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The Kalinin Front was a Front (i.e. a military formation of roughly Army Group size) of the Soviet Army during the Second World War. This sense of the term is not identical with the more general usage of military front which indicates a geographic area in wartime, although a Soviet Front may operate within designated boundaries.

The Kalinin Front was formally established by Stavka directive on 17 October 1941, and allocated three armies - 22nd, 29th Army and 30th. In May 1942, the Air Forces of the Kalinin Front were reorganised as the 3rd Air Army, comprising three fighter, two ground attack, and one bomber division.[1] In November 1942, along with the Soviet Western Front, the Kalinin Front launched Operation Mars against the German defenses in the Rzhev/Vyaz'ma salient. 3rd Shock Army, now allocated to Kalinin Front, started the operation on 24 November by attacking Third Panzer Army at Velikiye Luki, and the next day the Kalinin and Western Fronts assaulted the entire perimeter of the Rzhev salient. The offensive involved the 41st, 22nd, 39th, 31st, 20th, and 29th Armies from both Fronts. The Front was then involved in the Battle of Velikiye Luki in January–March 1943. The 3rd Air Army supported both the Rzhev/Sychevka and the Velikiye Luki operations, but then appears to have been shifted to Northwestern Front briefly to cover the Demiyansk bridgehead.

During the Nevel-Gorodok operation, from 6 October - 31 December 1943, the Front (which changed names halfway through) consisted of 3rd and 4th Shock, 11th Guards and 43rd Armies, plus the 3rd Air Army. Its initial strength was 198,000 men. The losses amounted to 43,551 dead and missing and 125,351 wounded and sick.[2]

It was renamed the 1st Baltic Front on 12 October 1943.[3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Keith Bonn/David Glantz, 'Slaughterhouse: the Handbook of the Eastern Front,' Aberjona Press, Bedford, PA, 2005, p.336
  2. G. F. Krivosheev, Russia and the USSR in the wars of the 20th century: losses of the Armed Forces. A Statistical Study, (in Russian), via axishistoryforum at [1].
  3. See also http://www.serpukhov.su/dima/war/eng/ekalin.htm.
  • John Erickson, The Road to Stalingrad, 1975
  • David Glantz, Colossus Reborn: The Red Army at War 1941-43, University Press of Kansas, 2005, p. 495

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