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After the defeat of the German troops near Leningrad, the situation in Finland became seriously complicated. However, the Finnish generals hoped for a turning point in the war and continued to hold positions on the Karelian Isthmus and in South Karelia.
As part of the general campaign to defeat the Finnish troops and reach the state border, the Leningrad Front (Marshal of the Soviet Union L.A. Govorov) was instructed to prepare an operation to defeat the enemy on the Karelian Isthmus. In preparation for the operation, Soviet forces on the Karelian Isthmus were significantly reinforced. Also, the troops of the front carried out significant maneuvers in order to hide the direction of the main attack.
By the beginning of the summer of 1944, preparations for the offensive were completed. The general plan of the operation implied a breakthrough of the Finnish defense on the Karelian Isthmus, which was supposed to pose a threat to the most important political and economic centers of Finland, which, in turn, was to force it out of the war. The Finnish General Staff hoped to hold back our troops on the Karelian Isthmus, relying on the difficult terrain for the advancing side and a wide network of long-term defensive structures, which were continuously strengthened for three years.
On June 10, 1944, the 21st Army (Lieutenant General D.N. Gusev) went on the offensive. On June 11, 1944, the 23rd Army (Lieutenant General A.I. Cherepanov) joined the operation. Soviet forces advanced along the northern shore of the Gulf of Finland and the southern shore of Lake Ladoga in the general direction of Vyborg. Active assistance to the troops of the Leningrad Front was provided by the 13th Air Army, as well as the Baltic Fleet and the Ladoga military flotilla.
On June 11, 1944, the forces of the 21st and 23rd armies were able to break through the first line of the Finnish defense. The fighting on the second line of the Finnish defense took on a more fierce character.
By June 18, 1944, Govorov's men still managed to break through the second defensive line and reach Vyborg. The Finnish headquarters, trying to save the situation, began the transfer of troops to the Karelian Isthmus from other sectors of the front.
On June 20, 1944, Soviet troops stormed the most important stronghold of the entire Finnish defense, the city of Vyborg.
Thus, in just 10 days, the Leningrad Front was able, having broken through the enemy’s defense in depth, to overcome more than 100 kilometers with battles. Having liberated Vyborg, the Soviet troops could threaten the main centers of Finland, which made the position of the Finnish troops in South Karelia extremely unstable.