Army was transferred to the 2nd Ukrainian Front on October 20 and attacked along the Kirovohrad axis. By December 24 it had reached the line of Krasnosele and Znamianka, where it was stopped by German reserves. On January 5, 1944 the attack was resumed and the defending German units were destroyed. At the end of January the 53rd Army fought in the Korsun-Shevchenkovsky Offensive[7] and attacked in the direction of Zlatopol. In the Uman–Botoșani Offensive it captured Balta on March 29, Kotovsk three days later and, at the end of the offensive, a bridgehead on the Dniester near Dubăsari.[11]

The 53rd Army fought in the Jassy–Kishinev Offensive,[7] attacking along the Focshany axis, and entered Bucharest on August 31.[7] At the end of September it was on the Hungarian border northeast of Arad.[7] In October it fought in the Battle of Debrecen,[7] during which Army commander German Tarasov was killed on 19 October.[12] In cooperation with the 1st Guards Mechanized Cavalry Group it broke through German defenses and advanced 100 kilometers to the Tisza near Polgár.[13] Between November 7 and 10, 1944, the 53rd Army forced the Tisza during the Budapest Offensive north of Abádszalók. In conjunction with the 110th Guards Rifle Division and 3rd Guards Airborne Division of the 27th Army it captured Eger on November 30.[14] The 53rd Army then attacked along the Lučenec axis, reached the Hron at the end of February 1945, and then went on the defensive.

During the Bratislava-Brno Operation the 53rd Army crossed the Hron on March 25 and captured Vráble on March 28, Nitra on March 30, Hlohovec on April 1, and Hodonín on April 13. Brno was captured on April 26 in cooperation with the 6th Guards Tank Army and 1st Guards Cavalry Mechanized Group.[7] In the last days before the German surrender the 53rd Army fought in the Prague Offensive.

From June to July 1945 it was deployed in Mongolia near Choibalsan, and at the beginning of August the 53rd Army was placed in the Transbaikal Front. It fought in the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation and was disbanded in October 1945.[1]

Composition[edit | edit source]

The 53rd Army was composed of the following units:[15]

1 May 1942[edit | edit source]

1 July 1943[edit | edit source]

August 1945[edit | edit source]

Commanders[edit | edit source]

First formation[edit | edit source]

Second formation[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "53-я АРМИЯ". http://bdsa.ru/%25D0%25BE%25D0%25B1%25D1%2589%25D0%25B5%25D0%25B2%25D0%25BE%25D0%25B9%25D1%2581%25D0%25BA%25D0%25BE%25D0%25B2%25D1%258B%25D0%25B5-%25D0%25B0%25D1%2580%25D0%25BC%25D0%25B8%25D0%25B8/2824-53. Retrieved 2015-09-28. 
  2. Feskov, V.I. (2003). The Red Army in the victories and defeats 1941-1945. Tomsk: Tomsk University Press. pp. 17. http://militera.lib.ru/h/0/pdf/feskov_vi01.pdf. 
  3. Farrokh, Kaveh (2011-12-20). Iran at War: 1500-1988. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 9781780962214. https://books.google.com/books?id=dUHhTPdJ6yIC. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "53-я армия". http://samsv.narod.ru/Arm/a53/arm.html. Retrieved 2015-09-28. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Glantz, David M. (2001-09-01). The Military Strategy of the Soviet Union: A History. Psychology Press. ISBN 9780714682006. https://books.google.com/books?id=EBlmeZB_BrQC. 
  6. Forczyk, Robert (2012-06-20). Demyansk 1942-43: The Frozen Fortress. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 9781780964423. https://books.google.com/books?id=pxAcRjwYcIoC. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Erickson, John (1999-01-01). Stalin's War with Germany: The road to Berlin. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300078137. https://books.google.com/books?id=6UaU6ZLqK4UC. 
  8. "Великая Отечественная война, история, документы, воспоминания ветеранов 94-й гвардейской дивизии". http://www.94d.ru/warway.php?id=134. Retrieved 2015-09-28. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Glantz, David M. (2012-11-12). Soviet Military Deception in the Second World War. Routledge. ISBN 9781136287725. https://books.google.com/books?id=oo4lR5NJ9L0C. 
  10. Nipe, George M. (2014-05-14). Decision in the Ukraine: German Panzer Operations on the Eastern Front, Summer 1943. Stackpole Books. ISBN 9780811748643. https://books.google.com/books?id=OUi78EfkMHsC. 
  11. Glantz, David M. (2007-01-01). Red Storm Over the Balkans: The Failed Soviet Invasion of Romania, Spring 1944. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 9780700614653. https://books.google.com/books?id=9vNmAAAAMAAJ. 
  12. Maslov, Aleksander A.; Glantz, David M. (1998-01-01). Fallen Soviet Generals: Soviet General Officers Killed in Battle, 1941-1945. Psychology Press. ISBN 9780714647906. https://books.google.com/books?id=c52tNnBdk7QC. 
  13. Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007-01-01). The German Defeat in the East, 1944-45. Stackpole Books. ISBN 9780811733717. https://books.google.com/books?id=e__d6mE5ocsC. 
  14. Ungvary, Krisztian (2011-08-30). Battle for Budapest: 100 Days in World War II. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9780857730138. https://books.google.com/books?id=Apz3AgAAQBAJ. 
  15. "Главная : Министерство обороны Российской Федерации". http://victory.mil.ru/. Retrieved 2015-09-28. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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