62nd Army (Soviet Union)
The 62nd Order of Lenin
Order of Lenin
The Order of Lenin , named after the leader of the Russian October Revolution, was the highest decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union...

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 the Second World War. Formed as the 7th Reserve Army as part of the 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 in May 1942, the formation was designated as the 62nd Rifle Army the following month. After an epic combat performance in the Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943...

, the 62nd Army was granted Guards
Russian Guards
Guards or Guards units were and are elite military units in Imperial Russia, Soviet Union and the Russian Federation. The tradition goes back to the retinue of a knyaz of medieval Kievan Rus' and the streltsy, the Muscovite harquebusiers formed by Ivan the Terrible by 1550...

 status and renamed the 8th Guards Army in April 1943.


The 7th Reserve Army was formed 28 May 1942 as part of the RVGK (Stavka Reserve). Within one month, this force had been designated the 62nd Rifle Army. From July 1942 until March 1943, the 62nd Army, under the command of General Vasily Chuikov
Vasily Chuikov
Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov was a Russian lieutenant general in the Red Army during World War II, twice Hero of the Soviet Union , who after the war became a Marshal of the Soviet Union.-Early life and career:Born into a peasant family in the village of Serebryanye Prudy, he joined the Red Army during...

, fought in the Battle of Stalingrad. 62nd Army conducted an epic defense of the city's center that repeated and desperate attacks by the German 6th Army were unable to overcome. The Army, along with the 64th Army, was operating under the Soviet Stalingrad Front
Stalingrad Front
The Stalingrad Front was a front of the Soviet Union's Red Army during the Second World War. The name indicated the primary geographical region in which the Front first fought, based on the city of Stalingrad on the Volga River....

. After the German assault at Stalingrad had come to utter disaster, the 62nd Army was uniquely awarded the Order of Lenin, and granted Guards status while also being renamed the 8th Guards Army.

On 13 September 1942 the Army composition was:
33rd, 35th Guards, 87th, 98th, 112th, 131st, 196th, 229th, 244th, 315th, 399th Rifle Divisions
10th, 38th, 42nd, 115th, 124th, 129th, 149th Rifle Brigades
23rd Tank Corps
20th Tank Destroyer Brigade
115th Fortified Region
twelve artillery and mortar regiments

(Note: 33rd Guards, 87th and 229th rifle divisions were in the process of being brought up to strength; 131st and 399th rifle divisions were held in the second echelon of the Army.)

On 1 November 1942 during the height of the Battle of Stalingrad, the 62nd Army commanded the 13th, 37th, and 39th Guards Rifle Divisions, the 45th
45th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)
The 45th Rifle Division was a Red Army infantry division formed originally during the Russian Civil War that fought in World War II and then served through the Cold War in the Leningrad Military District....

, 95th, 112th, 138th, 193rd
193rd Rifle Division (Soviet Union)
The 193rd Tank Division was originally a Red Army infantry division that was reorganised after World War II as a mechanised and finally a tank division of the Soviet Army.- 1st Formation :...

, 284th and 308th Rifle Divisions, the 42nd, 92nd, 115th, 124th, 149th, and 160th Rifle Brigades, the 84th Tank and 2nd Motor Rifle Brigades, the 115th Fortified Region, and 20 regiments of howitzer, gun, antitank, mortar, rocket, and anti-aircraft artillery among other support units. Many of these formations were burnt-out shells by the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, with many formations reduced to hundreds of men.

Second World War Commanders

  • Jul 1942 to Aug 1942: Major General V. Ia. Kolpackchi
  • Aug 1942 to Sep 1942: Lieutenant General A. I. Lopatin
  • Sep 1942 to Apr 1943: Lieutenant General V. I. Chuikov
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