(фронт) was a major military organization
in the Soviet Army
, roughly equivalent to an army group
in the military terminology of other countries with the exception of Germany during the Second World War. It should not to be confused with the more general usage of military front,
describing a geographic area in wartime.
An interesting and important distinction between the two is that a Soviet front typically has its own organic tactical fixed-wing Army-sized air force. This Air Army is directly subordinated to the Front commander (typically a ground commander). The entire front might report either to STAVKA or a TVD, or Teatr Voennykh Deistvii— Theatre of Military Operations.
The Soviet fronts were first raised during the Russian Civil War and were activated for the Polish-Soviet War of 1920, Soviet-Finnish War of 1939, Invasion of Poland in 1939, and during Second World War.
During WW2 and the Cold War, fronts and their staffs were integrated with various Military Districts, or became "Group of Soviet Forces in the Warsaw Pact organisation. It should be noted that not all Military Districts could form a Front, and some do not have an organic Air Army.
List of Soviet Fronts in the Russian Civil War
The fronts created during the Russian Civil War
were later known as the Ist formation fronts.
List of Soviet fronts in World War II
The degree of change in the structure and performance of individual fronts can only be understood when seen in the context of the Strategic operations of the Red Army in World War II
Soviet fronts in the European Theatre during the Second World War from 1941 to 1945:
- Baltic Fronts
- Bryansk Front - Created 18 December 1941, to take sector between the Western and Southwestern Fronts. Disbanded 11/12 March 1943. Reformed from Orel Front 28 March 1943.
- Belorussian Fronts (alternative spellings are Byelorussian Front and Belarusian Front)
- Caucasus Front - renamed Belorussian Front late 1943
- Central Front
- Crimean Front - formed January 1942 to reconquer the Crimea, incorporating 44th, 47th, and 51st Armies
- Don Front
- Far East Front
- Kalinin Front - the Kalinin Front was formally established by Stavka directive on 17 October 1941, and allocated three armies - 22nd, 29th and 30th. Renamed 1st Baltic Front Oct-Dec 1943.
- Karelian Front - formed from Northern Front, along with Leningrad Front, on 23 August 1941.
- Kursk Front
- Leningrad Front - formed from Northern Front, along with Karelian Front, on 23 August 1941.
- Moscow Zone of Defense
- Moscow Reserve Front
- Mozhaysk Line of Defense
- North Caucasus Front - redesignated TC Front's Black Sea Group of Forces, 1 September 1942
- Northern Front - formed from Leningrad Military District on 24 June 1941
- Northwestern Front - formed from Baltic Special Military District on 22 June 1941
- Orel Front - created 24 March 1943 to defend opposite the tip of the German salient east of Orel. Composed of Western Front's 61st Army, Central Front's 3rd Army, and 15th Air Army. Redesignated Bryansk Front 28 March 1943.
- Army Group of Primorye
- Reserve Front - Front of Reserve Armies formed 14 July 1941
- Southeastern Front - formed from armies on Stalingrad Front's left wing, 7 August 1942. Redesignated Stalingrad Front 28 September 1942.
- Southern Front - renamed 4th Ukrainian Front 20 October 1943.
- Southwestern Front - Formed initially on 22 June 1941. Reestablished 22 October 1942 between Don and Voronezh Fronts. Renamed 3rd Ukrainian Front 20 October 1943.
- Stalingrad Front - Along with Voronezh Front, formed from remnants of Southwestern Front July 1942. Became Don Front 28 September 1942.
- Steppe Front - renamed 2nd Ukrainian Front 20 October 1943.
- Transbaikal Front
- Transcaucasian Front - formed 23 August 1941
- Ukrainian Fronts
- Volkhov Front - formed 17 December 1941
- Voronezh Front - renamed 1st Ukrainian Front 20 October 1943.
- Western Front - formed from Western Special Military District on 22 June 1941
Citations and notes
- John Erickson, The Road to Stalingrad: Stalin's War with Germany, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1975
- David Glantz, Colossus Reborn: The Red Army at War 1941-43, University Press of Kansas, 2005