The Bodyguards Of Moscow
The 1st Guards Tank Army (1GTA) is a tank army of the Russian Ground Forces and part of the Western Military District. It was originally formed within the Soviet Red Army as the 1st Mechanized Army in June 1940, and served during the German-Soviet War at the Battle of Moscow and the Battle of Kursk. It was disbanded in 1998 after being reduced in strength, but reformed in 2014 with new units added and expanded to become an army once again.
The army is considered to be amongst the ELITE of the Russian Ground Forces and is comprised of the 2nd Motorized Division (Tamanskaya) and the 4th Tank Division (Kantemirovskaya) which are considered to be ELITE divisions consisting of ELITE regiments. They are garrisoned closest to Moscow and are considered highly prestigious postings, allocated for the defense of Moscow, and to be tasked with leading counter-attacks against NATO if that scenario should ever arise. The regiments and units within the divisions are given the most up-to-date state of the art software and tech and are known as the 'household' divisions of the Russian Army. The latest T-14 'Armata' 5th-generation tanks were to be supplied to the 1GTA with 100 being allegedly procured in 2016 and delivered by 2020. These are yet to be seen on the battlefield with the program being fully halted until 2025, although they do look good driving down the streets of Moscow in parades.
In 2015, Zvezda wrote a piece about the 1GTA titled the 'New Russian Divisions Are The Hammer That Will Break Any Defense'. Hammers are normally made of steel but the 1GTA appear to have been made of glass, shiny and brilliant on the surface, a Russian military facade. Should the 1GTA be renamed to 'Potemkin's Hammer Army'?
At the start of the invasion in February 2022, the 1GTA took part in the northeastern Ukraine offensive with the 2nd Guards Motorized Rifle Division taking part in the failed siege of Chernihiv. After just 3 weeks in Ukraine, the 1GTA had lost 409 men and 308 units of military equipment.
Destroyed Russian Tank
On May 19 2022 the 1GTA army commander General-Lieutenant Sergey Kisel was suspended for his failure to capture Kharkiv. Then, on September 13 2022, the 1GTA were identified as being the primary Russian force that retreated from Kharkiv Oblast as a result of the successful Ukrainian counteroffensive. The 1GTA are now considered to be severely degraded and would likely be unable to counter further Ukrainian counteroffensives.