1st Shock Army
The 1st Shock Army was a field army
Army (Soviet Army)
An army, besides the generalized meanings of ‘a country's armed forces’ or its ‘land forces’, is a type of formation in militaries of various countries, including the Soviet Union. This article serves a central point of reference for Soviet armies without individual articles, and explains some of...

 established by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

's Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

The 1st Shock Army was created in late 1941 and fought in the northern areas of Russia and the Baltic States
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

 until the defeat of Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 in 1945. The Army was created in accordance with prewar doctrine that called for Shock
Shock troops
Shock troops or assault troops are formations created to lead an attack. "Shock troop" is a loose translation of the German word Stoßtrupp...

 Armies to 'overcome difficult defensive dispositions in order to create a tactical penetration of sufficient breadth and depth to permit the commitment of mobile formations for deeper exploitation.' However, as the war went on, Shock Armies lost this specific role and reverted, in general, to ordinary frontline formations.


The 1st Shock Army was formed as part of the RVGK (Stavka
Stavka was the term used to refer to a command element of the armed forces from the time of the Kievan Rus′, more formally during the history of Imperial Russia as administrative staff and General Headquarters during late 19th Century Imperial Russian armed forces and those of the Soviet Union...

 reserve) at Zagorsk (now Sergiyev Posad
Sergiyev Posad
Sergiyev Posad is a city and the administrative center of Sergiyevo-Posadsky District of Moscow Oblast, Russia. It grew in the 15th century around one of the greatest of Russian monasteries, the Trinity Lavra established by St. Sergius of Radonezh. The town status was granted to it in 1742...

) in the Moscow Military District
Moscow Military District
The Moscow Military District was a military district of the Soviet Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. In 2010 it was merged with the Leningrad Military District, the Northern Fleet and the Baltic Fleet to form the new Western Military District.-History:In the beginning of...

 in November 1941. Taking part in the Battle of Moscow
Battle of Moscow
The Battle of Moscow is the name given by Soviet historians to two periods of strategically significant fighting on a sector of the Eastern Front during World War II. It took place between October 1941 and January 1942. The Soviet defensive effort frustrated Hitler's attack on Moscow, capital of...

 in December 1941, on 1 December the Army consisted of the 133rd Rifle Division, 29th, 44th, 47th, 50th, 55th, 56th, 71st, and 84th Rifle Brigades, 17th Cavalry Division, two tank battalions, an artillery regiment of the Stavka reserve, and other support units. All the rifle brigades were formed from the naval personnel of the Pacific Fleet.

1st Shock Army was then airlifted to Staraya Russa
Staraya Russa
Staraya Russa is a town in Novgorod Oblast, Russia, located south of Veliky Novgorod. It is a wharf on the Polist River in the Lake Ilmen basin. It serves as the administrative center of Starorussky District, although administratively it is not a part of it...

 and fought at Demyansk
Demyansk Pocket
The Demyansk Pocket was the name given for the encirclement of German troops by the Red Army around Demyansk , south of Leningrad, during World War II on the Eastern Front. The pocket existed mainly from 8 February-21 April 1942. A much smaller pocket was simultaneously surrounded in Kholm, about ...

 in 1942. Fighting in the north-central areas of the front, the 1st Shock Army again fought near Staraya Russa in 1944. From 1942 through 1944, the army took part in many attacks such as the Leningrad–Novgorod
Leningrad–Novgorod Offensive
The Leningrad-Novgorod strategic offensive, also known as the Krasnoye Selo–Ropsha Offensive during World War II was launched by the Red Army on with an attack on the German Army Group North by the Soviet 2nd Pribaltiysky, Volkhov and Leningrad army fronts...

, Pskov-Ostrov, Tartu, and Riga
Riga Offensive (1944)
The Riga Offensive The Riga Offensive The Riga Offensive (known in was part of the larger Baltic Offensive on the Eastern Front during World War II. It took place late in 1944, and drove German forces from the city of Riga.-Prelude:...

 offensives. Fighting through the Baltic States, the 1st Shock Army finished the war as part of the Courland
Courland is one of the historical and cultural regions of Latvia. The regions of Semigallia and Selonia are sometimes considered as part of Courland.- Geography and climate :...

 Group of Forces that had trapped the German
Courland Pocket
The Courland Pocket referred to the Red Army's blockade or encirclement of Axis forces on the Courland peninsula during the closing months of World War II...

 Army Group Kurland in the northern reaches of Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...


In May 1945, the 1st Shock Army commanded four Rifle Corps
Rifle corps (Soviet)
A rifle corps was a Soviet military organization of the mid-twentieth century. Rifle corps were made up of a varying number of rifle divisions, although the allocation of three rifle divisions to a rifle corps was common during the latter part of World War II.Unlike army corps formed by Germany...

: the 1st (306th, 344th, and 357th Rifle Divisions), 8th Estonian
8th Estonian Rifle Corps
The 8th 'Estonian' Rifle Corps was a formation in the Soviet Army, created on 6 November 1942, during World War II. The 8th 'Estonian' Rifle Corps 1st...

7th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)
The 7th Rifle Division was a infantry division of the Soviet Union's Red Army, formed five separate times from 1918 to 1955. The division was first formed in September 1918 at Vladimir in the Moscow Military District....

 and 249th Estonian Rifle Divisions), 119th (201st, 360th and 374th Rifle Divisions), and 123rd (21st Guards & 376th Rifle Divisions), totalling ten rifle divisions. The 1st Shock Army had by that point been strongly reinforced with three artillery divisions, a corps artillery brigade, a tank brigade, and seven regiments of tanks and assault guns.

1st Shock Army was disbanded by being redesignated Headquarters Turkestan Military District
Turkestan Military District
The Turkestan Military District was a military district of both the Imperial Russian Army and the Soviet Armed Forces, with its headquarters at Tashkent. The District was first created during the 1874 Russian military reform when by order of Minister D.A. Milyutinym the territory of Russia was...

 on 9 July 1945.

Second World War Commanders

  • Nov 1941 to May 1942: Lieutenant General V. I. Kuznetsov
    Vasily Kuznetsov (general)
    Vasily Ivanovich Kuznetsov was a Soviet General and a Hero of the Soviet Union.-Early life:...

  • May 1942 to Nov 1942: Lieutenant General V. Z. Romanovsky
  • Nov 1942 to Feb 1943: Lieutenant General V. I. Morozov
  • Feb 1943 to Apr 1944: Lieutenant General G. P. Korotkov
  • Apr 1944 to May 1944: Colonel General N. E. Chibisov
  • May 1944 to Jan 1945: Lieutenant General N. D. Zakhvataev
  • Feb 1945 to May 1945: Lieutenant General V. N. Razuvaev

Article Sources

  • Born, Keith E. (ed.) Slaughterhouse. Bedford: Aberjona Press, 2005. ISBN 0-9717650-9-X.
  • Glantz, David M. Companion to Colossus Reborn. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2005. ISBN 0-7006-1359-5.
  • Poirier, Robert G., and Conner, Albert Z. The Red Army Order of Battle in the Great Patriotic War. Novato: Presidio Press, 1985. ISBN 0-89141-237-9.

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