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How did the Soviets number their companies and batallions?


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Could someone with more knowledge on the Red Army than me please elaborate on this?

I suppose the typical hierarchy in a Rifle formation would be Rifle Company - Rifle Batallion - Rifle Regiment (or Brigade?) - Rifle Division and then Rifle Corps.

But how did they number each of these levels? Were companies numbered consecutively based on their regiment like the Germans did or did they do it differently?

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This is an interesting question (to me)!

Without any significant base of knowledge to start with, I spent some time researching on line and found the following (with all due allowances to variations between early war, late war, reorganizations due to extensive losses, etc...):

A Red Army Rifle Division would have 3 Rifle Regiments each with 3 Rifle Battalions each with 3 Rifle Companies (+ 1 Machine-Gun Company) each with 3 Rifle Platoons. As far as I can tell, all levels used numbers so no alphabetic designations like "Fox Company."

As for the specific question of company numbering, yes, within the Rifle Regiment each Rifle Company was numbered sequentially such that 1st Battalion had Rifle Companies 1-3, 2nd Battalion had Rifle Companies 4-6, and 3rd Battalion had Rifle Companies 7-9.

Unlike the German example where the weapons company would be slotted in after the infantry companies (e.g., Kp. 4 would be the weapons company for I Battalion), Red Army Machine-Gun Companies got their own sequence per Regiment running from 1 to 3 so 1st Battalion had 1st Machine-Gun Company, 2nd Battalion had 2nd Machine-Gun Company, and so on.

I figured this out after a lot of Google searches!

You'll see a lot of results (award citations, etc...) with variations of:

"1st rifle company" "red army"

"2nd rifle company" "red army"

But they peter out after "9th rifle company".

Meanwhile, the results of "4th machine-gun company" "red army" refer to other armies but you will get good results with "2nd machine-gun company" "red army" (and 1st and 3rd).

So that's what it's looking like to me, but I'm happy to be corrected with additional info.

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