23rd Army (Soviet Union)
The 23rd Army was a Field Army
Field army
A Field Army, or Area Army, usually referred to simply as an Army, is a term used by many national military forces for a military formation superior to a corps and beneath an army group....

 of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

's Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

. It was formed in May 1941 in the Leningrad Military District
Leningrad Military District
The Leningrad Military District was a military district of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. In 2010 it was merged with the Moscow Military District, the Northern Fleet and the Baltic Fleet to form the new Western Military District.-History:...

 for the defence of the southernmost part of the Soviet Union's border
Borders define geographic boundaries of political entities or legal jurisdictions, such as governments, sovereign states, federated states and other subnational entities. Some borders—such as a state's internal administrative borders, or inter-state borders within the Schengen Area—are open and...

 with Finland, north and northeast of Vyborg
Vyborg is a town in Leningrad Oblast, Russia, situated on the Karelian Isthmus near the head of the Bay of Vyborg, to the northwest of St. Petersburg and south from Russia's border with Finland, where the Saimaa Canal enters the Gulf of Finland...

. Soviet 7th Army
7th Army (Soviet Union)
The Soviet Red Army's 7th Army first saw action in the 1939-40 Winter War against Finland. In November 1939, just before the initial Soviet attack, it consisted of the 19th Rifle Corps , 50th Rifle Corps , 10th Tank Corps, 138th Rifle Division, and an independent tank brigade...

 was located on its right side.

The Army initially included the 19th and 50th Rifle Corps, the 10th Mechanized Corps
10th Mechanized Corps (Soviet Union)
The 10th Mechanized Corps was a formation in the Soviet Red Army during the Second World War. Initially formed in March 1941 in response the German victories of 1940 it was attached to the Leningrad Military District, & held in reserve near Leningrad fortified region in Soviet Union It was under...

 (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 July the 10th 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
Finnish reconquest of the Karelian Isthmus (1941)
The Finnish reconquest of the Karelian Isthmus refers to a military campaign carried out by Finland in 1941. It was part of what is commonly referred to as the Continuation War.Early in the war Finnish forces reconquered the Karelian Isthmus...

, and thus the Army fell back to the old border line and occupied positions in the 22nd Karelian Fortified Region
Karelian Fortified Region
22nd Karelian Fortified Region is a 60 km wide area of Soviet defensive fortifications to the north of Leningrad that was built in 1928-1932, 1938-1939, 1941-1944 and 1950-1965 in the Soviet part of Karelian Isthmus among other fortified areas constructed around that time in order to protect...


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
21st Army (Soviet Union)
-June to September 1941:21st Army was a part of the Second Operational Echelon of the RKKA. It was formed from the forces of the Volga Military District in May 1941 and was initially based on 63rd Rifle Corps and 66th Rifle Corps. The army was under the command of Lieutenant-General Vasilii...

 in this operation, cleared the southern bank of the Vuoksi river and crossed the river in the Battle of Vuosalmi
Battle of Vuosalmi
The Battle of Vuosalmi — the main bulk of it — lasted from July 4 to July 11, 1944. It was fought during the Continuation War , a part of World War II, between Finland and the Soviet Union....

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.

23rd Army was disbanded in the period of reductions (in the late 1950s?) although its 30th Guards Rifle Corps and all its divisions were preserved.

Commanding officers

  • Lieutenant-General Pshennikov P.S. (May - August 1941);
  • Lieutenant-General Gerasimov M.N. (August - September 1941);
  • Major-General A.I. Cherepanov
    Alexander Ivanovich Cherepanov
    Alexander Ivanovich Cherepanov was a Soviet military leader.A peasant's son, Cherepanov served as a junior officer in the Russian Army in World War I and took part in the Russian Civil War and Polish-Soviet War with the Red Army....

    (September 1941 - July 1944; promoted Lieutenant General in September 1943);
  • Lieutenant-General V.I. Shvetsov (July 1944. - to the end of the war).


  • Keith E. Bonn (ed.), Slaughterhouse: The Handbook of the Eastern Front, Aberjona Press, Bedford, PA, 2005
  • http://samsv.narod.ru/Arm/a23/arm.html
  • Lenskii, Ground forces of RKKA in the pre-war years: a reference (Сухопутные силы РККА в предвоенные годы. Справочник.) — St Petersburg, B & K, 2000
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