The 2nd Shock Army (Russian: 2-я Ударная армия) was a field army of the Soviet Union during the Second World War. This type of formation was created in accordance with prewar doctrine that called for Shock Armies to overcome difficult defensive dispositions in order to create a tactical penetration of sufficient breadth and depth to permit the commitment of mobile formations for deeper exploitation. However, as the war went on, Shock Armies lost this specific role and reverted, in general, to ordinary frontline formations.
The 2nd Shock Army was formed from the Volkhov Front's 26th Army in December 1941 and initially consisted of the 327th Rifle Division and eight separate rifle brigades. During the Lyuban Offensive Operation in early 1942, the 2nd Shock Army broke through German lines, was cut off from reinforcement along the Volkhov River by a German counter-attack, and was not permitted to retreat. When the order for retreat finally came in, the 2nd was destroyed trying to escape. This happened again during the Siniavino operation, in which the 2nd Shock Army had to return to the Front's HQ for resupply and manpower.
By 1944, and during its participation in the Battle of Narva, the 2nd Shock Army consisted of five rifle divisions (11th, 43rd Rifle Division, 90th Rifle Division, 131st, and 196th) along with 600 artillery pieces, a tank brigade, another tank regiment, two SPG regiments, and masses of ammunition and supplies.
After the war ended, the 2nd Shock Army remained northeastern Germany (with its HQ at Schwerin) until January 1946, after which it returned to the USSR, where its HQ was reorganized as the HQ of the Arkhangel'sk Military District. It was composed of three rifle corps by this time (9 divisions). After the 2nd Shock Army was re-designated HQ Arkhangelsk MD's 116th Rifle Corps, its component units were spread among other districts. The 109th Rifle Corps (101st Guards, 46th and 372nd rifle divisions) went to the North Caucasus Military District, and the 134th Rifle Corps (102nd Guards, 90th and 272nd rifle divisions) went to the Voronezh Region.
In January 1942 the Volkhov Front commander, Meretskov, had to request the Army’s commander, General Lieutenant Sokolov, a former NKVD commissar, be relieved, as he was absolutely incompetent. Command was handed over to the former commander of 52nd Army, General Lieutenant Klykov. Later that same month it was launched against Lyuban, but its offensive saw the Army isolated, under a new commander, General Lieutenant A. A. Vlasov.