Military Review

Iron fist of the Red Army. Mechanized enclosures

21
Tank part on the march, September 1935. In order to increase operational mobility since February of this year, high-speed BTs that replaced the T-26 became the main machine in the mechanized corps. Each mechanized corps in the state of 1935 totaled 348 BT.



9 June 1940 of the USSR NPO S.K.Timoshenko approved the plan for the formation of mechanized corps and conveyed his proposals to the SNK of the USSR. 6 July 1940 was issued a decree SNK USSR №1193-464ss, which said:

"SNK USSR decides:

1. To approve the organization of a mechanized corps consisting of two tank divisions, a motorized division, a motorcycle regiment, one air squadron, a road battalion and a corps communications battalion. To the mechanized corps, to give one air guards as part of the 2 short-bomber and one fighter air regiments.

2. To approve the organization of a mechanized corps tank division and a separate tank division consisting of:
a) 2 tank regiments of one battalion of heavy tanks (each), 2 battalions of medium tanks and a battalion of flamethrower tanks in each regiment;
b) one motorized regiment consisting of 3 infantry battalions and one 6-gun battery of regimental artillery;
c) one artillery regiment in the 2 battalions: one 122-mm howitzer battalion and one 152-mm howitzer battalion;
d) the anti-aircraft division, reconnaissance battalion, bridge battalion and rear service units ...

3. To have a motorized division in the composition and organization approved by the Decree of the Defense Committee of 22 in May 1940, №215ss.

4. Approve full-time staff:
a) control of a mechanized corps with a motorcycle regiment for peacetime - 2662 man, and for wartime - 2862 man;
b) a tank division for peacetime - 10943 man, and for wartime - 11343 man:
c) a motorized division for peacetime - 11 LLC man, for wartime - 12000 man. 5. In total, the Red Army has 8 mechanized corps and 2 separate tank divisions, a total of 8 mechanized corps with a motorcycle regiment and corps, 18 tank divisions and 8 motorized divisions ... "


The existing tank brigades were converted to form tank divisions, mainly in the border military districts. Motorized divisions were created on the basis of infantry. Personnel and command personnel came from disbanded cavalry divisions and corps.

Each mechanized corps in the case of full staffing had tremendous striking power. According to the 1941 staff, it should have been 36000 man, 1031 tank (120 heavy, 420 medium, 316 BT, 17 light and 152 chemical), 358 guns and mortars, 268 BA-10 armored vehicles BA-116, 20 BA-XNX.

BT-5 LenVO in winter driving lessons. On the left is a commander tank with a radio station. 1936 Winter


Column T-26 on a halt. Ahead - tanks model 1933 g., Equipped with a radio station 71-TK-1. With an increase in their number in the troops, such tanks began to be used not only as commander, but also as ordinary linear ones. LenVO, April 1936


The main form of use of a mechanized corps in a defensive operation was the use of powerful counterstrikes to destroy the enemy’s broken groups. The perceptible "dizziness from success", read in these plans, subordinated to the strategy of pre-emptive strike, turned into a tragedy after a few months. Most of the mechanized corps were part of the covering armies, being their main striking force. The rest were subordinate to the district, making up a reserve of front commanders in the event of war. This reorganization, designed to provide the Red Army with an unprecedentedly powerful striking force, ultimately proved unsuccessful both in its inopportuneness (on the eve of the war) and in the impossibility of quickly completing it with available resources. The idea itself turned into a prolonged period of re-formation, rotation of people and equipment, which led to a decrease in the combat readiness of already established parts and formations. The best on the eve of war turned out to be the enemy of the good.

Inspection and refueling before going to the parade. In the ranks - BT-5 with welded (in the foreground) and riveted, more angular, towers. May 1934


The BT-5 tows the skiers with the gun removed and without the fences. Winter, 1936


The speed of deployment of mechanized corps was very high, which caused a lot of problems. Due to the lack of new tanks, they had to be taken from tank battalions of rifle divisions and tank regiments of cavalry divisions, depriving these units of the main striking force. As G.K. Zhukov acknowledged in his memoirs, “we did not calculate the objective capabilities of our tank industry. To fully equip new mechanized corps, 16,6 thousands of tanks were needed only of new types, and only 32 thousands of tanks in total. there was no place to take any conditions; technical and command personnel were also lacking. " Nine corps commanded the Red Army a little, though, if they are staffed by state, then more than twice the German army armies in the number of vehicles and could decide the outcome of any battle. But instead of equipping the existing mechanized corps and their combat support in February 1941, the General Staff developed an even broader plan for the formation of armored and mechanized troops, which also included the creation of an 21 corps.

BT-7 on the drills. Wooden sleepers are laid on the fences, often used for self-pulling and laying on weak ground. On the sheet sheet is a "candle" - a spare suspension spring. 1936


T-26 at the triumphal column before the start of the May Day 1934 parade in Leningrad.


Stalin did not immediately support this plan, approving it only in March 1941. Since April 1941, the mass deployment of mechanized corps began, for which there were no tanks, no command personnel, or trained tank crews. Personnel hastily retrained from other types of troops, which did not have the best effect on the level of newly-made crews who received scanty practice of operating tanks. For this process, the remaining tank brigades and some cavalry divisions were involved (for example, the 27 th m CABE was created on the basis of the 19 cd). But if yesterday's gunners, signalmen and chauffeurs still suited the role of gunners and driver mechanics, there was simply no one to appoint to senior positions (when the consequences of the “purges” of previous years affected). Commanding skills, experience and responsibility were forged by many years of practice, and on the eve of the war many leading headquarters remained incomplete even with leading departments, including operational and intelligence (as was the case with 15, 16, 19 and 22 mechanized corps).

Command personnel prepared the Military Academy of Mechanization and Motorization (VAMM) in Moscow and one-year courses with it. For training of the command and technical staff of the middle level, the network of educational institutions of the ABTV was expanded. By 1941, it included the Orlovskoye named after Frunze, the 1-e Kharkov, the 1-e and 2-e Saratov, the 1-e Ulyanovsk tank, the Kiev tank-technical, the Pushkin auto-technical, the Gorky auto cycle, the Poltava tractor school. In February — March, Kazan, Syzran, Chkalovsk, 1941, Ulyanovsk, 2, Saratov Tank, Ordzhenikidzegrad automobile cycling, and Kamyshin tractor schools were deployed.

Small amphibious tank T-37, adopted by the 11 August 1933, as a tank reconnaissance units. In the photo - T-37A of early release without fences.


T-37A on the teachings of the 5-th Mechanized Corps to them. Kalinowski. MBO, May 1936


But, despite all the efforts, the problem of command and technical personnel was very acute. Here are the data on some compounds for June 1941: in the 35-th TD 9-th MKOVO instead of 8 the commanders of tank battalions had 3 (37% staff), the commanders of companies - 13 instead of 24 (54,2%), the platoon commanders - 6 instead 74 (8%). In the 215-th md 22-th mk KOVO, there were not enough 5 battalion commanders, 13 commanders of companies, staffed with junior command personnel - 31%, technical staff - 27%. The 11 th mechanized corps ZapVO was provided with command frames on 36%. In 1940 — 1941 Stalin even went so far as to let some of the repressed commanders out of the camps and send them to the mechanized corps. So, KK Rokossovsky from the prisoner became the commander of the 9-th mechanized corps in KOVO.

Due to the rapid pace of deployment of mechanized corps, it was not possible to organize combat coordination between units and subunits. In December, 1940, speaking at a meeting of the senior commanders of the Red Army, the head of the ABTU, Ya.N. Fedorenko, said: "This year the corps and divisions worked out the issues of entering a breakthrough and an offensive, but this is just an introduction, no combat interaction and cohesion in these matters not yet". The preparation of a tank company in a defensive and offensive battle was supposed to be completed only by May — June 1941, and coordination of the regiment, division, and corps was scheduled for later periods.

By the beginning of World War II, 29 mechanized corps were formed, which had different degrees of manning.

May Day Parade on Red Square. 1936


Table No. 1. Mechanized corps of the Red Army

Note, 5,26,27 MK in June 1941 were transferred to border districts as part of the armies of the second strategic echelon.

Most of the mechanized corps did not have the necessary amount of weapons and military equipment. Completion by mid-June 1941 was: for cars - 39%, tractors - 44%, repair tools - 29%, motorcycles - 17%.

On the quantitative composition of the tank fleet of mechanized corps says the following table:

In other sources there are other numbers. So, according to Vladimirsky, 9-mk KOVO had 300 tanks, 19-mk - 450, and 22-mk - 707. As you can see, the difference is quite large.

Table No. 2. The quantitative composition of the tank fleet of mechanized corps by mid-June 1941 g.



Celebrating the anniversary of the October Revolution 7 November 1940 in Leningrad ...


The largest number of tanks was in the KOVO mechanized corps, which fully corresponded to Stalin's point of view that in the event of war the Germans would deliver the main blow in Ukraine. Therefore, the southwestern direction was considered the main one. 4 and 8 mechanized corps had only KB and T-34 about 600 units and more 1000 tanks of other brands.

A lot of troubles caused the diversity of the tank fleet of buildings. Many cars were discontinued, they stopped producing spare parts.

Due to the fact that the staffing of the mechanized corps was delayed, the 16 General Staff in May 1941 sent a directive to the troops, according to which, in order to strengthen the anti-tank capabilities of the troops, prior to their receiving tanks, they were armed with 50- and 76-mm DT guns and machine guns for use in case of necessity as anti-tank regiments and divisions. The regiment was supposed to 45 18-mm guns, 45 24-mm guns, 76 machine guns. But the directive of the General Staff was not realized before the outbreak of the war, and the ZNOVO 24 and 17 mechanized corps, whose tank regiments were to receive anti-tank artillery, were generally used in combat as rifle units.

... and in Moscow: the STZ-5 artillery tractors with M-ZO howitzers are moving across Red Square.


The crew of the BT-5 participants of the "tank-Stakhanovite" competition of the 7 Mechanized Corps of the Leningrad Military District cleans the gun after firing. December 1935


The dislocation of mechanized corps on the eve of the war was advantageous for offensive operations. 6, 11 and 13 mechanized corps were on the Bialystok ledge, 4, 8 and 15 microns were on the Lviv ledge, which allowed in the event of a conflict to strike the flanks of the Lublin group of Germans. The 3 and 12 units were intended for actions against the Tilsit group. The 2 and 18 MC were a threat to the oil fields in Romania. From the north, the 16 th mechanized corps of the 12 th army and the mechanized corps of the district subordination of KOVO hung over Romania. However, the German attack changed the situation - this arrangement of the Soviet troops became a trap for them.

Table No. 3. The ratio of the state-supplied and actually available number of combat vehicles, artillery in the mechanized corps on 13-19 June 1941.



So, 18 MK, located on the territory of the annexed Bessarabia, was literally squeezed into a "corner" between the sea shore and the stretched Dniester estuary. With the release of Romanians and Germans to the Dniester 18 MK would be completely cut off from their own. There was no crossing over the liman estuary that reached 30 km, even floating T-37 and T-38 (more than 130 in the mechanized corps) did not dare to pass through it, and the corps had to retreat almost to meet the approaching enemy. After 100 km march through the sands along the estuary, the corps continued to withdraw, taking the first battle only one month after the start of the war (moreover, in June, the command carried out successful counter-offensive operations on this sector of the front).

BA-I and FAI armored cars after exercises. In the background are the artillery tractor-tractors "Kommunar".


Medium armored BA-10 on Khreshchatyk in Kiev 1 May 1939


To be continued ...
Author:
Articles from this series:
Iron fist of the Red Army. Creation of armored troops
Iron fist of the Red Army. Mechanized enclosures
Iron fist of the Red Army. Tank park on the eve of the war
Iron fist of the Red Army. Mechanized corps in battle
Iron fist of the Red Army. Motorized and tank divisions
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  1. radio operator
    radio operator 20 March 2013 09: 19 New
    +3
    Well, it’s bad that you had to learn from mistakes from your own experience, your own skin. Retrained in the process.
    1. Civil
      Civil 20 March 2013 10: 33 New
      +2
      Why did I immediately remember the shots from the crazy Korean movie "My Way"

      attack of the Red Army on Khalkhin Gol:



      hi master
  2. pinachet
    pinachet 20 March 2013 13: 39 New
    0
    so the formation of fur. buildings needed to be done or not?
    1. bairat
      bairat 20 March 2013 14: 00 New
      +4
      IMHO, it was necessary to strive for the structure of the German tank division: 200 tanks + motorized infantry and artillery with a strong howitzer component. A larger number of tanks does not increase the impact, but only complicates management and support. Unfortunately, military science was not able to calculate the ideal structure in advance; they learned from their mistakes.
    2. Hudo
      Hudo 20 March 2013 14: 41 New
      +1
      Quote: pinachet
      so the formation of fur. buildings needed to be done or not?

      Definitely - YES. Perhaps not in such quantities right away to avoid difficulties with manning and full-fledged combat training.
  3. bairat
    bairat 20 March 2013 14: 04 New
    +1
    And all these light tanks lost in the first months of the war, well, if it were possible to whisper to the commander in chief, urgently remodel into self-propelled guns, anti-aircraft guns and anti-aircraft self-propelled guns.
    1. Hudo
      Hudo 20 March 2013 14: 59 New
      +3
      Quote: bairat
      And all these light tanks lost in the first months of the war, well, if it were possible to whisper to the commander in chief, urgently remodel into self-propelled guns, anti-aircraft guns and anti-aircraft self-propelled guns.

      Personally, I believe that this reorganization would have ended in the conditions of the most severe time limit with the attendant such "fire" measures with vanity and confusion and even greater losses.
  4. avt
    avt 20 March 2013 14: 15 New
    +1
    Quote: bairat
    And all these light tanks lost in the first months of the war, well, if it were possible to whisper to the commander in chief, urgently remodel into self-propelled guns, anti-aircraft guns and anti-aircraft self-propelled guns.

    Alas, it did not work out in view of the design features of rather weak pre-war tanks. They tried to put 76 mm guns on BT before the war, but it didn’t take root as well as on the T-26. The cars were fragile, the chassis could not stand it, it broke, the bandages burst. If we compare with the German three-ruble coin, then the reserve there went from 37mm to 50mm with an increase in barrel length and even a 75mm cigarette butt was placed, then the BT and T-26 -45 mm edges, as well as an increase in the thickness of the armor of the armor.
    1. bairat
      bairat 20 March 2013 15: 13 New
      0
      So they tried to insert a cannon into the tower, and I'm talking about a complete alteration with the removal of the tower. The Germans were full of self-propelled guns converted from obsolete and captured tanks.
    2. Chicot 1
      Chicot 1 20 March 2013 16: 57 New
      +3
      Quote: avt
      The cars were fragile, the chassis could not stand it, it broke, the bandages burst. If you compare with the German three rubles, then the margin was transferred from 37mm to 50mm with an increase in barrel length and even a 75mm cigarette butt was set, then the BT and T-26 -45 mm edges, as well as an increase in the thickness of the armor of the armor.


      This is understandable. The T-26 base itself was weak. It was not originally designed for something more machine guns and small-caliber artillery systems. But the capabilities of the BT (and in particular the BT-7) were "eaten" by the wheeled mover. I think if the BT from the very beginning were a pure tracked tank, then the possibility of its modernization could be quite acceptable. But, as they say - history does not like any kind of "if" ...
      1. avt
        avt 20 March 2013 20: 10 New
        +1
        Quote: Chicot 1
        I think if the BT from the very beginning were a pure tracked tank, then the possibility of its modernization could be quite acceptable. But, as they say - history does not like any kind of "if" ...

        Slowed down for a long time laughing and suddenly he struck the answer in the head. So the T-34 manufactured in 1941 is a purely caterpillar BT. By the way, developed with the permission of Stalin, the military wanted a wheeled-caterpillar continuation and ordered it, but Atets said that he believed the factory workers and allowed them to make two cars, in fact, the A-20 was born.
  5. GOLUBENKO
    GOLUBENKO 20 March 2013 15: 33 New
    +5
    But if yesterday's artillerymen, signalmen and drivers were nevertheless suitable for the role of gunners and driver-mechanics, then there was simply no one to appoint to leading positions (that's when the consequences of the "purges" of previous years affected). Commanding skills, experience and responsibility were forged by many years of practice, and on the eve of the war, even the leading departments, including operational and reconnaissance, remained understaffed in many headquarters.

    Another nonsense in the Rezun-Suvorov style.
    What is the practice?
    The bulk of the commanders were retrained from the cavalry.
    The first "practice" is the war in Spain and the Far East. The command staff was lacking not from the "purges", but from the increase in the number of the Red Army from 1,5 million to 5 million. There is a mass of objective literature and documentary films about this.
    1. avt
      avt 20 March 2013 16: 04 New
      +2
      Quote: GOLUBENKO
      The first "practice" is the war in Spain and the Far East. The command staff was lacking not from the "purges", but from the increase in the number of the Red Army from 1,5 million to 5 million. There is a mass of objective literature and documentary films about this.

      So the author decided for himself in the first part. request Why be surprised.
  6. avt
    avt 20 March 2013 15: 38 New
    +5
    Quote: bairat
    So they tried to insert a cannon into the tower, and I'm talking about a complete alteration with the removal of the tower. The Germans were full of self-propelled guns converted from obsolete and captured tanks.

    So I’m not only talking about the tower. Look and see the Su-5-1, SU-5-2, SU-5-3, SU-6 anti-aircraft, did not go or did a small series. A thin platform, everything is overloaded, it is impossible to either upgrade or remodel. No wonder that the T-34 and KV appeared. Just a change of generations. Imagine how they got there - the old ones no longer reach the new requirements for technology, but the new ones are still raw and with a bunch of childhood diseases that had to be fixed during the war! Moreover, the Germans did not stand still and modernized and did new ones, and they didn’t need to evacuate the factories as we did for the Urals. Everything was not easy when they talk about the feat of the rear — these are not words on duty!
  7. ng1941
    ng1941 20 March 2013 17: 07 New
    +1
    BT76a was installed, after all, it was also put on trucks on t26; in my opinion, they were called su 26 near Leningrad. So the Germans didn’t enter the USSR on new tanks, there were also enough nedotanks who specifically ordered the formation of fur. corps on the eve of the war?
    1. Akuzenka
      Akuzenka 21 March 2013 17: 49 New
      +2
      If I'm not mistaken, Pavlov was an apologist for tank corps, with the support of Zhukov. Zhukov at the beginning of 41 was the beginning. General Staff. It just falls on the period of rapid growth of tank corps. Correct, if not right.
  8. avt
    avt 20 March 2013 18: 59 New
    +1
    Quote: ng1941
    who specifically ordered the formation of the fur. corps on the eve of the war?

    But this is really interesting! I would even specify who pushed through the old idea in Tukhachevsky's version, if quite reasonable comments on the structure of mechanized units were presented in the first part of the article, and moreover, even concrete measures were taken, again reflected in the first part of the article. Or will we write off the horse marshals again? After all, obviously Stalin made the decision thoughtfully and not alone, well, at least on the basis of analysis and the wishes of the military.
    1. Bigriver
      Bigriver 21 March 2013 08: 06 New
      +2
      Quote: avt
      ... who sold the old idea in the version of Tukhachevsky ...

      Um ...
      The then Commissar was Tymoshenko. And what is the idea of ​​Tukhachevsky?
      The next reorganization of the Red Army mechanized forces occurred after Khalkhin-Gol, Finnish, and immediately after the French campaign of the Wehrmacht.
      That is, it all started in June 1940.
      Moreover, the prototype of the main "building material" of the mechanized corps was the German two-regiment tank division of 324 tanks.
      Ours "improved" it :) Added fifty tanks, removed part of the infantry.
      And the Germans, on the contrary, after Poland went by reducing tanks in the division. They left one tank regiment (180-250 tanks). And it turned out that the combat value remained comparable. True, there was a parallel process of qualitative amplification. There were fewer light tanks, more medium ones.
      One of the main differences between ours and their TD is in the number of motorized infantry. Wehrmacht Trade House accounted for about 6000, in our country half as much.
      This is by state! And in real life: (...
      Again, even in the states, the Germans have significantly more vehicles and in general, the payload of the Wehrmacht was not near ours.
      Their main workhorse was the 3-ton Opel Blitz. We mainly have 1,5 tons of Gas-AA.
      1. Stas57
        Stas57 21 March 2013 12: 38 New
        +2
        and still art
        in the PzDiv of the Wehrmacht, the artillery regiment had - 24pcs 105-mm howitzers, 8pcs 150-mm howitzers and 4 105-mm guns, and the common occurrence was the reinforcement of a specific enemy’s TD on the point of impact with RNG / anti-aircraft guns of 105,150 caliber on some kind of sd.kfz.
        And this is not counting the ordinary divisional VET
        This is one of several reasons why, even with a qualitative reduction in PzReg in the PzDiv of the Wehrmacht, stuffed with obsolete, in our understanding, tanks, the division was a well-balanced, serious force
  9. Snoop
    Snoop 16 January 2014 16: 50 New
    0
    Unfortunately, the mechanized corps of the Red Army were not balanced and turned out to be ineffective "monsters" of Chervonnaya.
    After all, in the early 30s they were created. Soon our military realized that such units and formations, to put it mildly, are difficult to control, not only during hostilities, but even on the march. The first attempt to "lighten" the MK was made back in 1935, the support units were removed from the staff, the second attempt to "lighten" it in 1939 they tried to remove the machine gun brigades from the MK, and the rifle and machine gun battalions from the mechanized brigades. In general, we tried to save a large number of tanks at the expense of the infantry component, which is not a gut. But in the course of the Polish campaign there were very big problems with the handling of the TC. It was obvious that there was a need to "unload" bulky associations and switch to more "manageable" and operationally mobile forms. In this regard, the Main Military Council on November 21, 1939, recognized it necessary to disband the administrations of tank corps and rifle and machine-gun brigades. Instead of corps, a more flexible structure was introduced - a motorized division. Compare the tank corps - two mechanized brigades + a motorized rifle and machine gun brigade. 560 tanks. But a motorized division - a tank regiment + two motorized rifle regiments + an artillery regiment (257 tanks). However, already in the spring of 1940, the NKO of the USSR began to work out the issue of new TD staffs and the creation on their basis of an MC with a number of tanks of 1000-1200 units.
  10. Ivan Ivanovich_2
    Ivan Ivanovich_2 3 February 2019 13: 36 New
    0
    Hello! Here, there is not much on the Red Army mekorpusov: http://divizia-rkka.ru/category/mechanized-corpus-rkka/