“TheCeļotājs”
"Latvia" Former Soviet Union Military Bases
 
Introduction to Baltic Military District
 
The Baltic Military District was a military district of the Soviet armed forces, formed briefly before the German invasion, and then reformed after World War II and disbanded after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
 
Initially the Baltic Military District was created by order of the "USSR People's Commissar of Defense" on 11 July 1940, and located in Riga. This was after the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States but before they were forcibly legally absorbed into the Soviet Union. On the 17th of August 1940 it became the Baltic Special Military District. In 1941 the District, which became the "North-Western Front" on the outbreak of war consisted of the:
 
  • 8th Army 
  • 11th Army
  • 27th Army
  • 5th Airborne Corps
  • and other smaller formations and units.
 
3rd Mechanized Corps was also located within the district at Vilnius.
 
Postwar, the District was created on 9 July 1945 at Riga on the basis of a Group of Forces formed from the former First Baltic Front. It initially included only the Latvian and Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republics. Following the disbandment on 27 February 1946 of a special military district that had been administering the Kaliningrad region, the Kaliningrad oblast was added to the District's control, and ten years later in January 1956 the territory of the Estonian SSR was transferred from the Leningrad Military District.
 
The main combat formation within the District was the 11th Guards Army in the Kaliningrad Oblast, following the disbandment of the 10th Guards Army in 1950. In the 1950s it comprised 1st TD "former Tank Corps" and all the remaining Guards formations - 2nd Rifle Corps, 16th Koenigsberg Red Banner Rifle Corps "the 1st and 26th RD, 29 MD" and 36th Nemanskiy Red Banner Rifle Corps "5th and 16th RD, 30th MD". Subsequently the army's composition changed little, and for the entire postwar period it comprised the 40th Guards Tank Division "former 2nd Guards Cavalry Corps, then 28th Guards MD" and the 1st Tank, and the 1st and 26th Guards MRD "former Rifle Divisions". In 1960 the 5th Guards MRD, a former Rifle Division, was disbanded.
 
With the transfer of the Estonian area to the Leningrad Military District the 2nd Guards 'Tatsin' Tank Division went with it, leaving the District with only the 1st Guards 'Insterburg' Tank Division in Kaliningrad, which had been reorganized from the 1st Guards Tank Corps in the later part of 1945. In 1969 the 8th Guards Motor Rifle Division was moved from the District to the Central Asian Military District and arrived eventually at Frunze.
 
In 1979 Scott and Scott reported the HQ address of the District as PriBVO, Riga-Center, Ulitsa Merkelya, Dom 13, with the officers' club in the same location.
 
Commanders of the Baltic Military District
 
  • 1940 General Colonel Aleksandr Loktionov
  • 1940–1941 General Colonel Fyodor Kuznetsov
  • 1945–1954 General of the Army Hovhannes Bagramyan
  • 1954–1958 General of the Army Aleksandr Gorbatov
  • 1958–1959 General of the Army Pavel Batov
  • 1959–1963 General of the Army Iosif Gusakovsky
  • 1963–1971 General of the Army Georgy Khetagurov
  • 1971–1972 General Colonel Vladimir Govorov
  • 1972–1980 General Colonel Aleksandr Mayorov
  • 1980–1984 General Colonel Stanisla Postnikov
  • 1984–1987 General Colonel А. V. Bekhtenin
  • 1987 General Colonel Viktor Grishin
  • 1987–1991 General Lieutenant Fyodor Kuzmin
  • 1991 General Lieutenant Valery Mironov
Forces at the end of the 1980s
 
Toward the end of the 1980s the District's forces consisted of:
  • 3rd Guards Motor Rifle Division, Klaipėda "which transferred to the Baltic Fleet as a coastal defense division in 1989"
  • 16th Guards Motor Rifle Division, Tauragė
  • 18th Guards Motor Rifle Division "arrived from Czechoslovakia 1990-1991"
  • 24th Tank Training Division, Riga "which became 54th District Training Centre, and then was reorganized as the 25th Motor Rifle Brigade and moved to Vladimirsky Lager in Pskov Oblast"
  • 107th Motor Rifle Division, Vilnius
  • 144th Guards Motor Rifle Division, Tallinn "the former 29th Guards Rifle Division"1
  • 11th Guards Army 
    • 1st Guards Tank Division, Kaliningrad 
    • 1st Guards Motor Rifle Division, Kaliningrad 
    • 40th Guards Tank Division, Sovetsk 

Russian notes on the 13th Rifle Regiment say that from May 1956 to August 1994  the 13th Regiment was stationed in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic as part of the 24th Tank Training Division. The regiment was training and 

preparing junior officers and specialists: BMP commander, gunner guns of drivers of various military vehicles, radio chiefs, commanders of the engineering units. Located in the village of Adazi-2 now "Kadaga" near the town of Riga.
 
In accordance with the Directive of the First Deputy Chief of the Joint Armed Forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States on March 11, 1992 № 314/3/0327, and the Directive Commander of North-Western Group of Forces on 29 August 1992 № 6/1 / 0287, 13th Guards Red Banner Sevastopol training Motor Rifle Regiment named Red Latvian Riflemen was reorganized as the 25 Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade Sevastopol Red Banner named after the Latvian
Riflemen. In accordance with a directive of the Defense Minister of the Russian Federation on 11 October 1993 № 314/1/001200, Directive General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on November 11, 1993 № 53/4/01002-25 25th Guards Motorized Rifle Sevastopol Red Banner separate brigade named after the Latvian Riflemen was relocated from Latvia in Pskov Oblast Russia, becoming part of the troops of the Leningrad Military District.
 
The 7th Guards Cherkassy Airborne Division with its headquarters at Kaunas Fortress, and the 44th Training Airborne Division, at Gaižiūnai, of the Soviet Airborne Forces were also located within the district. The Soviet Air Force's presence within the District in the 1980s consisted of the 15th Air Army, headquartered at Riga, and the 2nd Army of the Soviet Air Defense Forces.
 
On 1 January 1991 the 15th Air Army consisted of the:
 
  • 79th Independent Communications Regiment "Riga"
  • 249th OSAE "Riga" with 7 Mi-8, 1 Mi-6 and a few transport aircraft
  • 285th OVEREB "Jelgava, Riga area" with 19 Mi-8
  • 886th Order of the Red Banner "Stalingrad" ORAP "Jēkabpils, Latvian SSR" with 12 Su-24 and 14 Su-17M4 known as the [16th ORAP in World War 2]
  • 39th ADIB "Liyelvalde, Riga area" "activated after World War II" 
    • 53rd Guards "Stalingrad" APIB "Shaulyay, Lithuanian SSR" with 35 MiG-27 and 11 MiG-23 
    • 327th APIB "Daugavpils, Latvian SSR" with 49 MiG-27 and 12 MiG-23 
    • 899th APIB "Liyelvarde, Riga area" with 47 MiG-27 and 11 MiG-23 
The 15th Air Army was activated in July 1942; from Oct 1943 attached to the Bryansk Front, and later the 2nd Baltic Front; ended the war attacking the Courland pocket. It was renamed the 30th Air Army in January 1949, but became 15th Air Army again in April 1968.
 
During September 1991 the District was reorganized into the North Western Group of Forces, Ru.: "Северо-Западная группа войск", which ended its existence on 1 September 1994 with all Soviet forces withdrawn from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Ground Forces in the Kaliningrad oblast came under the command of 11th Guards Army, which four to five years later became the Ground and Coastal Defense Forces of the Baltic Fleet.
 
Chart of Red Army
Administrative Order of Battle
Baltic Special Military District
22 June 1941
 
Знаки различия Советской Армии согласно приказа Министра обороны СССР № 250 от 1 ноября 1973 года
The insignia of the Soviet Army according to the order of the Minister of Defense of the USSR № 250 of 1 November 1973. –
Website: http://www.opoccuu.com/sa69.htm in Russian Only
 
Обмундирование и знаки различия армий второй мировой войны
Uniforms and insignia of the armies of the Second World War. –  
Website" http://www.opoccuu.com/wwiiuniforms.htm in Russian Only
 
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Received: 01/25/2013 – 21:50:14