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2nd Mechanised Corps (June 1940-Aug 1941)
Active 1941
Country Soviet Union
Branch Armoured Forces
Type Mechanised Corps
Engagements Operation München
Battle of Uman
Lieutenant General Iu. V. Novoselsky

The 2nd Mechanised Corps was a formation in the Soviet Red Army during the Second World War. Initially formed in June 1940 in response the German victories of 1940 it was attached to the Odessa Military District, & attached to the 9th Army in the Odessa fortified region in Soviet Union[1] It was under the command of Lieutenant General Iu. V. Novoselsky when the German Operation Barbarossa began in June 1941.[2] It initially comprised the 11th and 16th Tank Divisions, & the 15th Mechanized Division.[3]

On 22 June 1941 2nd Mechanized Corps comprised 32,396 men, 517 tanks, 186 armoured cars, 162 artillery pieces, 189 mortars, 3794 vehicles, 266 Tractors & 375 Motorcycles including lighter models T-26, Bt 7, & T-28's & 60 of the newer T-34 & KV-1 models. On 22 July 1941 2nd Mechanized Corps consisted of 11th Tank Division 181 (81 Operational) tanks, 1070 vehicles & 71 tractors. 16th Tank Division with 99 tanks, 870 vehicles & 16 tractors & 15th Mechanized Division with 188 (102 operational) tanks, no vehicles & 122 tractors.

After the invasion began the Odessa Military District was renamed Southern Front, Commanded by Colonel General I. V. Tiulenev. The front fielded the 9th and 18th Armies. The 2nd Mechanized Corps was heavily involved in the first battles of Operation Barbarossa, taking part with Colonel General A. K. Cherevichenko's 9th Army in Operation München to defend Soviet occupied Bessarabia. Against Generaloberst Schobert's 11th Army, which had penetrated Soviet defenses, captured Iassy & reached the Prut River on the first day of action.[4]

However after initially withdrawing to behind the Dniester River on Tiulenev's orders Stavka ordered 6th Army & 2nd Mechanized Corps to recapture the Prut River line. By 18 July Schobert's 11th Army, had crossed the Dniester River & Stavka finally realised that the 6th, 12th & 18th Armies faced encirclement & ordered the 2nd Mechanized Corps to the Uman region to halt the German advance into Southern Front's rear.

A burning T-34 in Russia in 1941

The line was already in German hands & this decision was far too late. Mikhail Kirponos commander of Southwestern Front now ordered 26th Army to wheel about & cover their withdrawal & for 6th & 12th Armies to attack eastwards to meet up. By 20 July, 2nd Mechanized Corps was holding open a narrow corridor upon to the east between LVIII Panzer Corps & 17th Army.

Two days later the trap was shut, and although the 2nd Mechanized Corps tried to free the surrounded armies on 8 August the fighting was over: 107,000 officers & men, including Generals Pondelin & Muzychenko, four corps commanders & 11 division commanders, 286 tanks & 953 guns were captured. Another two corps commanders & six division commanders perished in the fighting. 2nd Mechanized Corps was largely destroyed.[5]

Rkkaww2 states:[6] The residual men of the 11th Tank Division joined the 12th Army. The division's remnants were reorganised into the 132nd Tank Brigade (21 Aug. 1941), later the 4th Guards Tank Brigade. The entire headquarters of the 15th Motorised Division was captured. However, later, the divisional commander, Colonel Laskin, managed to escape from captivity. The residual personnel of the 14th Tank Regiment eventually formed the 71st Separate Tank Battalion, which joined the 12th Rifle Corps of the Southern Front.


  1. David Glantz, Before Stalingrad Barbarossa - Hitler's Invasion of Russia 1941, 2003, p45
  2. David Glantz, Before Stalingrad Barbarossa - Hitler's Invasion of Russia 1941, 2003, p46
  3. Glantz, Stumbling Colossus, 1998, p 155, 229
  4. David Glantz, Before Stalingrad Barbarossa - Hitler's Invasion of Russia 1941, 2003, p46
  5. David Glantz, Before Stalingrad Barbarossa - Hitler's Invasion of Russia 1941, 2003, p112-p118
  6. 2nd Mechanised Corps 1941

Further reading

  • Brian Taylor, Barbarossa To Berlin A Chronology of the Campaigns on the Eastern Front 1941 to 1945, 2003, Spellmount Ltd, ISBN 1-86227-206-9
  • David Glantz (1998), 'Stumbling Colossus - The Red Army On The Eve of World War', Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-0879-6
  • David Glantz (2003), 'Before Stalingrad Barbarossa - Hitler's Invasion of Russia 1941', Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-2692-3
  • Christer Bergstrom, (2007) 'Barbarossa - The Air Battle: July–December 1941, Ian Allan Publishing.ISBN 1-85780-270-5

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