181st Rifle Division
The 181st Rifle Division was a division of the Red Army, active from 1940 to at least 1945.
It was formed in August–September 1940, after the accession of Latvia to the USSR, based on the Kurzeme and Vidzeme Divisions of the Latvian Army. Thus the division had non-standard, foreign models of equipment and weapons not usual for the Red Army. It became part of the 24th Rifle Corps. The personnel of the Division remained in Latvian army uniforms, but with differences showing they were now part of the Red Army. It was stationed in Riga.
It was part of the 'operational army' during World War II from 22 June 1941 to 16 October 1941.
From the beginning of the war desertion of Latvians began, and from June 29, 1941, according to some sources, they began their demobilization. More precisely, Latvians were simply released from house to house, previously disarmed - all more than 2,000 people (mostly from old time required). The division was completed with personnel of the interior regions of the USSR. The main body (about 30% of the total force) came from the central and southern areas of the current Pskov Oblast. However, the core personnel were Latvian. The combat training level of the Latvian Riflemen was quite high - many of them received awards and honors from the commanders in the war, including for their period of stay in the 181st Division.
The division was wiped out at Staraya Russa in September 1941.
The division was formally disbanded after defeat during Operation Barbarossa on 16 October 1941.
Organization in 1941
Organization of the division in 1941:
- 186th Rifle Regiment
- 195th Rifle Regiment
- 243rd Rifle Regiment
- 639th Light Artillery Regiment
- 640th Howitzer Artillery Regiment
- 16th Anti-Tank Battalion
- 186th Anti-Aircraft Battalion
- 113th Reconnaissance Battalion
- 296th Engineer Battalion
- 169th Signal Battalion
- 202nd Medical Battalion
- 29th Supply Battalion
- 257th Chemical Defense Company
- Poirer and Connor
- "Soviet Rifle Division, Nos. 150 - 199, 22 June 1941". www.niehorster.org. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
- Robert G. Poirier and Albert Z. Conner, The Red Army Order of Battle in the Great Patriotic War, Novato: Presidio Press, 1985. ISBN 0-89141-237-9. Poirer and Conner primarily used the wartime files of the German Foreign Armies East ('FHO') intelligence section, of which substantial sections are now held by the U.S. National Archives.
- Справочник на сайте клуба «Память» Воронежского госуниверситета
- Перечень № 5 стрелковых, горнострелковых, мотострелковых и моторизованных дивизий, входивших в состав действующей армии в годы Великой Отечественной войны[permanent dead link]
- Central Archive of the Russian Ministry of Defence (TsAMO RF) 873, 3455.
- В.Терентьев — История 181-й стрелковой дивизии РККА. СПб; Нестор, 2006. 100 с.
- В.Терентьев — Девять дней 1941 года. СПб; Нестор, 2008. 84 с.