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The 13th Army was a name given to several field armies of the Soviet Unionmarker's Red Army, first created during the Russian Civil War. Later armies existed until the 1990s, and the army survived as part of the Ukrainian Ground Forces for some years.

Russian Civil War

It was first formed from the Kursk direction group of forces which was later assigned the group under leadership of I.S. Kozhevnikov arriving from the frontlines of the First World War. After its assignment to the Southern Front in December 1918 it was renamed as the Donetsk group of forces in February 1919, and in March reformed as the 13th Army. The Army under command of the V.I. Selivachev group until September, together with the 8th Army, while the Southern Front was renamed as the Southwestern in January 1920. In September 1920 it was assigned to the newly created Southern Front at that time fighting against Vrangel.

During the Civil War the Army's force structure was highly dynamic with most subunits operating as part of operational groups. These included Special (reserve) group (two regiments and a battery), Left group (two divisions, cavalry and infantry brigades), Shock group (Latvian division, Cossack cavalry brigade and separate brigade), and Perekopskaya group (Latvian and 3rd divisions, 8th cavalry division, Nesterov group, and later 52nd division and 85th brigade of the 29th division). This group fought on the approaches to Crimea, and experienced many changes, at one time including a group of armoured trains and the 1st Cavalry corps, but was eventually split between the Ekaterinoslav direction group of forces and the 6th Army. The rest of the 13th fought towards the southern coast of the Black sea between Perekop and north-east of Odessa. In October 1920 the army lost many of its units to the 2nd Cavalry Army, and in November of the same year it was merged into the 4th Army. Its last location of headquarters was in the city of Slavyansk.

This first 13th Army participated in operations spanning an area from southern Kursk gubernia to Crimea, fought Denikin, the Don nationalist Cossacks and Vrangel, participated in the offensive into Donbass, and its defence, and in the counter-offensive in Southern Tavria.

Soviet-Finish War

The 13th Army was created again at the end of December 1939 as a separate 13th Army in the course of the Soviet advance into the Karelian Ishtmus when the 7th Army was split into two, and also renamed separate, after being substantially reinforced. As part of the 1940 February Vyborg offensive they were coordinated by the North Western Front in Leningrad, both armies were able to breach either first or second defensive positions in the Mannerheim Line, but were unable to breach the main position. The separate 13th Army was allocated three of the eight rifle corps assigned to the operation.

Second World War

The 13th Army (Ist formation) headquarters was formed in May 1941 in the Western Special Military District, starting on 5 May in Mogilevmarker in accordance with the decision of Central Committee of the Communist Party and Sovnarkom of the USSR No.1113-460cc. dated 23 April 1941 In the beginning of June General-Leytenant Piyotor Filatov arrived to take command. From the beginning of Operation Barbarossa the Army included the 21st Rifle Corps, 50th Rifle Division, the 8th Anti-Tank Artillery Brigade and a number of other separate units. From the end of June 1941 the Army conducted defensive operations in the Minsk Fortified Region, on the Borisov direction and on the Dnepr river. The formation conducted operations as part of the Soviet Western Front and the Soviet Central Front. Parts of the Army held up the Wehrmacht advance for almost three weeks near Mogilyevmarker. The 172th Rifle Division under General Romanov especially distinguished itself in the combat. Parts of the Army participated in the Battle of Smolensk 10 July to 10 September 1941. During September and October 1941 the Army was operating as part of the Bryansk Front and included the 6th Rifle Division.

The Army fought as part of the Soviet Central Front in the Battle of Kurskmarker in July 1943 under General N.P. Pukhov, numbering four corps with twelve rifle divisions (including the 75th Guards Rifle Division). The Army finished its war service in Germany with the 1st Ukrainian Front in 1945, consisting of the 24th Rifle Corps (117th Rifle Division, 380th Rifle Division, 395th Rifle Division), 27th Rifle Corps (6th Guards Rifle Division and 121st Guards Rifle Division), 102nd Rifle Corps (147th Rifle Division and 172nd Rifle Divisions, which took part in the Battle of Halbemarker), 17th Artillery Division, and many other smaller artillery and other formations.

Soviet Army

The Army, which was awarded the Order of the Red Banner after the Soviet victory, was located for the entire postwar period in the L'vovmarker and Carpathian Military Districts, initially comprising three Rifle Corps with a total of 9 rifle divisions. From 1947 to 1949 it was commanded by General Issa Pliyev who was a renown commander of several Cavalry mechanized groups during the war. It was for much of this period headquartered at Rovnomarker. Almost all its divisions were Guards formations: the 17th, 51st, 97th (the former 40th, 15th, and 97th Rifle Divisions). Only the 24th (subsequently resubordinated to Military District control) and the 161st Rifle Division were not Guards, but both were renown combat formations. On the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the army, its facilities and most of the equipment was transferred to the newly-sovereign Ukrainemarker.

Ukranian Army

The Ukranian Ministry of Defence chose to retain the Army and its formations for some time, possibly reflecting the historical pride in the contribution Ukranians made to the victory in the Second World War. During a later reorganisation of the Ukrainian Ground Forces the Army was substantially reduced in size and renamed the 13th Army Corps.

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