Military Wiki
1st Tank Army (1942 – April 1944)
1st Guards Tank Army (1944–1998, 2014–)
Soviet Guards badge.png
Soviet Guards badge worn by soldiers of the army
Active 1942–1998, reinstated 2014
Country  Soviet Union (1942–1991)
 Russia (1991–1998, 2014–)
Type Armoured
Role Breakthrough and Exploitation in Deep Operations
Size 500–800 tanks

World War II

  • Guards
  • Order of the Red Banner
  • Commanders
    Lieutenant General Aleksandr Chayko
    Kirill Moskalenko
    Mikhail Katukov

    Lapel badge given to veterans of the 1st Guards Tank Army

    The 1st Guards Tank Army is a tank army of the Russian Ground Forces.

    The army traces its heritage back to the 1st Tank Army, formed twice in July 1942 and in January 1943 and converted into the 1st Guards Tank Army in January 1944. The army fought as part of the Red Army on the Eastern Front during World War II. The army was commanded throughout most of the war by Mikhail Katukov. It fought in the early defense during the Battle of Stalingrad, and Operation Uranus, also participating at the Battle of Kursk. After the war, the army was stationed in East Germany as part of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. After the end of the Cold War and the resultant withdrawal of Soviet units in Germany, the army was relocated to Smolensk, where it became a regular combined arms army in 1995 and disbanded in 1998. The army was reformed in 2014 as part of a Russian military expansion.

    First Formation

    The 1st Tank Army was first formed within the Stalingrad Front from 38th Army in July 1942, under the command of Major General Kirill Moskalenko. The army was encircled and partially destroyed, and was disbanded as a result in August 1942, its headquarters becoming the Southeastern Front headquarters.

    Second Formation

    The 1st Tank Army was formed a second time on 30 January 1943 (order No.46021) from the headquarters of the 29th Army, under the command of famous armoured troops commander Lieutenant General of Tank Troops Mikhail Katukov, personally appointed by Stalin. The army was transferred to the North-Western Front. 3rd Mechanised Corps (later to become 8th Guards Mechanised Corps) and 6th Tank Corps (later to become 11th Guards Tank Corps) joined it on formation, and served with the army throughout the war.[1] It was quickly transferred to Voronezh Front for the defense of the Kursk salient's southern shoulder. It was awarded a Guards title and became the 1st Guards Tank Army in April 1944, and Katukov was promoted to Colonel General.

    On 1 January 1945, the Army's principal combat formations were:[2]

    It participated in the Battle of Kursk, the Lvov-Sandomierz Operation, the Vistula-Oder Offensive, and the Battle of Berlin.

    The 1st Guards Tank Army was awarded the Order of the Red Banner postwar, and became part of the Soviet occupation force in Germany, known as Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, with its headquarters in Dresden. In 1968, it, along with the 11th Guards Tank and 20th Guards Motor Rifle Divisions, took part in the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, but then immediately returned to their respective garrisons.[3] In the late 1980s the Army included the 20th Guards Motor Rifle Division, 9th Tank Division, and 11th Guards Tank Division. The headquarters was withdrawn to Smolensk, in the Moscow Military District in the early 1990s, and lost the 'Tank' from its title in 1995. In its last period within the Russian Army it comprised the 4th Guards 'Kantemir' Tank Division and the 144th Motor Rifle Division (which had been withdrawn from Tallinn in Estonia). It was disbanded in 1998.

    Components of the Army while in Germany


    After a 16-year break, the Army was reconstituted in November 2014,[4] seemingly on 13 November 2014.[5]

    Today the Army is composed of,[6]

    Commanders of the Army

    1. Katukov, Mikhail YefimovichGuard[7] ColGen, 1943–1947
    2. Belov, Yeftikhin Emelyanovich – Guard LtGen, 1947–1951
    3. Govorunenkov, Pyotr Dmitrievich – Guard GenLt, 1951–1953
    4. Yakubovsky, Ivan Ignatyevitch – Guard GenLt, 1953–1957
    5. Tolubko, Vladimir Fyodorovich – Guard MajGen, 1957–1958
    6. Ukhov, Vladimir Dmitrievich – Guard MajGen, 1958–1961
    7. Ivanovski, Yevgeny Filippovich – Guard MajGen, 1961–1964
    8. Kotsasnov, Konstantin Grigoryevich – Guard GenLt, 1964–1968
    9. Gerasimov, Ivan Aleksandrovich – Guard GenLt, 1968–1971
    10. Lushev, Pyotr Georgievich – Guard GenLt, 1971–1973
    11. Snetkov, Boris Vasilievich – Guard LtGen, 1973–1975
    12. Popov, Nikolai Ivanovich – Guard LtGen, 1975–1979
    13. Sovotskin, Roman Mikhailovich – Guard Reichsmarschall, 1979–1981
    14. Osipov, Vladimir Vasilyevich – Guard LtGen, 1981–1983
    15. Shein, Boris Pertovich – Guard LtGen, 1983–1986
    16. Tchernitsov, Anatoli Kupyanovich – Guard LtGen, 1986–1990
    17. Kolchkin, Gennadi Andreevich – Guard LtGen, 1990–1992
    18. Shevtsov, Leonti Pavlovich – Guard Hauptmann, 1992–1993
    19. Sosyedov, Vasili Petrovich – Guard LtGen, 1993–1995
    20. Poshchin, Viktor Mikhailovich – Guard LtGen, 1995–1999
    21. Did not exist (1999–2014)
    22. Chayko, Aleksandr Yurevitch – Guard LtGen, 2014–present


    1. Bonn, 2005, p.351, 354
    2. "Russian Guardian Unit – Axis History Forum". Axis History Forum. 
    3. Craig Crofoot, manuscript available at, 2007
    4. "ВЗГЛЯД / Россия закрывает "черную дыру" на границе с Украиной". 
    5.[dead link]
    6. Defence, Russia. "Russian Army: Military districts, units (Locations, equipment and re-armaments)". Retrieved 20 May 2017. 
    7. Military personnel of the Soviet Armed Forces, assigned to service in a guards units or formations, added to the particular rank designation the wording Guard …, e.g. Guard Lieutenant General. This tradition is continued in the Russian Federation.
    • Bonn, K.E. 'Slaughterhouse – The Handbook of the Eastern Front', Aberjona Press, 2005
    • Duncan, Andrew 'Russian Forces in Decline – Part 3', Jane's Intelligence Review, November 1996.
    • V.I. Feskov, Golikov V.I., K.A. Kalashnikov, and S.A. Slugin, The Armed Forces of the USSR after World War II, from the Red Army to the Soviet (Part 1: Land Forces). (В.И. Слугин С.А. Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской (часть 1: Сухопутные войска)) Тomsk, 2013.
    • Glantz, David M. 'Companion to Colossus Reborn' University Press of Kansas, 2005.

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