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17th Rifle Corps
Active
  • 1st formation: 1922 – August 1941
  • 2nd formation: December 1942 – October 1945
Country Soviet Union
Branch Soviet Red Army
Engagements

The 17th Rifle Corps was a corps of the Soviet Red Army, formed twice.

It was first formed in 1922 in the Soviet Far East before relocating to Ukraine two years later. It fought in the Soviet invasion of Poland and was destroyed during Operation Barbarossa in mid-1941. The corps was reformed in late 1942 in the Far East and fought in the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945 before being disbanded postwar later that year.

First formation

The corps was initially first formed as the Primorsky Rifle Corps at Chita on 2 November 1922, part of the 5th Army. On 25 December, the corps became the 17th Primorsky Rifle Corps. In January 1924, the corps was relocated west to Vinnytsia on the other side of the Soviet Union, where it became part of the Ukrainian Military District and dropped the "Primorsky" designation. In May 1935, the 17th became part of the Kiev Military District when the Ukrainian Military District was split. As part of the 6th Army, the corps fought in the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, occupying what became western Ukraine. After the end of the campaign in October, the corps headquarters was stationed at Chernivtsi and it became part of the Kiev Special Military District. Assigned to the 12th Army in May 1940, the corps fought against Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, from 22 June 1941. The corps was disbanded in August of that year.[1]

Second formation

It was reformed in December 1942 in the Far East, part of the 25th Army. In August 1945 in the Far East it had the 187th Rifle Division and 366th Rifle Division.[2] For the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945, the corps was transferred to the 5th Army.[3] At the beginning of the invasion, the corps advanced in the 5th Army's first echelon.[4] Its objective was to cut off the Japanese Northeastern and Eastern (Suifenho) Fortified Regions, alongside the 105th Fortified Area and several border guard battalions.[5]

On the first day of the invasion, 9 August, the 187th Division fought in heavy combat for the control of railroad tunnels east of Suifenho, which were rapidly secured.[6] The corps advanced southwards into the rear of the Suifenho Fortified Region, where they linked up with troops from the 25th Army's 39th Rifle Corps, completing the encirclement of the Tungning Fortified Region. The speedy Soviet advance prevented the Japanese troops from creating new defensive lines and from effectively resisting the attack.[7] At 17:00 on the same day, the corps was transferred to the 25th Army. After clearing the remaining Japanese troops from Tungning on 10 August, the 17th and 39th Corps began advancing southwest along the Tungning road to Wangching, Tumen, Tunhua, and Kirin on the next day. The two corps approached Laoheishan by noon on 12 August after marching between 18.6 and 25 miles 18.6–25 miles (29.9–40.2 km).[8]

For the next few days, the 10th Mechanized Corps and the two rifle corps advanced along the narrow road from Laoheishan to Heitosai, which forced the column to become strung out along the road. As a result, only the forward detachments and reconnaissance units met the negligible Japanese resistance before capturing Heitosai. 25th Army commander Ivan Chistyakov split the units in two columns, one of which included the 17th Corps and elements of the 10th Mechanized, advancing west towards the Taipingling Pass. The Soviet troops encountered Japanese defensive positions from the 128th Infantry Division's 284th Infantry Regiment at Lotzokou on 15 August. The 187th Division conducted a frontal attack while the 366th encircled the Japanese from the south. Meanwhile, the 10th Corps' 72nd Mechanized Brigade bypassed the Japanese and advanced east to Taipingling Pass, where they were halted by the 285th Infantry Regiment of the 128th, which had constructed prepared defensive positions.[9]

In the late evening of 16 August, the Soviet forces were able to capture both Lotzokou and Taipingling Pass after breaking through the Japanese defenses, continuing to pursue the remnants of the 128th Division westwards. Two days later, the corps followed behind the 10th Mechanized Corps in linking up with the forward elements of the 5th Army at Tungchingcheng after an advance of 18.6 miles (29.9 km).[10] The corps was disbanded in October 1945.[11]

Organization

1939:

  • 96th Rifle Division
  • 97th Rifle Division
  • 10th Tank Brigade
  • 38th Tank Brigade

1941:

Commanders

The following officer is known to have commanded the corps' first formation:[12]

  • Major General Ivan Galanin (14 March–26 August 1941)

The corps' second formation is known to have been commanded by the following officer:[12]

  • Major General Afanasy Kopychko (16 December 1942–24 August 1945)

References

Citations

Bibliography



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