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Far East Front

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Far East Front

The Far Eastern Front was a Front — a formation equivalent to a Western Army Group — of the Soviet Army during the Russian Civil War and the Second World War.

Early War Service

After its Civil War service, the Far Eastern Front was re-created on June 28, 1938 from the Special Red Banner Far Eastern Army within the Far East Military District. It included the 1st Red Banner Army and the 2nd Red Banner Army. In 1938 Front forces — seemingly the Soviet 32nd Rifle Division of 39th Rifle Corps — engaged the Japanese at the Battle of Lake Khasan. On the eve of the invasion of the Soviet Union by Germany, the Front comprised:

War Against Japan

On August 5, 1945, the Front was divided and reorganized as the 1st Far Eastern Front and 2nd Far Eastern Front:

2nd Far Eastern Front, under General M. A. Purkayev (aimed at eastern Manchukuo), including:

1st Far Eastern Front, under Marshal K. A. Meretskov (aimed at northern Manchukuo), including:

Transbaikal Front included the 12th Air Army.

In the Soviet invasion of Manchuria it led the attack into Japanese-occupied Manchuria. The Kwantung Army of the Imperial Japanese Army had more than 1 million soldiers, the Japanese defenders were overwhelmed by the offensive. Allied forces of Mongolia and Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalist China aided the Soviet operation. On August 19, the Far East Front continued its routing of the Kwantung Army by capturing Harbin and Mukden. By August 21, the Red Army had captured almost all of Manchuria, and the final surrender of the Kwantung Army took place.

On August 11 to 12, 1945 the 87th Rifle Corps was brought out from the reserve of the 1st Far Eastern Front, and received new orders to prepare for landing operations on the island of Hokkaido (Japan), however the planned operation never took place, although elements of the 87th Corps participated in other operations against Japanese forces in the theatre.

Commanders

  • Marshal of the Soviet Union Vasily K. Blukher (1 July 1938 — 4 September 1938)
  • Komkor Grigori M. Shtern (August 1938; July 1940 - January 1941)
  • Colonel General Iosif P. Apanasenko [promoted to Army General in February 1941] (January 1941 – April 1943)
  • Colonel General Maxim A. Purkaev [promoted to Army General in October 1944] (April 1943 – August 1945)

Sources

  • Orbat.com/Niehorster, Order of Battle, 22 June 1941
  • David Glantz, Stumbling Colossus, University Press of Kansas, 1998 (for 1941 order of battle)
  • Soviet invasion of Manchuria
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