144th Guards Motor Rifle Division
|144th Guards Motor Rifle Division|
|Part of||20th Guards Army|
|Engagements||World War II|
|Major General Nikolay Tereshchenko|
The 144th Guards Yelnya Red Banner Order of Suvorov Motor Rifle Division (Russian: 144-я гвардейская мотострелковая Ельнинская Краснознамённая, ордена Суворова дивизия) is a motorized infantry division of the Russian Ground Forces, reestablished in 2016 with its headquarters at Yelnya.
The division traces its lineage back to the 32nd Rifle Division (First formation) of the Soviet Union's Red Army, first formed in 1922 and converted into the 29th Guards Rifle Division in 1942 for its actions in the Battle of Moscow during World War II. Postwar, it was stationed in the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic and redesignated as the 36th Guards Mechanized Division in 1946 and the 36th Guards Motor Rifle Division in 1957. To perpetuate the lineage of the disbanded 8th Guards Motor Rifle Division, the 36th Guards was redesignated as the former and adopted its history in 1960. When the 8th Guards Motor Rifle Division was transferred to Central Asia in 1967, the 144th Motor Rifle Division was formed at Tallinn to replace it and redesignated as the 144th Guards Motor Rifle Division to inherit the traditions of the 36th Guards later that year.
After the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the Baltics following the Dissolution of the Soviet Union, the division became part of the Russian Ground Forces and was sent to Yelnya, where it was reduced to a storage base in 1993, which disbanded during the mid-2000s. As part of a Russian military buildup in the mid-2010s, the division was reformed as the 144th Motor Rifle Division in 2016 at Yelnya, and redesignated as the 144th Guards Motor Rifle Division to become the official successor of the previous formation of the same name in 2018.
World War II
The 32nd Division part in the battle of Moscow did not escape the notice of the Soviet high command and it was given the title 29th Guards Rifle Division and the 17th Rifle Regiment received the Order of the Red Banner. The next appearance of the division in battle was in the Ukraine in January 1944 with the 37th Army. Later that year it was moved to the Baltic area and was the first Soviet division into Riga. It ended the war as part of 10th Guards Army still in the Baltic region.
The 29th Guards Rifle Division was reorganised into the 36th Guards Mechanised Division, and then on 25 June 1957 the division became the 36th Guards Motor Rifle Division. Three years later, on 23 June 1960, the division was disbanded by being renamed the 8th Guards Rezhitskaya Order of Lenin Red Banner order of Suvorov Motorised Rifle Division "Major-General I.V. Panfilov".
On 18 February 1967, the 144th Motor Rifle Division was formed in Tallinn, Estonian SSR, Baltic Military District, replacing the 8th Guards Motor Rifle Division, which was about to transfer to Frunze, Kyrgyz SSR. Ten months later, on 23 December 1967, the division was given the traditions, honors and awards of the 36th Guards Motor Rifle Division, which had been disbanded in 1960. It was therefore renamed the 144th Guards Motor Rifle Division.
Holm 2015 and Feskov et al. 2013 list the regiments of the division in 1970 as follows:
- 254th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment (Tallinn, Estonian SSR) - from the 8th Guards Motor Rifle Division
- 482nd Motor Rifle Regiment (Klooga, Estonian SSR)
- 488th Motor Rifle Regiment (Klooga, Estonian SSR)
- 228th Tank Regiment (Keyla/Keila, Estonian SSR)
- 450th Artillery Regiment (Klooga, Estonian SSR)
- 1259th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment (Klooga, Estonian SSR)
Holm writes that the division was maintained as a Not Ready Division - Cadre Low Strength (US terms: Category III) - manning was 15% (2000 men).
Russian Ground Forces service
After the fall of the Soviet Union it was withdrawn to Yelnya, Yelninsky District, Smolensk Oblast in the Moscow Military District and was reorganised as the 4944th Base for Storage of Weapons and Equipment. It was planned that in a crisis it would be capable of being brought back to up to full division strength.
The 4944th Guards Weapons and Equipment Storage Base was disbanded in 2007.
The 144th Motor Rifle Division was reformed in 2016 as part of the 20th Guards Army. By a decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin on 30 June 2018, it inherited the lineage of the 29th Guards Rifle Division and its successors.
- Feskov et al 2013, p. 205.
- Holm, Michael. "8th Guards Motorised Rifle Division". www.ww2.dk. Retrieved 2016-07-01.
- Michael Holm, 144th Guards Motor Rifle Division, 2015.
- Nikolsky, Alexey (30 November 2016). "На границе с Украиной завершается развертывание новых дивизий" [Deployment of new divisions being completed on Ukrainian border]. Vedomosti (in Russian). Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- Shcherbakova, Marina (4 July 2018). "В традициях преданности Отечеству" [In the tradition of devotion to the Fatherland]. Krasnaya Zvezda (in Russian). Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- John Erickson The Road to Stalingrad: Stalin's War with Germany Phoenix Press, 2002. ISBN 1-84212-426-9
- Feskov, V.I.; Golikov, V.I.; Kalashnikov, K.A.; Slugin, S.A. (2013). Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской [The Armed Forces of the USSR after World War II: From the Red Army to the Soviet: Part 1 Land Forces] (in Russian). Tomsk: Scientific and Technical Literature Publishing. ISBN 9785895035306.