|Active||August 1941 – 1945|
|Type||Army Group Command|
|Role||Co-ordination and conduct of Red Army operations north of Lake Ladoga and in the Arctic|
|Marshal of the Soviet Union K.A. Meretskov|
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 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.
Order of battleEdit
- 7th Army (Alexey Nikolayevich Krutikov)
- 14th Army (Vladimir Shcherbakov)
- 19th Army (Georgy Kozlov)
- 26th Army (Lev Skvirsky)
- 32nd Army (Filipp D. Gorelenko)
- 7th Air Army (Ivan Sokolov)
- 1st Guards Mixed Aviation Division
- 257th, 260th, 261st Mixed Aviation Divisions
- 324th Fighter Aviation Division
- 858th Fighter Aviation Regiment
- 204th Fire Correction and Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment
- 121st Separate Communications Aviation Regiment
- 108th Reconnaissance Aviation Squadron
- 119th Reconnaissance Aviation Squadron
- 118th Long-Range Reconnaissance Aviation Squadron
- Combat composition of the Soviet Army, 1 September 1944
- Meretskov 'Im Dienste des Volkes'
- Khudalov 'Am Rande des Kontinents'
- Combined Arms Research Library, The Petsamo-Kirkenes Operation – Leavenworth Paper No. 17