At the beginning of World War II. Bagramyan served as a Soviet staff officer on the Southwest Front, as Chief of Operations Department in the Kiev Military District and also as Chief of Staff to TIMOSHENKO after BUDENNY’s dismissal. He was given command of an army, the 16th Guards (later the 11th Guards), in July 1942. His army fought on the Western Front and at Kursk (July 1943) where it attacked from the north and achieved the envelopment of Orel. In November 1943 he was promoted to General and replaced YEREMENKO as Commander of First Baltic Front, which became known as the Samland Group in later operations. During the Belorussian campaign his armies unexpectedly broke through in the north and encircled Vitebsk killing 20,000 Germans and capturing 10,000. The Front Armies then crossed the Dvina, took Daugavpils and reached the coast west of Riga. Now all that was left was to complete the encirclement of German Army Group North. In January 1945 his Group occupied Memel and was then ordered to take Konigsberg. This proved a stumbling block and Bagramyan was held responsible for the failure to take it until April 1945. After the war he was appointed Commander of the Baltic Military District.