Karelian Front

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The Karelian Front ( Russian Карельский фронт ) was a military formation of the Red Army during the Second World War . The front used opposite the Finnish border was formed in August 1941 and existed until November 15, 1944, when the headquarters of the front was relocated to the Far East and there formed the coastal group, which later became the 1st Far Eastern Front .


The front was formed on August 23, 1941 when the northern front was divided into the Karelian and Leningrad fronts . This took into account the fact that conditions in the Leningrad area differed fundamentally from those beyond the Arctic Circle.

The main task of the front was the defense of the section north of Lake Ladoga and the Swir river to the Arctic coast near Murmansk . It was confronted by Finnish and German troops who tried to interrupt the strategically important Murman Railway . The front line between Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega was achieved in the phase of the trench warfare of the independent 7th Army defended.

In the course of 1944 the front, along with the Leningrad Front, took part in the offensive against Finland , which in October 1944 brought about the armistice. In the Petsamo-Kirkenes operation , troops from the front conquered areas in northern Finland and liberated Norwegian Finnmark from German occupation.

Almost uniquely in modern military history, the Karelian Front conducted major military operations in arctic conditions. The expertise in conducting the operation, particularly in terms of rearward services and resupply, was of considerable use in conducting Operation August Storm , the Red Army's offensive against the Imperial Japanese Kwantung Army in Manchuria , and many higher officers were transferred from the Karelian Front to the war zone on Lake Baikal .

Front command

Structure of the Karelian Front (July 1942)

Front commander: Lieutenant General WA Frolov