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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. The Combat Composition of the Soviet Army for 1 June 1942 however shows the 3rd Air Army with the 209th, 210th Fighter Aviation Divisions (иад), the 211th and 212th Mixed Aviation Divisions, the 684th and 695th Lighter Bomber Aviation Regiments, the 195, 708, 881, 882, 883, 884, 885, and 887th Mixed Aviation Regiments, and the 3rd Reconnaissance Aviation Squadron.

In November 1942, along with the Soviet Western Front, the Kalinin Front launched Operation Mars against the German defences 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 Lukimarker, 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 Nevelmarker-Gorodok operation, from 6 October - 31 December 1943, the Front (which changed names half-way 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.

It was renamed the 1st Baltic Front in October-December 1943.

Sources and References

  • 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

Further reading

  • Anishchenkov, Panteleimon Stepanovich and Vasilii Yerofeyevich Shurinov. Tret'ia vozdushnaia: Voenno-istoricheskii ocherk o boevom puti VVS Kalininskogo fronta i 3-i vozdushnoi armii v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny. [The Third Air Army: a military-historical essay of the campaign record of the Air Forces of the Kalinin Front and the Third Air Army during the Great Patriotic War] Moscow: Voenizdat, 1984. (Russian)

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