In May 1941 Kurochkin, the Commander of the Trans-Baikal Military District, was designated Commander of the 20th Army and transferred to west of Moscow. This move came too late to be implemented before the German invasion and so he was made Commander of the Northwest Front before the end of the year. In January he was able to attack west of Smolensk and encircle seven divisions of the German II Corps in Demyansk. In 1944 he was made Commander of the 2nd Belorussian Front but he failed to take Kovel and was dismissed. However he was then given command of the 60th Army on the Czechoslovakian Front which captured Opava in April 1945.