|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|
|Colonel General 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 battle
- 7th Army
- 14th Army
- 19th Army
- 26th Army
- 32nd Army
- 7th Air Army
- Svir-Petrozavodsk Operation against Finland, July–August 1944
- Petsamo-Kirkenes Operation against the Wehrmacht, October 1944
- Colonel-General Valerian Frolov (September 1941 – February 1944)
- Colonel General K. A. Meretskov (February 1944 – May 1945)
- 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