Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Army Formation

Here's an interesting diagram of a Soviet combined arms offensive, featuring the 69th Army and some pretty heavy tank support. 

Infantry goes first, with each infantry division advancing along the width of roughly a kilometer. The 274th division gets slightly more ground than average, and the 370th gets slightly less, perhaps due to the number of available men or due to the peculiarities of terrain. The 61st Infantry Corps (top half) gets heavy firepower in the form of 60 IS-2 tanks, with 30 SU-76es follwing behind with the 134th Infantry Division. 91st Infantry Corps (bottom half) is also packing heat with 50 T-34-85s followed by 20 ISU-152s and 14 SU-76es, with the 117th division, 35 SU-76es and 15 IS-2s remaining as reserves for the Army commander. A very impressive list of artillery support is listed on the right, with M-13 rockets and heavy artillery available to both corps.

Of course, no plan survives an encounter with reality. The 61st corps didn't seem to be affected much, but the 91st corps lost an entire attacking division in the revision, plus 2 T-34-84s. The Army commander lost all IS-2s in his armour reserve, but kept all 35 SU-76es. The units were spaced out to compensate for the loss of an infantry division.


  1. What happened? Was the initial plan based upon what we would call a "wish list" by army HQ of what was needed, and the requested units were not granted by the Front command? Or were they already with the 61st arrmy when the plan was created, then the army was "robbed" of them?

    1. Planning an offensive off a wish list is not a good idea, the second scenario is more likely. Perhaps the units were needed elsewhere to reinforce another offensive or plug a gap.