Soviet order of battle for invasion of Poland in 1939

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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 surprise attack on Poland on September 17, 1939. As a result of joining battle after the Germans had already launched their invasion, the Soviets, prepared for battle in secrecy, met comparatively limited resistance. Several skirmishes between the German and Soviet forces did occur, but neither government was prepared for starting a larger conflict, and these were soon referred to as "misunderstandings".[1]

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:

  • The 3rd Army (under Komkor Kuznetsov) consisting of one Corps and one operational group.
  1. 4th Rifle Corps
    1. 27th Rifle Division
    2. 50th Rifle Division
  2. Lepelska Group (staging area in and around the city of Lepiel)
    1. 5th Rifle Division
    2. 24th Cavalry Division
    3. 22nd Tank Brigade
    4. 25th Tank Brigade
According to, the 3rd Army also included the 150th Rifle Division (in Odessa Military District as third echelon)
  1. 16th Corps
    1. 2nd Rifle Division
    2. 100th Rifle Division
  2. 3rd Cavalry Corps
    1. 7th Cavalry Division
    2. 36th Cavalry Division
    3. 6th Tank Brigade
  1. 5th Corps.[1]
    1. 4th Rifle Division
    2. 13th Rifle Division
  2. 6th Cavalry Corps
    1. 4th Cavalry Division
    2. 6th Cavalry Division
    3. 11th Cavalry Division
  3. 15th Tank Corps
    1. 2nd Tank Brigade
    2. 21st Tank Brigade
    3. 27th Tank Brigade
    4. 20th Motorised Rifle Brigade
  1. 11th Corps
    1. 6th Rifle Division
    2. 33rd Rifle Division
    3. 121st Rifle Division
  1. 8th Rifle Division
  2. 29th Tank Brigade
  3. 32nd Tank Brigade
  1. 52nd Rifle Division
  2. Dnieper 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:

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Organization of the Soviet Armies in the Invasion of Poland 17 September 1939[4]
  1. 15th Rifle Corps
    1. 45th Rifle Division
    2. 60th Rifle Division
    3. 87th Rifle Division
  2. 8th Rifle Corps
    1. 44th Rifle Division
    2. 81st Rifle Division
    3. 36th Tank Brigade
  1. 2nd Cavalry Corps
    1. 3rd Cavalry Division
    2. 5th Cavalry Division
    3. 14th Cavalry Division
    4. 24th Light Tank Brigade
  2. 17th Rifle Corps
    1. 96th Rifle Division
    2. 97th Rifle Division
    3. 10th Tank Brigade
    4. 38th Tank Brigade
  1. 13th Corps
    1. 72nd Rifle Division
    2. 99th Rifle Division
  • Front Cavalry Group (from 28 September)
  1. 4th Cavalry Corps
    1. 32nd Cavalry Division
    2. 34th Cavalry Division
    3. 26th Independent Tank Brigade
  2. 5th Cavalry Corps
    1. 9th Cavalry Division
    2. 16th Cavalry Division
    3. 23rd Independent Tank Brigade
  1. 4th Light Tank Brigade
  2. 5th Tank Brigade
  3. 1st Motor Rifle Brigade

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Table 27 in Сентябрь 1939 года. Война с запада (Russian)
  2. Bochka i obruchi ili Kogda nachalas' Velikaya Otechestvennaya voyna? (Chasti 1,2) Электронная библиотека
  3. Transferred from the Kalinin Military District.
  4. "Soviet Armies, Invasion of Poland, 17 September 1939" (PDF). United States Army Combined Arms Research Library.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • 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]pl:Http://Armia_Czerwona_17_września_1939