Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation

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Kalle2
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Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation

Post by Kalle2 » 11 Aug 2023 19:55

Are there similar Soviet decriptions (eg. special volume of Russkiy Arkhiv?) of the planning and realization of the Vyborg-Petrozavodsk (Stalin´s fourth strategic operation), performed by Leningrad Front (Marshal Govorov) and Karelian Front (Marshal Meretskov), and partly overlapping with Operation Bagration?

It seem strange that Stalin ordered Marshal Govorov to stop the advance by the Leningrad Front on 12 July 1944, but Marshal Meretskov continued his attack until mid-August 1944 - what is the explanation?

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Re: Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation

Post by Art » 12 Aug 2023 13:21

Kalle2 wrote:
11 Aug 2023 19:55
Are there similar Soviet decriptions (eg. special volume of Russkiy Arkhiv?) of the planning and realization of the Vyborg-Petrozavodsk (Stalin´s fourth strategic operation), performed by Leningrad Front (Marshal Govorov) and Karelian Front (Marshal Meretskov), and partly overlapping with Operation Bagration?
Similar to what exactly? There were quite a number of books on the subject begining from classifed "Collection of materials for studying the experience of war" issued in 1945 to titles published in 2023. No, there was no "Russkiy arkhiv" volume on the subject.
I believe, both memoirs of Shtemenko and Meretskov provide more or less factually correct (yet not complete) perspective on higher level planning.
It seem strange that Stalin ordered Marshal Govorov to stop the advance by the Leningrad Front on 12 July 1944, but Marshal Meretskov continued his attack until mid-August 1944 - what is the explanation?
After meeting of Govorov and Stalin on 11 July 1944 the Leningrad Front shifted its focal point to Narva so support operations of the 2nd and 3rd Baltic Front (already started or about to start). Operations on the Karelian Isthmus were halted but could be resumed later depending on the situation and possibly progress achieved by the Karelian Front.

It should be added that the German Army Detachment Narva was weakened by transfers of forces elsewhere beginning from mid-June 1944, see the order of battle here:
https://www.axishistory.com/books/148-g ... uppe-narwa
Soviet intelligence knew that very well. Apparently the idea was that shifting of the efforts between wings of the Leningrad Front using internal lines would caught Germans at Narva in their moment of weakness. That was not a bad idea itself but it failed to take into acccount the "bottleneck" nature of the Narva region.

Kalle2
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Re: Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation

Post by Kalle2 » 13 Aug 2023 16:53

Thank you Art for your valable comments!

However, in my opinion neither Meretskov nor Shtemenko does give information about the planning and implementation of the Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation, and absolute nothing about various alternative plans and options as considered by the Stavka.

With my question I wanted to ask whether there are publications of similar considerations and options related to the Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation, as discussed in this forum concerning the Lublin-Brest operation?

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Re: Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation

Post by Art » 14 Aug 2023 14:26

Kalle2 wrote:
13 Aug 2023 16:53
However, in my opinion neither Meretskov nor Shtemenko does give information about the planning and implementation of the Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation
It sounds surprising, because in my opinion they did.

Meretskov's operational proposals to Stavka are available online
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=263304529
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=263350090
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=238968394

and provide a good supplement to his memoirs. Frankly, I don't quite understand the meaning of "alternative", but these were plans considered at the very top.

Kalle2
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Re: Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation

Post by Kalle2 » 16 Aug 2023 07:31

Art,
thank you for the references to Meretskov´s plans.

However, the sharp criticism expressed by the Stavka concerning the recent bad performance of the left wing of the Karelian front, and also unqualified command organisation expressed in the August 27, 1944 Stavka directive does not seem to be commented upon by Meretskov nor by Shtemenko:

http://docs.historyrussia.org/ru/nodes/ ... sta-1944-g

The directive apparently refers to the Soviet 176. and 289. Divisions, which lost almost all heavy equipment and were almost surrounded in the August 1944 fighting in the Ilomantsi-direction in eastern Finland.

Very interesting is the directive´s statement that ethnical Finnish commanders in the Karelian front are unwilling to fight against Finnish compatriot in the Finnish Army!

Art
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Re: Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation

Post by Art » 17 Aug 2023 16:55

Meretskov's didn't wright a word where and how he spent time between June and September 1941 either. Such were censorship limitations of that era.
What I mean is that things he did right seems ot be accurate and are in good accord with documents. The principal point is that Meretskov and the Karelian Front staff didn't know anything about (Vyborg-)Petrozavodsk operations until last days of May 44 and were directed to start planning only after this date. So the entire planning preparation took less than 3 weeks.

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Re: Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation

Post by Reigo2 » 19 Aug 2023 08:17

Art wrote:
12 Aug 2023 13:21
After meeting of Govorov and Stalin on 11 July 1944 the Leningrad Front shifted its focal point to Narva so support operations of the 2nd and 3rd Baltic Front (already started or about to start). Operations on the Karelian Isthmus were halted but could be resumed later depending on the situation and possibly progress achieved by the Karelian Front.
You are correct about shifting the focal point but it's interesting that Leningrad Front's first directive about the preparation of the Narva offensive appeared already 7 July. Based on this directive offensive preparations were almost finished during the following days but the attack was not ordered - probably because the preparations and amount of forces were evaluated as insuffcient (around 10 July Stavka ordered 3 rifle divisions to be transferred to the 3rd Baltic Front). 14 July Front issued new directive for offensive which content wasn't that much different from the 7 July one. However now forces form Karelia were regrouped to the Narva direction before the offensive started 24 July.

I suspect that Stavka initiated the preparation of the Narva operation already about the same time when giving offensive task to the 3rd Baltic Front (Stavka's directive 6 July). However have not found any proof.

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Re: Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation

Post by Art » 20 Aug 2023 10:04

Kalle2 wrote:
16 Aug 2023 07:31
Very interesting is the directive´s statement that ethnical Finnish commanders in the Karelian front are unwilling to fight against Finnish compatriot in the Finnish Army!
There were offshots of the pre-war 71 (Karelo-Finnish) Rifle Divisions, as far as I can see. In particular:
major general Tommola (formerly an artillery commander of the 71 RD) commanded the 289 Rifle Division (but was replaced already in June 1944)
colonel Heinonen (formerly an organizations officer of the 71 RD) was a chief of cadres of the 32 Army.
Probably there others.

I beleive, accusations of a lack of loyalty were mostly rubbish.

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Re: Vyborg-Petrozavodsk operation

Post by Art » 20 Aug 2023 10:37

Reigo2 wrote:
19 Aug 2023 08:17
You are correct about shifting the focal point but it's interesting that Leningrad Front's first directive about the preparation of the Narva offensive appeared already 7 July.
Yes, I've seen that. It appears that at this point the Narva operation wasn't expected to interfer with operations on the Finnish front (21, 23 and 59 Armies of the Leningrad Front). The latter still contunued their offensive. Several days later the offensive on the Finnish front was halted and large forces were transferred to the Narva sector.
It seems that the meeting between Govorov and Stalin on the night 11/12 July was a critical event. Govorov issued the halt orders and new directives for the Narva offensive after he returned to his HQ from Moscow after this meeting.
I suspect that Stavka initiated the preparation of the Narva operation already about the same time when giving offensive task to the 3rd Baltic Front (Stavka's directive 6 July). However have not found any proof.
Vasilevsky says in his memoir that "about these days" (circa 6 July) it was decided that both the 3 Baltic and Leningrad Front would join the offensive in the nearest weeks. Yet, probably it was a retrospective account. In any case whereas the 3 Baltic Front recieved a formal directive from Stavka on 6 July 1944, the Leningrad Front didn't. Possibly instructions could be given via the telephone.


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