A division is a large military unit or formation, usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. Infantry divisions during the World Wars ranged between 8,000 and 30,000 in nominal strength.
In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades; in turn, several divisions typically make up a corps. Historically, the division has been the default combined arms unit capable of independent operations. Smaller combined arms units, such as the American regimental combat team (RCT) during World War II, were used when conditions favored them. In recent times, modern Western militaries have begun adopting the smaller brigade combat team (similar to the RCT) as the default combined arms unit, with the division they belong to being less important.
While the focus of this article is on army divisions, in naval usage division has a completely different meaning, referring to either an administrative/functional sub-unit of a department (e.g., fire control division of the weapons department) aboard naval and coast guard ships, shore commands, and in naval aviation units (including navy, marine corps, and coast guard aviation), to a sub-unit of several ships within a flotilla or squadron, or to two or three sections of aircraft operating under a designated division leader. Also some languages, like Russian, Serbo-Croatian and Polish, use a similar word divizion/dywizjon for a battalion-size artillery or cavalry unit.
In administrative/functional sub-unit usage, unit size varies widely, though typically divisions number far fewer than 100 people and are roughly equivalent in function and organizational hierarchy/command relationship to a platoon or flight.
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In the West, the first general to think of organising an army into smaller combined-arms units was Maurice de Saxe (d. 1750), Marshal General of France, in his book Mes Rêveries. He died at the age of 54, without having implemented his idea. Victor-François de Broglie put the ideas into practice. He conducted successful practical experiments of the divisional system in the Seven Years' War.
The first war in which the divisional system was used systematically was the French Revolutionary War. Lazare Carnot of the Committee of Public Safety, who was in charge of military affairs, came to the same conclusion about it as the previous royal government, and the army was organised into divisions.
It made the armies more flexible and easy to maneuver, and it also made the large army of the revolution manageable. Under Napoleon, the divisions were grouped together into corps, because of their increasing size. Napoleon's military success spread the divisional and corps system all over Europe; by the end of the Napoleonic Wars, all armies in Europe had adopted it.
The divisional system reached its numerical height during the Second World War. The Soviet Union's Red Army consisted of more than a thousand divisional-size units at any one time, and the total number of rifle divisions raised during the Great Patriotic War is estimated at 2,000. Nazi Germany had hundreds of numbered and/or named divisions, while the United States employed 91 divisions, two of which were disbanded during the war.
A notable change to divisional structures during the war was completion of the shift from square divisions (composed of two brigades each with two regiments) to triangular divisions (comprised of three regiments with no brigade level) that many European nations started using in World War I. This was done to increase flexibility and pare down chain of command overhead. The triangular division allowed the tactic of "two forward, one back", where two of the division's regiments would be engaging the enemy with one regiment in reserve.
All divisions in World War II were expected to have their own artillery formations, usually the size of a regiment depending upon the nation. Divisional artillery was occasionally seconded by corps level command to increase firepower in larger engagements.
Regimental combat teams were used by the US during the war as well, whereby attached and/or organic divisional units were parceled out to infantry regiments, creating smaller combined-arms units with their own armor and artillery and support units. These combat teams would still be under divisional command but have some level of autonomy on the battlefield.
Organic units within divisions were units which operated directly under Divisional command and were not normally controlled by the Regiments. These units were mainly support units in nature, and include signal companies, medical battalions, supply trains and administration.
Attached units were smaller units that were placed under Divisional command temporarily for the purpose of completing a particular mission. These units were usually combat units such as tank battalions, tank destroyer battalions and cavalry reconnaissance squadrons.
In modern times, most military forces have standardized their divisional structures. This does not mean that divisions are equal in size or structure from country to country, but divisions have, in most cases, come to be units of 10,000 to 20,000 troops with enough organic support to be capable of independent operations. Usually, the direct organization of the division consists of one to four brigades or battle groups of its primary combat arm, along with a brigade or regiment of combat support (usually artillery) and a number of direct-reporting battalions for necessary specialized support tasks, such as intelligence, logistics, reconnaissance, and combat engineers. Most militaries standardize ideal organization strength for each type of division, encapsulated in a Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E) which specifies exact assignments of units, personnel, and equipment for a division.
The modern division became the primary identifiable combat unit in many militaries during the second half of the 20th century, supplanting the brigade; however, the trend started to reverse since the end of the Cold War. The peak use of the division as the primary combat unit occurred during World War II, when the belligerents deployed over a thousand divisions. With technological advances since then, the combat power of each division has increased.
The last major conventional war that saw divisions in a prime role was the 1991 Gulf War, which saw divisions operating in a corps structure and which reflected the organizational doctrines of the recently ended Cold War. By contrast, the Invasion of Iraq in 2003 involved only a handful of divisions but significant support forces and modular Brigade Combat Teams.
Divisions are often formed to organize units of a particular type together with appropriate support units to allow independent operations. In more recent times, divisions have mainly been organized as combined arms units with subordinate units representing various combat arms. In this case, the division often retains the name of a more specialized division, and may still be tasked with a primary role suited to that specialization.
Infantry division refers to a military formation composed primarily of infantry units, also supported by units from other combat arms. In the Soviet Union and Russia, an infantry division is often referred to as a Rifle Division. A Motorised Infantry division refers to a division with a majority of infantry subunits transported on soft-skinned motor vehicles. A Mechanized Infantry division refers to a division with a majority of infantry subunits transported on armored personnel carriers (APCs) or infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) or both, or even some other class of armored fighting vehicles designed for the transportation of infantry. Mechanized Infantry divisions in Nazi Germany were called Panzergrenadier Divisions. In Russia they were known as Motor Rifle Divisions.
Because of the ease and simplicity involved in forming divisions of infantry compared to other formations, Infantry divisions have often been the most numerous in historical warfare. Most US divisions during World War II were Infantry divisions.
Infantry divisions were also expected to travel by foot from place to place, with transport vehicles or pack horses used to augment their travel. Divisions evolved over the course of time, for instance in 1944 Nazi Germany designated some of their infantry formations as Volksgrenadier Divisions, which were slightly smaller than the regular divisions, with wider issue of sub-machine guns, automatic and anti-tank weapons to reflect the reality that they were to be used in defensive warfare. In 1945, Nazi Germany seconded members of the Kriegsmarine to create Naval Divisions, which were of lower quality that the infantry divisions of the Army. They also created Luftwaffe Field Divisions from members of the Luftwaffe.
Infantry divisions were sometimes given the responsibility of garrison work. These were named Frontier Guard Divisions, Static Infantry Divisions and Fortress Divisions, and were mainly used by Nazi Germany.
For most nations, cavalry was deployed in smaller units and was not therefore organized into divisions, but for larger militaries, such as that of the British Empire, United States, First French Empire, France, German Empire, Nazi Germany, Russian Empire, Empire of Japan, Second Polish Republic and Soviet Union, a number of cavalry divisions were formed. They were most often similar to the nations' infantry divisions in structure, although they usually had fewer and lighter support elements, with cavalry brigades or regiments replacing the infantry units, and supporting units, such as artillery and supply, being horse-drawn. For the most part, large cavalry units did not remain after World War II.
While horse cavalry had been found to be obsolete, the concept of cavalry as a fast force capable of missions traditionally fulfilled by horse cavalry made a return to military thinking during the Cold War. In general, two new types of cavalry were developed: air cavalry or airmobile, relying on helicopter mobility, and armored cavalry, based on an autonomous armored formation. The former was pioneered by the 11th Air Assault Division (Test), formed on 1 February 1963 at Fort Benning, Georgia. On 29 June 1965 the division was renamed as the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), before its departure for the Vietnam War.
After the end of the Vietnam War, the 1st Cavalry Division was reorganised and re-equipped with tanks and armored scout vehicles to form armored cavalry.
The concept of a fast-moving, armored reconnaissance force has remained in modern armies, but these units are now smaller and make up a combined arms force used in modern Brigades and Divisions, and are no longer granted divisional status.
Light Divisions were German horse cavalry divisions organized early in World War II which included motorized units.
The development of the tank during World War I prompted some nations to experiment with forming them into division-size units. Many did this the same way as they did cavalry divisions, by merely replacing cavalry with AFVs (including tanks) and motorizing the supporting units. This proved unwieldy in combat, as the units had many tanks but few infantry units. Instead, a more balanced approach was taken by adjusting the number of tank, infantry, artillery, and support units.
The terms Tank Division or Mechanized Division are alternative names for Armored Divisions. A Panzer Division was an armoured division of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS of Germany during World War II.
Since the end of the war, most armored and infantry divisions have had significant numbers of both tank and infantry units within them. The difference has usually been in the mix of battalions assigned. Additionally, in some militaries, armored divisions would be equipped with the most advanced or powerful tanks.
Mountain divisions are infantry divisions given special training and equipment to operate in hilly, mountainous or arctic areas. Some examples of these formations include the US 10th Mountain Division and the German 1st Ski Division.
Nazi Germany also organized Jäger divisions to operate in more adverse terrain.
Italian Mountain divisions are called Alpini Divisions.
An Airborne Division is an infantry division given special training and equipment for air transport.
The US, Britain and Germany experimented during World War II with specialized light infantry divisions capable of being quickly transported by transport aircraft, or dropped into an area by parachute or glider. This required both high quality equipment and training, creating elite units in the process and usually manned by volunteers rather than conscripts.
The German 1st Parachute Division, which was part of the Luftwaffe and not the Heer, was instrumental in the 1941 Battle of Crete. US and British airborne troops first participated during the 1943 invasion of Sicily. The use of airborne divisions during the Invasion of Normandy was crucial to its success. Further allied paratroop operations were made during the 1944 Operation Market Garden and the 1945 Operation Varsity.
When not being used for a specific airborne mission, airborne divisions usually functioned as light infantry divisions.
An Air Assault Division is an airborne division that mainly uses helicopters to transport its troops around.
The Soviet Union developed the concept of the specialized artillery division during the Eastern Front of the Second World War in 1942, although plans were in place since the later stages of the Russian Civil War.
Nazi Germany organized Security divisions to operate in captured territory to provide rear-echelon security against partisans and maintain order among civilians. Structured like an infantry division, a security division was more likely to contain lower quality troops and was not intended to serve directly at the front. SS units of this type were called SS Polizei Divisions.
Divisions are commonly designated by combining an ordinal number and a type name (e.g.: "13th Infantry Division"). Nicknames are often assigned or adopted, although these often are not considered an official part of the unit's nomenclature. In some cases, divisional titles lack an ordinal number, often in the case of unique units or units serving as elite or special troops. For clarity in histories and reports, the nation is identified before the number. This also helps in historical studies, but due to the nature of intelligence on the battlefield, division names and assignments are at times obscured. However, the size of the division rarely makes such obfuscation necessary.
In the years leading up to the end of the cold war and beyond, the type names of various divisions became less important. The majority of US Infantry divisions were now mechanized and had significant numbers of tanks and IFVs, becoming de facto armored divisions. US armored divisions had more tanks but less infantry than these infantry divisions. Moreover, the sole cavalry division was structured the same way as an armored division.
With the introduction of modular Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) in modern divisions, the nomenclature type is even less important, since a Division can now be made of up any combination of Light Infantry, Stryker and Armored BCTs. For example, the US 1st Infantry Division currently consists of two armored BCTs along with support troops, with no light infantry units at all. By contrast, the current 1st Armored Division consists of two armored BCTs and a Stryker BCT along with its support troops.
Historically, the Australian Army has fielded a number of divisions. During World War I, a total of six infantry divisions were raised as part of the all-volunteer Australian Imperial Force: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th. The 1st Division and part of the 2nd saw service during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915 before later taking part in the fighting on the Western Front between 1916 and 1918 along with the 3rd, 4th and 5th. The 6th Division existed only briefly in 1917, but was disbanded without seeing combat to make up for manpower shortages in the other divisions. Another infantry division, known as the New Zealand and Australian Division, was also formed from Australian and New Zealand troops and saw service at Gallipoli. Two divisions of Australian Light Horse were also formed – the Australian Mounted Division (which also included some British and French units) and the ANZAC Mounted Division – both of which served in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign during the war.
In the inter-war years, on paper the Australian Army was organised into seven divisions: five infantry (1st through to 5th) and two cavalry, albeit on a reduced manning scale. During World War II, the size of Australia's force was expanded to eventually include 12 infantry divisions: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th. Of these, four – the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th – were raised as part of the all-volunteer Second Australian Imperial Force, while the others formed part of the Militia, and were maintained through a mixture of volunteers and conscripts. In addition to the infantry divisions, three armoured divisions were formed: 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The Australian divisions were used in various campaigns, ranging from North Africa, Greece, Syria and Lebanon, to the South West Pacific.
Since the end of World War II, the number of divisions has fallen significantly as the Australian Army has concentrated its force generation at brigade level. Three divisions – the 1st, 2nd and 3rd – have existed during this time, but the 3rd Division was disbanded in 1991, and only two divisions currently remain active. The 1st Division is a skeleton organisation that acts as a deployable force headquarters, while the 2nd is a Reserve formation.
The 9th Infantry Division was raised on 20 November 1975 in Dhaka as the first division of the Bangladesh Army. Currently, Bangladesh Army has ten infantry divisions under its command. Each infantry division consists of one artillery brigade, 3 or 4 infantry brigades/regiments. In addition, few divisions have one armored brigade each. The active infantry divisions are-
The Brazilian Army currently has four army divisions: the 1st Army Division based in Rio de Janeiro and subordinated to the Eastern Military Command, the 2nd Army Division, based in São Paulo and subordinated to the Military Command of the Southeast and 3rd Army Division, based in Santa Maria - RS and the 5th Army Division based in Curitiba - PR, the latter two being linked to the Southern Military Command.
The other military forces of the Brazilian Army are subordinated directly to the area military commands, not having a commanding division. In this case, the employment of these troops is coordinated by the operations coordinating center of the area military commands.
The first division-sized formation raised by the Canadian military was the First Contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force; raised in 1914, it was renamed the Canadian Division in early 1915 when it took to the field, and became the 1st Canadian Division when a 2nd Canadian Division took to the field later that year. A 3rd Canadian Division and 4th Canadian Division saw service in France and Flanders, and a Fifth Canadian Division was disbanded in the United Kingdom and broken up for reinforcements. The four divisions (collectively under the command of the Canadian Corps) were disbanded in 1919.
Canada had nominal divisions on paper between the wars, overseeing the Militia (part-time reserve forces), but no active duty divisions. On 1 September 1939, two divisions were raised as part of the Canadian Active Service Force; a Third Division was raised in 1940, followed by a First Canadian (Armoured) Division and Fourth Canadian Division. The First Armoured was renamed the Fifth Canadian (Armoured) Division and the Fourth Division also became an armoured formation. The 1st and 5th Divisions fought in the Mediterranean between 1943 and early 1945; the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Divisions served in Northwest Europe. A Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Division were raised for service in Canada, with one brigade of the Sixth Division going to Kiska in 1943. By 1945, the latter three divisions were disbanded as the threat to North America diminished. A Third Canadian Division (Canadian Army Occupation Force) was raised in 1945 for occupation duty in Germany, organized parallel to the combatant Third Division, and a Sixth Canadian Division (Canadian Army Pacific Force) was undergoing formation and training for the invasion of Japan when the latter country surrendered in September 1945. All five combatant divisions, as well as the CAOF and CAPF, were disbanded by the end of 1946.
A First Canadian Division Headquarters (later renamed simply First Division) was authorized once again in April 1946, but remained dormant until formally disbanded in July 1954. Simultaneously, however, another "Headquarters, First Canadian Infantry Division" was authorized as part of the Canadian Army Active Force (the Regular forces of the Canadian military), in October 1953. This, the first peacetime division in Canadian history, consisted of a brigade in Germany, one in Edmonton and one at Valcartier. This division was disbanded in April 1958.
The First Canadian Division was reactivated in 1988 and served until the 1990s when the headquarters of the division was transformed into the Canadian Forces Joint Headquarters and placed under the control of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Command. The CFJHQ was transformed back into Headquarters, 1st Canadian Division, on 23 June 2010, the unit once more falling under the control of the Canadian Army. The unit is based at Kingston. Canada currently has five divisions under its command.
The 1st Canadian Division has approximately 2000 troops under its command, while the 2nd Canadian Division, 3rd Canadian Division, 4th Canadian Division, and 5th Canadian Division have approximately 10,000 troops each.
The People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) is the world's largest ground force, currently totaling some 1.6 million personnel. The ground forces are divided into five Theater Commands. The regular forces of the ground forces consist of 18 group armies: corps-size combined arms units each with 24,000–50,000 personnel. The group armies contained among them:
As of 2011, the PLA went from a division dominated structure to a brigade dominated one. Until 2017 there were a further three airborne divisions in the 15th Airborne Corps, but these were reformed into six airborne brigades and a special operations brigade as part of a reform program aimed at reorganizing all PLA divisions into brigades.
The NRA Division (Chinese: 整編師,編制師) was a military unit of the Republic of China. The original pattern of the infantry Division organization of the early Republic, was a square division. It was formed with two infantry brigades of two infantry regiments of three infantry battalions, an artillery regiment of fifty four guns and eighteen machineguns, a cavalry regiment of twelve squadrons, an engineer battalion of four companies, a transport battalion of four companies, and other minor support units.
In the mid-1930s, the Nationalist government with the help of German advisors attempted to modernize their army and intended to form sixty Reorganized Divisions and a number of reserve divisions. Under the strains and losses of the early campaigns of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese decided in mid-1938 to standardize their Divisions as triangular divisions as part of their effort to simplify the command structure and placed them under Corps, which became the basic tactical units. The remaining scarce artillery and the other support formations were withdrawn from the Division and were held at Corps or Army level or even higher. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Republic mobilized at least 310 Infantry Divisions, 23 Cavalry Divisions, and one Mechanized Division, (the 200th Division).
In the Colombian Army, a division is formed by two or more brigades and is usually commanded by a major general. Today, the Colombian Army has eight active divisions:
On July 1, 1999, France transformed all its divisions into brigades. The division level (niveau divisionnaire) was reintroduced on July 1, 2016. The French Army has now two active combined divisions :
Each division consists of 25,000 personnel and is made up of three brigades (one light, one medium and one heavy). The 1st Division also included the French elements of the Franco-German Brigade.
There are also 11 "division level" (niveau divisionnaire) specialized commands :
The German Army has three divisions:
With 1.13 million soldiers in active service, the Indian Army is the world's second largest. An Indian Army division is intermediate between a corps and a brigade. Each division is headed by a General Officer Commanding (GOC) in the rank of Major general. It usually consists of 15,000 combat troops and 8,000 support elements. Currently, the Indian Army has 37 divisions: four RAPIDs (Reorganised Army Plains Infantry Divisions), 18 infantry, 10 mountain, three armoured and two artillery. Each division consists of several brigades.
The Indonesian Army has 3 infantry divisions (Indonesian: Divisi) within the Kostrad strategic command which plays a role for strategic defense operations. Aside from the infantry divisions, the Indonesian Army also hosts operational combat units from the territorial commands known as "Kodams", which are equivalent to divisions. The infantry divisions from Kostrad are:
The Indonesian Marine Corps also operates 2 divisions which are:
The Israeli Defense Forces operates 11 divisions of various sizes, that are separated into three categories: regular, territorial and reserve.
Divisions in reserve:
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force divisions are combined arms units with infantry, armored, and artillery units, combat support units and logistical support units. They are regionally independent and permanent entities. The divisions strength varies from 6,000 to 9,000 personnel. The division commander is a Lieutenant general.
JGSDF currently has nine active duty divisions (one armored, eight infantry):
An Army division in the Pakistan Army is an intermediate between a corps and a brigade. It is the largest striking force in the army. Each division is headed by General Officer Commanding (GOC) in the rank of major general. It usually consists of 15,000 combat troops and 8,000 support elements. Currently, the Pakistani Army has 29 divisions: 20 infantry, two armoured, two mechanized, two air defence, two strategic and one artillery. Each division consists of several brigades.
South Africa has fielded several infantry and armoured divisions in its military history:
In the British Army, a division is commanded by a major-general with a WO1 as the Brigade Sergeant Major (BSM) and may consist of three infantry, mechanised and/or armoured brigades and supporting units.
Currently, the British Army has two active divisions:
The British Army previously had four other infantry divisions. These are now disbanded and were placed under one single two-star command, Support Command.
Additionally, most of the infantry regiments of the British Army are organised for administrative purposes into a number of organisations called 'divisions':
A divisional unit in the United States Army typically consists of 17,000 to 21,000 soldiers, but can grow up to 35 - 40,000 with attached support units during operations, and are commanded by a major general. Two divisions usually form a corps and each division consists of three maneuver brigades, an aviation brigade, an engineer brigade, and division artillery (latter two excluded from divisional structure as of 2007), along with a number of smaller specialized units. In 2014 divisional artillery (DIVARTY) organizations began to re-appear with some fires brigades reorganizing to fill this role.
The United States Army currently has ten active divisions and one deployable division headquarters (7th Infantry Division):
The Army National Guard has a further eight divisions:
There are further nine division within the Army Reserve that are responsible for training and support operations:
The United States Marine Corps has a further three active divisions and one reserve division. They consist of a headquarters battalion, two or three infantry regiments, an artillery regiment, and a reconnaissance battalion. Additionally, all Marine divisions (MARDIV), except 3rd MARDIV, have an assault amphibian (AA) battalion, a tank battalion, a light armored reconnaissance (LAR) battalion (two in 1st MARDIV), and a combat engineer (CE) battalion (two in 1st MARDIV). (3rd MARDIV has a combat assault battalion including one company each of AA, LAR, and CE. Tank support for 3rd MARDIV can be provided by tanks deployed with the 31st MEU or directly from one of the three divisional tank battalions under the Unit Deployment Program.)
Republic of Korea Army divisions are major tactical formations led by and general officers. There are currently 39 Army and two Marine Divisions. Of the 41 Army divisions, six are Mechanized Infantry Divisions (Combined Arms formations centered around tanks, IFVs, APCs, and SPGs) 16 are Infantry Divisions (motorized divisions with various levels of mechanization) 12 are Homeland Infantry Divisions (향토보병사단, Infantry divisions kept at a 40-50% manpower level, to be reinforced during national emergencies) and seven Reserve Infantry Divisions (동원보병사단, Infantry Divisions kept at 10-20% manpower level, to be reinforced during national emergencies.) There are two marine divisions organized similarly to their American counteparts. Though similarly formed, the 1st ROK Marine Division is specialized to perform amphibious landing operations while the 2nd ROK Marine Division performs more security operations and mans a sector of the DMZ facing the North Korean border.
Republic of Korea Army divisions are typically smaller than their foreign counterparts. Mechanized Infantry Divisions are fully formed at around 9,900, Infantry Divisions are fully formed at about 11,500 men, and other types of divisions are smaller in size during normal operations according to their reserve manpower levels. There are very few articles discussing ROK Marine Corps tactical organization, but an active duty force of 29,000 is divided into two divisions, two brigades, and its supporting units.
Mechanized Infantry, Infantry, Homeland Infantry, and Marine Divisions are led by Major Generals, while Reserve Infantry Divisions are led by Brigadier Generals.
List of South Korean Armed Forces Divisions:
Please note that no major Republic of Korea Armed Forces formation contains the number four in their name.
The ROK Marine Corps has a further two divisions numbering around 10,000 men each:
In the Soviet Armed Forces, a division (Russian: diviziya, дивизия) may have referred to a formation in any of the Armed Services, and included subunits appropriate to the service such as regiments and battalions, squadrons or naval vessels. Almost all divisions irrespective of the service had the 3+1+1 structure of major sub-units, which were usually regiments.
There is also a similarly sounding unit of military organization in Russian military terminology, called divizion (дивизион). A divizion is used to refer to an artillery or cavalry battalion, a specific part of a ship's crew (korabel'nyy divizion, 'ship battalion'), or a group of naval vessels (divizion korabley).
In Imperial Russia, infantry formations were designated as (Russian: pekhoty); in English, "infantry". But on 11 October 1918 all such formations in the new Red Army were re-designated as "rifle" (Russian: strelkovaya). This was deliberately chosen as a means of breaking with the Imperial past, while also giving these troops a sense of being an elite; in the Imperial Army the riflemen had been the best of the foot soldiers outside the Guards. The new designation also hearkened back to the Streltsy of the 16th to early 18th Centuries, which were also elite troops.
Before the Second World War, besides the Mechanised Corps, there were independent tank battalions within rifle divisions. These were meant to reinforce rifle units for the purpose of breaching enemy defences. They had to act in cooperation with the infantry without breaking away from it and were called tanks for immediate infantry support (Russian: tanki neposredstvennoy podderzhki pekhoty).
After 1945, some Red Army rifle divisions were converted to Mechanised Divisions. From 1957, all rifle and mechanised divisions became Motorised Rifle Divisions (MRDs). These divisions usually had approximately 12,000 soldiers organized into three motor rifle regiments, a tank regiment, an artillery regiment, an air defense regiment, surface-to-surface missile and antitank battalions, and supporting chemical, engineer, signal, reconnaissance, and rear services companies. A typical tank division had some 10,000 soldiers organized into three tank regiments and one motorized rifle regiment, all other sub-units being same as the MRD.
A typical Soviet Frontal Aviation Division consisted of three air regiments, a transport squadron, and associated maintenance units. The number of aircraft within a regiment varied. Fighter and fighter-bomber regiments were usually equipped with about 40 aircraft (36 of the primary unit type and a few utility and spares), while bomber regiments typically consisted of 32 aircraft. Divisions were typically commanded by Colonels or Major Generals, or Colonels or Major Generals of Aviation in the Air Force. Soviet Naval Aviation and the Strategic Missile Forces divisions had either Colonels or Major Generals as commanding officers while the Ship Divisions were led by Captains 1st Rank or Captains 2nd Rank.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russian tank and motorized-rifle divisions were reduced to near-cadre state, many being designated Bases for Storage of Weapons and Equipment (Russian acronym BKhVT). These bases, or "cadre" divisions, were equipped with all the heavy armaments of a full-strength motor-rifle or tank division, while having only skeleton personnel strength, as low as 500 personnel. The officers and men of a cadre division focus primarily on maintaining the equipment in working condition. During wartime mobilization, such a division would be beefed up to full manpower strength; however, in peacetime, a cadre division is unfit for any combat.
After the 2008 Russian military reforms, most active divisions were disbanded or converted into brigades. Exceptions are the:
In 2013 the following divisions were reactivated:
In 2016 five more divisions were reformed:
In addition to the Army divisions, a division is currently on active duty within the ranks of the National Guard of Russia:
The 13th Orenburg Red Banner Rocket Division (Military Unit Number 68545) is a military formation of the 31st Rocket Army, Strategic Missile Forces, located in Yasny, ZATO Komarovsky, Orenburg Oblast.
The deployment site for the division was chosen specifically for the location of the R-36 intercontinental ballistic missile.17th Tank Division (Soviet Union)
The 17th Tank Division (Military Unit Number 6061) was a tank division of the Red Army that was formed in mid-1940. The division suffered heavy losses during fighting against German forces during the Battle of Smolensk and was converted into a tank brigade in late August 1941.1890 New Year Honours
The New Year Honours 1890 were appointments by Queen Victoria to various orders and honours of the United Kingdom and British India.
They were announced in The Times on 1 January 1890, and the various honours were gazetted in The London Gazette on 1 January 1890 and on 7 January 1890.The recipients of honours are displayed or referred to as they were styled before their new honour and arranged by honour and where appropriate by rank (Knight Grand Cross, Knight Commander etc.) then division (Military, Civil).1891 New Year Honours
The New Year Honours 1891 were appointments by Queen Victoria to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by people of the United Kingdom, British India and in the British Empire.
They were announced in The Times on 1 January 1891, and the various honours were gazetted in The London Gazette on 1 January 1891, 7 January 1891, and 13 January 1891.The recipients of honours are displayed or referred to as they were styled before their new honour and arranged by honour and where appropriate by rank (Knight Grand Cross, Knight Commander etc.) then division (Military, Civil).1892 New Year Honours
The New Year Honours 1892 were appointments by Queen Victoria to various orders and honours of the United Kingdom and British India.
They were announced in The Times on 1 January 1892, and the various honours were gazetted in The London Gazette on 1 January 1892.The recipients of honours are displayed or referred to as they were styled before their new honour and arranged by honour and where appropriate by rank (Knight Grand Cross, Knight Commander etc.) then division (Military, Civil).1899 Birthday Honours
The Queen's Birthday Honours 1899 were announced on 3 June 1899 in celebration of the birthday of Queen Victoria. The list included appointments to various orders and honours of the United Kingdom and British India.
The list was published in The Times on 3 June 1899 and the various honours were gazetted in The London Gazette on 3 June 1899, and on 13 June 1899.The recipients of honours are displayed or referred to as they were styled before their new honour and arranged by honour and where appropriate by rank (Knight Grand Cross, Knight Commander etc.) then division (Military, Civil).
It was announced in the list that The Queen had been pleased to confer the title of Lord Mayor upon the Mayor of the City of Bristol.1900 Birthday Honours
The Queen's Birthday Honours 1900 were announced on 23 May 1900 in celebration of the birthday of Queen Victoria. The list included appointments to various orders and honours of the United Kingdom and British India.
The list was published in The Times on 23 May 1900 and on 24 May 1900 (Irish honours), and the various honours were gazetted in The London Gazette on 23 May 1900, on 1 June 1900 and on 8 June 1900.The recipients of honours are displayed or referred to as they were styled before their new honour and arranged by honour and where appropriate by rank (Knight Grand Cross, Knight Commander etc.) then division (Military, Civil).1901 Birthday Honours
The King's Birthday Honours 1901 were announced 9 November 1901, the birthday of the new monarch Edward VII. The list included appointments to various orders and honours of the United Kingdom and British India.
The list was published in The Times 9 November 1901, and the various honours were gazetted in The London Gazette 9 November 1901, 12 November 1901, and 15 November 1901.The recipients of honours are displayed or referred to as they were styled before their new honour and arranged by honour and where appropriate by rank (Knight Grand Cross, Knight Commander etc.) then division (Military, Civil).1902 Birthday Honours
The 1902 Birthday Honours were announced on 10 November 1902, to celebrate the birthday of Edward VII the previous day. The list included appointments to various orders and honours of the United Kingdom and the British Empire.
The list was published in The Times 10 November 1902, and the various honours were gazetted in The London Gazette on 9 November 1902 and on 28 November 1902.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour and where appropriate by rank (Knight Grand Cross, Knight Commander, etc.) and then division (Military, Civil).21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force
The 21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force (21 EMTF) was one of two EMTFs assigned to the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command. It was headquartered at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The 21 EMTF was a redesignation of Twenty-First Air Force, effective 1 October 2003.
The 21st EMTF reported to Headquarters, Eighteenth Air Force at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. It was inactivated on 19 March 2012.24th Mechanized Corps (Soviet Union)
The 24th Mechanized Corps (Military Unit Number 7161) was a Mechanized Corps of the Red Army, active from spring 1941 to late 1941. On June 22, 1941, at the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, it was located at Proskurov in the Kiev Special Military District.The corps commander was Maj. Gen. Vladimir Chistyakov. The corps Chief of Staff was Colonel Alexander Danilov (who died in the Uman Pocket).
The corps' three divisions were seemingly destroyed at Uman in August 1941.27th Guards Motor Rifle Division
The 27th Guards Motor Rifle Division (Military Unit Number 35100) was a Red Army rifle division in World War II which later became a Soviet Army motor rifle division.
The division draws its history from the 75th Naval Rifle Brigade formed in the end of 1941. As part of the 3rd Shock Army, Kalinin Front in 1942 the brigade participated in the Demiansk operations - the Moscow counteroffensive. For its fighting performance it became the 3rd Guards Rifle Brigade in March 1942, having spent all its time in reserve, became the 27th Guards Rifle Division in April–May 1942. With a view to the preservation of fighting and revolutionary traditions of earlier formations, the name "Omsk" which 27th Rifle Division had during the Russian Civil War had earlier was given to the new division. In the late summer of 1942, it was rushed south to help stop the German offensive into the northern Caucasus and Stalingrad. It took part in the destruction of the German 6th Army during the winter of 1942/43. During World War II the division was part of the 4th Tank Army, 1st Guards Army, the 24th Army, the 66th Army, the 65th Army and since February 1943 the 62nd Army. In April 1942 the 62nd Army became the Eighth Guards Army. In July 1942 the division was part of Kalinin Front's 58th Army, alongside 16th Guards Rifle Division and two other rifle divisions. The division was back with the 8th Guards Army of the 1st Belorussian Front in May 1945.
The division participated in the Battle of Stalingrad, Izyum-Barvenkovo, Donbass, Zaporozhye, Nikopol-Krivoi Rog, Bereznegova-Snigirovka, Odessa, Lublin - Brest, Poznań, Küstrin, Warsaw-Poznan and the Berlin offensive operation. For services in battle the division was awarded the honorific "Novobug" in March 1944, then awarded the Order of the Red Banner and Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky 2nd degrees. Over 10 thousand of its soldiers were awarded awards and medals, and 7 were awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union. Its commanders included Colonel Konstantin Vindushev (1942), and Viktor Glebov (1942–1945), Glebov was originally a colonel but was made a general-major in November 1942.Since 1945 the division remained as part of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, where it became 21st Guards Mechanised Division, then 21st Guards Motor Rifle Division on 17 May 1957. On 17 November 1964 it was renamed 27th Guards Motor Rifle Division. It remained in Germany until May 1991, when it was withdrawn to Totskoye in the Volga-Ural Military District. It has contributed many personnel for peacekeeping operations.The division was renamed the 21st Guards Motor Rifle Brigade on 1 June 2009, after the beginning of the 2008 Russian military reform.42nd Guards Motor Rifle Division
The 42nd Guards "Evpatoriyskaya Red Banner" Motor Rifle Division (Military Unit Number 29410 until 1987; 28320 afterwards) was formed originally as the 111th Rifle Division in Vologda in 1940, and became the 24th Guards Rifle Division in March 1942. It was based in the North Caucasus following World War II; it became 42nd Guards MRD on 10 June 1957, while at Grozny. It became 42nd Guards Training Motor Rifle Division on 18 October 1960.42nd Guards Tank Division
The 42nd Guards Priluki Order of Lenin Red Banner Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky Tank Division (Military Unit Number 29410) was an armoured division of the Soviet Ground Forces, active from 1957 to 1990.
The division was formed with the Western Front in July 1942 from the 1st Guards Red Banner Rifle Brigade as the 1st Guards Red Banner Rifle Division.
The division in the process of formation was temporarily called the '1st Guards Red Banner Rifle Division' (formed 1942) from July 6, 1942 to September 13, 1942. Units of the division included the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Guards Rifle Regiments.
On 13 September 1942 the division became the 42nd Guards Red Banner Rifle Division. On 1 October 1942 it was part of the Western Front reserves; by 1 November 1942 it had been shifted into 20th Army, seemingly as part of the Battles of Rzhev. It eventually fought at Stalingrad, Kursk, Kiev, Iasi, and Budapest; gained the 'Prilukskaya' honorific 13 February 1944 after the liberation of Pryluky; and it was serving with the 1st Guards Cavalry-Mechanized Group of the 2nd Ukrainian Front at the end of the war in May 1945. The division also served with the 5th; 31st; 5th Guards; 40th Army (September — November 1943 and December 1943 — March 1945); and the 53rd Armies by the end of the war.
The 42nd Gv Tank Division was formed from the 42 GRD on 4 June 1957 at Gvardeyskoye, Dnepropetrovsk Oblast. It was part of the 6th Guards Tank Army throughout its existence.
The division became the 6299th Base for Storage of Weapons and Equipment (VKhVT) on 1 September 1990; probably actually the 6299th Guards VKhVT.First Serbian Volunteer Division
The First Serbian Volunteer Division (also known as the First Serbian Division and Serbian First Division) was a military force created in 1916 by political figure Nikola Pašić and his associates in the city of Odessa. It was primarily made up of various Serb peoples, a great many of them former prisoners of war. It holds a particularly significant place in World War I history due both to its intermingling of different ethnicities, including Bosnians, Czechs, and Slovaks, as well as its role in opposing the Central Powers after the then regular Serbian army had suffered an immense setback.As part of the legacy of the division, the residents of southeastern Romania established a white pyramid memorial known as the "Monument to the Heroes of the First Serbian Volunteer Division" (Serbian Cyrillic: "Споменик јунацима Прве српске добровољачке дивизије"), which is located as a part of a cemetery complex in Medgidia. In a 2013 ceremony, local Mayor Marijan Jordák stated, "We can never forget their achievement... so it shall remain until the end of time."Order of Australia
The Order of Australia is an order of chivalry established on 14 February 1975 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, to recognise Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or meritorious service. Before the establishment of the order, Australian citizens received British honours.
The Queen of Australia is Sovereign Head of the Order, while the Governor-General is Principal Companion/Dame/Knight (as relevant at the time) and Chancellor of the Order. The Governor-General's Official Secretary, currently Paul Singer, is Secretary of the Order.Third Field Army
The Third Field Army of the Chinese People's Liberation Army was one of the five main forces of the Chinese People's Liberation Army during the Chinese Civil War. It was established in early 1949. Initially known as the East China Field Army, by the New Fourth Army and the Eighth Route Army troops stationed in Shandong Province, a gradual adaptation of the expansion.
It took control of the troops in eastern China, with Chen Yi as its commander. It comprised the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Corps Armies (bingtuan) plus the headquarters of the special technical troops, with a total of 580,000 men.Forces associated with the Third Field Army included:
The 7th Army, Commander Wang Jianan , political commissar Tan Qilong , chief of staff Li Yingxi:
21st Corps (including 61, 62, 63rd Divisions), military commander Teng Haiqing , political commissar Kang Zhiqiang
22nd Corps (including the 64th, 65th, 66th Divisions), the military commander Sun Jixian , political commissar Ding Qiusheng
23rd Corps (including 67th, 68th, 69th), commander Tao Yong , political commissar Lu Sheng
35th Corps (including 103, 104, 105th Division), military commander Wu Huawen , political commissar He Kexi
The 8th Army, Commander Chen Shizhong , political commissar Yuan Zhongxian, chief of staff He Xiangxiang:
24th Corps (including the first 70, 71, 72 Division), commander Wang Bicheng , political commissar Liao Haiguang
25th Corps (including the 73rd, 74th and 75th divisions), military commander Cheng Jun
26th Corps (including 76, 77, 78th Division), commander Zhang Renchu , political commissar Wang Yiping
34th Corps (including the first 100, 101, 102 Division), military commander He Ji Feng , political commissar Zhao Qimin
The 9th Army, Commander Song Shilun , political commissar Guo Huoruo , chief of staff Qin Jian ,
20th Corps (including 58, 59, 60th Division), military commander Liu Fei , political commissar Chen Shifu
27th Corps (including the first 79, 80, the first 81 division), military commander Nie Fengzhi , political commissar Liu Haotian
30th Army (including 88, 89, 90th Division), commander Xie Zhenhua , political commissar Li Qianhui
33rd Army (including the 97th, 98th, 99th Division), commander Zhang Kexia , political commissar Han Nianlong
The 10th Army, Commander Ye Fei , political commissar Wei Guoqing , Chief of Staff Chen Qingxian ,
28th Corps (including the 82nd, 83rd, 84th Division), commander Zhu Shaoqing,
29th Corps (including 85, 86, 87th Division), military commander Hu Bingyun , political commissar Zhang Fan
31st Corps (including 91, 92, 93rd Divisions), military commander Zhou Zhijian , political commissar Chen Huatang
Directly under the jurisdiction of Third Field Army
32nd Corps (including the first 94, the first 95 division), commander Tan Xilin, political commissar Peng Lin
Special forces column, commander Chen Rui Ting , political commissar Zhang Kai .
Guangdong and Guangxi columns (March 1947 - March 1949), commander Zeng Sheng , political commissar Lei Jing.In August 1950 the force was redesignated the East China Military Region.Twenty-Second Air Force
Twenty-Second Air Force (22 AF) is a Numbered Air Force component of Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC). It was activated on 1 July 1993 and is headquartered at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia.
In the event of mobilization, some of the Twenty-Second Air Force's subordinate units would come under the operational control (OPCON) of the Air Mobility Command's (AMC) 21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force, headquartered at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, while others would come under OPCON of Air Education and Training Command's 19th Air Force at Randolph AFB, Texas.