Assorted information on Soviet RKKA

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From Meltyukhov's "Stalin's Missed Chance"

Meltyuhov is generally a "second-level" source. This means he is quoting original documents, and I'm quoting him. So far no objections have been raised against the authencity or accuracy of his information. There are however some inavoidable mistakes in OCR'ing, translation and re-typing. All the documents come from various Russian state archives (RGVA, RGAE, RGASPI), some additional information has been taken from other books.

Development of infantery during 1939-1940 yrs

Staffing 2.09.39* 23.10.39 15.11.39 21.11.39* 28.12.39* 1.02.40 4.04.40 9.05.40 21.05.40* 4.07.40* 1.12.40
17000 - - - - 37 52 [63] - - - - -
14000 17 43 3 3 - 3 [3] 3 3 3 - -
13100 moto - - - - - - - - - - -
12550 - - - - - 11 [-] - 15 15 15 97
12000 1 3 31 31 61 41 [41] 93 83 S3 83 -
12000 moto - - - - - 11 [11] 4 4 6 - -
11000 moto - -: - - - - - - - 8 9
10500 - - - - 6 - [-] - - - - -
10500 mtn - - - - 2 - [-] - - - - -
9000 moto - - 10 15 - - [-] 6 - - - -
9000 mtn - - - - - - [-] - 10 10 10 10
9000 - - - - - - [-] - 3 3 - -
8900 33 - - - - - [-] - - - - -
7500 mtn - - - 3 - 2 [2] 2 - - - -
6000 mtn - - - - - 11 [11] 2 - - - -
6000 76 54 44 41 54 29 [29] 50 43 43 43 49
4000 mtn 13 13 16 13 - - [-] - - - - -
3000 33 60 66 64 - - [-] - - - 23 23
Total 173 173 170 170 160 160 [160] 160 161 163 182 188
6100 brigade 3 3 3 3 3 3 [3] 3 3 3 3 5
para brigade 6 6 6 6 6 6 [61] 6 6 6 6 6
Staffing ? 1,271,050 1,143,550 1,144,050 ? ? '? 1,736,164 1,760,164 ? ?

1. The numbers listed are People's Comissariat for Defence (NKO) suggestions.
2. Asterisk (*) indicates the NKO suggestions approved by the government.
3. Columns for 1.02.40 and 1.12.40 list real situation of the RKKA, NKO suggestions are in square brackets.

Development of armoured forced during 1939-1940 yrs.

Units 23.10.39 15.11.39 1.02.40 4.04.40 9.05.40 21.05.40* 27.05.40 2.06.40* 4.07.40* 1.12.40
Armour Corps 4 - - - - - - - - -
Mech Corps - - - - - - 6 8 8 9
Armoured Divs - - - - - - 12 18 18 20
T-35 Brigades 1 1 1 1 1 1 - - - -
T-28 Brigades 3 3 3 3 3 3 - - - -
BT Brigades 16 16 16 17 16 16 12 6 6 5
T-26 Brigades 16 16 12 18 18 22 22 17 20 40
Lgt Armour Regiments 10 10 10 7 7 3 3 3 1 1
Motorcycle Battallions 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Staffing 105,086 104,975 97,568 ? 96,785 111,228 ? ? ? ?

1. The numbers listed are NKO suggestions.
2. Asterisk (*) indicates NKO suggestions approved by the government.
3. Columns for 1.02.40 and 1.12.40 list real situation of the RKKA.


USSR tank production during 1930-1944 yrs.

Model 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944
T-18 78 435 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T-24 1 25 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T-26 - 19 1032 1405 1449 1378 1313 550 1054 1399 1601 102 - - -
T-27 - 365 1593 919 14 - - - - - - - - - -
T-28 - - - 41 51 32 101 46 100 140 13 - - - -
T-34 - - - - - - - - - 2 115 3014 12527 15821 14648
T-35 - - - 1 10 7 15 10 11 6 - - - - -
T-37 - - - 138 953 1140 410 - - - - - - - -
T-38 - - - - - - 1046 216 - 158 - - - - -
T-40-60 - - - - - - - - - - 41 2068 4660 - -
T-41 - - 14 - - - - - - - - - - - -
T-44 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 25
T-46 - - - - - - 3 - - - - - - - -
T-50 - - - - - - - - - - - 48 15 - -
T-70 - - - - - - - - - - - - 4913 3402 -
T-80 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 81 -
BT-2 - 3 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
BT-5 - - 393 1005 1103 - - - - - - - - - -
BT-7 - - - - 2 500 1061 788 1217 1397 1 - - - -
BT-7M - - - - - - 2 - 4 5 779 - - - -
KV - - - - - - - - - - 243 1358 2553 617 -
IS-2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 102 2250
SU-5 - - - - - 4 30 - - - - - - - -
SU-76 - - - - - - - - - - - - 26 1908 7155
SU-85 - - - - - - - . - - - - - - 760 1893
SU-100 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 500
SU-122 - - - - - - - - - - - - 25 611 -
SU-152 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 669 2
ISU-122-152 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 35 2510
Total 79 847 3032 3509 3582 .3061 3981 1610 2386 3107 2793 6590 24719 24006 28983

Number of tanks and armoured cars in the RKKA

Model 1.01.1934 1.01.1935 1.01.1936 1.01.1937 1.01.1938 1.01.1939 1.05.1940 15.09.1940 1.01.1941 1.06.1941
KV - - - - - - 9 27 1% (???) 504
T-35 - 10 17 32 42 53 60 59 56 59
T-28 41 91 123 224 263 359 470 443 411 481
T-34 - - - - - - - 3 97 892
Sub-Total 41 101 140 256 305 412 539 532 760 1936
BT-2 620 620 620 620 620 620 515 543 567 580
BT-5 781 1884 1884 1884 1884 1884 6785 1734 1743 1688
BT-7 - 2 502 1471 2249 3351 4907 4425 4563
BT-7M - - - - - - 569 731 704
BT (chem) - - - 80 80 80 ? 15 15
Sub-Total 1401 2506 3006 4005 4833 5935 7300 7750 7466 7549
MS-1 953 - - - - - - - - -
T-26 (2-twr) 1626 1627 1627 1627 1627 1627 ? 1164 1190 1261
T-26 (1-twr) 712 1680 2969 4277 4827 5544 ? 7186 7212 7486
T-26 (chem) 168 598 605 616 616 906 1027 972 1101 1137
T-26 (eng) 1 45 65 65 65 65 ? 21 49 57
T-26 (tele) - - - - - 55 ? 123 108 114
Sub-Total 3460 3950 5266 6585 7135 8197 9012 9466 9660 10055
T-37 125 1076 2216 3673 3855 3855 ? 2391 2219 2321
T-37 (chem) - - 34 75 75 75 ? 10 6 10
T-38 - - - 1046 1228 1228 ? 1185 1090 1129
T-40 - - - - - - - - 5 132
Sub-Total 125 1076 2216 3673 3855 3855 3223 3586 3320 3592
T-27 2547 2547 2547 2547 2547 2547 ? ? ? 2343
T-27 (chem) - - 164 164 164 164 ? ? ? 33
Sub-Total 2547 2547 2711 2711 2711 2711 1908 2219 2101 2376
Total Tanks 7574 10180 13339 17280 18839 21110 21982 23545 23307 25508
AC (lgt) 60 162 663 713 967 1268 ? 1533 1569 1899
AC (med) 266 302 370 715 834 1326 ? 2477 2806 3258
Total ACs 326 464 973 1428 1801 2594 3362 4010 4375 5197


Number of airplanes in VVS RKKA by June 1, 1940.

Type Document 1 Document 2
In Working Order Need Repairs Total In Working Order Need Repairs Reserve Total
Heavy Bombers
TB-3 330 197 527 330 197 - 527
DB-3 897 84 981 871 84 26 981
Total 1227 281 1508 1701 281 26 1508
Light and medium bombers
SB 3371 332 3703 3291 332 80 3703
BB-22 11 - 11 11 - - 11
BB-1 12 - 12 12 - - 12
Total 3394 332 3726 3314 332 80 3726
Ground Attack Planes
I-15bis 972 133 1105 972 133 - 1105
DI-6 180 - 180 138 42 - 180
Total 1152 133 1285 1110 175 - 1285
Fighters
I-15bis 514 85 599 491 85 23 599
I-16 3341 565 3906 3272 565 54 3891
I-153 1251 85 1336 1251 85 - 1336
Total 5106 735 5841 5014 735 77 5826
Recond and arty fire correctors
SB 14 - 14 14 - - 14
R-5, R-6, R-Zet, R-10, SSS 2554 780 3334 2554 780 - 3334
Total 2568 780 3348 2568 780 - 3348
Total Combat Planes 13447 2261 15708 13207 2303 183 15693
Trainers and Transports
U-2 2654 791 3445 2637 791 - 3428
UT-1 55 766 711 55 - 766
UT-2 414 20 434 414 20 - 434
UT-3 10 - 10 10 - - 10
UTI-4 584 139 723 584 139 - 723
I-5 238 94 332 238 94 - 332
PS-84 (Douglas DC-3) 11 - 11 11 - - 11
Total 4662 1099 5721 4605 1099 - 5704
Grand Total 18069 3360 21429 17812 3402 183 21397

Note. Table contains information from two different documents.


Number of tanks in the mechanized corps

Military District Corps 25.08.40 1.10.40 20.02.41 22.06.41
LVO (Leningrad) 1 mk 924 926 1011 1039
10 mk - - 540 469
PribOVO (Baltic) 3 mk 547 635 640 672
12 mk - - 589 730
ZapOVO (Byelorussia) 6 mk 276 682 707 1131
11 mk - - 241 414
13 mk - - 32 282
14 mk - - 513 518
17 mk - - 182 63
20 mk - - 16 94
KOVO (Kiev) 4 mk 797 856 632 979
8 mk 768 623 818 899
9 mk - - 94 316
15 mk - - 707 749
16 mk - - 372 478
19 mk - - 274 453
22 mk - - 527 712
24 mk - - 56 222
OdVO (Odessa) 2 mk 414 435 456 527
18 mk - - 235 282
MVO (Moscow) 7 mk 305 743 792 959
21 mk - - 120 175
ZakVO (Caucasus-Caspian Sea) 6 td 359 369 - -
28 mk - - 710 869
SAVO (Central Asia) 9 td 234 234 - -
27 mk - - 308 356
KhVO (Kharkov) 25 mk - - 163 300
OrVO (Orel) 23 mk - - 161 413
SKVO (North Caucasus) 26 mk - - 125 184
ZabVO (Siberia) 5 mk 823 889 1011 1070
29 mk* - - 1011 -
DVF (Far East) 30 mk - - 1641 2969**
59 td - -
69 md - -

(*) Corps was disbanded in spring 1941.
(**) Total number of tanks on the Far East.
Acronyms: mk - mekhanizirovanniy korpus (mech corps), td - tankovaya diviziya (armour division), md - mekhanizirovannaya diviziya (mech division).

Development of RKKA Infantery

Types 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938
Regular Rifle Divisions 18 17 38 48 87
Mixed Rifle Divisions 16 16 4 - -
Territorial Rifle Divisions 42 38 35 25 -
Regular Mountain Infantery 5 5 5 10 11
Mixed Mountain Infantery 3 3 4 - -
Peasant Militia Divisions 3 3 - 3 -
Garrison Rifle Divisions - 1 11 12 -
Territorial "B" Rifle Divisions - 4 - - -
Total 87 87 97 98 98
Separate Rifle Brigades - - - - 5
Separate Rifle Regiments - 2 2 - -


Development of RKKA Armoured Forces

Units 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
Armour Brigades 12 18 30 30 29 31
Motorized Armour Brigades - - - 1 2 3
MG Infantery Brigades 3 3 3 3 3 4
Armoured Regiments 5 2 2 - - 10
Motorized Armour Regiments - - - 1 1 -
HQ Reserve Armour Battallions 9 4 6 6 6 -


Development of RKKA Cavalry

Units 1934 1935 1938
Regular Cavalry Divisions 17 24 18
Regular Mountain Cavalry Divisions 5 5 5
Territorial Cavalry Divisions - 3 -
Cossack Cavalry Divisions - - 2
Cavalry Brigades - - 2


From "1941 - Lessons and Conclusions"

Book "1941" was written by a group of authors from the General HQ of United Military Forces of CIS and was published in 1992 by Voenizdat (Military Publishing), Moscow.

Military supplies for army and fleet during 1938-1941 yrs.

Weapons Category Total Number Sent to Army and Fleet
1938 1939 1940 By June 1941
Artillery Guns 12 340 17 066 15 096 7 913
Mortars 1 188 4 070 37 867 10 480
Rifles 1 124 700 1 396 700 1 395 000 792 000
Machine Guns 52 600 73 600 52 200 -
Airplanes 5 469 10 362 10 565 5 958
Tanks 2 271 2 986 2 790 1 672


Staffing of Mechanized Corps of Western Military Districts By June 22, 1941

District Corps # Men Tanks
Number % of Regular Number % of Regular
LenVO (Leningrad) 1 31 348 87 1 039 (15) 100
10 26 065 72 469 46
PribOVO (Baltics) 3 31 975 87 672 (110) 65
12 29 998 83 730 71
ZapOVO (Byelorussia) 6 24 005 67 1 131 (452) 110
11 21 605 60 414(20) 40
13 17 809 49 282 27
14 15 550 43 518 50
17 16 578 46 63 6
20 20 389 57 94 9
KOVO (Kiev) 4 28 097 78 979(414) 95
8 31 927 89 899 (171) 87
9 26 833 74 316 31
15 33 935 94 749 (136) 73
16 26 383 73 478 (76) 46
19 22 654 63 453 (5) 44
22 24 087 67 712 (31) 69
24 21 556 60 222 22
OdVO (Odessa) 2 32 396 90 527 (60) 51
18 26 879 75 282 27
Total   510 066 - 11 029 (1306) -

1. Number of new tanks (KV and T-34) is mentioned in brackets. 2. Average staffing with cars, trucks and tractors is no more than 35%. 3. Average staffing with specialty machines is no more than 15-20%.


Garrison Troops and Fortification Lines

In 1927-37 on the old border and in the operative depth 13 fortified regions were constructed. Each was 48-140 km wide and 1-2 km deep. However the machine-gun weaponry was prevailing, artillery guns were only about 10% of all systems.

During 1938-39 additional 8 fortified regions are being constructed on the old border. A total of 1028 buildings were made. To keep them in working order, 25 MG battallions were deployed in them on June 1, 1941, with total staffing of 17080 men. Seven fortified regions of 1938-39 construction time did not have any garrisons.

During 1940-41 another 20 fortified regions are being constructed on the new border. These were of new system and were supposed to be more reliable. About 46% of fortifications had artillery weapons. Each fortified region was expected to have two lines instead of one, thus increasing depth to 30-50 km. Each fortified region width was about 100 km. Gaps up to 20 km between the regions were allowed, and were supposed to be covered by defensive positions and flanking artillery fire. Weak side of these new regions was unsufficient distance from the enemy - they were build almost directly at the border.

Despite the efforts, only those fortified regions which construction had been started in 1940 were completed by June 22, 1941, and even they were only partially armed. This was the result of poor planning without taking industrial abilities into consideration.

At the beginning of the war fortified regions were kept on reduced staffing: 28-30% on the new border and up to 15% on the old border. On May 21, 1941 it was decided to form additional 13 fortification region HQs, 110 artillery-MG battallions, 16 artillery-MG companies, 6 artillery squadrons, 16 artillery batteries and other units with total staffing of 120,695 men. It was planned to finish the staffing of new border FR's by July 1st, and on the old border by October 1st.


Changes of VVS RKKA Staffing During First Half of 1941

VVS Arm Quantity
By 1.01.1941. By 1.03.1941. By 1.06.1941.
air regiments airplanes air regiments airplanes air regiments airplanes
HQ Reserve LR Bombers 40 1 780 43 2 008 44 2 311
VVS of Military Districts 209 12 315 213 12 721 222 13 288
Total 249 14 095 256 14 729 266 15 599
VVS Training Schools - 3 751 - 3 751 - 3 984
Total 249 17 846 256 18 450 266 19 583

Out of 15595 combat aircrafts, 8472 were located in the western military districts. Kiev MD had 1913 aircrafts, Western MD had 1789. Fighters were 59% of total number of aircrafts.

Number of ground attack planes was very low - only 317 airplanes. By June 22, 1941, only one regiment out of five is equipped with Il-2, the rest have I-15 and I-153.

378 recon aircrafts were present, mostly of obsolete types: R-5, R-Zet, R-10, SB and sometimes Yak-4.

Number of aircrafts does not represent real strength of VVS, as there were more planes than pilots. This happened because the air regiments have received the new aircraft models and were re-training. As the result, many planes were lost at the airfields because they didn't have a pilot to take them off.


Airfields of Western Military Districts

Military District Air Regiments Airfields on 1.01 1941 г. Airfields in construction Planned for end of 1941 г.
Permanent Operative Reconstructing Total
LenVO (Leningrad) 24 21 68 1 90 11 101
PrivOVO (Baltics) 18 17 - 49 66 - 66
ZapOVO (Byelorussia) 29 29 141 16 186 39 225
KOVO (Kiev) 30 19 81 56 156 88 244
OdVO (Odessa) 15 9 92 13 114 5 119
Total 116 95 382 135 612 143 755


Units Planned for USSR Border Cover by May-June 1941

Location LenOVO
(3 armies)
PribOVO
(3 armies)
ZapOVO
(4 armies)
KOVO
(4 armies)
OdVO
(1 armies)
Total
(15 armies)
1st Echelon 12 inf,
1 arm,
1 inf br.
10 inf,
1 inf br.
14 inf 17 inf 7 inf,
2 cav
63 divisions
2nd Echelon 2 inf,
2 arm,
1 moto
7 inf,
4 arm,
2 moto
8 arm,
4 moto,
2 cav
8 arm,
4 moto,
1 cav
2 inf,
1 cav,
2 arm,
1 moto
51 division
District Reserves 3 inf,
1 arm,
1 moto
- 5 inf,
4 arm,
2 moto
15 inf,
8 arm,
4 moto,
1 cav
1 inf 45 divisions
High Command Reserve - - 5 inf 3 inf 2 arm,
1 moto
11 divisions
Total 23 divisions,
1 brigade,
8 air divisions
23 divisions,
1 brigade
4 air divisions
44 divisions,
11 air divisions
61 divisions,
21 air division
19 divisions,
6 air divisions
170 divisions,
2 brigades,
50 air divisions