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17th Guards Rifle Division

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

17th Guards Rifle Division (17 Mar 1942 – 17 May 1957)
123rd Guards Motor Rifle Division (17 May 1957 – 1 Oct 1989)
129th Guards Machine-Gun Artillery Division (1 Oct 1989 – Sep 2001)
17th Guards Motor Rifle Division (Sep 2001 – Jun 2009)
70th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade (Jun 2009 – present)
Active1942–present
Country Soviet Union (1942–1991)
 Russia (1992–present)
Branch
Red Army flag.svg
Soviet Army (1942–1991)
Russian Ground Forces (1992–present)
TypeMotorized infantry
Garrison/HQUssuriysk
EngagementsBattle of Smolensk (1943)
Operation Bagration
East Prussian Offensive
Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation
Decorations
Order of the red Banner OBVERSE.jpg
Order of the Red Banner

Order of the October Revolution

Order of suvorov medal 2nd class.jpg
Order of Suvorov 2nd class
Battle honoursDukhovshchina
Khingan
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Maj. Gen. Aleksandr Dimitrievich Berezin
Hero of the Soviet Union medal.png
Maj. Gen. Aleksandr Petrovich Kvashnin

The 17th Guards Rifle Division was created on March 17, 1942, from the first formation of the 119th Rifle Division, in recognition of that division's stalwart defense against German Army Group Center in the Battle of Moscow, and in the subsequent strategic offensive that threw the German forces back from the capital. The 17th Guards continued a record of distinguished service through the rest of the Great Patriotic War. It became the 123rd Guards Motor Rifle Division in 1957 and converted into the 129th Guards Machine-Gun Artillery Division in 1989. In 2001, it was converted to the 17th Guards Motor Rifle Division and became the 70th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade in 2009. The brigade is currently based in Ussuriysk.

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  • ✪ Napoleon's Great Mistake | Sharpe's War (1 of 4)
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  • ✪ 27th January 1945: Auschwitz-Birkenau liberated by Soviet forces
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  • ✪ U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon

Transcription

It's fatally easy to start a war especially if you think it will be a short simple affair But let loose the dogs of war and things can go horribly wrong That's what happened to the Emperor Napoleon in 1807 he decided to invade Portugal which was virtually the last nation on the European mainland still trading with the real enemy Britain and it should have been a pushover Spain was France's ally the Portuguese army was scarcely formidable and Portugal itself was in political turmoil All the French army had to do was cross that bridge behind me marching to Portugal And it should all have been over It should have been a short two summers campaign Instead it turned into the longest most vicious conflict of the Napoleonic era we call it the Peninsular war We think of that war as a great British triumph an heroic saga of redcoats and green jackets of the Brown Bess and the Baker rightful It's the era of horn blur and Jack Aubrey. It is indeed the war that Richard Sharpe fought Then what shaft does what I do is to perpetuate a myth? The myth is that we won the war we didn't the Portuguese and the Spanish people Turn the pole Ian's occupation of their countries into a nightmare the Spanish also the French call it That Spanish affair Napoleon said I'm staying talena is what killed Me British didn't help, but at first that help was hesitant and ineffective Meanwhile at Madrid the real horrors are just beginning Millions of people all over the world have thrilled to The Adventures of Richard sharp Bernard Cornwell's great fictional hero This though is the story behind the swash buckling of the romance this is the true story of the peninsula sharps war In the year 1807 the emperor napoleon bonaparte was at the very peak of his powers His fearsome armies had defeated all the major continental European powers. He was the virtual master of Europe By 1807 Napoleon had defeated Austria, Prussia and Russia Now for hundreds and purposes he either controlled or had influence over the entire Eurasian landmass There was only one major power who now stood out against him that was British And the Polian knew that an invasion of Britain was simply not going to be possible At least it was not going to be possible for many years So he decided on an alternative policy which is the Continental System the Continental System was a a system by which Britain would be blockaded? Into submission the ports of Europe would be closed to British trade The one nation, which actually stood out against the Continental System was Portugal Portugal had to be brought to heel according to Napoleon Britain was a nation of shopkeepers And prior to the beginning of the Peninsular war it's only if you like major customer was Portugal In order for Napoleon to enforce his continental system by which he hoped to bar Britain trading with Europe He needed to close down the pole of Lisbon. It was quite as simple as that Which is why since you know to go and arrest the Portuguese royal family and to enforce his will on Portugal to close British trade to Portugal and to enforce his blockade right the way across the continental coast of Europe In October 1807 with the cooperation of Spain Napoleon sent an army under general Jean and asuna to invade Portugal The arduous March Decimated the French army, but although they were severely weakened they still occupied Lisbon on the 30th of November Juno's practically bloodless and unopposed conquest of Portugal was made against the backdrop of ever-increasing Political turmoil in Spain the chief figure in Spain in 1808 was the royal favourite Manuel. They good are you? One of the things he wanted to do was to strengthen Spain's military power so she could break away from France and stand on her own two feet But the very fact that he was a reformer made him unpopular and a faction therefore formed a gangs Godoy and seized upon the heir to the throne Prince Ferdinand the future Ferdinand 2/7 as a figurehead Prince Ferdinand wasted no time in launching a smear campaign against Godoy With the aim of making him too unpopular to remain in office But Ferdinand needed a trump card to crush Godoy once and for all So the prince called on the support of the Emperor Napoleon the timing was perfect For while Spain's political game was being played out? Napoleon had been waiting for the right moment to make his own move Dismayed by the bickering of the Spanish court Napoleon decided to take matters into his own hands In February 1808 he sent his troops over the Pyrenees for Godoy time was fast running out could I now realizes that Napoleon is actually set on taking over Spain and He frantically tries to organize resistance This of course is regarded with absolute horror by Prince Ferdinand and his supporters They realize that a breach with Napoleon could very well lead to the complete overthrow the Boer War monarchy Though therefore organize a coup It finally dawned on Ferdinand that the unrest in Spain was providing the perfect conditions for a French invasion He also realized that unless the matter was resolved quickly the Bourbon monarchy might itself be overthrown The door was arrested and imprisoned Much to the joy of the Spanish public who were convinced by this time that he was the source of all Spain's evils King Ferdinand on the other hand had been painted as a savior who would lead Spain to a new golden age And so when he arrived in Madrid in March Ferdinand was given a rapturous reception Meanwhile French troops were dispatched to key Spanish provinces and an army of nearly 120,000 men under marshal Murat was sent supposedly to reinforce you know in Portugal But which to no-one's great surprise actually occupied Madrid in March 1808 But Napoleon had gravely misjudged two Spanish people unlike the rest of Europe which had easily succumbed to the Emperor's power the French presence in Spain provoked fear anger and more dangerously an unquenchable desire for retribution Napoleon got his first taste of what lay in store when the population of Madrid launched itself upon marshal Murat French garrison This was the infamous dos de Maio Uprising the revolt of Madrid that began and ended in May 1808 and was brutally suppressed with the loss of more than 500 Spanish lives The French had very light forces in Madrid Miura had an army of 10,000 outside but what happened is that rumors began spreading throughout Madrid that the last of the Spanish royal family were being removed to de France and French soldiers isolate French soldiers began being attacked here in the streets Then the french open fire The numbers bandits killed Spanish went back to the houses they got holy whatever weapons that could lay their hands on and open fire on the French When news got out to to Nura that there was a revolt in the city their french entered in force They fought their way through the streets gradually herding the insurgents into the center of the city into the Puerto Del Sol and there to a place of the massacre about 200 Spaniards were killed another 301 a prisoner and those 300 The Spanish artist Francisco Goya in two powerful works entitled the second of May and the third of May Captured the bloody scenes during the dos de Maio uprising Even today these momentous events are still commemorated and re-enacted by the people of Madrid The whole of Spain erupted in furious rebellion fueled by the news that Napoleon had placed his own brother Joseph Bonaparte on the throne Provinces all over the country rose to fight the French invaders and Napoleon's armies responded in typically robust fashion Several towns were put to the torch In most cases the Spanish forces that try to fight back were no match for the French armies There were exceptions however in July 1808 French forces attacking Saragosa were fought to a standstill by a mob of armed civilians Were still during the same month the French general du Pont surrendered his entire army of nearly 20,000 men to a Spanish force under general casteless at mile M in Andalusia Du Pont's problem is that he was retreating from Cordoba? I he had a very large baggage train Which is filled of loot from from Cordoba? And he was caught in the worst possible way that for an army to be caught it was spread out In column stretch over many many miles and and reponse forces near Balin ran into a roadblock Now your pump fed his troops in piecemeal to try and break this roadblock by the late afternoon DuPont's men were short of ammunition would not been able to break through Spanish forces were closing in or not his rear a Complete disaster for DuPont he had no alternative but to seek an armistice Now what your pond should've done was to have Concentrated his forces before attacking moved up his reserves and all probability he could actually have smashed through the roadblock But we've actually got to remember that Japan's forces were not first-rate We're talking about really second a third-rate French forces here, and you're Pont was the chap who actually had to carry the cam but for this disaster The French capitulation of Belen was a highly significant moment It was unheard of for an army of Napoleon soldiers to lay down their arms in open battle Almost at a stroke the veneer of French invincibility was stripped away Napoleon received the news with a combination of anger and disbelief and left little doubt as to where he felt responsibility for the debacle lay There has never been anything so foolish so stupid or so cowardly since the world began It is perfectly clear from du Pont's own report that everything was the result of the most inconceivable incapacity on his part the Emperor raged No sooner had Spain risen in revolt, then it occurred to a number of Spaniards that their obvious friend in need was Britain And very quickly and number of emissaries are sent to Britain with requests for help When the news reaches England there is there was disbelief and then overwhelming joy and the British government Very quickly makes plans to send an expeditionary force and considerable aid to the Iberian, Peninsula Napoleon of course is in a state of complete rage about this and becomes a focused on the Iberian, Peninsula In a way were just ultimately going to be disastrous for him What made the by LAN campaign still more significant was the emergence of guerrilla warfare Organized by the local authorities bands of Spanish irregulars had harassed Japan's communications with Madrid and unleashed a series of terrible atrocities The effect on the Spanish is both. Good and bad It increases the Spanish resolve to fight on but also gives them a wholly exaggerated idea of their own military prowess They believe that Japan's army had in fact been a first-rate French army. They were soon to discover This was not the case when they came up against real first-rate French troops 9,000 British troops were sent to the peninsula under the command of one of Britain's most talented generals his name was Sir Arthur Wellesley Later to become the Duke of Wellington, and it was he who had become the dominant figure of the entire, Peninsula war Mr.. Arthur Wellesley was very much a political Soldier he was still Undersecretary of State for Ireland when he was appointed to command in the Peninsula He'd seen action in the Low Countries in the 1790s where as he said he learned not what to do but what not to do he served with great distinction in India and was the victor of the battle of assay 1903 and Was 24 years old when he was a left-handed colonel, so it was a swift rise? to his position and Would become by the end of the Peninsular war and certainly after Waterloo one of the greatest soldiers we'd ever produced Wellesley was a brilliant mathematician And also a a gifted musician He had a mind that it operated like a computer He could actually work out the the the rate of March And we're Italian could be with him in the next 15 or 20 minutes faster than it than anybody else could His mind was just that much faster The British army landed at Mondego Bay in Portugal some 80 miles south of Lisbon on the 1st of August 1808 Two weeks later. It was an action against the French AdRoll, Iike The Battle of ro Lika was a small affair particularly when compared to the blood baths to come But it demonstrated to the French that the British Army were willing and more than able to fight Well as Lee's army defeated the French in a very very small by latest and as a skirmish at rallies on the 17th of August 1808 the French there under Dell aboard outnumbered massively outnumbered were easily driven from their position This opens the way of course to the Lisbon where the rest of the French army are marching north because they are penned in with the Atlantic on one side and the Tagus on the other and it's essential that they defeat well as They are they going to find themselves in a really sticky situation from which there is no real escape Wells these victories to this date of Tobin Hardman andronica ad would have been commendable But but not particularly impressive and the first indication we have that this man is is something quite extraordinary that We're now dealing with with a a a British general who has got the beating of the French is at Vimy arrow Is the first time we actually see Wellesley adopted a classic reverse step position? Wellesley had ensured that the British troops were in possession of the higher ground and It was up the steep slopes outside were mile that the French had to make their attacks Each time they ran into withering British infantry fire One of the questions that it's frequently asked is why did the French persist in attacking? British lines in column, and and what that means is a column is a great battering ram of men a Typical column was perhaps Forty men wide and sixty deep and it's a solid formation And it's just a solid brick of men and the British line is too deep the Portuguese also adopted a to deep line Now what that means is is that you know? 40 by 60 men only the guys in the front rank can use their muskets forty muskets and a few guys down down the side Files whereas everybody in the British line five six seven hundred men can use their muskets It's obvious that the British line is going to collapse the column the sheer fire person. Why did they do it? I think the real answer the only formation the French know that will break through enemy Armies, and it was what they were not used to fighting British infantry and British infantry was ideally suited to defeat the golem There is no doubt that at the time British infantry in the hands of a fine commander such as Wellesley Were superior to their French counterparts John Mills of the Coldstream Guards writing at the time said that for 365 days in a year A French soldier is better than a British soldier He said our movements to theirs are like dung carts to mail coaches But when he came to the crunch on a battlefield we beat them every time This was not necessarily a tribute to their individual qualities It was a tribute to the the disciplinary system, which had been imposed on this army, which had actually taken this this this ragtag collection Oftenly there the sweepings of the the slums of London and and in Manchester and the the growing industrial cities And it was this draconian Disciplinary system which actually gave the British their coherence under fire Not now individually that the British soldier was probably a worse man than the French soldier He was probably less capable of of looking after himself then the French soldier But the winner came to talk to actually standing in line and on a battlefield The British soldier was more afraid of his own, noncommissioned officers and his own officers, then he was of the French Private Charles O'Neill of the 20th regiment of foot forted by Moreau and he later recalled the French attacks on the British lines There are tax were simultaneous and like that of men determined to conquer or perish The battle raged with equal fury in all parts of the field The possession of the road leading into Vomero was disputed with persevering resolution and especially where a strong body had been posted in the churchyard Juno knows that the British are on all probability in greater strength than he is Nevertheless he organizes his his small army only about fourteen thousand men into columns And he tries four times during that day to break their the British line his skirmishes Go forward And then met by clouds of hot british skirmishes when his columns Finally crested the bridges and come down the reverse slope. They are met by the devastating fire of a British Lions Benjamin Harris a Hampshire born private who served with a 95th rifle regiment Left to us one of the most lucid and personal accounts of the war to date Here he conveys a vivid impression of the heat of battle I myself was seen very hotly engaged loading and firing away. I became enveloped in the smoke. I created Such was a cloud which hung about me from the continual fire of my comrades The white vapor clinging to my clothes that for a few moments I could see nothing but the red flash of my own peace It is a great drawback of the present system of fighting that whilst in such a state and unless some friendly breeze Clair's the space around a soldier can know no more of his position What is about to happen in front or what has happened even amongst his own companions than the dead lying around? French attack had broken French grand ears where were falling back and was in this point that Wellington unleashed his cavalry or at least he would have unleashed his cavalry except of the Portuguese cavalry refused to advance a twentieth flight for goons did go forward jeering at the Portuguese as they rode towards the retreating mass of the French and then Something occurs which we're here to see again and again during the Peninsular war French cavalry counter-attack They catch League xx flat recruits in any completely disorganized and scattered state They got overexcited with themselves and charged right into the midst of the French infantry Were cut off and what pretty badly cut up in fact so badly where they cuts up They were forced to come back to England to recruit. I will never play another part in the Peninsular war More than 2,000 French troops had been killed wounded or taken prisoner during the fight Several senior officers had been wounded or captured British casualties were far lighter at 720 in total, but they had been shaken by the strength of the counter-attack a Marvelous opportunity hard-won with many a brave man's blood now presented itself Wellesley knew that if he could pursue with a beaten Frenchman their army would be completely destroyed but Sir Harry bard and Sir Hugh Dalrymple two elderly commanders that had been sent to supersede Wellesley refused to order the British advance Consequently the British Army which had committed only half its total strength to the Battle of Vimy no Stood champing at the bit, but forbidden to move forward by the knew less than dynamic British commanders Wellesley was barely able to contain his disgust Well gentlemen he told his subordinate officers since there is no fighting to be done who may as well go and shoot Red Lake snipe It was a sure sign of the total disarray in the French army that only two days later General Juno sent a delegation under a flag of truce to negotiate terms for an armistice He had little choice He commanded a beaten army trapped in Portugal with only the prospect of a long and hazardous retreat into Spain as an alternative Juno knew it and so did Wellesley but sadly for the British Burrard and Dalrymple did not Bart was firmly from the old school and decided that no further action was necessary and Rather than follow up and smashed the French infantry He thought it was time to conclude an armed this and so we get on to the very contentious and controversial convention of sintra the convention of sintra which was very much an eighteenth-century document These would allow me is that they're played by rules, which were well understood And say only under the terms of the convention of sintra that the French were allowed to evacuate through Lisbon in British ships Taking with them all the loot And this was the the part of the of the convention which actually stuck in the in the crawl Not just of a of the Portuguese, but of Thee of the British public The convention of sintra certainly did not go down well with the British troops rifleman William green could barely concealed his anger The French army marched down to the harbor with bands playing colours flying bayonets fixed and with all the honors of war Although the convention of sintra red Portugal of the French at the stroke of a pen the agreement caused public outrage at home Such was the Ferrari that all three commanders bara Dalrymple and Wellesley were recalled and invited to explain themselves as a result Berard and Dalrymple were shunted off into the back waters of military life and Wellesley while being cleared of all blame returned to his political career Command of the British Army and the peninsula was left in the hands of the experienced Sir John Moore Sir John Moore he's the sort of lost here of the early 19th century a soldier's soldier He began his career in fact in the American Revolution. He was present with an extraordinary battle called Penobscot Bay Where 300 British troops he was a left tenant, led it defeats and how many of 10,000 sent by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts But because what really made him famous was training the light division He's renowned for his work in the training of light infantry, which he carried out down at Shawn cliff in Kent I really laid the foundations for Robert Crawford's light brigade and his light division he's Reformation in terms of the interior economy and discipline of the British Army still exists And it seized on legendary work very caring soldier in many ways a softer approach to everything that's rather well as they ever did Moore was a man of the Enlightenment And more actually believed that that human beings were perfectible and any had is this grand idea That that the British soldier taken from from very very unpromising material could actually be perfected He could be trained He could be educated and this could be done by by appealing to the man sense of honour to his his better feelings And that became the basis of Moore's system of training Fine soldier though he was the task ahead for more was a difficult one his orders Simply called for him to take his men into Spain where he was to defeat Napoleon's armies and push them out of the country To help him achieve this Moor was ordered to cooperate with the many Spanish hunters that had sprung up in defense of their country Under these difficult circumstances And with no overall plan agreed with his Spanish allies Maul began his march from Lisbon on the 26th of October 1808 the government ordered him to Put his troops on ships To sail him up the coast to La Coruna to the province of Galicia in the northwest of Spain To concentrate his forces and wait to see what happened More however would have none of this he was itching for glory He didn't want to take his his troops on a long diversion to the north Instead of obeying orders in London. He marched directly for the heart of Spain So John Mohr's plan when he left Lisbon was to march into Spain from Portugal marching north of Madrid In a direction of Burgos now by doing that of course. He was threatening French communications with France He hoped that by doing this the French would march north from Madrid to tackle him That would give the de people of Madrid time to defend themselves and get themselves into some sort of order There has been no reconnaissance of the routes Intelligence it is extremely faulty his artillery his cavalry and his infantry have to advance on on separate routes More the stakes enormous risk he violates one of the fundamental principles of war separating his forces in this way nevertheless He is lucky, and and eventually manages to assemble his forces in the general area of Salamanca With all the difficulties ranged before him probably the last news that Sir John Moore wanted to hear was that Napoleon had decided to take personal command of the French armies in Spain He arrived in Spain on the 4th of November 1808 with his best marshals Including ney and salt and lost a little time in making his presence felt Within 10 days French forces were at Valladolid having swept all Spanish resistance away as they raced towards Madrid The cliche of course is that Napoleon was worth 40,000 men on the battlefield the minute Napoleon was was in a theater? Morale just soared and and then Napoleon was like a tonic to the French armies But additionally and even more importantly was it was the fact that Napoleon imposed command and control On these these feuding marshals these these feuding generals who had been messing up this campaign Now an opponent was there things were going to happen While Napoleon was making these rapid gains Sir John Moore had arrived at Salamanca The March had been exhausting as riflemen harris remembered Our marches were long and fatiguing I Do not know how many miles which reversed but some of my companions said that we had come 500 miles since leaving Lisbon After bidding adieu to Portugal forever having fought and conquered we felt elated Spain was before us and every man on the rifle scene anxious to get a rap at the Frenchy gang On and on we toiled until we reached, Salamanca It was not until the end of the month that more learned of the extent of Napoleon's victories The Spanish forces had for the most part crumbled before the French army and no help could be expected from them their sufferings had been terrible Many Spanish soldiers had been killed wounded or taken prisoner whilst the remainder were starving and disease ridden Madrid had not yet fallen and in the hope of reviving Spanish resistance More resolved to advance on Napoleon's communications at Old Castile It was on Christmas Eve that more finally learned of his perilous situation and only then by way of a captured dispatch Madrid had fallen anyway and Napoleon's Imperial Army had braved the deep snows of the guadarrama pass and was heading directly for moors army he was outnumbered by nearly three to one the situation that more thought himself in at the end of 1808 was just about as perilous as any British commander has ever been in If he were to try and fight it out with the French Advance deeper into Spain. He was almost certainly going to Lose his army and this after all was the only expeditionary force that Britain had at the time There were really only two lines of retreat One mr. The Southwest towards Lisbon But he had a very good idea that the French were already a fought led line of retreat and that he probably wouldn't make it the other was safer but much more perilous Because it would take him over the collision mountains he in in the depths of winter and this was to retreat to the northwest out towards karana The only option really was to march north back to Vigo and to karana where he had already deposited volts of supplies along the route and hope for the best it was simple as that he really didn't have many options as the Campaign began to cave on him in a very very quick, right So began a momentous episode in British military history when Sir John Mohr ordered the retreat to Corona in the northwest of Spain The appalling conditions of the March a combination of freezing weather the mountainous terrain atrocious roads Led to an epic ordeal for the British Army Which it nearly did not survive When war gives his orders to his army to begin the retreat or on Christmas Day? Their mood is is resentful Ramudu sullen As far as they're concerned They've got the beating of the French they've been fast into Spain. They want to have that battle of the French Now that you'd have to turn around and run away The army was not well fed commissariat was virtually non-existent within a few days of the retreat The terrain certainly from Villa Frank remember Barry where there'd be a massive outrages the wine stocks have been looted drunkenness hundreds of prisoners taken by the French from their right the way to Lugo is Tremendous mountains the Galicia Mountains goat tracks narrow paths and roads we must imagine them ethic at the beginning of winter The wind is coming from from the northwest there is fog and mist over the mountains it is raining More, or less incessantly that the road has turned to a muddy stream It sucks away of their legs men lose their boots that the Spanish villagers Then they meet harm on the route a hostile in the extreme Here are the British running away the British who who came to help them And they jeer are they throw things of the British and the British reciprocate there's widespread looting this rape for some cases of murder and More has to break his resolutions to clamp down In a a traditional for comeon way The British army at that time was famed for its bayern discipline and harsh punishment was meted out to those who fell out of line But Moore's army was inexperienced with fewer than half of the 35 battalions of infantry having had any real battle experience What these men went through would have tested an army of veterans let alone the relatively raw soldiers who struggled to escape? Napoleon The shadow of the lash hung over all those who erred One brigade commander General Robert Crawford known as black Bob was a notorious Disciplinarian who was determined not to allow order to break down despite the shocking weather conditions and hardships faced by the men Rifleman Harris tells of how he had men flogged one receiving 300 lashes as his wife watched on Many who read this may suppose this punishment to be cruel and unnecessary given the dreadful and harassing circumstances of the retreat But I who is there and a common soldier of the regiment to which these men belonged said was quite necessary No man, but one formed of stuff like general Crawford could have saved the brigade from perishing altogether, and if he flogged too He saved more from death by his management I detest the sight of the lash, but I am quite convinced the British Army can never go without it These events taught us the necessity of such measures the stories of that retreat I mean the women the soldiers women falling out and Freezing to death beside the road and the French always coming on and behind them this thin line of green jackets, and red coats who somehow hold them off and hold them up and hold them off and because there's the wonderful story of the Redcoats getting into this town, which is full of booths, and they all get drunk as lords and the offices next morning going around trying to get them on their feet some officers are probably drunk as well and Kicking them booting them getting them up stumbling on stumbling on Until of course they finally get to Corona turn around and inflict this huge defeat on the French But it's not it's not a glorious presence of British history even though we tried to celebrate. It was like another Dunkirk The Moors frozen exhausted army ever reached Corona at all was thanks in great part to the brave rearguard actions fought by the Light Brigade under Brigadier General Crawford a major-general Paget They heroically beat off all attempts by the French to destroy the rear positions of the British force Without them many more would have died on the terrible retreat to Corona Moore and his troops finally arrived at the port of Khurana on the 11th of January 1809 with French forces in hot pursuit More now hope to find that ships, which had been ordered up from Vigo were waiting in the harbor to evacuate his battered troops They were not there But now fortune took a hand Napoleon had by now returned to France as a fresh crisis threatened his position in Central Europe the Job of finishing off what Napoleon considered an already beaten British, Army he left a Marshall suit But after arriving at Khurana the French commander chose not to order an immediate attack Instead he spent nearly two days deploying his troops and while he did so the British ships arrived More used the unexpected respite to begin a steady evacuation of the army back to Britain Despite the conditions on the retreat to karana which were terrible the British soldiers retreating very few of them with shoes Their feet are bleeding there in a right state, but they were galvanized very quickly but the prospects of an action at the gates of Corona the match de la coruna was just as exhausting for the French as It was for the British When since forces arrived in Laconia? They too were very tamid they were in no fit state for a fight and so in consequence There was a delay of several days it gives more enough time to to Organizes his rearguard into into defensive positions and begin the the embarkation in Fact it and one point in the morning of the 16th of January more is becoming overconfident And he actually says within earshot of a number of his officers a few more hours, and we shall be away at that point sort attacks It was not until the 16th of January two days after his arrival That Salt's 20,000 Frenchmen began their attack on the British positions the Battle of karana was finally underway So believed that he could actually drive quite freely with the British lives and in him to the runner and take the town His first attack is actually stopped by intense British power And so he goes left flanking he moves off to the west, and then he runs into two reserve divisions under General Edwin Patrick and and love the shock of this is so great that the French begin to retire and So and so instead of the British fighting a defensive battle the whole karana suddenly the French are retreating The main action ebbed and flowed around the village of El Vania which was taken retake and taken again? And then retaken by Moors troops And of course it was during one of these actions where he was bringing forward the guards and Highlanders He was struck by a cannonball which lifted him out of the saddle and give him a mortal wound in his shoulder as The Battle of Corona raged Sir John Moore was as usual at the forefront of the action riding to every British position on the battlefield Directing the battle and encouraging his men This was however to be Sir John Moores last battle Charles O'Neill remembered the scene as he received his mortal wound Sir John Moore, he was honestly watching the result of the battle in the village of Albania received his death wound a Spent cannonball struck him on his breast the shock threw him from his horse with violence But he rose again in sitting posture his countenance unchanged and betraying no signs of pain Then was seeing the dreadful nature his hurt His shoulder was shuttered to pieces the arm was hanging by a piece of skin The ribs over the heart were broken and bed of flesh and the muscle of the breast was torn into long strips War was lifted from the saddle by a cannonball that shattered his shoulder and exposed all of his chest and Those around him who saw it thought it wasn't anything particularly bad at the time But when they actually saw what happened to him saw the gaping wound in his side They knew that that was pretty much it for more But as he was carried off He had the satisfaction of knowing that his troops Swept the French out of El Vania of all various points and would driven back That this would allow the British troops long enough to get away The battle for Khurana gave the British and enough time to actually complete their evacuation But we have to remember that the evacuation would not have been successful If it not been for the fact that the Spanish continued to hold the town and I wasn't until the last British transports had pulled out of the harbor carrying the the 19,000 remnants of Moore's army that the Spanish actually surrendered On the face of it Khurana appeared to be a disaster for the British 6,000 men and a vast quantity of equipment had been lost and Moore's battered army had been chased out of Spain Naturally the politicians did their best to deflect all blame from the government to the military and on to more in particular although they had to tread carefully Moore was a popular figure among the public and he had died a hero's death on the battlefield In many ways he was made a scapegoat But that was largely for political reasons you've been a very stiff opponent that the government he had he supporters the opposition These reputation recovered fairly quickly much due to the efforts of his brother who began to write a history of the campaign So you know even today we we Revere the memory of Sir John Moore by retreating to the coast He pulled large numbers of French forces away from their central objectives He prevented an immediate march on Lisbon he prevented an immediate march on Seville They gave the Spaniards The time that they needed to pick up the pieces after Napoleon's great victories in November and December 1808 the impact of above karana was profound right throughout the day the British political establishment because 19,000 men returned in the late winter of 1809 and they were all in dreadful state They were ill they were emaciated that they were dressed in rags This is what continental warfare is like without an ally this is what happens when you take chances This is what happens when you don't take war seriously And and you get a real shift in an emphasis after this That wooden realizes after the return of the remnants of Moore's army But then it is actually in what is going to be called Total War The retreat to Corona and the miraculous escape of the British Army had a significance that no one then could foresee Although French armies were rampant across Spain the Spanish people were still resisting fiercely Nowhere more so than in the blood-soaked streets of Saragossa and the British had saved themselves to fight again They would return under the commander who had already defeated the French twice in battle Sir Arthur, Wellesley By early 1809 the simple French plan to occupy Portugal and so pressure Britain into making peace had gone horribly wrong French troops had been evicted from Portugal Thanks to rollick of Vimy arrow and the shameful convention of sintra but the British were far from secure in Lisbon the British Field Army had already been expelled from the peninsula once and despite Sir John Mohr's stubborn victory at karana There was no real reason to believe that the Redcoats would not be driven out of the peninsula again Lasting glacis Palma the Portuguese said the English for the sea well they weren't The British will turn their lodgement at Lisbon into an unassailable fortress But while they're doing that the Spanish are engaged in a ghastly, guerrilla war that will kill hundreds of thousands and that war Reached its most terrible depths of the city of San agasa that tale is a savage epic But it must wait for our next episode Sharp's war continues at the same time nine o'clock next Saturday evening After the break two waves of armies sweep towards the Holy Land in a surge of religious fervor as we begin the spectacular recreation of the medieval Crusades

Formation

The 17th Guards was one of four Guards rifle divisions created in Kalinin Front on the same date (along with 20th, 21st and 22nd Guards) in recognition of their role in driving in the left flank of Army Group Center during the winter of 1941–42. When formed, its order of battle was as follows:

  • 45th Guards Rifle Regiment from 365th Rifle Regiment
  • 48th Guards Rifle Regiment from 421st Rifle Regiment
  • 52nd Guards Rifle Regiment from 634th Rifle Regiment
  • 26th Guards Artillery Regiment from 349th Artillery Regiment
  • 22nd Guards Antitank Battalion from 230th Antitank Battalion
  • 16th Guards Sapper Battalion from 224th Sapper Battalion.[1]

The division was part of 22nd Army when it was formed, and remained in Kalinin Front, in either that army or the 41st Army for the next year. In early 1943 it was transferred to 5th Guards Rifle Corps in 39th Army, and remained under those commands for the duration.[2]

In late 1943 the division, along with the rest of 39th Army, was transferred to Western Front, and took part in the campaign to liberate Smolensk. The division was the first Soviet unit to enter the city of Dukhovshchina after it was abandoned by German XXVII Army Corps on the night of September 16/17[3] and received its name as an honorific.[4]

During Operation Bagration the 17th Guards, now under 3rd Belorussian Front, advanced into the southern Baltic States. At the time of the German surrender the division was in East Prussia, near Königsberg. In the following months the entire 39th Army was shipped east across Siberia, and in August 1945, participated in the invasion of Japanese-occupied Manchuria as part of Transbaikal Front. By this time its towed anti-tank battalion had been replaced with a battalion of SU-76 self-propelled guns, but the divisional artillery had not been augmented as per the December 1944, Guards Rifle Division table of organization.[2] During this campaign the division received a second honorific, Khinganskaya, for its efforts in driving through the Khingan Range.

When the war ended the division honorifics were – Russian: Духовщинско-Хинганская Краснознамённая ордена Суворова дивизия (English: Dukhovshchina, Khingan, Order of the Red Banner, Order of Suvorov), and five of its men had been named as Heroes of the Soviet Union.

Postwar

Postwar, the division moved to Barabash, Primorsky Krai with the 39th Army from Port Arthur. The 39th Army disbanded in 1956 and the division became part of the 5th Army. On 17 May 1957, it became the 123rd Guards Motor Rifle Division.[5] On 19 February 1962, the 319th Separate Equipment Maintenance and Recovery Battalion was activated. In May 1962, the 111th Separate Tank Battalion was formed. On 22 February 1968, the division was awarded the Order of the October Revolution. On 15 November 1972, the 392nd Separate Anti-Tank Artillery Battalion was activated. In 1980, the 1135th Separate Material Supply Battalion formed from the motor transport battalion. In 1989, the 111th Separate Tank Battalion disbanded.[6]

Division memorial in Barabash
Division memorial in Barabash

On 1 October 1989, it became the 129th Guards Machine-Gun Artillery Division. The 45th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment disbanded and was replaced by the 290th Machine-Gun Artillery Regiment, the former 20th Fortified Area. The 52nd Guards Motor Rifle Regiment was disbanded and replaced by the 196th Machine-Gun Artillery Regiment, the former 4th Fortified Area. The 1170th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment was disbanded and replaced by the 1133rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment. The 48th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment and 1133rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment transferred to the 40th Motor Rifle Division for Coastal Defence in October 1990. That division's 231st Motor Rifle Regiment and 1173rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment became part of the 129th Guards Division. In September 2001, the division was converted into the 17th Guards Motor Rifle Division. In June 2009, it was downsized into the 70th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade.[6]

The brigade relocated to Ussuriysk in 2012.[7]

References

  1. ^ Charles C. Sharp, "Red Guards", Soviet Guards Rifle and Airborne Units 1941 to 1945, Soviet Order of Battle World War II, Vol. IV, 1995, pp 49 – 51. Note that Sharp gives "249th" as the number of the artillery regiment from the 119th Rifle Div., but is given as "349th" in his other works.
  2. ^ a b Sharp, "Red Guards, p 49
  3. ^ Robert Forczyk, Smolensk 1943: The Red Army's Relentless Advance, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK, 2019, Kindle ed.
  4. ^ http://www.soldat.ru/spravka/freedom/1-ssr-2.html. In Russian. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  5. ^ Feskov et al 2013, p. 151
  6. ^ a b Holm, Michael. "123rd Guards Motorised Rifle Division". www.ww2.dk. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  7. ^ "Надпись "УВВАКУ" заменили на имя 70 мотострелковой бригады в Уссурийске" [The inscription "UVVAKU" was replaced with the name of the 70 Motor Rifle Brigade in Ussuriysk]. ussur.net (in Russian). Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  • Feskov, V.I.; Golikov, V.I.; Kalashnikov, K.A.; Slugin, S.A. (2013). Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской [The Armed Forces of the USSR after World War II: From the Red Army to the Soviet: Part 1 Land Forces] (in Russian). Tomsk: Scientific and Technical Literature Publishing. ISBN 9785895035306.
This page was last edited on 6 March 2019, at 02:33
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