The Soviet Army's 3rd Rifle Division was an infantry division active from 1921 to 1946 and from 1955 to 1956. It was formed 5 June 1921 in the Ukraine Military District. It appears that Order No. № 724/284 created the division from the 3rd and 46th Separate Rifle Brigades. At the beginning of World War II it located in Blagoveshchensk and was not redeployed to fight the Germans. At the very end of World War II it was involved in the Sungari Army Group Operation with 2nd Red Banner Army. It forced the Amur and Ussuri rivers, and captured several cities in China from the Japanese Kwantung Army. Immediate post war the Division was in 1st Red Banner Army, Transbaikal-Amur VO, 136th Rifle Corps, alongside 12 RD, 396 RD and 101st Fortified Region/MGAD. It was disbanded between 20.6.46 and 30.8.46. The Division's full name just before being disbanded was 3rd Rifle Red Banner Division of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Crimean ASSR.
Crofoot, Armies of the Bear, states that 3 MRD was reformed 1955 in the Moscow Military District from 413 RD, taking its honours - 'Brest' and awards from 413 RD. 'However like all the divisions formed in 1955 it didn't last and was disbanded in 1956.'
3rd MRD reformed as 3rd 'Vislenskaya Red Banner Order of Suvorov i Kutuzova' Motor Rifle Division by amalgamation of 31st and 47th Tank Divisions at Novyy in the Moscow Military District on 1 July 1997 gaining the honours of the 31st Tank Division. The Division was in 2004 under the command of General Major Aleksandr Konnov. Elements of the division, notably the two motor rifle regiments, participated in the First Chechen War and Second Chechen War.
Warfare.ru notes that 3 MRD was unit number 54046, and had constant readiness status. In 2000 the division had 10850 personnel, 244 T-80 tanks, 361 BMP/BTR, 36 2S19 Msta-S, 96 2s3 Akatsia, and 16 Grad multiple rocket launchers. It consisted of the 100th and 237th Tank Regiments, and the 245th and 752nd Motor Rifle Regiments, as well as the 99th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment.
In March 2009 the division was disbanded and reorganised as the 6th Separate Tank Brigade and the 9th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade.
The post-Soviet 3rd MRD should not to be confused with 3rd Guards Motor Rifle Division, active during the Cold War.
- June 1998 report by Andrew Duncan in Jane's Intelligence Review
- Feskov,, V.I.; K.A. Kalashnikov, V.I. Golikov. (2004). The Soviet Army in the Years of the 'Cold War' (1945-1991). Tomsk: Tomsk University Press. ISBN 5-7511-1819-7.
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