Military counterintelligence of the Soviet Army

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Military counterintelligence of the Red Army and later of the Soviet Army, throughout all its history was controlled by the Soviet secret police (Cheka, GPU, NKVD, ...) departments (names vary over the time). The best known one was SMERSH (1943-1946) created during the Great Patriotic War.

The counterintelligence departments of the army known as Special Departments (Особый отдел) existed at all larger military formations.

While the staff of a Special Department of a regiment was generally known, it controlled a network of secret informants, both chekists and recruited ordinary military.

[edit] Timeline

  • Initially there was no common counterinteligence directorate. Various Armies and Fronts had their "Special Departments".
  • Military Department of Vecheka, Военный отдел ВЧК
  • Special Department of Vecheka, Особый отдел ВЧК,
  • Special Department of Secret Operative Directorate of GPU, Особый отдел СОУ (Секретно-оперативное управление) ГПУ, July 1922
  • Special Department of OGPU, Особый отдел ОГПУ, September 1930
  • 4th Division of the OGPU Special Department, 4 отделение Особого отдела ОГПУ
  • Special Department of the USSR NKVD GUGB, Особый отдел ГУГБ НКВД СССР (July 1934 - )
  • 5th (Special) Dept. of GUGB, 5-й (особый) отдел ГУГБ December 1936 -
  • 2nd Directorate of NKVD, 2-е Управление НКВД СССР June 1938 -
  • 4th (Special) Dept. of GUGB, 4-й (особый) отдел ГУГБ September 1938 -
  • 3rd Dept. of People's Commissariat of Defense, Третье Управление НКО February 1941- July 1941
  • 3rd Dept. of People's Commissariat of Soviet Navy, Третье Управление НКВМФ February 1941 - January 1942
  • 3rd Dept. of NKVD, Третий отдел НКВД February 1941 -
  • Directorate of Special Departments of NKVD, Управление особых отделов НКВД СССР July 1941 - April 1943
  • SMERSH (1943-1946)
  • Third Chief Directorate of the USSR MGB Третье Главное Управление МГБ СССР, May 1946 -
  • Third Directorate of USSR MVD, Третье управление МВД СССР, March 1953 -
  • Third Chief Directorate of KGB, Третье главное управление КГБ при СМ СССР, March 1954 -

Military counterintelligence of the Soviet Army

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