1st Red Banner Army

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1st Coastal Army
1st Red Banner Army
Active 1938–1959
Country  Soviet Union
Branch Red Army flag.svg Red Army
Type Infantry
Size three to six divisions
Part of Front or Military District
Engagements Invasion of Manchuria
Andrey Yeremenko

The 1st Red Banner Army was a Red Army field army of World War II that served in the Russian Far East.


The 1st Army was created in July 1938 under the name of the 1st Coastal Army (or, depending on translation, 1st Maritime Army) in the Far East. Previously the Special Far Eastern Army had been the theatre command in the Far East, but 'with the conclusion of the lake Khasan (Changkufeng) fighting against the Japanese and with the murder of Marshal Blyukher, Stalin abolished this command and established two armies in its place. The army was made responsible for the Ussuri area with its headquarters at Voroshilov' (now Ussuriysk).[1] It was soon renamed the 1st Separate Red Banner Army.[2] Its initial commander was the later Marshal of the Soviet Union, Andrei Yeremenko. Several border skirmishes between the Red Army and the Imperial Japanese Army, such as the Battle of Halhin Gol took place until, in July 1940, two years after its formation, the 1st Coastal Army was renamed the 1st Red Banner Army in the far east. When Yeremenko arrived in early 1941, the Army was responsible for all the frontier between Vladivostok and Khabarovsk; on 18 March 1941, the 25th Army was established to cover the southern sector.

Order of Battle

22 June 1941

The official Soviet archives list the composition of the Army on 22 June 1941:[3]

9 Aug 1945

  • 26th Rifle Corps
  • 59th Rifle Corps

6 Rifle Divisions, 6 rifle divisions, 3 tank brigades (75th, 77th, 257th), 3 SP regiments, 6 SP battalions, 1 heavy tank/SP gun regiment, 5 artillery brigades.

August Storm

Until the war's end in 1945, the 1st Red Banner Army covered some of the long far eastern borders of the Soviet Union. In August 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and the Soviet Far East Front attacked into Japanese-occupied Manchuria, as part of the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, led by Marshal of the Soviet Union Aleksandr Vasilevsky. The area the Army was to operate through was mountainous, rugged taiga, and it was specifically tailored to the conditions it would face, in common with the other formations earmarked for the operation. The Army's forces at the beginning of the offensive included 26th and 59th Rifle Corps, 6 rifle divisions, 3 tank brigades (75th, 77th, 257th), 3 SP regiments, 6 SP battalions, 1 heavy tank/SP gun regiment, 5 artillery brigades, and 410 tanks/SP guns and 1,413 guns/mortars.[4] The 6th and 112th Fortified Regions also formed part of the Army. The First Army's attack was aimed at northern Manchukuo.

1st Red Banner Army was disbanded in 1959 while stationed at Ussuriysk as part of the Primorskiy Military District.[5] 1st Red Banner Army should not be confused with the 1st Reserve Army that was made part of the Stalingrad Front in June 1942 and redesignated the 64th Army.



  1. John Erickson, Road to Stalingrad, 2003 edition, p.56
  2. Keith E. Bonn (ed), Slaughterhouse: The Handbook of the Eastern Front, Aberjona Press, Bedford, PA, 2005, p.307
  3. Combat Composition of the Soviet Army, 22 June 1941 and Orbat.com/Niehorster, Administrative Order of Battle, 1st Army, 22 June 1941
  4. David Glantz, August Storm: The Soviet 1945 Strategic Offensive in Manchuria, CGSC
  5. Feskov et al., The Soviet Army during the Period of the Cold War, Tomsk, 2004, p.40
  6. Biography of Army General Afanasii Pawlantevich Beloborodov – (Афанасий Павлантьевич Белобородов)