Military Wiki
343rd Rifle Division (1941-43)
97th Guards Rifle Division(1943-57)
97th Guards Motor Rifle Division (1957-1992)
97th Mechanized Brigade (1992-2004)
97 ОМБр (1998).png
Brigade Insignia
Active August 1941 – November 2004
Country Ukraine
Branch Ukrainian Army
Type Mechanized Brigade
Part of 13th Army Corps
Garrison/HQ А-1766[1] Slavuta,[2] Khmelnytskyi Oblast
Equipment T-64[3]
2S3 Akatsiya[3]
Engagements World War II
Decorations Order of the Red Banner
Order of Suvorov
Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky

The 97th Guards Mechanized Brigade was a rifle, and then a motor-rifle division of the Soviet Union's Army, before becoming a mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, based in Slavuta in western Ukraine. The full name of the division was the "97th Guards Poltava Motor-Rifle Division, Red Banner, Suvorov's, Bogdan Khmelnitsky". After the division became part of Ukrainian Armed Forces it was known as the "97th Separate Mechanized Brigade".[4]


The division was formed in August–September 1941 as the 343rd Rifle Division near the city of Stavropol. Throughout World War II, it was assigned to the 56th, 6th, 9th, 21st, and 24th armies. In 1941 and 1942, the division took part in defensive operations at Rostov, then in the Rostov and Barvenko-Lozovaia offensive operations. Later, it fought in the Second Battle of Kharkov, and took part in defensive operations near Stalingrad. On July 17, 1942, when the 21st Army joined the Stalingrad Front, the division had 2,795 men and fewer than 20 artillery pieces.[5] After October 1942 it was assigned to the 66th Army, which later became 5th Guards Army. In May 1943, the division became 97th Guards Rifle Division.[6]It took part in the Battle of Kursk, along with the rest of 5th Guards Army as part of the Steppe Front. Later, it fought in the liberation of left-bank Ukraine. In September, the division was awarded the 'Poltava' honorific, along with its sister divisions, the 13th and 95th Guards Rifle Divisions. In 1944 and 1945, it took part in the Kirovograd, Uman-Botoshany, Lvov-Sandomir, Sandomir-Silesia, Upper and Lower Silesia, Berlin, and Prague offensives.[6]

After World War II, the division was stationed in Austria, with the Central Group of Forces, where it remained until 1946. During that time, the Division belonged to the 5th Guards Army. After its relocation to Slavuta, it became part of the 13th Army.[7] After it moved to Slavuta, the division was downsized into the 28th Separate Guards Rifle Brigade, but became a division again on 16 September 1949.[8] In 1957, it was reorganized from a Rifle into a Motor Rifle division.[9] After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the division was reorganized into a Brigade, which continued to exist until November 2004, when it was disbanded.[10]

Divisional Order of Battle

Late Soviet Period (c. 1988)

During the late 1980s, the division included the following units.[2]

  • 110th Tank Regiment
  • 289th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment
  • 292nd Guards Motor Rifle Regiment
  • 294th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment
  • 232nd Guards Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment
  • 1094th Guards Anti-Aircraft Rocket Regiment




  • Bonn, Keith E., ed (2005). Slaughterhouse: The Handbook of the Eastern Front. Bedford, PA: Aberjona Press. ISBN 097176509X. 
  • Feskov, V.I.; Golikov, V.I.; Kalashnikov, K.A.; Slugin, S.A. (2013) (in Russian). Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской. Tomsk: Scientific and Technical Literature Publishing. ISBN 9785895035306. 

Further reading

  • “World War II". Soviet Encyclopaedia, 1985, p. 573 (Russian)
  • I.A.Samchuk “Guards from Poltava " (Military Publishing, 1965) (Russian)

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