Military Wiki
1st Guards Army
Active 1942 - 1991
Country  Soviet Union
Branch Red Army flag.svg Red Army
Type Infantry
Part of Kiev Military District
1st Ukrainian Front
Garrison/HQ Chernigov

World War II

Decorations Order of Lenin
Andrei Grechko
Dmitry Lelyushenko
Soviet Guards Order.png

The 1st Guards Army was a Soviet field army that fought on the Eastern Front during World War II, being formed from the 2nd Reserve Army with five Guards Rifle Divisions in August 1942.

During the German Sixth Army's assault on Stalingrad in August 1942, the Red Army launched a counter-offensive to drive the German forces back. The 1st Guards Army and the 24th Army launched the attack. Little success was met. The 1st Guards Army managed an advance of just a few miles, while the 24th Army was pushed back right into its start-line.

When the German troops were making their attack on Stalingrad, the First Guards Army was facing the Italian Eighth Army in the upper part of the Don River. During November 1942 1st Guards Army was reformed from 63rd Army, as Operation Uranus was taking place. The First Guards Army stayed in that position until Operation Wintergewitter in December 1942. On 8 December 1942 it consisted of the 4th Guards Rifle Corps, the 6th Guards Rifle Corps, the 153rd Rifle Division, and the 18th Tank Corps. After the German relief operation was held, the 1st Guards Army, along with the 6th Army and 3rd Guards Army, launched an attack in Operation Little Saturn. During the operation the Soviets defeated the Italian Eighth Army and gained a respectable amount of territory. By the end of the year, the 1st Guards Army was outside Millerovo.

The 1st Guards Army also took part in Operation Saturn, where the Red Army successfully drove back Army Group South to the Donets Basin basin in the Ukraine. In the Battle of Stalingrad, the 1st Guards Army was headed by General Dmitri Lelyushenko and included six rifle divisions as well as a Guards Mechanized Corps. The 1st Guards Army was part of the Soviet Southwestern Front, and took part in the victorious Soviet pushing into Germany in 1943 to 1945. Also, in 1943, the 1st Guards Army was the first unit of the soviet army to operate the new T-34/85 tank. Among its units when the war ended in 1945 was the 81st Rifle Division.

1st Guards Army was active for many years in the Kiev Military District after the Second World War, headquartered at Chernigov. For a period the army HQ was actually an operations group of the District. By this time it had been awarded the Order of Lenin. It included among its forces the 72nd Guards Motor Rifle Division, the 25th Guards Motor Rifle Division, and also at one point the 163rd Motor Rifle Division.

Formation in 1989 Formation in 1991-2 (Ukraine)[1]
25th Guards Motor Rifle Division (Lubny) 25th Mechanised Division
41st Guards Tank Division (Uman) 5193rd Base for Storage of Weapons and Equipment
72nd Guards Motor Rifle Division (Belaya Tserkov) 72nd Mechanised Division
136th Motor Rifle Division (Piryatin) 4214th Base for Storage of Weapons and Equipment
172nd Motor Rifle Division (Konotop) 5198th Base for Storage of Weapons and Equipment

After the collapse of the Soviet Union the Army became the 1st Army Corps of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, and then Territorial Directorate "North".


  1. Feskov et al 2004, 56, 104-105


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