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Stavka Reserve vs RVGK?

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  • Stavka Reserve vs RVGK?

    Greetings all,

    A simple question:

    Was the Stavka Reserve the same as the High Command Reserve RVGK?

    Thanks for any help on this!


  • #2
    I might have found an answer.

    David Glantz, in his book Companion to Endgame at Stalingrad lists:

    RVGK - Reserve of the Stavka of the Supreme High Command

    So is this correct?


    • #3
      In simple terms, yes you are correct

      The Supreme High command (Verkhovnoye GlavnoKomandovanie or VGK) was responsible for the preparation and conduct of military campaigns and strategic operations. The Headquarters (Stavaka) of the Supreme High Command controlled military operations through the General Staff and subordinate commands. The RVGK was the Reserve forces of the Supreme High Command.


      • #4
        Thanks for the info...but once again...

        Stavka – Headquarters of the Supreme High Command
        NKO – People's Commissariat for Defense
        VGK – Supreme High Command otherwise known as the General Staff of the Red Army
        RVGK – Reserve of the Supreme High Command or "General staff" but not of Stavka.

        So VGK had reserves but not Stavka, and VGK was subordinate to the NKO. Yes?


        • #5
          Originally posted by Dann Falk View Post
          RVGK - Reserve of the Stavka of the Supreme High Command
          You have two different meaning:
          1. GHQ units pool. In other words units not assigned organically to divisions/corps/armies.
          2. Forces under control of Supreme Command. Strategic reserve in other words.
          It depends on the context which is the meaning in your case. As far as the meaning 2 is concerned reserve of Stavka, Reserve of the supreme command, reserve of the high command can be used and they mean the same.


          • #6
            Yes.....Much clearer. This is why I was thinking, in my other post, that Stavka and VGK as being so closely linked that the VGK was an operational extension of the Stavka.

            It is confusing when historical records refer to Stavka reserves, and then to High Command reserves, and then General Staff reserves….and so on.

            Much thanks to everyone for clarifying this issue.



            • #7
              Just to be complete, in addition to the "Reserve of the Stavka GK" (as it is indicated in the (in)famous "Boevoi sostav sovetskoi armii") or the Stavka Reserves, and the forces in the 'Active Army' and the Far Eastern/Transbaikal forces watching the Japanese, there were also throughout the war varying numbers of units in the Military Districts not under active Front commands or in the Stavka Reserves. Usually these were units being formed or reformed and so not 'ready for commitment'.
              However, for instance on 1 October 1941 in the Moscow Military District there were 12 tank brigades and 23 artillery regiments, and virtually all of them were committed in front of Moscow within the next three weeks. In comparison, on 1 October the Stavka Reserves had just 5 artillery regiments and 2 tank brigades, so the forces in the interior Military Districts could be relatively quite substantial.


              • #8
                Yes...I see your point. Like VVS and AAA units assigned to military districts to guard a city or a factory. They would not be assigned to any reserve...also NKVD formations and so on.



                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dann Falk View Post
                  Yes...I see your point. Like VVS and AAA units assigned to military districts to guard a city or a factory. They would not be assigned to any reserve...also NKVD formations and so on.
                  Also units being trained, rebuilt, or re-equipped, and ground units with other tasks, like the units in the Transcaucasus and Central Asia Military Districts who were also watching/securing the borders with Iran and Turkey. Quite a few of these units went straight from being part of the 'interior' Military Districts to the Front without pausing in the Stavka Reserves at all.
                  For example, the 332nd Rifle Division went right from being formed in the Moscow Military District (from Ivanov city militia, originally) to being part of the Moscow Garrison occupying 'last ditch' defenses against the Germans in late October 1941.
                  Likewise, in that same frantic period, the 334th Rifle Division started forming in the Volga Military District, was assigned to the 60th Reserve Army in that district while forming, then moved to Moscow and was assigned to the 20th and 24th Armies as they formed, and finally went into action in January 1942 with 4th Shock Army. Except for about two weeks in 60th Reserve Army, it was never part of the Stavka or High Command Reserves until it was considered 'ready for combat' and went straight into a Front army in January.

                  The criteria seems to have been that, ideally, once a unit was ready for combat it would go into the Stavka/High Command reserves until it was to be committed, but in emergency or high stress strategic situations, they never went into Reserve, but straight from the training area to the front.
                  This was especially true of non-divisional units late in 1941: most of the 40 artillery regiments committed in front of Moscow in October 1941 came straight from the schools or training areas, and in the same month most of the tank brigades arriving in front of Moscow from 8 to 28 October came straight from the training field, and didn't spend more than a day or two in training! At least one tank brigade got its maps of the area they were deploying to handed to them through the windows of a railcar by a General Staff officer as they were passing through a suburban Moscow train station on their way to the front!

                  Gives a whole new meaning to "Rapid Deployment Force", doesn't it?


                  • #10
                    Great story, Yes....very fast indeed.

                    later on in July 42, the 64 A received four Cadet Rifle Regiments directly from the schools in the Northern Caucasus region, 2,000 to 2,500 cadets each. They were told in the middle of the night to pack and left by train for Stalingrad the next day. Zoom and they were gone.

                    With all these "other units" around, the idea that the Red Army only contained about 6 million troops is somewhat deceptive.

                    Thanks for the good info!


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