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    I have information for the Red Army major formations in the west as of June 1941, down to division level. Glantzs 'Stumbling Colossus' among others. Am seeking comparative information for strength at least in mid 1940 & hopefully for the previous five years to 1936. It would also be helpful if this included some information on the level of training and equipment for new formations during their initial existance. I'm just trying to understand how the Red Army developed in strength as the German army was rebuilt & became a threat.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    I have information for the Red Army major formations in the west as of June 1941, down to division level. Glantzs 'Stumbling Colossus' among others. Am seeking comparative information for strength at least in mid 1940 & hopefully for the previous five years to 1936. It would also be helpful if this included some information on the level of training and equipment for new formations during their initial existance. I'm just trying to understand how the Red Army developed in strength as the German army was rebuilt & became a threat.

    Thanks
    You have almost an impossible mission.
    If some strength data you can find for the Winter War 1939-40, divisions which staid apart from this conflict are almost invisible in literature and online resources. Sorry, but the only one way to get information for their strength and other issues is working in RGVA archive.
    Maybe some pieces of information can be found at http://pamyat-naroda.ru/ site, but not sure. They contains some pre-war documents, but one needs an unbelievable luck to find what he needs for this period.

    Regards
    Alex
    If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

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    • #3
      Ouch.. very bad news. Glantz provides some fragments, & others have some hints. Not enough to obtain a clear picture of the expansion & mobiliztion.

      Perhaps one question can be clarified. Glantz refers to a large number of "cadre" divisions existing into 1939. What was the difference between these and a formation of mostly inactive reservists?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
        Ouch.. very bad news. Glantz provides some fragments, & others have some hints. Not enough to obtain a clear picture of the expansion & mobiliztion.
        Yep, there exists a large gap. There exists quite a small amount of information about early and mid-1930s

        Perhaps one question can be clarified. Glantz refers to a large number of "cadre" divisions existing into 1939. What was the difference between these and a formation of mostly inactive reservists?
        I think cadre divisions were full-strength ones, while the other ones could accept mobilized personnel in the course of mobilization period.
        If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
          Perhaps one question can be clarified. Glantz refers to a large number of "cadre" divisions existing into 1939. What was the difference between these and a formation of mostly inactive reservists?
          According to a mobilization system that existed by 1939 out of 99 rifle divisions 37 were "triple" divisions. Each of them formed 3 full-strength divisions at mobilization. So theoretically 74 new divisions were to be created after mobilization start. The remaining number 99 - 37 were just brought to full wartime strength using reservists. Of them about a dozen were rifle divisions in the Far East which had a reinforced peacetime TOEs. The wartime TOE were the same. In August 1939 this system was changed with three small divisions formed of "triple" divisions already in peacetime. So now the number of peace-time and wartime divisions was supposed to be the same, they just switched from peace to wartime TOEs. This reorganization overlapped with partial mobilization that started in September 1939 and led to many new divisions being mostly composed of reservists. Then you have the Finnish War that caused even more reshuffling of personnel.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by amvas View Post
            ...
            I think cadre divisions were full-strength ones, while the other ones could accept mobilized personnel in the course of mobilization period.
            Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
            According to a mobilization system that existed by 1939 out of 99 rifle divisions 37 were "triple" divisions. Each of them formed 3 full-strength divisions at mobilization. So theoretically 74 new divisions were to be created after mobilization start. The remaining number 99 - 37 were just brought to full wartime strength using reservists. ....
            To clarify, the Triple Divisions were at 300% strength, or they contained the cadre for three war time divisions?

            ... In August 1939 this system was changed with three small divisions formed of "triple" divisions already in peacetime.
            The "small divisions were cadre, or partial strength?

            So now the number of peace-time and wartime divisions was supposed to be the same, they just switched from peace to wartime TOEs.
            This seems clear.

            This reorganization overlapped with partial mobilization that started in September 1939 and led to many new divisions being mostly composed of reservists. ...
            How large was this partial mobilization? I assume it includes calling reservists to active service, & if so then were they later released from active service, or retained to June 1941?

            Спасибо

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by amvas View Post
              ...
              Maybe some pieces of information can be found at http://pamyat-naroda.ru/ site, but not sure. They contains some pre-war documents, but one needs an unbelievable luck to find what he needs for this period.
              ...
              Unfortunately my Russian is to poor to take advantage of that site.

              Comment


              • #8
                Teased this out of Glantz. Table 4.1

                .................December 1940........June 41
                Army HQ...........20.........................20
                Rifle Corps HQ...30.........................62
                Rifle Div..........152........................196
                Motor Rifle/Mech Div..10..................31
                Cav Corps..........4............................4
                Cav Div............26..........................13
                Rifle Brigades.....5............................3
                Tank Div...........18...........................61
                Fortified Regions 21........................120
                Abn brigades......12.........................16
                Abn Corps HQ......0...........................5

                Strength......4,207,000.........5,373,000

                This 20% increase was largely reflected in the western defense fronts.

                What i am assuming here is this is the strength of field armies & standing reserves & does not include reservist formations. Is this correct?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                  To clarify, the Triple Divisions were at 300% strength, or they contained the cadre for three war time divisions?

                  The "small divisions were cadre, or partial strength?
                  Ok, peace-time organization of rifle divisions in August was as follows:
                  14 Far East divisions (authorized strength 13 550 men)
                  35 ordinary rifle divisions (6500)
                  37 "triple" rifle divisions (5220)
                  13 mountain divisions
                  That would made 160 rifle and 13 mountain rifle divisions after mobilization.

                  On 2 September 1939 a plan of reorganization of the Red Army in 1939-1940 was approved. The plan provided for the following organization of the peace-time army:
                  18 Far East divisions (13 550)
                  33 divisions (8 750)
                  76 divisions (5 850)
                  33 divisions (3 000)
                  13 mountain divisions
                  Total 173
                  A required augmentation of personnel was to be secured by conscription of the class of 1920 that autumn. In fact mobilization in September and military campaigns in Poland interfered with this plan and it was not fully implemented. In particular several planned division were not formed and the total number was less than 173. The following story is too lengthy and full of details. In a nutshell the Red Army after August 1939 was in almost permanent state of organizational perturbations, only the period between summer 1940 and February-March 1941 was a calmer one.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What source is this from?

                    Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
                    ... In a nutshell the Red Army after August 1939 was in almost permanent state of organizational perturbations, only the period between summer 1940 and February-March 1941 was a calmer one.
                    Yes this period from August 1939 through July 1940 seem volatile. It appears expansion of 36% in div HQ was attempted, which must have strained the ability to provide cadres.

                    thanks for the assistance. I am starting to see the paralles & differences between the mobilization of different armies in this era.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                      How large was this partial mobilization?
                      Pretty large. In September 1939 2.6 million reservists were called up in European districts (mostly Leningrad, Belorussian, Kiev, Kalinin, Moscow, Orel and Kharkov districts). In combination with conscription of the 1920 class that expanded the army almost 3-fold to more than 5 million men and made it the largest in the world on that moment. Demobilization started after the end of the Polish campaign, but the war with Finland stopped it and additional 550 thousand men were called during the winter. Total 3.16 million reservist were called up from September 1939 to March 1940, of them about 1.6 million were still in Army ranks by the end of the Finnish War. Those reservists were released in the following months and partly replaced with the class of 1921 which was conscripted in the autumn. By the end of 1940 practically none remained on active service except a small number of reserve officers which were assigned permanent positions.
                      Such a huge turnover of personnel partly explains the meaning of 'perturbations' and it was definitely a nightmare from the point of you of training and administration. I suppose Navy and NKVD were also involved in mobilization, but I haven't seen any details. The source is mostly M. Meltyukhov, in particular the essay 'Red Army before the war: organization and cadres'
                      http://militera.lib.ru/research/meltyukhov/09.html
                      which is the best source on the subject to my knowledge.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A technical point now. The 173 divisions account for 2,344,000 at 13,550 men each at full strength. is the balance of the four or five million men in service all in HQ & support services?

                        A second question is was there a pool of reservists that were not assigned to existing formations, or assigned to some sort of formation that existed on paper only? I am trying to understand how the many conscript classes of the 1930s fit into the structure of full mobilization.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Glantz in 1982 passed me a document that he compiled in 1981 titled The Evolution of Soviet Force Structure: 1918-1980. His right-hand margin has his sources for the information (listed by author, short title on edited works, Soviet Military Encyclopedia), so you could replicate his research. The document has been his (and my) backbone for force structure in all his works.

                          A quick review of his catalogue and price list does not show the document for sale.

                          Recommend you email Glantz to see if he would sell you a copy (and if you do not have his catalogue ask for it). His address is David M. Glantz, 805 Forbes Road, Carlisle, PA 17013; email: [email protected].
                          Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 27 Jul 17, 08:39.
                          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks. I'll place that on my acquisition list. Been trying to translate some bits from the links posted here. My russian is far to stale to make that practical in the near future.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                              A technical point now. The 173 divisions account for 2,344,000 at 13,550 men each at full strength. is the balance of the four or five million men in service all in HQ & support services?
                              The wartime strength of the rifle division according to an establishment from September 1939 was nearly 19 000 men. I can't say though if they were already using that establishment or an earlier one which was smaller somewhat (about 17 000). In any case the mobilization in September 1939 involved only 98 rifle (and 14 cavalry) divisions in 7 military districts. I don't know what was the exact composition of 5 million number. I had numbers relating to the winter 1939/40 somewhere but I'm away from my home computer now. In any case the full mobilization strength of the Red Army according to a mobilization plan active in 1939 was supposed to be 6.8 million men. Of them 2.8 million in rifle divisions, brigades and rifle corps HQ and the rest elsewhere.

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