Military Wiki
287th Rifle Division
  • 1st formation: July–December 1941
  • 2nd formation: December 1941–summer 1945
Country Soviet Union
Branch Red Army
Type Rifle division
Engagements World War II

2nd formation:

Battle honours Novograd-Volynsky (2nd formation)

The 287th Rifle Division (Russian: 287-я стрелковая дивизия) was an infantry division of the Soviet Union's Red Army during World War II, formed twice. It was first formed in the summer of 1941 and destroyed in the Bryansk pocket in the fall of 1941. The division was reformed in late December, including elements of the first formation, and served throughout the war before being disbanded in the summer of 1945.


First Formation

The 287th began forming around 10 July 1941 at Yelets, part of the Orel Military District. Its basic order of battle included the 866th, 868th, and 870th Rifle Regiments, as well as the 851st Artillery Regiment. While still forming, the division was assigned its commander on 20 July and became part of the Bryansk Front reserves on 15 August. At the end of September, the division, possibly still trying to complete its formation, was trapped in the Bryansk pocket after the 2nd Panzer Group broke through the Soviet lines. On 3 October, the division was moved up from the reserve by rail and its eleven trains were unloaded at Brasovo station, 75 kilometers south of Bryansk. Between 3 and 5 October the division conducted unsuccessful counterattacks.[1] The 287th was virtually destroyed by mid-October, but was not officially disbanded until 27 December. [2]

Second Formation

The second formation of the 287th began forming in late December at Lipetsk with the same basic organization as the first formation, and quickly became part of the Bryansk Front while still forming. Its first units were formed from the remnants of the 287th's first formation that had escaped from the Bryansk pocket. The 287th joined the 3rd Army in January, and was assigned its commander in late February. The division fought in battles on the Bryansk Front and in May 1943 was transferred to the 63rd Army, still on the same front.[3]

In October, the army was transferred to the Belorussian Front, and on 20 December the 287th was transferred to the 13th Army. The division subsequently became part of the army's 24th Rifle Corps. By April 1944, its divisional anti-tank battalion was equipped with older model 76 mm M1936 or 76 mm M1939 (USV) guns. In July the division transferrd to the army's 102nd Rifle Corps. The 287th transferred to the 38th Army's 67th Rifle Corps in November, and from December 1944 to the war's end was part of the 3rd Guards Army's 76th Rifle Corps. [3] The division fought in the Berlin Offensive from late April 1945. On 25 April, its commander, Major General Iosif Pankratov, was killed by a large mine blast.[4]

By the end of the war, the division's honorifics were "Novograd-Volynsky, twice Order of the Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov, and Bogdan Khmelnitsky."[3] The division was disbanded in the summer of 1945 with the Central Group of Forces.[5]



  1. Lopukhovsky 2013, pp. 156, 159.
  2. Sharp 1996a, p. 62.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Sharp 1996b, pp. 108–109.
  4. Maslov 1998, p. 182.
  5. Feskov et al 2013, p. 413.


  • Feskov, V.I.; Golikov, V.I.; Kalashnikov, K.A.; Slugin, S.A. (2013) (in Russian). Tomsk: Scientific and Technical Literature Publishing. ISBN 9785895035306. 
  • Lopukhovsky, Lev (2013). The Viaz'ma Catastrophe, 1941: The Red Army's Disastrous Stand against Operation Typhoon. Translated by Stuart Britton. Solihull: Helion. ISBN 9781908916501. 
  • Maslov, Aleksander A. (1998). Fallen Soviet Generals: Soviet General Officers Killed in Battle, 1941–1945. Translated by David Glantz. London: Frank Cass. ISBN 9780714647906. 
  • Sharp, Charles C. (1996a). The Soviet Order of Battle World War II: An Organizational History of the Major Combat Units of the Soviet Army. 9. West Chester, Ohio: George F. Nafziger. OCLC 258366685. 
  • Sharp, Charles C. (1996b). The Soviet Order of Battle World War II: An Organizational History of the Major Combat Units of the Soviet Army. 10. West Chester, Ohio: George F. Nafziger. OCLC 39214254. 

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