9th Mechanised Corps

Combat Records (1941)

UpdatedJuly 15, 2009


1. Having received orders from the Military Council of the Kiev Military District (KOVO) and a telegram from the People's Commissariat of Defense (NKO) No. ____ the units of the Corps were ordered to relocate into a new area and to concentrate to the west of ZDOLBUNOVO and ROVNO. Further movement was foreseen towards LUTSK.

2. Between 22-26.6, the Corps marched approximately 150-175km. The Corps was unable to carry out the assigned task of reaching LUTSK. While marching, the Corps received orders from 5th Army command to move off in a south-westerly direction towards DUBNO for the purpose of arriving on the flank of the advancing enemy tank forces.

3. While carrying out these orders, Corps units began engaging enemy forces already on the morning of 25.6.
As ordered by 5th Army command, the 131st Motorised Division detached itself from the Corps and moved up towards LUTSK for the purpose of preventing the enemy from crossing the river STYR'. In the process, the division encountered the enemy along a line extending from LIPOVEN and VYSHKUV into the eastern environs of LUTSK. In expanding upon their success in the LUTSK-ROVNO sector, the enemy endeavoured to push the division back in an easterly direction. As a reasult, the division became engaged in bitter fighting along the line XXX-TEREMNO-KOL. PIDGAITSY.
After strong artillery preparations, the enemy launched an attack on the morning of 28.6, pursing active operations in the KURGANY - KOL. VYSHKUV sector, with the intention of falling upon the division's flank and surrounding the 743rd Motorised Regiment.
The enemy successfully surrounded the 743rd Motorised Regiment in a forested area south-east of KOL. TEREMNO. Strong counter-attacks, however, on the part of the 193rd Rifle Division and part of the 131st Motorised Division allowed the the regiment to escape and join up with the 593rd Motorized Regiment for combined operations. By the evening of 28.6, the division had consolidated its position along a wooded line east of NOVOE TEREMNO, KOL. DOMBROVO and the river VYSOKA GURA.
In the fighting for LUTSK, the division lost some 30% of its personnel, 32 tanks, 12 armoured cars and 15 motor vehicles, while destroying some 2 battalions of enemy motorized infantry.
Commencing at 3.00 27.6, small groups of the enemy waiting in ambush began firing upon columns of the 20th Tank Division as the latter neared PETUSHKOV on its way to MLYNUV. At 7.00 27.6, the 39th and 40th Tank Regiments began an assault upon PETUSHKUV. The enemy rendered stubborn resistance with strong artillery, sub-machine gun and mortar fire from PETUSHKUV and DOLGOSHEI.
Elements of the division fought for possession of PETUSHKUV and DOLGOSHEI for the balance of the day, while the enemy attempted to disperse the division and surround parts of it by the means of small groups. By the end of the day, facing the prospect of havings its flank turned and being surrounded, the division withdrew northwards to the woods near KLEVAN'. By 17.00 28.6, the division arrived at the woods north of KLEVAN' STATION, and occupied a defensive position along the southern edge of the woods in the sector M. KLEVAN' and KLEVAN' STATION.
In the fighting near PETUSHKUV and DOLGOSHEI, the division lost some 100 men killed and wounded and some 150 missing.
The division also lost 5 BT-5 tanks, 5 152mm guns, 6 transport vehicles and 2 armoured cars to enemy artillery fire near POLGORTSE.
The enemy lost around a battalion of motorized infantry with their vehicles, along with with the dispersal and partial destruction of the staff of an unidentified unit belonging to the 75th Sabotage Division [диверсионная дивизия - probably the 75th Infantry Division - skoblin]. An infantry attack dispatched 15 enemy tanks and 15 light vehicles.

After marching along the motor road to KLEVAN', the 35th Tank Division came into contact with the enemy along the line KOL. MALIN – UYEZDTSE.
On 27.6, the division received orders to withdraw to a new sector and during the night of 28.6 marched off, occupying defensive positions in a section of forest south of ROMASHKOVSKA and along the southern edge of the woods to the west of M. KLEVAN'. The division held onto these positions until 30.6, but did not engage in active operations.
Losses suffered by elements of the Corps for the period 22.6 – 1.7
131st Motorised Division:
killed - 18 officers, 51 NCOs, 274 soldiers
wounded – 18 officers, 40 NCOs, 707 soldiers
missing – 41 officers, 89 NCOs, 808 soldiers
20th Tank Division:
killed: 14 officers, 5 NCOs, 62 soldiers
wounded: 25 officers, 3 NCOs, 119 soldiers
missing: 112 officers, 152 NCO's, 690 soldiers
35th Tank Division:
killed: 3 officers, 1 NCO, 7 soldiers
wounded: 2 officers, 3 soldiers

Enemy tactics during this period have been characterized by the use of small groups of motorised infantry, tanks and motorcyclists, which are organizing ambushes and attempting to filter through the contact points between units for the purpose of severing inter-unit cooperation and control, emerging on the flanks and in the rear in order to subdue operational forces on a unit level.
The enemy's basic modus operandi is the tactic of small groups, the organization of ambushes on the part of sub-machine gunners, and the avoidance of open battle. Active air operations against ground forces involves the dropping of light bombs, strafing of units, and the parachuting of small groups of saboteur forces.

4. On 30.6.41, Corps units occupied a defensive line in the sector ORZHEV – M. KLEVAN', and along the southern edge of forest to the west of M. KLEVAN'.
From the morning of 30.6, the 131st Motorized Division was engaged in heavy fighting in the sector of KOL. ROZHANKA and NOVO-TEREMNO along with units of the 62nd and 108th Infantry Regiments and 4 battalions of artillery. Uner the pressure of superior forces, they were forced to withdraw to the forest near KOL. DOMBROVO.
The 35th Tank Division occupied a defensive position along the southern edge of the forest to the west of KLEVAN'.
The 20th Tank Division occupied defensive positions in the ORZHEV – M. KLEVAN' sector.

5. During the period 1-4.7.41, the Corps had the task of attacking in a southern direction with the purpose of cutting off the enemy's line of retreat to the west and was engaged in heavy fighting on its left flank near ORZHEV.
The enemy initiated an attack from BRONIKI on the evening of 30.6 and continued the attack on 1.7 after a bombardment of artillery and mortar fire, attempting to break through to the motor road in the direction of M. KLEVAN'. The attack, however, was unsuccessful.
On the morning of 1.7, the 20th Tank Division was ordered to begin an attack on BRONIKI and after heavy fighting reached the line BELYUV [BELEV] – POKOSY – BRONIKI by 15.00.
Losses amounted to some 200 killed and wounded.
The enemy has lost around 1000 sub-machine gunners, motorcyclists and mixed infantry, 20 supply vehicles and 10 tanks. 2 enemy artillery batteries and 4 mortars were also destroyed.
At the end of the day, the Corps ordered the division to re-occupy its former positions.
On the morning of 2.7, the enemy attempted another attack which was preceded by a barrage of artillery and mortars, but was unsuccessful.
During 3-4.7, the division occupied defensive positions and did not engage in combat operations.
On 1.7, the 35th Tank Division attacked in the direction of ZHUKOVLIZNA and – not having encountered enemy resistence – reached a wooded area near ZHUKOVLIZNA by the end of the day.
On 2.7, the division was instructed by the Corps to occupy once again the line at M. KLEVAN' and the woods to the west and to stubborly defend it.
Commencing 14.00 3.7, the division's motorised regiment was engaged in battle with small groups of enemy motorcyclists and thre the enemy back 5 kilometers to the south in a successful counter-attack.
The 131st Motorised Division received instructions to disengage from the enemy and to conentrate in a new sector in the area of SIL'NO, operating within the confines of the Corps once again.
The enemy continued to employ their small group tactics, supported by strong mortar fire. Between 1-4.7, the enemy received increasingly active support from independent mortar batteries. The enemy has made wide use of signal flares during the night in order to communicate with aircraft and to mark positions reached by their infantry. Units and staff deployed in the area of KLEVAN', KARPILOVKA, SIL'NO and TSUMAN' have been bombed with impunity.

5. Having received orders from 5th Army staff, the Corps disengaged from the enemy and between 4-8.7 conducted a forced march, concentrating in a new sector near MIKHAILOVKA, BOGOLYUBOVKA, SIMAKOVKA and GULYANKA.
The 131st Motorised Division marched around 190 km, concentrating in the sector of KOL. BOGOLYUBOVKA – excluding SIMAKOVKA – and occupied defensive positions to the west.
Losses during the period 23.6 to 10.7 were 688 killed, 662 wounded and 1238 missing.
The 35th Tank Division made a 180km march and by the morning of 9.7 was concentrated in the SIMAKOVKA – SKALA sector and occupied defensive positions to the south.
The 20th Tank Division marched around 190 km and by the morning of 9.7 was concentrated in the MIKHAILOVKA – GULYANKA sector.
Losses between 1-10.7 were:
131st Motorised Division:
Killed: 13 officers, 42 NCOs and 240 soldiers
Wounded: 31 officers, 49 NCOs and 207 soldiers
Missing: 7 officers, 49 NCOs and 250 soldiers
20th Tank Division:
Killed: 3 officers, 9 NCOs and 9 soldiers
Wounded: 10 officers, 15 NCOs and 18 soldiers
Missing: 39 officers, 1136 soldiers
35th Tank Division:
Killed: 6 officers, 110 NCOs and 669 soldiers
Wounded: 91 officers, 110 NCOs and 779 soldiers
Missing: 5 officers, 11 NCOs and 309 soldiers

6. During the night of 10.7, the Corps marched 25 km, having received instructions to attack in the direction of ULASHINOVKA – GENRIKHOVKA and take possession of the motor road.
On the morning of 11.7, the 35th Tank Division reached the motor road and engaged in heavy fighting with enemy mobile forces, which were travelling along the road. Fighting continued to the end of the day in to the morning of 12.7, during which the division captured a section of the motor road in the vicinity of ULASHNIKOVA – GENRIKHOVKA and held it until 14.7. As a result, enemy forces were prevented from moving eastwards.
Through the use of superior forces and strong artillery and mortar support, the enemy was able to force back elements of the division to the northern side of the river TNYA. Thus, after three days resistance holding the motor road, the division was forced to withdraw. Several attempted counter-attacks aimed at regaining control of the road failed. After this three day battle, the division was replaced by the 20th Tank Division, and took up positions in the second echelon near NEDBAEVKA, KRIVTSY and VYRUBY.
After a march, the 20th Tank Division took up a circular defense around YAVLONOE, NEDVAEVKA and KRIVTSY on the morning of 11.7. One battalion of the motirsed rifle regiment engaged in battle with small group of the enemy near BARBAROVKA, but after three days fighting was unable to take the village.
Having replaced the 35th Tank Division, the 20th Tank Division commenced an attack upon ULASHNIKOVKA and GENRIKHOVKA and by 21.00 14.7 had taken possession of the northern outskirts of BARBAROVKA and ULASHNIKOVKA. During 15.7, the division fought to recapture the ZHITOMIR motor road. By the end of the day, the division had regained control of the road, destroying more than 1000 of the enemy as well as 2 artillery batteries, 2 mortar batteries, a column of around 100 lorries, some15 vehicles and dispersed an enemy infantry column which was marching towards BARBAROVKA. According to information provided by prisoners from the German 44th Infantry Division, our artillery had knocked out almost all of the 44th Infantry Division's artillery and around half of its infantry.
On the morning of 11.7, the 131st Motorised Division reached the line TESNOVKA – KOL. ANNOPOL'. Engaging with enemy units, the division advanced towards NESOLON', but was forced to withdraw to KOL. POLIYANOVKA, HEDVAEVKA and the eastern outskirts of TESNOVKA after being subjected to heavy enemy artillery fire and after the right flank of the 793rd Motorised Regiment was outfalnked by enemy motorcyclists. The division captured 1 light vehicle, 4 motorcycles and 2 prisoners, while destroying 5 vehicles.
Between 12-14.7, the division engaged in bitter fighting along a line running from the western outkirts of TESNOVKA to KOL. LUGOVAYA to KOL. POLIYANOVKA and the eastern outkirts of NESOLON'.

7. As a result of persistent efforts on the part of the enemy to infiltrate small group of saboteurs and the threatened envelopment of the left flank of the 131st Motorised Divison and 35th Tank Division, the 743rd Motorised Regiment was withdrawn to VYRUBY and placed at the disposal of the 35th Tank Division. Strong and mortar fire and increased activity on the part of the enemy at KOL. POLIYANOVKA from 15.00 16.7 threatened the division with being surrounded and it was withdrawn in a northwards.
Counter-attacks launched by the 20th and 33rd Motorised Regiments against KOL. POLIYANOVKA were unsuccessful and the Corps withdrew to the line KOL. MIRNOE, YAVLONOE and KOL. ANNOPOL' were it took up temporary defensive positions. During the night of 17.7, elements of the Corps began withdrawing northwards.

8. The Corps marched during night of 17.7 and withdrew to the line KOL. STARAYA VIKTORIVKA, BOBRITSA and USOLUSY.
The 35th Tank Division occupied a sector excluding BOBRITSA and USOLUSY, with the enemy attacking by the end of the day in battalion strength and the with the support of artillery and mortars . Small groups of enemy troops penetrated the north eastern outkirts of USOLUSY and launched an attack, pushing the 70th Tank Regiment to the north as the 22nd Mechanised Corps had withdrawn northwards by this time and the division's left flank was not covered. During 18.7, the division was engaged in fighting for USOLUSY on its left flank and by the end of the day had taken possession of it.
The enemy made a successful counter-attack against the motorised rifle regiment and owing to strong artillery and mortar fire, the motorised regiment abandoned USOLUSY. On the morning of 19.7, the motorised regiment once more went over to the attack and by the end of the day had seized USOLOSY, holding onto it until 20.7.

The 131st Motorised Division, which had taken on the defense of KOL. STARAYA VIKTOROVKA and BOBRITSA, received orders from the Corps to approach KIYANKA on its right flank. Not encountering enemy concentrations, the division reached a line running outside of KIYANKA to BOBRITSA by the end of the day and took up defensive positions, holding this line until 20.7.
Division losses between 10-17.7 were 211 killed, 590 wounded and 514 missing.

The 20th Tank Division was deployed in the sector of KOL. YESIPIVKA and in the woods to the south. Between 17-20.7, the division was not involved in active operations.

9. The enemy continues to employ tactics involving small groups and the strategem of infiltrating the flanks and the rear in order to produce panic among the corresponding forces. The enemy makes active use of independent mortar batteries conducting fire on a sector basis. Aerial operations and the dropping of parachutists in our rear has fallen off.

10. During the night of 20.7, Corps units received orders to disengage from the enemy and to concentrate in the sector of PISAREVKA, LIPLYANY and GUTA GENRIKHOVKA by the morning of 22.7.
At 15.00 20.7, the 35th Tank Division began withdrawing - marching 95 km – and at 14.00 22.7 was concentrated in the wooded area to the east of PISAREVKA. The division was instructed to occupy defensive positions along the eastern edge of the forest in preparation for launching an attack in the direction of KSAVEROV and DUBROVA.
At 17.30, the 20th Tank Division began withdrawing – marching 85 km – and by 16.00 22.7 was concentrated in a wooded area to the east of GUTA GENRIKHOVKA. The division was instructed to defend a line running along the eastern edge of the forest in preparation for launching an attack in the direction of MALIN and CHEPOVICHI.
The 131st Motorised Division, which was engaged in battle, began withdrawing northward – marching 90 km – and by 18.00 22.7 was concentrated in a wooded area to the west of LYPYANKI. The division was instructed to defend a line along the western edge of the forest in preparation for launching an attack against CHEPOVICHI.

Corps losses for the period 22.6 – 22.7.
20th Tank Division:
Killed: 29 officers, 16 NCOs and 202 soldiers
Wounded: 123 officers, 40 NCOs and 743 soldiers
Missing: 145 officers, 45 NCOs and 2625 soldiers
131st Motorised Division:
Killed: 61 officers, 156 NCOs and 781 soldiers
Wounded: 120 officers, 258 NCOs and 1268 soldiers
Missing: 99 officers, 209 NCOs and 1761 soldiers
35th Tank Division:
Killed: 27 officers, 36 NCOs and 373 soldiers
Wounded: 53 officers, 52 NCOs and 477 soldiers
Missing: 25 officers, 58 NCOs and 395 soldiers

Material losses are provided on a separate schedule

11. During the period of military operations conducted between 22.6 – 22.7, the Corps, which found itself engaged in uninterrupted contact with the enemy, obtained broad experience in combat in individual sectors, while coping sufficiently with the enemy's tactics. Despite large losses, the Corps will be able to fulfill assigned combat tasks regarding the destruction of the enemy after having regouped and rest.

According to instructions from 5th Army staff, crews have been sent from the ranks of the tank regiments to bring units up to strength.




Many thanks to Skoblin for translation of this material