20th Guards Motor Rifle Division - The Second Formation of 1942

The Second Formation of 1942

The Corps was formed for the second time on 18 September 1942 at Kalinin in the Moscow Military District. General Lieutenant M.E. Katukov took command. It was initially assigned to the 22nd Army of the Kalinin Front. It took part in Operation Mars alongside the 22nd Army. At the beginning of Operation Mars 3rd Mechanised Corps consisted of 232 tanks. Hamazasp Babadzhanian, who commanded the 3rd Mechanised Brigade of the corps, mentioned this operation briefly in his memoirs, quoting a conversation with 22nd Army commander, V. A. Iushkevich, who said, “We will conduct a rather serious offensive together with Western Front forces—we must liquidate the enemy Rzhev grouping.”

The Corps then fought in the Battle of Kursk, then fought across the Ukraine with the Central, Belorussian, and 1st Belorussian Fronts. On 23 October 1943, it was awarded ‘Guards’ status and re-designated the 8th Guards Mechanised Corps. In 1944, it took part in the Zhitomir-Berdichev, Korsun-Shevchenkovsky, Proskurov-Chernovits, and Lvov-Sandomir battles, in April gaining the 'Carpathian' honorific. It ended the war in Berlin after participating in the Warsaw-Poznan and East Pomeranian offensives. As part of the occupation forces, it was assigned to the 1st Guards Tank Army (later 1st Guards Mechanised Army).

In the immediate post-war period, the Corps was reorganised as the 8th Guards Mechanised Division. In 1957, it was reorganised as the 20th Guards Motor Rifle Division, bearing honorifics: Carpathia-Berlin, Red Banner, Order of Suvorov. In 1959, the division was transferred to the 18th Guards Army, which had been up to 1957, the 3rd Guards Mechanised Army. It took part in the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia as part of the 1st Guards Tank Army, although when it returned to East Germany, it reverted to the control of the 18th Guards Army. When 18th Guards Army was disbanded in 1979, the division was transferred to the 1st Guards Tank Army, where it remained until it was withdrawn from Germany in 1991.

The division was withdrawn from Germany in 1991, and moved to Volgograd in the North Caucasus Military District. It is currently garrisoned in Volgograd, with parts of the division having taken part in the First and Second Chechen Wars.

As part of the reorganisation of the Russian Ground Forces, it was reported by Warfare.ru to have been disbanded to be reformed as separate motor rifle brigades.

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