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Structure of the 5th Guards Tank Division

The 5th Guards Tank Division was a tank division of the Soviet Ground Forces and Russian Ground Forces, active from around 1945 to 2009. It drew its heritage from an illustrious Soviet World War II cavalry formation, the 5th Guards Cavalry Corps. 5 Guards Cavalry Corps was reorganised as 5 Guards Cavalry Division in July 1946, later becoming 5 Guards Heavy Tank Division, then 18 Guards Heavy Tank Division.[1])

With the beginning of the Nikita Khrushchev era, the Strategic Rocket Forces were increasingly emphasised at the expense of the Ground Forces, and the Ground Forces were reduced and reorganized.

The Division was reformed by renumbering the 18th Guards Tank Division in 1965 after its transfer to the Transbaikal District from the North Caucasus Military District to reinforce the Transbaikal Military District in the light of deteriorating relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC). The Division was located in Mongolia under the 39th Army (Soviet Union) and then the 57th Army Corps for many years before being withdrawn in 1991–92. One source (Tomsk) reports that it was disbanded from 1984–89 and was incorporated into the 48 Guards Independent Army Corps during that time.

The Division has been located at Kyakhta on the Mongolian–Russian border since its withdrawal and was placed under the command of the 29th Army (Soviet Union), as the 57th Army Corps was upgraded in status to Army level in 2003. The 29th Army was subsequently disbanded.

Adam Geibel wrote[2] that 5th "Don" Guards Tank Division, stationed in Buryatia, had received ‘a few’ T-90s.

Division's honorifics seem to include "Don" and "Budapest".

The division was reorganised as the 5th Guards Separate Tank Brigade in 2009.

Subordinated units and fighting strength

  • 108th Tank Regiment;
  • 140th Guards Tank Regiment;
  • 160th Guards Tank Regiment;
  • 311th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment;
  • 861st SP Artillery Regiment;
  • 940th Anti-aircraft Missile Regiment;

References and sources

  1. gb=3*id=27399, machine translated to English
  2. Adam Geibel India’s Latest Armour Addition- the T-90s, Defence Journal, April 1999
  • 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. pp. 74, 95. ISBN 5-7511-1819-7. 

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