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53rd Army (Soviet Union)

53rd Army
Active 1941-1945
Country Soviet Union
Branch Red Army
Size Army
Part of

I Formation
Central Asian Military District
II Formation
Northwestern Front
Steppe Front
2nd Ukrainian Front

Transbaikal Front

Demyansk Pocket
Battle of Kursk
Battle of Belgorod
Battle of the Dnieper
Battle of the Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket
Uman–Botoșani Offensive
Jassy-Kishinev Operation
Battle of Debrecen
Budapest Offensive
Prague Offensive

Soviet invasion of Manchuria
See List

The Soviet 53rd Army was a field army of Red Army, first formed in August 1941 before being disbanded four months later in December 1941. The army reformed the next year in May of 1942 and fought throughout World War II before being disbanded postwar in October 1945.[1]


  • First formation 1
    • Composition 1.1
  • Second formation 2
    • Composition 2.1
      • 1 May 1942 2.1.1
      • 1 July 1943 2.1.2
      • August 1945 2.1.3
  • Commanders 3
    • First formation 3.1
    • Second formation 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5

First formation

The 53rd Army was created in accordance with a STAVKA High Command directive on August 23, 1941. The 53rd Army's task was to occupy Iran[2] in August and September 1941, together with the British Army, in order to enhance shipment and transport of Allied Lend Lease war material from UK and US, through Iran, to the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). On 27 August, its units crossed the border and overcame resistance from Iranian border guards, advancing towards Mashad.[3] The 53rd Army was disbanded in December 1941.[4]


Second formation

The 53rd Army reformed on May 1, 1942 from divisions of the 34th Army[5] with the mission of fighting on the Northwestern Front.[4][1] Up to March 1943, it fought against the 16th Army in the Demyansk Offensive, where it unsuccessfully attempted to cut the Ramushevo corridor.[6][7][8] After the German breakout, the army was transferred to the Stavka reserve on March 22 before being transferred to the Reserve Front on April 10. On April 15, it was transferred to the Steppe Front, where it received new units and fought in the Battle of Kursk.[9][5] On 16 July 1942, its troops took defensive positions on the line from Podolhi to Podjarugi. The 53rd Army fought in the Battle of Belgorod, pushing back German troops from July 19 onwards.[9]

During August and September of 1943, the army fought in the Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive and the capture of eastern Ukraine.[10] Units of the 53rd Army advanced more than 200km and in conjunction with other armies captured Kharkov on 23 August[7] and Poltava a month later. On October 5, it reached the Dnieper. It forced the Dnieper and captured a bridgehead southeast of Kremenchug. Until mid-November, the army fought hard to retain its hold on the right bank.

The 53rd Army was transferred to the 2nd Ukrainian Front on 20 October and attacked on the Kirovohrad axis. By 24 December it had reached the line of Krasnosele and Znamianka, where it was stopped by German reserves. On 5 January 1944, the army resumed the attack and destroyed the German units. At the end of January, the army fought in the Korsun-Shevchenkovsky Offensive[7] and attacked in the direction of Zlatopol. During the Uman–Botoșani Offensive, the army captured Balta on 29 March and Kotovsk three days later. At the end of the offensive, the army captured a bridgehead on the Dniester near Dubăsari.[11]

The 53rd Army fought in the Jassy–Kishinev Offensive.[7] It attacked on the Focshany axis and entered Bucharest on 31 August.[7] At the end of September, the army was on the Hungarian border northeast of Arad.[7] In October, the division fought in the Battle of Debrecen.[7] In cooperation with the 1st Guards Mechanized Cavalry group, the army broke through the German defense, advancing 100 kilometers to the Tisza near Polgár.[12] During the Battle of Debrecen, army commander German Tarasov was killed on 19 October.[13] Between 7 and 10 November 1944, the army forced the Tisza during the Budapest Offensive north of Abádszalók. In conjunction with the 110th Guards Rifle Division and 3rd Guards Airborne Division of the 27th Army, the army captured Eger on 30 November.[14] The army then attacked on the Lučenec axis. At the end of February 1945, the army reached the Hron, where it went on the defensive.

During the Bratislava-Brno Operation, the army attacked. On 25 March, the 53rd Army crossed the Hron and later captured Vráble on 28 March, Nitra on 30 March, Hlohovec on 1 April, and Hodonín on 13 April. It captured Brno on 26 April along with the 6th Guards Tank Army and 1st Guards Cavalry Mechanized Group.[7] In the last days before the German surrender, it fought in the Prague Offensive.

From June to July, the 53rd Army was redeployed to Mongolia near Choibalsan. At the beginning of August, the 53rd Army was placed in the Transbaikal Front. It fought in the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation. It was disbanded in October 1945.


The 53rd Army was composed of the following units:[15]

1 May 1942

1 July 1943

August 1945


First formation

Second formation


  1. ^ a b "53-я АРМИЯ". Retrieved 2015-09-28. 
  2. ^ Feskov, V.I. (2003). The Red Army in the victories and defeats 1941-1945 (PDF). Tomsk: Tomsk University Press. p. 17. 
  3. ^ Farrokh, Kaveh (2011-12-20). Iran at War: 1500-1988. Osprey Publishing.  
  4. ^ a b "53-я армия". Retrieved 2015-09-28. 
  5. ^ a b Glantz, David M. (2001-09-01). The Military Strategy of the Soviet Union: A History. Psychology Press.  
  6. ^ Forczyk, Robert (2012-06-20). Demyansk 1942-43: The Frozen Fortress. Osprey Publishing.  
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Erickson, John (1999-01-01). Stalin's War with Germany: The road to Berlin. Yale University Press.  
  8. ^ "Великая Отечественная война, история, документы, воспоминания ветеранов 94-й гвардейской дивизии". Retrieved 2015-09-28. 
  9. ^ a b Glantz, David M. (2012-11-12). Soviet Military Deception in the Second World War. Routledge.  
  10. ^ Nipe, George M. (2014-05-14). Decision in the Ukraine: German Panzer Operations on the Eastern Front, Summer 1943. Stackpole Books.  
  11. ^ Glantz, David M. (2007-01-01). Red Storm Over the Balkans: The Failed Soviet Invasion of Romania, Spring 1944. University Press of Kansas.  
  12. ^ Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007-01-01). The German Defeat in the East, 1944-45. Stackpole Books.  
  13. ^ Maslov, Aleksander A.; Glantz, David M. (1998-01-01). Fallen Soviet Generals: Soviet General Officers Killed in Battle, 1941-1945. Psychology Press.  
  14. ^ Ungvary, Krisztian (2011-08-30). Battle for Budapest: 100 Days in World War II. I.B.Tauris.  
  15. ^ "Главная : Министерство обороны Российской Федерации". Retrieved 2015-09-28. 

External links

  • Boyevye dieystwa Sovietskoy armiy w Wielikoy Ochetesveonnoi vajnie 53-ja Armija
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