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The Soviet order of battle for the invasion of Poland in 1939 details the major combat units arrayed for the Soviet invasion of Poland on September 17, 1939. Joining battle after the Germans had already launched their attacks, the Soviets met little resistance and were prepared for battle.

Several fights between German and Soviet forces did occur, but neither government was prepared for starting a larger conflict, and these were soon referred to as "misunderstandings".[vague]

Like the Germans, the Soviets employed two primary offensive axes, each managed by a Front. Each Front commander had at his disposal a mobile group of forces created from cavalry and mechanised troops; a precursor of the cavalry-mechanised groups of the Second World War.

Situation after September 14, 1939 - the map also gives information on placement and movement of some Soviet troops

The effects of the purge are visible in the ranks of the commanders in the order of battle, with only one Army commander serving in the appropriate rank of the Army General, in this case 2nd Class (Komandarm 2nd rank, Russian: командарм 2 ранга), the rest serving in being Corps (Komcor) and Divisional (Komdiv) Commander rank Russian: комкор, комдив)

Belorussian Front

The Belorussian Front included four Armies and was the northern of the two fronts invading. Its commander was Komandarm 2nd rank Mikhail Kovalyov.

As of September 17, 1939, the Front included:

3rd Army

The 3rd Army (Komkor Kuznetsov) included one Corps and one operational group.

11th Army

The 11th Army (Komdiv Medvedev)

Cavalry-mechanised Group (Komkor Boldin)

10th Army

The 10th Army[2] (Komkor Zakharkin) comprised one corps.

4th Army

The 4th Army (Komdiv Vasily Chuikov)

24th Corps

  • 24th Corps
    • 52nd Rifle Division
    • Dnieper military flotilla

Ukrainian front

The Ukrainian Front covered the southern sector of the Polish front in 1939, and included three Armies, commanded by Komandarm 1st rank Semyon Timoshenko.

As of September 17, 1939, the Front included:

5th Army

The 5th Army (Komdiv Ivan Sovetnikov) comprised two corps.

6th Army

The 6th Army (Komcor Filipp Golikov) comprised two corps.

  • 2nd Cavalry Corps
  • 17th Corps
    • 96th Rifle Division
    • 97th Rifle Division
    • 10th Tank Brigade
    • 38th Tank Brigade

12th Army

The 12th Army (Komandarm Tulenev) comprised four corps.

Front Cavalry Group (from 28 September)

  • 25th Tank Corps (subordinated to 12th Army)
    • 4th Light Tank Brigade
    • 5th Tank Brigade
    • 1st Motor Rifle Brigade

See also


  1. Table 27 in
  2. Transferred from the Kalinin Military District


  • Meltyukhov M.I., Soviet-Polish wars. Military-political confrontation 1918-1939, Moscow, Veche, 2001. (Russian: Мельтюхов М.И. Советско-польские войны. Военно-политическое противостояние 1918-1939 гг. — М.: Вече, 2001.)[1]

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