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Karelian Front

Karelian Front
ActiveAugust 1941 – 1945
BranchWorkers' and Peasants' Red Army
TypeArmy Group Command
RoleCo-ordination and conduct of Red Army operations north of Lake Ladoga and in the Arctic
Size2 Armies
EngagementsSvir-Petrozavodsk Operation
Petsamo-Kirkenes Operation
Marshal of the Soviet Union K.A. Meretskov

The Karelian Front Russian: Карельский фронт) was a front (a formation of Army Group size) of the Soviet Union's Red Army during World War II, and operated in Karelia.


The Karelian Front was created in August 1941 when Northern Front was split into Karelian Front and Leningrad Front to take account of the different military developments and requirements on the Leningrad approaches versus those along the Finnish border to the Arctic. It remained in existence until the end of the war.

The front covered the sector north of Lake Ladoga and the Svir River to the Arctic Coast near Murmansk. It was involved in combat with both Finnish and German forces along the Soviet-Finnish border. The front between Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega was split off to the independent 7th Army during the static phase of the war.

During 1944, the Karelian Front participated with the Leningrad Front in the final offensive against Finland which led to the Soviet-Finnish armistice. In October 1944 the Petsamo-Kirkenes Operation was conducted along the front, capturing some parts of northern Finland and liberating the easternmost parts of the Norwegian Finnmark province from German occupation.

The Karelian Front in the Petsamo-Kirkenes Operation conducted the only[citation needed] successful major military operation ever undertaken in an Arctic environment in modern warfare. The experiences in the conduct of the operation, particularly in terms of organising rear-area services and supply, were considered important to the conduct of the Red Army’s offensive against the Japanese Kwantung Army in Manchuria, and many leading officers were transferred from Karelian Front to the Baikal theatre of war. [citation needed]

Order of battle

Order of battle of the Karelian Front on 1 September 1944:[1]

Major operations




See also

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Karelian Front
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