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NKVD Divisions

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  • NKVD Divisions

    Can anyone tell me anything about these units..What was their TO&E?
    How many NKVD Divisions were there? I know there were 2 at Stalingrad. What was their main function?

  • #2
    There were, depending on how you count divisions that changed their designations during the war, over 60 NKVD divisions that served in the 'Active Army' facing either the Germans/Axis or the Japanese during the war - in addition to 20+ divisions that were formed from NKVD personnel but given regular RKKA division numbers before they went into action.
    At Stalingrad, the primary NKVD force in the city was the 10th NKVD Division, formed of 5 regiments recruited from Siberia to Saratov. The unit commander was also commander of the 'garrison' of Stalingrad and the division was redesignated as the 181st Rifle Division on 14 November 1942. It also won the Order of Lenin for its actions at Stalingrad; the division was supposed to handle rear-area security, but ended up in the front line against the Germans.
    As to the TO&E or shtat of the NKVD divisions, that varied widely. There were several different branches of the NKVD forces, including Internal Security, Convoy, Installation Guards, Border Troops, etc. There were 'divisions' that were simply HQ controlling a variety of separate battalions, companies, detachments and regiments securing installations over a wide area, and there were units almost indistinguishable from regular rifle divisions or motorized divisions. There were even NKVD Cavalry units and a very few separate tank and artillery units (none division-sized, though). If there's a specific division you need information on, I'll see what I can find on it.


    • #3
      Glantz has some information in Colossus Reborn, but not detailed TO&Es.


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