23rd Army (Soviet Union)

23rd Army
Active 1941-1957
Country USSR
Allegiance Soviet Union
Branch Regular Army
Type Field Army
Size Three Corps and additional units
Part of Military District
Engagements Invasion of Karelian Istmus
Vyborg Offensive
Lieutenant-General M.N. Gerasimov
Lieutenant-General A.I. Cherepanov
Lieutenant-General V.I. Shvetsov

The 23rd Army was a Field Army of the Soviet Union's Red Army. It was formed in May 1941 in the Leningrad Military District for the defence of the southernmost part of the Soviet Union's border with Finland, north and northeast of Vyborg. Soviet 7th Army was located on its right side.

The Army initially included the 19th and 50th Rifle Corps, the 10th Mechanized Corps (which included the 21st Tank Division, the 24th Tank Division and the 198th Mechanised Division), the 27th Vyborg Fortified Region, the 28th Keksgolm Fortified Region, plus artillery and other units.

On 24 June the Army was included in the Northern Front. At the beginning of 10 July Mechanised Corps was removed from the Army. From 31 July to the end of August when facing Finnish offensive, it was unable to stop the Finns reconquering the Karelian Isthmus, and thus the Army fell back to the old border line and occupied positions in the 22nd Karelian Fortified Region.

Due to a reorganisation, the army was transferred to the Leningrad Front on 24 August. The 23rd Army had suffered enormous losses in battles against Finns in July–August 1941. When Finnish army halted offense by command of field marshal Mannerheim on 1 September, the army consisted of only 80 000-90 000 men and had lost huge amounts of heavy weapons and material to the Finns. If Finns hadn't halted attack and continued moving towards Leningrad, the 23rd Army probably would have had to withdraw to the city of Leningrad.

From 1942 until June 1944 the Army defended North Western approaches to Leningrad. During June 1944 the Army, including the 97th, 98th and 115th Rifle Corps, and the 17th Izyaslavsky Fortified Region and other units, participated in the Vyborg offensive operation (10 June 1944 - 15 July 1944). In this operation, the 23rd Army followed the breakthrough of the 21st Army in this operation, cleared the southern bank of the Vuoksi river and crossed the river in the Battle of Vuosalmi. After the termination of combat with Finland the Army formations were brought out to the state border against Finland, where they were located to the end of the war.

On 1 May 1945, operating under the Leningrad Front, the army consisted of the 97th Rifle Corps (177, 178, 224 сд), 9, 16, 17th Fortified Regions, 47th Guards пабр, 8 гв., 21 пап, 94 иптап, 174 минп, 24 гв. мп, 1469 зенап, 71, 168, 177, 618 озадн, 14 одн брп, 172 оиб, 67 оибми.

In 1955, the Northern Military District, which included the 23rd Army, included 23rd Army headquarters, 44th Rifle Corps, and 25th, 45th, 47th, 54th, 64th, 67th, 69th, 77th Guards, and 83rd Rifle Divisions.[1] 23rd Army was disbanded in 1957 although its 30th Guards Rifle Corps[2] and all its divisions were preserved.[3]

Commanding officers


  1. Feskov et al 2004, 49.
  2. See also http://www.spbumag.nw.ru/2004/01/17.shtml (Ru)
  3. V.I. Feskov et al., The Soviet Army in the period of the Cold War, Tomsk, 2004


External links

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