The North Caucasian Front or North Caucasus Front was a Front 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 North Caucasus Front describes either of two distinct organizations during the war. The first formation was created on May 20, 1942 and was commanded by Marshal Semyon M. Budenny throughout its existence. It incorporated forces from the (disbanded) Crimean Front and received additional forces from the (disbanded) Southern Front on July 28, 1942. On September 1, 1942 the Front was reorganized as the Black Sea Group of Forces and assigned to the Transcaucasian Front during the German occupation of the Krasnodar Krai.
The second formation of this Front was created on January 24, 1943 from the Northern Group of Forces in the Transcaucasian Front (located in the eastern Caucasus), and reintegrated the Black Sea Group of Forces on February 5, 1943. Lieutenant General Ivan Maslennikov, who was promoted to Colonel General in January 1943, initially took command. He handed over to Lieutenant General Ivan E. Petrov (Russian: Иван Ефремович Петров), in May 1943, and Petrov was then promoted to Colonel General in August.
At the time of the Battle of Kursk in August 1943, during the long series of engagements known as the Battle of the Caucasus, the Transcaucasian Front included the Black Sea Group of Forces consisting of the 46th, 18th Desant, 47th, 56th Armies, and the 5th Air Army as well as the 13th and 16th Separate Rifle Corps. The Northern Group of Forces commanded the 37th, 9th, 58th Army, 44th Armies, as well as a Cavalry Mechanized Group and the 10th Separate Rifle Corps. Additionally it commanded the Black Sea Fleet and the Baku Army of PVO.
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