3rd Mechanised Corps

Updated September 29, 2006

Later I hope to give structure of this Mechanised Corps. Now only brief info is available here
upStrength on June 20'41 [1]
  KV-1 KV-2 T-34 T-28*5 BT-7 T-26 OT-26 Total BA-10 BA-20 Total
Armored Cars
HQ - - - - - - - - 5 5 10
2th TD 32*1 19*2 - 27 116 19 12 252*6 63 27 90
5th TD - - 50*3 *4 30 170 18 - 268 56 20 76
84th MD - - - - 145 4 - 149 42 6 48
Total 32 19 50 57 431 41 12 669*7 166 58 224

*1 - All KV-1s were equipped with L-11 76mm gun.

*2 - All KV-2s were of Mod. 1940 with MT-1 gun installation.

*3 - 30 line T-34s and 20 equipped with radio. All T-34 with F-34 guns.

*5 - All T-28 were worned-out. Only 15 vehicles were operable.

*6 - Probably typo and must be 225.

*7 - Probably typo and must be 642. In the table below just 642 tanks are mentioned.


upCorps Strength [1]
  HQ* 2nd TD 5th TD 84th MD Total
Manpower 2396 9382 9670 10653 32101
Small Arms
7,62 mm rifles & carbines mod. 1891/30 3289 5409 5170 5874 19742
Sniper rifles - 45 45 306 396
7.62 mm SVT-40 self-loading rifles - 976 972 465 3413*1
"PPD" Submachineguns 62 538 507 4 1111
7.62 light machine-guns ("DP") 111 174 162 320 767
7.62mm "Maxim" heavy machine-guns 14 36 36 116 202
7.62mm "DS" heavy machine-guns - - - - -
12.7mm "DShK" machine-guns - 6 6 12 24
7.62 quadrupled "Maxim" AA mountings 4 11 11 8 34
50mm mortars 27 27 27 58 140*2
82mm mortars - 18 18 12 48
45mm AT guns mod. 1932&1937 8 - - 31 39
76mm guns mod. 1927 4 4 4 11 23
76mm divisional guns mod. 1936 & 1939 (F-22, F-22USV) - - - 8 8
122mm howitzers mod. 1910/30 - - 10 17 27
122mm howitzers mod. 1938 (M-30) - 8 12 - 20
152mm howitzers mod. 1938 (M-10) - 12 12 - 24
37mm AA guns - 12 12 8 32
76mm AA guns ("3K") - - - 4 4
Passenger cars 17 26 26 22 91
Trucks 119 1098 762 857 2836
Special automobiles 33 248 323 178 782
Tractors 19 170 168 68 425
Motorcycles 253 37 46 34 370
Tanks - 252 268 149 642
Armored Cars 10 90 76 48 224

Rem. Data is given for small arms and artillery on June 1'41. For vehicles on June 20'41.

*-Units directly subordinated to the Corps HQ.

*1 - Probably typo. Must be 2413;

*2 - Probably typo. Must be 139;

According to [2] the 3rd Mechanised Corps on July 2 didn't exist.


Following the same document we can see:

"On June 22 troops of the 3rd Mechcorps occupied the next starting positions:

From 4:15 to 9 AM troops were under attacks of enemy aviation and by the end of the day the 5th Tank Division was surrounded.

At night on June 23'41 the 5th Tank division together with remained 38 tanks and howitzer regiment broke through the encirclement and concentrated in forests 10-15 km east from Vilnius. On June 24 was surrounded and dispersed.

Remained soldiers and commanders appeared only on June 26'41 in Polotsk and on June 30'41 in Pskov area.

All fighting vehicles are lost. Remained staff and wheeled vehicles collects in Pskov and Polotsk areas...


From the morning June 24 the 2nd Tank Division and 84th Motorised Division accompanied with the 12th Mechcorps were ordered to attack enemy in Rossieny, Taurage direction.

The 2nd Tank Division at 11:30 reached Rossieny and started fight with enemy, annihilated the 100th Motorised (Rifle) Regiment, 40 tanks and 18 guns of the enemy*1, but was surrounded itself and there are no further data about it.

Now its remains are gathered in Pskov & Polotsk areas like the 5th Tank Division.

The 84th Motorised Division at 10:00 June 23'41 reached forests 8-10 km east from Kovno (rem. AMVAS - Kaunas), became a subject of heavy aviation bombardement. Later it was surrounded and fought in surrounding until June 25. no data about it. In different settlements separate soldiers could be met from this unit."


*1 - It was the 114th Motorised Regiment. Germans claimed much less losses. However they often counted only totally destroyed tanks as lost, so the number of 40 hit tanks could be rather close to reality.


From [3] we can see:

At 16:00 its command was ordered to redeploy to Rassenyaj area ready to attack broke through enemy forces. An hour later regiments started march. By the end of daylight they reached Ionava. The advanced guard 4th Tank Regiment stopped because of large traffic of refugees. The 3rd Tank Regiment, which followed it changed its route and proceeded across Njaris river using byroads to Ionava-Rassaniaj-Tilsit direction. During this march division had no losses form aviation.

In the morning June 23 the division was engaged into heavy fights against the 6th Pz. Div. The 2nd Motorised Rifle Regiment covered deployment in battle array of tank regiments. Soon the division was outflanked from the left side. Situation was fixed by 6 tanks (probably KVs) of the 3rd TR, which hit two German tanks and forced the other 7 to retreat.

At 11:30 troops of the 2nd TD forced the "Sekedorf" operative group to leave bridgehead on Dubissa river and crossed it developing counter-offensive against Rassenyaj.

At the noon division started short-range attacks. Tank regiments moved 3-4 km forward and waited for infantry. As the width of attack didn't exceed 10km very large concentration of tanks was achieved. But they were stopped by heavy anti-tank fire of Germans. this day the 2nd TD performed 6 attacks.

On June 24 division tried to parry german pressure against their positions. In the evening it was enveloped from the north by the 1st Pz. Division and from the south by the 269th Inf. Division.

In the evening of June 25 commander of the 2nd TD Gen. Solyankin ordered to break through the encirclement. that time division was much understrengthened. On June 26 divisional and corps HQs protected only by motorcycle regiment were attacked by Germans and got much casualties. Commander of the 2nd TD was killed.

The corps commander (Gen. Kurkin) ordered to destroy all tanks (that time amount of tanks didn't exceed 10) and vehicles and to break through the encirclement. It took about 2 months for this group to reach the frontline and successfully cross it.

Later the 8th Tank Brigade of P.A. Rotmistrov was formed based on this group.


Directly before June 22 the division left its previous location and redeployed to the forests. On winter quarters were left only supplement units and defective vehicles (among them 27-33 T-28 tanks).

The 5th Artillery Regiment since spring was in camps (in Orany area).

The division was thrown against German troops (7th,20th Pz. Div.) had broken through the positions of the 128th Rifle Division and moving towards Alitus. In fact prior to the war this division was subordinated directly to the 11th Army's HQ. Officially this was accepted only at 9:30 June 22.

The division had mission to protect joint between the Western and North-western fronts. When at 11:37 Alitus was attacked by german aviation division had almost no losses except its pontoon unit, which lost almost all vehicles.

The division managed to move only a weak avant-guard to the west. Units of the 10th Tank Regiment crushed German recon detachment 3km to the west from Alitus. The bridges across Neman river were protected by the 5th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion. It successfully parried aircraft attacks, but soon needed to turn its guns against German tanks. Commander of the 5th TD Colonel Fyodorov managed to supply it only with one motorised rifle battalion reinforced with artillery from the 5th Motorised Rifle Regiment. The stopped for some time German advance (5th SAABn claimed 14 hit tanks, 5th MRR - 16), but soon all soviet guns and tanks there were destroyed by the means of German aviation and artillery. Germans managed to capture both bridges across Neman. Soviet side planned to explode both bridges at 14:00.

German troops on the eastern riverside immediately were attacked by the 9th and 10th Tank Regiments. The 9th TR operated against the northern and the 10th - southern bridges. Attack against the northern bridgehead was performed by the 2/9 TR lead by Starshiy Lt. Verzhbitskiy supported by 1/9 TR (T-28 tanks), and against the southern bridgehead - units of the 10th TR of Capt. Novikov. they claimed about 30 hit German tanks.

In heavy fights of that day division got large casualties - 90 tanks. The most ones had the 9th TR (27 T-34, 16 T-28, 30 BT-7). Large percent of those losses was due to aviation attacks.

That time troops of the division were outflanked from the south by the 7th Pz. Division and had the 20th Pz. Division from the front.

Until 7AM June 23 two battalions of the 5th MRR performed fights against German landing party captured Alitus airfield. Capturing of those was only local success. Remains of the regiment managed to to break away, but couldn't unite with the main forces. It broke through to Byelorussian forests and after long traveling north from Borisov and Lepel managed to cross the frontline.

In the morning June 23 the large tank battle proceeded. In those fights division lost 70-90 tanks and having lack of ammo and fuel was forced to retreat in Vilnius direction. Division lost integrity and its main forces consisted of the 9th TR. remained troops of the division (including remains of the 5th HAR, and antiaircraft artillery probably from the 12th AA brigade PVO) took defensive positions in the western part of Vilnius, but soon was forced to leave the town retreating to Oshmyany.

According to the report of the division commander to the commander of the 13th Army on June 24 division took the eastern and southern parts of Vilnius having lost up to 70% manpower, 150 tanks, 15 guns and 50% wheeled vehicles.

Dispersed troops of the division could be found in Polotsk (June 26) and Pskov (June 30) areas. One howitzer towed by STZ prime-mover even managed to reach Minsk. By the end of June 24 detachment of the division having 15 tanks, 20 armored cars and 9 guns together with the division commander found themselves in Molodechno area. It was subordinated to the 13th Army HQ. All combat vehicles were united in the group under Colonel I.P Verkov's command. It was ordered to attack together with battalion of Vilnius cadets and 84th NKVD Rifle Regiment Germans moving from Oshmyany to Molodechno

The attack was performed in the morning June 25. Detachment of Capt. Novikov managed to hit not less than 5 German tanks and about 10 automobiles. Detachment of Col. Verkov caught heavy antitank fire and managed to escape from encirclement having only 2 tanks and 3 armored cars.

Opersvodka of the Western Front HQ No. 7, 22:00 June 25 remains of the 5th Tank Division (3 tanks 12 armored cars, 40 automobiles) is mentioned 5 km SW from Molodechno.

On June 26 remains of the division retreated to Novo-Borisov. The 5th HAR (5 guns) took positions on its western outskirts.

By June 29 remains of the division were redeployed to Yelnia area. On July 4 its strength was 2552 men, 2 BT-7 tanks, 4 armored cars. Later it was disbanded.


By the noon of June 22 it was removed from the 3rd Mechcorps and carrying out order of the 11th Army HQ moved from the Kajshadoris forests in Kaunas direction. The march was performed on trucks using byroads at a very low speed. By the end of the day it was deployed along Nevjazis river from Labunovo to the point where it flows into the Neman protecting Kaunas form the north-east. A part of it (some units from the 201st MRR and 1/41 MRR) on June 22 were in Vilnius garrison duty and were permitted to leave it only in the second half of the day June 22.

On June 23 division commander found division to be outflanked from the south. In the evening division left positions and moved in Ionava direction. On June 24, or 25 the 41st MMR after weak artillery preparatory bombardment tried to attack Ionava. Having got large casualties some its units took to flight. Large amount of vehicles were abandoned while crossing of Vilia river.

On June 26, the 46th TR/84th MR was attached to the 33rd Rifle Division assaulting Ionava. Having met strong antitank fire units of the regiment were forced to return to initial positions. Having large casualties in Ionava area remains of the division retreated and joint with the 16th Rifle Corps/11th Army were escaping from surrounding in Polotsk direction.

The Vilnius group of troops (deployed there on June 22-23) from the 84th MD under Col. G.A. Belousov command (~3000 men with 6 guns) retreated to Daugavpils (Dvinsk) area, where was included in the united detachment of Gen. S.D. Akimov.

On July 16 was reorganized into 84th Rifle Division


AA- antiaircraft

AT- antitank

HQ - Headquarters

Fl. - Flame thrower

MD - Motorised Division

MRR - Motorised Rifle Regiment

PVO - Antiaircraft Defense

SAABn - Separate Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion

TD - Tank Division

TBn - Tank Battalion

  1. Maxim Kolomiets, "1941. Boi v Pribaltike", Frontovaja Illyustratsiya, 5/2002
  2. Boyevoye Doneseniye No.1, HQ North-western Front, July 2, 1941, 24:00// Sbornik boyevykh dokumentov vol. 34, Moscow, Voyennoye Izdatelstvo Ministerstva Oborony, 1958
  3. E. Drig, "Mekhanizirovannye korpusa RKKA v boyu", AST, Moscow, 2005