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Encyclopedia > Battle of Kursk
Battle of Kursk
Part of the Eastern Front of World War II

Disabled Soviet T-34 being towed by a turretless armored recovery tank, under enemy fire.
Date German Kursk :July 4July 20, 1943
Soviet Kursk : July 4August 23, 1943
Location 51°30′4″N 36°3′5″E / 51.50111, 36.05139 (Battle of Kursk)Coordinates: 51°30′4″N 36°3′5″E / 51.50111, 36.05139 (Battle of Kursk)
Kursk, USSR
Result Decisive Soviet strategic victory
Belligerents
Flag of Nazi Germany Nazi Germany Flag of the Soviet Union Soviet Union
Commanders
Erich von Manstein
Günther von Kluge
Hermann Hoth
Walther Model
Hans Seidemann
Robert Ritter von Greim
Georgiy Zhukov
Konstantin Rokossovskiy
Nikolay Vatutin
Ivan Konyev
Strength
2,700 tanks
800,000 infantry
2,109 aircraft[1]
3,600 tanks
20,000 guns[2]
1,300,000 infantry and supporting troops
2,792 aircraft[3]
Casualties and losses
German Kursk[4] :
50,000 dead, wounded, or captured
300 tanks
200 aircraft ,
Soviet Kursk[5] :
500,000 dead, wounded, or captured
900 tanks
200 aircraft
German Kursk[4] :
180,000 dead, wounded, or captured
1,600 tanks
1,000 aircraft ,
Soviet Kursk[5] :
607,737 dead, wounded, or captured
1,500 tanks
1,000 aircraft
The eastern front at the time of the Battle of Kursk. Orange areas show the destruction of an earlier Soviet breakthrough that ended with the Third Battle of Kharkov. Green areas show German advances on Kursk.

The Battle of Kursk (Russian: Курская битва) or Kursk Campaign (July 4July 20, 1943), also called Operation Citadel (German: Unternehmen Zitadelle) by the German Army, was a major battle on the Eastern Front of World War II and the last German blitzkrieg offensive in the east as well as the last German offensive of such scale in the war. The exact definition of the battle varies: the Germans saw it as comprising Operation Citadel only, while the Soviets considered (and Russians today consider) it to include Citadel and the subsequent Soviet counteroffensives, Operation Kutuzov and Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev. Overall, the campaign, which included the famous sub-battle at Prokhorovka, remains both the largest armored engagement and the most costly single day of aerial warfare to date. Combatants Soviet Union,[1] Poland, Tannu Tuva (until 1944 incorporation with USSR), Mongolia Germany,[2] Italy (to 1943), Romania (to 1944), Finland (to 1944), Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Spain (to 1943, unofficial) Commanders Joseph Stalin, Aleksei Antonov, Ivan Konev, Rodion Malinovsky, Ivan Bagramyan, Kirill Meretskov, Ivan Petrov, Alexander Rodimtsev, Konstantin Rokossovsky... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Image File history File linksMetadata Sovietic_T34_battle_of_kursk. ... Soviet redirects here. ... The T-34 is a Soviet medium tank first produced in 1940. ... Conqueror Armoured Recovery Vehicle 2 An armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) is a type of armoured fighting vehicle used to repair battle-damaged or broken-down armoured vehicles during combat, or to tow them off the battlefield for more extensive repairs. ... is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 201st day of the year (202nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... {| style=float:right; |- | |- | |} is the 235th day of the year (236th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ... For other uses, see Kursk (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein The neutrality of this article is disputed. ... Günther “Hans” von Kluge (October 30, 1882 – August 19, 1944), was a German military leader. ... General Hermann Hoth Hermann Papa Hoth (12 April 1885 - 26 January 1971) was a general of the Third Reich during World War II, notable for victories in France and on the Eastern Front, and later, after serving six years in prison for war crimes, as a writer on military history. ... Otto Moritz Walter Model (IPA /mo:dÉ™l/) (January 24, 1891–April 21, 1945) was a German general, and later a Field Marshal, during World War II. He was noted for his defensive skills, and was nicknamed Hitlers fireman. Model served as an infantry officer in World War I... Robert Ritter von Greim. ... Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgi Zhukov Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov (Russian: Гео́ргий Константи́нович Жу́ков) (December 1, 1896 - June 18, 1974), Soviet military commander and politician, considered by many as one of the most successful field commanders of World War II. Prewar career Born into a peasant family in Strelkovka, Kaluga... Marshal of the Soviet Union Konstantin Rokossovsky Konstantin Konstantinovich Rokossovskiy (Russian: Константин Константинович Рокоссовский, Polish: Konstanty Rokossowski) (December 21, 1896 – August 3, 1968) was a Soviet military commander and Polish Defence Minister. ... Nikolai Fyodorovich Vatutin (1900 - 1944) was a Soviet marshal. ... Marshal Ivan Konev Ivan Stepanovich Koniev (Russian Иван Степанович Конев) (December 28, 1897 – May 21, 1973), Soviet military commander, was born into a peasant family near Podosinovsky in central Russia (now in Kirov Oblast). ... Combatants Soviet Union,[1] Poland, Tannu Tuva (until 1944 incorporation with USSR), Mongolia Germany,[2] Italy (to 1943), Romania (to 1944), Finland (to 1944), Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Spain (to 1943, unofficial) Commanders Joseph Stalin, Aleksei Antonov, Ivan Konev, Rodion Malinovsky, Ivan Bagramyan, Kirill Meretskov, Ivan Petrov, Alexander Rodimtsev, Konstantin Rokossovsky... Combatants Germany Romania Finland Italy Hungary Slovakia  Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Fedor von Bock Gerd von Rundstedt Heinz Guderian Günther von Kluge Franz Halder Ion Antonescu C.G.E. Mannerheim Giovanni Messe, CSIR Italo Garibaldi, ARMIR Iosef Stalin Kliment Voroshilov Semyon Timoshenko Fyodor Kuznetsov... Battle of the Baltic concerns the German and Soviet battle for the control of the Baltic sea during World War II. Categories: | | | | | ... Combatants Germany Spanish Blue Division Soviet Union Commanders Wilhelm von Leeb Georg von Küchler Agustín Muñoz Grandes Kliment Voroshilov Georgiy Zhukov Strength 725,000 930,000 Casualties Unknown Red Army: 332,059 KIA 24,324 non-combat dead 111,142 missing 16,470 civilians 1 million civilians... Combatants Germany Romania Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Ivan Petrov Filipp Oktyabrskiy Strength 350,000+ 106,000 Casualties at least 100,000 killed, wounded or captured (Including Romanians) 95,000 captured, 11,000 killed The Battle of Sevastopol was fought from October 30, 1941 to July 4, 1942 between... Combatants Nazi Germany Soviet Union Commanders Fedor von Bock, Heinz Guderian Georgy Zhukov, Aleksandr Vasilevsky Strength As of October 1: 1,000,000 men, 1,700 tanks, 14,000 guns, 950 planes[1] As of October 1: 1,250,000 men, 1,000 tanks, 7,600 guns, 677 planes[2... The formation of the Rzhev salient during the winter of 1941-1942. ... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Fedor von Bock, Friedrich Paulus Semyon Timoshenko Strength 300,000 men, 1000 tanks, 1500 aircraft 640,000 men, 1200 tanks, 1000 aircraft Casualties 20,000 killed, wounded or captured 207,057 killed, wounded or captured, 652 tanks, 1,646 guns, 3,278 mortars, 57,626... Case Blue (German: ) was the German Wehrmachts codename for the 1942 summer offensive. ... Belligerents Germany Romania Italy Hungary Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Friedrich Paulus # Erich von Manstein Wolfram von Richthofen Petre Dumitrescu Constantin Constantinescu Italo Garibaldi Gusztáv Vitéz Jány Josef Stalin Vasiliy Chuikov Aleksandr Vasilyevskiy Georgiy Zhukov Semyon Timoshenko Konstantin Rokossovskiy Rodion Malinovskiy Andrei Yeremenko Strength Army Group B... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Kurt von der Chevallerie M. A. Purkayev Strength ~20,000 (on 19 Nov) 100,000 (on 19 Nov) Casualties 17,000 killed or wounded, 3,000 captured 30,000 killed or wounded Situation after the initial Soviet advance. ... The eastern front at the time of the Second Rzhev-Sychevka Offensive. ... Combatants Axis Soviet Union Commanders Günther von Kluge Andrei Yeremenko, Vasily Sokolovsky Strength 850,000 men, 8,800 guns, 500 tanks, 700 planes[1] 1,253,000 men, 20,640 guns, 1,430 tanks, 1,100 planes[1] Casualties (Soviet est. ... Combatants Axis Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Konstantin Rokossovsky, Ivan Konev Strength 1,250,000 men 12,600 guns 2,100 tanks 2,000 planes 2,650,000 men 51,000 guns 2,400 tanks 2,850 planes Casualties Low est. ... The 1943 Battle of Kiev resulted in a Soviet victory, forcing the German invaders of the Soviet Union to retreat further. ... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein, Wilhelm Stemmerman (Gruppe Stemmerman), Hermann Breith, III Panzerkorps Georgi Zhukov, Nikolai Vatutin (1st Ukrainian Front), Ivan Konev (2nd Ukrainian Front), Strength 56,000 70 tanks and assault guns In packet only but much large with relief troops 200,000 500 tanks Casualties... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein (Army Group South) Hans-Valentin Hube (First Panzer Army) Georgi Zhukov Nikolai Vatutin (1st Ukrainian Front) Ivan Koniev (2nd Ukrainian Front) Strength 200,000 500,000 Casualties  ?  ? 357 tanks The Battle of the Kamenets-Podolsky Pocket, also known as Hubes Pocket... Combatants Soviet Union Germany Commanders Soviet STAVKA German OKW Strength Unknown Unknown Casualties 260,000 all causes Unknown The Baltic Offensive, also formally referred to as the Baltic Strategic Offensive Operation[1][2][3][4] as it was called by the Red Army who undertook it, denotes the battle between... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Ernst Busch (to 28 June), Walter Model (Army Group Centre) Georg-Hans Reinhardt (Third Panzer Army) Hans Jordan (Ninth Army) Kurt von Tippelskirch (Fourth Army) Walter Weiss (Second Army) Georgy Zhukov Konstantin Rokossovsky (3rd Belorussian Front) Hovhannes Bagramyan (1st Baltic Front) Ivan Chernyakhovsky (1st Belorussian... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Josef Harpe (Heeresgruppe Nordukraine) Ivan Koniev (1st Ukrainian Front) Strength 370,000 men 340 AFVs 4,800 guns 1,200,000 men 1,979 AFVs 11,265 guns Casualties 350,000 men 520 AFVs 198,000 men 1,285 AFVs The Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive[1... Combatants Nazi Germany Romania Soviet Union Commanders Ferdinand Schorner (until July 23) Johannes Friessner (from July 25) (Heeresgruppe Sudukraine) Günther Blumentritt (until June 28) Walter Model (until August 16) Georg Hans Reinhardt (Army Group Centre) Konstantin Rokossovsky (1st Belorussian Front) Strength  ?  ? Casualties  ?  ? Lublin-Brest Offensive is covered in the... Budapest Offensiv, together with other Soviet Balkan offensivesm is covered by the green area in the south. ... Combatants Wehrmacht i. ... WWII Eastern Front during 1945 The East Prussian Offensive was an offensive by the Red Army in its fight against the German Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front (World War II). ... WWII Eastern Front during 1945 The East Pomeranian Offensive was an offensive by the Red Army in its fight against the German Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front (World War II). ... WWII Eastern Front during 1945 Eastern Front Barbarossa – Baltic Sea – Finland – Leningrad and Baltics – Crimea and Caucasus – Moscow – 1st Rzhev-Vyazma – 2nd Kharkov – Blue – Stalingrad – Velikiye Luki – 2nd Rzhev-Sychevka – Kursk – 2nd Smolensk – Dnieper – 2nd Kiev – Korsun – Hubes Pocket – Baltic – Bagration – Lvov-Sandomierz – Lublin-Brest – Balkans (Iassy-Kishinev) – Balkans... Belligerents Nazi Germany Soviet Union Bulgaria Commanders Rudolf von Bünau Wilhelm Bittrich Fyodor Tolbukhin Vladimir Stoychev Strength One army (understrength) Local irregulars,total 28,000 Four armies (full strength),total 400,000 Casualties and losses 19,000 18,000 The Vienna Offensive was launched by the Soviet 3rd Ukrainian... Combatants Soviet Union Poland Nazi Germany Commanders 1st Belorussian Front – Georgiy Zhukov 2nd Belorussian Front – Konstantin Rokossovskiy 1st Ukrainian Front – Ivan Konev Army Group Vistula – Gotthard Heinrici then Kurt von Tippelskirch[2] Army Group Centre – Ferdinand Schörner Berlin Defense Area – Helmuth Reymann then Helmuth Weidling #[3] Strength 2,500... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Czech Insurgents Commanders Ferdinand Schörner Ivan Konev Strength 900,000 2,000,000 Casualties Unknown 11,997 killed or missing, 40,501 wounded or sick (52,498 casualties[1]) The Prague Offensive (Russian:Пражская наступательная операция, Prazhskaya nastupatelnaya operacia, Prague Offensive Operation) was the last major battle of... Operation Kutuzov was a military operation by the Red Army in its fight against the German Wehrmacht during World War II. It was named after Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov, the Tsarist general credited with saving Russia from defeat during the invasion by Napoleon in 1812. ... Combatants Soviet Union Germany Commanders Pavel Rotmistrov Erich von Manstein Strength 500 tanks 477 tanks Casualties Ca. ... Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev (literally: Commander Rumyantsev, after 18th-century Field Marshal Peter Rumyantsev) was a military operation conducted by the Red Army in its fight against the German Wehrmacht during World War II. The operation was conducted by Steppe Front in the Belgorod sector. ... The Battle of Belgorod was fought early August, 1943 between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. ... The Fourth Battle of Kharkov was fought on August 23, 1943 between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. ... Download high resolution version (1201x921, 193 KB)German advances on the Eastern Front (WWII), 1943-02-19 to 1943-08-01 Drawn by User:Gdr File links The following pages link to this file: Battle of Kursk Third Battle of Kharkov Eastern Front (World War II) Talk:Eastern Front (World... Download high resolution version (1201x921, 193 KB)German advances on the Eastern Front (WWII), 1943-02-19 to 1943-08-01 Drawn by User:Gdr File links The following pages link to this file: Battle of Kursk Third Battle of Kharkov Eastern Front (World War II) Talk:Eastern Front (World... Combatants Red Army Germany Commanders Filipp Golikov Nikolay Vatutin Erich von Manstein †Theodor Eicke Strength 300,000 men 160,000 men Casualties Voronezh Front: Army of Popov: 3,000 KIA 11,000 WIA Southwestern Front: 20,000 KIA 90,000 WIA 9,000 POWs Final battles: 25,000 KIA 80... is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 201st day of the year (202nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The straight-armed Balkenkreuz, a stylized version of the Iron Cross, the emblem of the Wehrmacht. ... Combatants Soviet Union,[1] Poland, Tannu Tuva (until 1944 incorporation with USSR), Mongolia Germany,[2] Italy (to 1943), Romania (to 1944), Finland (to 1944), Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Spain (to 1943, unofficial) Commanders Joseph Stalin, Aleksei Antonov, Ivan Konev, Rodion Malinovsky, Ivan Bagramyan, Kirill Meretskov, Ivan Petrov, Alexander Rodimtsev, Konstantin Rokossovsky... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... This article is about the military term. ... CCCP redirects here. ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary. ... Operation Kutuzov was a military operation by the Red Army in its fight against the German Wehrmacht during World War II. It was named after Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov, the Tsarist general credited with saving Russia from defeat during the invasion by Napoleon in 1812. ... Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev (literally: Commander Rumyantsev, after 18th-century Field Marshal Peter Rumyantsev) was a military operation conducted by the Red Army in its fight against the German Wehrmacht during World War II. The operation was conducted by Steppe Front in the Belgorod sector. ... Combatants Soviet Union Germany Commanders Pavel Rotmistrov Erich von Manstein Strength 500 tanks 477 tanks Casualties Ca. ... An armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) is a military vehicle, equipped with protection against hostile attacks and often mounted weapons. ... Armoured warfare in modern warfare is understood to be the use of armoured fighting vehicles as a central component of the methods of war. ... Aerial warfare is the use of military aircraft and other flying machines in warfare, including military airlift of cargo to further the national interests as was demonstrated in the Berlin Airlift. ...


Kursk is further notable for the deliberately defensive battle strategy on the Soviets' part. Having good intelligence on Hitler's intentions, the Soviets established and managed to conceal elaborate layered defense works, mine fields, and stage and disguise large reserve forces poised for a tactical and strategic counterattack typical of defensive battle plans. Though the Germans planned and initiated an offensive strike, the well-planned defense not only frustrated their ambitions, but also enabled the Soviets to follow up with counteroffensives and exhausted the German abilities in the theater, thereby seizing the initiative for the remainder of the war. In that sense it may be seen as the second phase of the turning point that began with the German defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad, whose aftermath set the scene by establishing the Kursk Salient (also known as the "Kursk Bulge"), the reduction of which was the objective of the German armies entering in July. The subsequent counterattacks retook Orel and Belgorod on August 5, and Kharkov on August 23, pushing back the Germans across a broad front. This was the first successful major Soviet summer offensive of the war. This article is about real and historical warfare. ... Closing the Falais-Argentan Pocket and the Mortain counterattack 6-17 August 1944 A counterattack is a military tactic used by defending forces when under attack by an enemy force. ... Belligerents Germany Romania Italy Hungary Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Friedrich Paulus # Erich von Manstein Wolfram von Richthofen Petre Dumitrescu Constantin Constantinescu Italo Garibaldi Gusztáv Vitéz Jány Josef Stalin Vasiliy Chuikov Aleksandr Vasilyevskiy Georgiy Zhukov Semyon Timoshenko Konstantin Rokossovskiy Rodion Malinovskiy Andrei Yeremenko Strength Army Group B... Oryol or Orel (Russian: ) is a city in Russia, administrative center of Oryol Oblast. ... Coat of arms of Belgorod Belgorod (Russian: ) is a city in Western Russia, situated on the Severny Donets river just 40 km north from the Ukrainian border, at 50°37′N 36°35′E. It is the administrative center of Belgorod Oblast. ... is the 217th day of the year (218th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Kharkov (rus: Ха́рьков) or Kharkiv (ukr: Ха́рків) is the second largest city in Ukraine, a center of Kharkivska oblast. It is situated in the northeast of the country and has a population of two million. ... {| style=float:right; |- | |- | |} is the 235th day of the year (236th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Kursk was a further demonstration that the conflict in the East contained the largest scale of warfare in history, in terms of manpower involved. So well designed was the Soviet defensive planning, that when entering the archetypal counterattack phase, the Soviets were able to attack along four separate axes of advance, and execute a planned stop at a phase line, thus avoiding the pitfalls of overextending during the counterattack and earning this battle's deserved place as a model campaign in war college curricula.[6]

Contents

Background

In the winter of 19421943 the Soviets conclusively won the Battle of Stalingrad. One complete German army had been lost, along with about 800,000 German and Axis troops, seriously depleting Axis strength in the east. With an Allied invasion of Europe clearly looming, Hitler realized an outright defeat of the Soviets before the Western Allies arrived had become unlikely, and he decided to force the Soviets to a draw.[citation needed] Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Belligerents Germany Romania Italy Hungary Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Friedrich Paulus # Erich von Manstein Wolfram von Richthofen Petre Dumitrescu Constantin Constantinescu Italo Garibaldi Gusztáv Vitéz Jány Josef Stalin Vasiliy Chuikov Aleksandr Vasilyevskiy Georgiy Zhukov Semyon Timoshenko Konstantin Rokossovskiy Rodion Malinovskiy Andrei Yeremenko Strength Army Group B... The 6. ... This article is about the independent states that comprised the Axis powers. ... The Western Allies were the democracies and their colonial peoples, within the broader coalition of Allies during World War II. The term is generally understood to refer to the countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations and Poland (from 1939), exiled forces from Occupied Europe (from 1940), the United States... Belligerents Western Allies Nazi Germany Commanders Dwight Eisenhower (Supreme Allied Commander) Arthur Tedder (Deputy Supreme Allied Commander) Bernard Montgomery (Ground Forces Commander in Chief) Trafford Leigh-Mallory (Air Commander in Chief) Bertram Ramsay (Naval Commander in Chief) Gerd von Rundstedt (OB WEST) Erwin Rommel (Heeresgruppe B) Strength 1,452,000... Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945, standard German pronunciation in the IPA) was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. ...


In 1917, the Germans had built the famous Hindenburg Line on the Western Front, shortening their lines and thereby increasing their defensive strength. They planned on repeating this strategy in Russia and started construction of a massive series of defensive works known as the Panther-Wotan line. They intended to retreat to the line late in 1943 and bleed the Soviets against it while their own forces recuperated. 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... The Hindenburg Line was a vast system of defences in Northern France constructed by the Germans during the winter of 1916– 17 during World War I; the Germans called it the Siegfried Line. ... For most of World War I, Allied Forces, predominantly those of France and the United Kingdom, were stalled at trenches on the Western Front. ... For the fortification of food, see Food fortification. ... Map of the Eastern Front in 1943, showing the Panther-Wotan Line in red. ...


In February and March of 1943, German Field Marshal Erich von Manstein had completed an offensive during the Third Battle of Kharkov, leaving the front line running roughly from Leningrad in the north to Rostov in the south. In the middle lay a large 200km (120mi) wide and 150km (90mi) deep Soviet-held salient (bulge) in the lines between German forward positions near Orel in the north, and Von Manstein's recently captured Kharkov in the south. Replica of the marshals baton of Generalfeldmarschall von Richthofen (Third Reich) Generalfeldmarschall ( ) (general field marshal, usually translated simply as field marshal, and sometimes written only as Feldmarschall) was a rank in the armies of several German states, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Austrian Empire. ... Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein The neutrality of this article is disputed. ... Combatants Red Army Germany Commanders Filipp Golikov Nikolay Vatutin Erich von Manstein †Theodor Eicke Strength 300,000 men 160,000 men Casualties Voronezh Front: Army of Popov: 3,000 KIA 11,000 WIA Southwestern Front: 20,000 KIA 90,000 WIA 9,000 POWs Final battles: 25,000 KIA 80... A front line is a line of confrontation in an armed conflict, most often a war. ... Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991) and Petrograd (Петрогра́д, 1914–1924), is a city located in Northwestern Russia on the delta of the river Neva at the east end of the Gulf of Finland... Central market and Church in Rostov. ... In military terms, a salient is a battlefield feature that projects into enemy territory. ... Oryol or Orel (Russian: ) is a city in Russia, administrative center of Oryol Oblast. ... Kharkov (rus: Ха́рьков) or Kharkiv (ukr: Ха́рків) is the second largest city in Ukraine, a center of Kharkivska oblast. It is situated in the northeast of the country and has a population of two million. ...


German plans

Von Manstein pressed for a new offensive along the same lines he had just successfully pursued at Kharkov, when he cut off an overextended Soviet offensive. He suggested tricking the Soviets into attacking in the south against the desperately re-forming Sixth Army, leading them into the Donets Basin in the eastern Ukraine. He would then turn south from Kharkov on the eastern side of the Donets River towards Rostov and trap the entire southern wing of the Red Army against the Sea of Azov. The 6. ... Donets Basin also known as Donbass or Donbas ( Russian: Донбасс from Donetskiy bassein) is a historical, economic and cultural region of Ukraine. ... Donets (Донец), is a tributary of Don River, Russia. ... Central market and Church in Rostov. ... This article is about the armed forces of the Soviet Union. ... The shallow Sea of Azov is clearly distinguished from the deeper Black Sea. ...


OKH did not approve von Manstein's plan, and instead turned their attention to the obvious bulge in the lines between Orel and Kharkov. Three Soviet armies occupied the ground in and around the salient, and pinching it off would trap almost a fifth of the Red Army's manpower. It would also result in a much straighter and shorter line, and capture the strategically useful railway town of Kursk located on the main north-south railway line running from Rostov to Moscow. The Oberkommando der Heeres (OKH) was Germanys Army High Command from 1936 to 1945. ... For other uses, see Kursk (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Moscow (disambiguation). ...


In March the plans crystallized. Walter Model's Ninth Army would attack southwards from Orel while Hermann Hoth's Fourth Panzer Army and Army Detachment "Kempf" under the overall command of Manstein would attack northwards from Kharkov. They planned to meet near Kursk, but if the offensive went well they would have permission to continue forward on their own initiative, with a general plan to create a new line at the Don River far to the east. Otto Moritz Walter Model (IPA: ) (24 January 1891 – 21 April 1945) was a German general and later field marshal during World War II. He is noted for his defensive battles in the latter half of the war, mostly on the Eastern Front but also in the west, and for his... The German Ninth Army (German: ) was a World War II field army. ... General Hermann Hoth Hermann Papa Hoth (12 April 1885 - 26 January 1971) was a general of the Third Reich during World War II, notable for victories in France and on the Eastern Front, and later, after serving six years in prison for war crimes, as a writer on military history. ... Panzergruppe 4 4. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Don (Дон) is one of the major rivers of Russia. ...


Contrary to his recent behavior, Hitler gave the General Staff considerable control over the planning of the battle. Over the next few weeks, they continued to increase the scope of the forces attached to the front, stripping the entire German line of practically anything remotely useful for deployment in the upcoming battle. They first set the attack for May 4, but then delayed it until June 12, and finally until July 4 in order to allow more time for new weapons to arrive from Germany, especially the new Panther tanks. The Oberkommando der Heeres (OKH) was Germanys Army High Command from 1936 to 1945. ... is the 124th day of the year (125th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 163rd day of the year (164th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Panther ( ) was a tank fielded by Nazi Germany in World War II that served from mid-1943 to the end of the European war in 1945. ...


The basic concept behind the German offensive was the traditional (and, for the Germans, hitherto usually successful) double-envelopment, or Kesselschlacht (cauldron battle). The German Army had long favored such a Cannae-style method, and the tools of Blitzkrieg made these types of tactics even more effective. Blitzkrieg depended on mass, shock, and speed to surprise an enemy and defeat him through disruption of command and supply rather than by destroying all his forces in a major pitched battle. A pincer movement whereby the red force envelops the advancing blue force. ... For the 11th century battle in the Byzantine conquest of the Mezzogiorno, see Battle of Cannae (1018). ... This article is about the military term. ...


However, such breakthroughs were easier to achieve if they hit an unexpected location, as the Germans had achieved attacking through the Ardennes in 1940, and towards Stalingrad and the Caucasus in 1942. The OKH's plan for the attack on the Kursk salient, "Operation Citadel", violated the principle of surprise: anyone who could read a map could confidently predict the obvious point of attack. A number of German commanders questioned the idea, notably Guderian, who asked Hitler: Combatants  France  United Kingdom  Canada  Czechoslovakia  Poland  Belgium  Netherlands  Luxembourg Germany Italy Commanders Maurice Gamelin, Maxime Weygand Lord Gort (British Expeditionary Force) Leopold III H.G. Winkelman Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Fedor von Bock (Army Group B) Wilhelm von Leeb (Army Group C) H.R.H. Umberto di... Stalingrad is the former name of two cities: Volgograd, Russia Karviná-Nové Město, near Ostrava, Czech Republic Other uses: The Battle of Stalingrad (a major turning-point of World War II and arguably the bloodiest battle in human history) Stalingrad (German film set during the above battle) Stalingrad (metro station... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Caucasus Mountains. ... This article is about the World War II general Heinz Guderian. ...

Was it really necessary to attack Kursk, and indeed in the east that year at all? Do you think anyone even knows where Kursk is? The entire world doesn't care if we capture Kursk or not. What is the reason that is forcing us to attack this year on Kursk, or even more, on the Eastern Front? Perhaps more surprisingly Hitler replied: I know. The thought of it turns my stomach.

The interview ended inconclusively; Operation Citadel was postponed until mid-June.[verification needed]


The German force numbered 50 divisions, including 17 panzer and panzergrenadier, among them the elite Wehrmacht Großdeutschland Division, and the Waffen-SS divisions 1st SS Panzer Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, 2nd SS Panzer Das Reich, and 3rd SS Panzer Totenkopf grouped into the II SS Panzer Corps. The High Command concentrated all their armor, the Tiger and new Panther tanks, and the new Elefant tank destroyer, being used as assault guns. They also massed a high proportion of their available air units and artillery, and despite the problems of the German plan it was a formidable concentration of armor. Panzer IV Ausf. ... Infanterie-Division Großdeutschland (mot) Panzergrenadier-Division Großdeutschland Panzer-Korps Großdeutschland The Großdeutschland Division (lit. ... Waffen-SS recruitment poster; Volunteer to the Waffen-SS The Waffen-SS was the armed wing of the Schutzstaffel. ... The Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (Lifeguard Standarte of the SS Adolf Hitler) was a Waffen SS guard and combat formation which saw action on both the Eastern and Western fronts during the Second World War. ... SS-Division Verfügungstruppe SS-Division Deutschland SS-Division Reich SS-Division Das Reich 2. ... SS Division Totenkopf (Deaths Head or Skull) is also known as 3. ... The II.SS-Panzerkorps was a German Waffen-SS armoured corps which saw action on both the Eastern and Western Fronts during World War II. // The II.SS-Panzerkorps was formed in July 1942 in Bergen in The Netherlands as SS-Panzer-Generalkommando. ... Tiger I ( ) is the common name of a German heavy tank of World War II. The initial official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H (abbreviated PzKpfw VI Ausf. ... The Panzerjäger Tiger (P) Elefant (Sd. ... A self-propelled anti-tank gun, or tank destroyer, is a type of armoured fighting vehicle. ... German StuG III with high-velocity 75 mm gun, 1943 An assault gun is a gun or howitzer mounted on a motor vehicle or armored chassis, designed for use in the direct fire role in support of infantry when attacking other infantry or fortified positions. ...


Soviet plans

To the West! calls this Soviet poster, while a Soviet soldier destroys the German To the East! sign
To the West! calls this Soviet poster, while a Soviet soldier destroys the German To the East! sign

The Red Army had also begun planning for their own upcoming summer offensives, and had settled on a plan that mirrored that of the Germans. Attacks in front of Orel and Kharkov would flatten out the line, and potentially lead to a breakout near the Pripyat Marshes. However, Soviet commanders had considerable concerns over the German plans. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (400x627, 181 KB)To(wards) West! «На Запад!» Иванов Ð’. С., 1943 Source: http://www. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (400x627, 181 KB)To(wards) West! «На Запад!» Иванов Ð’. С., 1943 Source: http://www. ... For other organizations known as the Red Army, see Red Army (disambiguation). ... Combatants Soviet Union,[1] Poland, Tannu Tuva (until 1944 incorporation with USSR), Mongolia Germany,[2] Italy (to 1943), Romania (to 1944), Finland (to 1944), Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Spain (to 1943, unofficial) Commanders Joseph Stalin, Aleksei Antonov, Ivan Konev, Rodion Malinovsky, Ivan Bagramyan, Kirill Meretskov, Ivan Petrov, Alexander Rodimtsev, Konstantin Rokossovsky... Orel or Oryol (Орёл) is a city in Russia, administrative center of the Oryol Oblast. ... Kharkov (rus: Ха́рьков) or Kharkiv (ukr: Ха́рків) is the second largest city in Ukraine, a center of Kharkivska oblast. It is situated in the northeast of the country and has a population of two million. ... poop poop poopy poo poop poopy poo poop Categories: | | | ...


The locations of all previous German attacks had caught the Soviets by surprise, but in this case Kursk seemed the obvious target. Moscow received warning of the German plans through the Lucy spy ring in Switzerland. This was almost unnecessary, since Marshal Zhukov had already correctly predicted the site of the German attack as early as April 8, when he wrote his initial report to Stavka (the Soviet General Staff), in which he also recommended the strategy eventually followed by the Red Army. For other uses, see Moscow (disambiguation). ... In World War II espionage, the Lucy spy ring was an anti-German operation which operated in Switzerland. ... The rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union (Russian: Marshal Sovietskovo Soyuza [Маршал Советского Союза]) was in practice the highest military rank of the Soviet Union. ... Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgi Zhukov Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov (Russian: Гео́ргий Константи́нович Жу́ков) (December 1, 1896 - June 18, 1974), Soviet military commander and politician, considered by many as one of the most successful field commanders of World War II. Prewar career Born into a peasant family in Strelkovka, Kaluga... April 8 is the 98th day of the year (99th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Stavka (Ставка) was the General Headquarters of armed forces in late Imperial Russia and in the Soviet Union. ... This article is about the armed forces of the Soviet Union. ...


Stalin and a handful of Stavka officers wanted to strike first[citation needed]. The pattern of the war up until this point had been one of German offensive success. Blitzkrieg had worked against all opposing armies, including the Soviets'. None had succeeded in stopping a German breakthrough. On the other hand, Soviet offensive actions during both winters showed their own offensives now worked well. However, the overwhelming majority of Stavka members, most notably Zhukov himself, advised waiting for the Germans to exhaust themselves, first. Zhukov's opinion swayed the argument. Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვილი; see Other names section) (December 21, 1879[1] – March 5, 1953) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and leader of the Soviet Union. ...


The German delay in launching their offensive gave the Soviets four months in which to prepare, and with every passing day they turned the salient into one of the most heavily defended points on earth. Two Fronts, Central and Voronezh, manned the defensive lines, and the Steppe Front was available to act as a reserve. The Red Army and thousands of civilians laid about one million land mines and dug about 5000km (3000mi) of trenches, to a depth of 175km (95mi). In addition, they massed a huge army of their own, including some 1,300,000 men, 3,600 tanks, 20,000 artillery pieces and 2,400 aircraft. The Red Army could build up forces faster than the Germans; each month they pulled further ahead in men and material. A Front (фронт) was a major military organization in the Soviet Army, roughly equivalent to an army or army group in British or American military terminology. ... The Central Front was a Front (military subdivision) of the Soviet Army during the Second World War. ... // Background The Voronezh Front was a military subdivision of the Soviet Unions Red Army during the Second World War. ... Steppe Front was a Front of the Soviet Army during the Great Patriotic War. ... “Minefield” redirects here. ... For other uses of the word, see Trench (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ... Flying machine redirects here. ...


Many of the troops assigned to the defense of the salient were recent veterans of the Stalingrad battle, but the Red Army also added over one million new men to its ranks in the first half of 1943. Thus, the Soviet Army was larger than in 1942, even after the losses at Stalingrad. The long delay between the identification of the likely site of the German attack and the beginning of the offensive gave the new units an unusually long time to train. Belligerents Germany Romania Italy Hungary Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Friedrich Paulus # Erich von Manstein Wolfram von Richthofen Petre Dumitrescu Constantin Constantinescu Italo Garibaldi Gusztáv Vitéz Jány Josef Stalin Vasiliy Chuikov Aleksandr Vasilyevskiy Georgiy Zhukov Semyon Timoshenko Konstantin Rokossovskiy Rodion Malinovskiy Andrei Yeremenko Strength Army Group B...


The density of artillery in the salient was unusual; there were more artillery regiments in the salient than infantry regiments. The Soviets were determined to grind down attacking German units with a combination of mines and artillery fire. Indirect fire from howitzers would stop the German infantry, while direct fire from 45mm (1.7"), 57mm (2.24"), and 85mm (3.3") towed anti-tank guns and 76.2mm (3") divisional field guns would destroy the tanks. In the 13th Army sector (facing the German Ninth Army on the northern face of the salient) the density of anti-tank guns was 23.7 guns per kilometer of defended front. In the 6th and 7th Guards Army sectors in the south, the density was lower at about 10 guns per kilometer. 19th century 12 pounder (5 kg) mountain howitzer displayed by the National Park Service at Fort Laramie in Wyoming, USA A howitzer is a type of artillery piece that is characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small explosive charges to propel projectiles at trajectories with... M-42 was a 45-mm Soviet light semi-automatic anti-tank gun. ... The ZiS-2 (Russian: ЗиС-2) was a Soviet 57-mm anti-tank gun used during World War II. The ZiS-4 was a version of the gun meant to be installed in tanks. ... Anti-tank, or simply AT, refers to any method of combating military armored fighting vehicles, notably tanks. ... ZiS-3 displayed in Hämeenlinna Artillery Museum. ... The 6th Army, a field army of the Soviet Red Army was generated in August, 1939 in the Kiev Special military district. ... The Red Armys Seventh Guards Army, was redesignated from the Soviet 64th Army on 16 April 1943. ...

At Kursk, the Red Army committed more than a million men, more than 3,275 tanks and 25,000 guns and mortars. Soviet riflemen like these had to hold off "tank fists" and German assault infantry supported by dive-bombers and heavy artillery fire. Soviet losses at Kursk amounted to 1 77,847 men killed, missing or wounded.
At Kursk, the Red Army committed more than a million men, more than 3,275 tanks and 25,000 guns and mortars. Soviet riflemen like these had to hold off "tank fists" and German assault infantry supported by dive-bombers and heavy artillery fire. Soviet losses at Kursk amounted to 1 77,847 men killed, missing or wounded.

The preparation of the battlefield by Soviet military engineers was thorough. Reports indicate 503,993 anti-tank mines and 439,348 anti-personnel mines were laid in the defended area. On average, 1,500 antitank and 1,700 anti-personnel mines were laid per kilometer of front. In the sectors eventually attacked, densities were never lower than 1,400 per kilometer and sometimes reached as high as 2,000 per kilometer. Soviet engineers also constructed miles of trenches, laid barbed wire, built anti-tank obstacles, and constructed thousands of gun and mortar positions. Dummy positions were built to attract German artillery fire. Camouflaging of these positions and minefields was excellent; the first warning most German units would have of the presence of Soviet minefields or dug-in guns would be their own vehicles exploding. Polish military engineers at work in Pakistan A military engineer is primarily responsible for the design and construction of offensive, defensive and logistical structures for warfare. ... An Anti-tank mine, or AT mine is similar to a Landmine except generally designed with a less sensitive trigger and more explosive power so as to be able to take out an armored vehicle, and not go off until such a vehicle comes along. ... “Minefield” redirects here. ... Typical modern agricultural barbed wire. ...


Set in the larger vista of the war on the Eastern Front, Kursk is significant because it demonstrated the Soviet high command and staff now worked more effectively than OKH—largely due to Stalin finally being prepared to act on the advice of his professional intelligence and staff officers, while Hitler was systematically ignoring his[citation needed]. This was evidenced by the defeat of the Blitzkrieg in summer campaigning weather (albeit at a very high price) and the ability of the Soviet forces to move from defensive to offensive operations due to better staff work, larger reserves and better planning. In these senses Kursk, and not Stalingrad, can be viewed as the turning point in the war: certainly the initiative passed decisively from the Germans to Soviets. Combatants Soviet Union,[1] Poland, Tannu Tuva (until 1944 incorporation with USSR), Mongolia Germany,[2] Italy (to 1943), Romania (to 1944), Finland (to 1944), Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Spain (to 1943, unofficial) Commanders Joseph Stalin, Aleksei Antonov, Ivan Konev, Rodion Malinovsky, Ivan Bagramyan, Kirill Meretskov, Ivan Petrov, Alexander Rodimtsev, Konstantin Rokossovsky... The Oberkommando der Heeres (OKH) was Germanys Army High Command from 1936 to 1945. ...


Operation Citadel

Preliminary Actions

It took four months before the Germans felt ready, by which time they had collected 200 of the new Panther tanks (only 40 were available at the beginning of the battle due to technical problems with the new type), 90 Elefant Panzerjägers and every flyable Henschel Hs 129 ground attack aircraft, as well as 270 Tigers, late model Panzer Mark-IVs and even a number of captured T-34s[citation needed]. In total they assembled some 2,700 tanks and assault guns, 1,800 aircraft and 800,000 men. It formed one of the greatest concentrations of German fighting power ever put together. Even so, Hitler expressed doubts about its adequacy. The Panther ( ) was a tank fielded by Nazi Germany in World War II that served from mid-1943 to the end of the European war in 1945. ... The Panzerjäger Tiger (P) Elefant (Sd. ... Panzerjäger (German tank-hunters) are German armoured fighting vehicles of the Second World War. ... The Henschel Hs 129, often referred to by its nickname, the Panzerknacker, (tank cracker), was a World War II ground attack aircraft fielded by the Luftwaffe. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Tiger I ( ) is the common name of a German heavy tank of World War II. The initial official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H (abbreviated PzKpfw VI Ausf. ... Panzer IV is the common name of a medium tank that was developed in the late 1930s by Nazi Germany and used extensively in World War II. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen IV (abbreviated PzKpfw IV) and the tank also had the ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 161. ... The T-34 is a Soviet medium tank first produced in 1940. ...


By this time, Allied action in Western Europe was beginning to have a significant impact on German military strength. Although actions in North Africa hardly constituted the Soviets' longed-for second front, the battle there did begin to tell on the Germans, and in the last quarter of 1942 and the first half of 1943, 40% of Luftwaffe losses occurred in the battles over Malta and Tunisia. German air superiority was no longer guaranteed. The Soviet Air Forces far outnumbered the Luftwaffe, and were quickly gaining in technology as well. Both Air Forces possessed very effective series of ground-attack aircraft capable of decimating armour; the Soviet Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik and the German Junkers Ju 87G (Initially Ju 87D-3/5 with a pair of added Bordkanone 37mm gunpods).[7] During World War II, the North African Campaign, also known as the Desert War, took place in the North African desert from September 13, 1940 to May 13, 1943. ... In military terminology, a two front war is a war that is waged on two separate fronts, usually opposite each other. ... The Deutsche Luftwaffe or   (German: air force, IPA: ) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ... Air superiority is the dominance in the air power of one side air forces of another side during a military campaign. ... The Soviet Air Force, also known under the abbreviation VVS, transliterated from Russian: ВВС, Военно-воздушные силы (Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily), formed the official designation of the air force of the Soviet Union. ... The Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik (Russian: ) was a ground attack aircraft of World War II, and was produced by the Soviet Union in huge numbers; in combination with its successor, the Ilyushin Il-10, a total of 36,163 were built. ... Stuka redirects here. ...

Waffen-SS panzergrenadiers and Wehrmacht Tiger tanks during the start of Operation Citadel
Waffen-SS panzergrenadiers and Wehrmacht Tiger tanks during the start of Operation Citadel

The start date for the offensive had been moved repeatedly as delays in preparation had forced the Germans to postpone the attack. Finally, on July 1 the orders to attack on July 5 were issued. The following day, Marshal Vasilyevskiy warned the Front commanders (N. F. Vatutin, K. K. Rokossovskiy and I. S. Konyev) that the long-awaited German offensive would begin sometime between July 3 and July 6. For months, the Soviets had been receiving detailed information on the planning of the offensive from their Red Orchestra (German: Rote Kapelle) espionage organization, whose sources included officers in the Nazi administration, among others in Hermann Göring’s aviation ministry. Waffen-SS Panzergrenadiers of the 3rd SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf, discussing an offensive action with a Tiger commander of 9. ... Waffen-SS Panzergrenadiers of the 3rd SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf, discussing an offensive action with a Tiger commander of 9. ... Waffen-SS recruitment poster; Volunteer to the Waffen-SS The Waffen-SS was the armed wing of the Schutzstaffel. ... This article needs cleanup. ... First Tiger I tank captured near Tunis The Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union (Russian: Marshal Sovietskovo Soyuza [Маршал Советского Союза]) was in practice the highest military rank of the Soviet Union. ... Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Vasilevsky (Russian: , September 30, 1895 – December 5, 1977) was a Soviet military commander, promoted to Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1943. ... now. ... Marshal of the Soviet Union Konstantin Rokossovsky Konstantin Konstantinovich Rokossovskiy (Russian: Константин Константинович Рокоссовский, Polish: Konstanty Rokossowski) (December 21, 1896 – August 3, 1968) was a Soviet military commander and Polish Defence Minister. ... Marshal Ivan Konev Ivan Stepanovich Koniev (Russian Иван Степанович Конев) (December 28, 1897 – May 21, 1973), Soviet military commander, was born into a peasant family near Podosinovsky in central Russia (now in Kirov Oblast). ... is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Die Rote Kapelle (the Red Orchestra) was the name given by the Gestapo to two resistance rings, partially with Communist backgrounds, in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. The Gestapo used the name Red Orchestra to refer to the Schulze-Boysen / Harnack group, an anti-Hitler resistance movement in... Spy and Secret agent redirect here. ... Hermann Wilhelm Göring ( ) (also Goering in English) (January 12, 1893 – October 15, 1946) was a German politician and military leader, a leading member of the Nazi Party, second in command of the Third Reich, and commander of the Luftwaffe. ...


Preliminary fighting started on 4 July 1943 in the south, as Fourth Panzer Army had elected to try to take the Soviet outposts prior to the main assault on July 5. Thus they deliberately sacrificed tactical surprise. However, the Soviet forward positions were on small hills overlooking German assembly areas, so it is likely surprise would have been lost in any case. is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Panzergruppe 4 4. ... is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


In the afternoon, Stuka dive bombers blew a two-mile-wide gap in the front lines on the north in a short period of 10 minutes, and then turned for home while the German artillery opened up to continue the pounding. Hoth's armored spearhead, the III Panzer Corps, then advanced on the Soviet positions around Zavidovka. At the same time, the Großdeutschland Division attacked Butovo in torrential rain, and the 11th Panzer Division took the high ground around Butovo. To the west of Butovo the going proved tougher for Großdeutschland and the 3rd Panzer Division, which met stiff Soviet resistance and did not secure their objectives until midnight. The II SS Panzer Corps launched preliminary attacks to secure observation posts, and again met with stiff resistance until assault troops equipped with flamethrowers cleared the bunkers and outposts. Stuka redirects here. ... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ... An armored spearhead is a formation of armored fighting vehicles, mostly tanks, that form the front of an offensive thrust during a battle. ... III Armeekorps III Armeekorps (mot) III Panzerkorps Gruppe Breith III Panzerkorps III Corps was a corps level formation of the German Heer which saw action in World War II. III Armeekorps History The III Corps was formed in October 1934 as III. Armeekorps. ... The 11. ... The German 3rd Panzer Division () was established in 1938. ... The II.SS-Panzerkorps was a German Waffen-SS armoured corps which saw action on both the Eastern and Western Fronts during World War II. // The II.SS-Panzerkorps was formed in July 1942 in Bergen in The Netherlands as SS-Panzer-Generalkommando. ... Riverboat of the U.S. Brownwater Navy shooting ignited napalm from its mounted flamethrower during the Vietnam war. ... Bunkers in Albania A bunker is a defensive military fortification. ...


At 22:30, the Soviets hit back with an artillery bombardment in the north and south. This barrage, by over 3,000 guns and mortars, expended up to one-half of the artillery supply for the entire operation. The goal was to delay and disorganize the German attack. In the northern face, the Central Front artillery fired mostly against German artillery positions and managed to suppress 50 of the 100 German batteries they targeted. The result was much weaker German artillery fire on the opening day of the attack. Also, German units attacked at staggered times on July 5 due to the disruption caused by this bombardment. In the south, the Soviets chose to fire largely against the German infantry and tanks in their assembly areas. This was partially successful in delaying the German attack, but caused few casualties. For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ... is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Main Battle

The Northern Face

The real battle opened on 5 July 1943. The Soviets, now aware even of the exact time of the planned German offensive, launched a massive attack by the Soviet Air Force on the Luftwaffe airbases in the area, in an attempt to counter the classic German tactic of eliminating local air support within the first hour of battle. The next few hours turned into possibly the largest air battle ever fought. is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Soviet Air Force, also known under the abbreviation VVS, transliterated from Russian: ВВС, Военно-воздушные силы (Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily), formed the official designation of the air force of the Soviet Union. ... The Deutsche Luftwaffe or   (German: air force, IPA: ) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ...


The Soviet co-ordination of the attack had failed. Soviet fighters were dispatched too soon, arriving over German airbases before the arrival of the Soviet bomber forces, eventually retiring due to lack of fuel. The German fighters had nothing to prevent them from taking off and engaging the approaching attackers.[8].The Soviets suffered the loss of 120 aircraft.[9]

At Kursk, the Red Army constructed an elaborate defensive system. The core of each Soviet defensive position was its anti-tank defenses, organized into a network covered by the interlocking fires of multiple anti-tank guns.
At Kursk, the Red Army constructed an elaborate defensive system. The core of each Soviet defensive position was its anti-tank defenses, organized into a network covered by the interlocking fires of multiple anti-tank guns.

The Luftwaffe directed an all out effort against Soviet positions on the northern flank during first day of the battle, while Soviet deployment errors granted the Luftwaffe initial air-superiority. General-Leytenant Rudenko, unsure whether this was the major German attack, ordered only one-third of his fighter strength to engage the masses of German aircraft, while the rest stood down. The out-numbered Soviet units were engaged over their own rear-areas and suffered heavily. The German fighters had flown ahead of the bomber and Stuka units to prevent Soviet intervention over the battle field. The unprotected Stuka and Kampfgruppen then began their assault on the Soviet positions unhindered. The Soviets fed their aerial strength in piecemeal and it suffered heavy losses.[10] In the first three days of fighting over the northern flank Luftflotte 6 lost a total of 39 aircraft against Soviet losses of 386.[11]


The Ninth Army attack in the north fell far short of its objectives on July 5. The attack sector had been correctly anticipated by the Soviet Central Front. Attacking on a 45-kilometer-wide front, the Germans found themselves trapped in the huge defensive minefields, and needed engineering units to come up and clear them under artillery fire. Although a few Goliath and Borgward remote-control engineering vehicles were available to clear lanes in the minefields, they were not generally successful. Even when the vehicles cleared mines, they had no on-board marking system to show following tanks where the cleared lanes were. Soviet units covered the minefields with small arms and artillery fire, delaying and inflicting losses on German engineers clearing mines manually. Thus German losses in the Soviet minefields were high. For example, the German 653rd Heavy Panzerjäger Battalion began the attack with 49 Ferdinand self-propelled guns; 37 of them had been lost in the minefields before 17:00 on July 5. Although most of the lost vehicles were mobility kills rather than permanent losses, they were out of action until they could be repaired. While idle they added nothing to German combat power and were easier for Soviet artillery to knock out permanently. Since the Germans were advancing, any repairable vehicles could be fixed and put back into action. The German Ninth Army (German: ) was a World War II field army. ... is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Central Front was a Front (military subdivision) of the Soviet Army during the Second World War. ... “Minefield” redirects here. ... British soldiers with captured German Goliath tracked mines. ... The Panzerjäger Tiger (P) Elefant (Sd. ... is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A mobility kill (or M-kill) in armoured warfare refers to damage inflicted by a weapon on a vehicle that immobizes it, but does not totally destroy it, leaving the vehicles crew able to use its weapons. ...


There are a number of factors that explain Ninth Army’s lack of progress. The combination of Soviet defensive planning and, on the German side, the lack of concentration of force were the main factors. German armor was committed piecemeal rather than in strength and often without sufficient infantry support.[12] Soviet defensive preparation was also a major factor. The Central Front under Marshal Rokossovskiy had correctly anticipated the likely areas of German attack and had fortified those areas very heavily, holding other areas more thinly. The 13th Army, which bore the brunt of the German attack, was far stronger in men and anti-tank guns than the other Central Front units, and indeed held the strongest defensive positions in the entire salient. A major planning error by the Soviet Supreme High Command and the General Staff was their expectation that the main weight of the German attack would come in the north on the Central Front. Thus they concentrated more strength there. Also, the Central front chose to defend the tactical zone (to a depth of 20 km) very heavily, leaving far fewer units in the depths of the defense. Model's army had fewer tanks than Manstein had in the south, and the Ninth Army also committed major units piecemeal due to some disruption caused by the Soviet pre-emptive artillery barrage. Finally, Ninth Army led with reinforced infantry divisions that were already in the line facing the Soviets, rather than attacking with uncommitted units. For the fortification of food, see Food fortification. ... Anti-tank, or simply AT, refers to any method of combating military armored fighting vehicles, notably tanks. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I Infantry or footmen are very highly disciplined and trained soldiers who fight primarily with small arms(rifles), but are trained to use everything from their bare hands to missle systems in order to neutralize...


Review of attack frontages and depth of German penetration shows clearly that the Soviet defensive tactics were succeeding. Beginning with a 45-kilometer-wide attack frontage on July 5, on the 6th, Ninth Army attacked on a 40-kilometer front. This dropped to 15 kilometers wide by July 7, and only 2 kilometers each on July 8-9. Each day, the depth of the German advance slowed: 5 kilometers on the first day, 4 on the second, never more than 2 km each succeeding day. By the 10th, Ninth Army was stopped in its tracks. is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 188th day of the year (189th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 190th day of the year (191st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


After a week, the Wehrmacht had moved only 12 km forward, and on the 12th the Soviets launched their own offensive against the Second Panzer Army and the German Ninth Army at Orel. The situation became critical for the German forces, the 11th Guards Army could cut off both German Armies. The Luftwaffe was called upon to halt the offensive, and its actions proved decisive to saving the German armies from encirclement. The Luftwaffe organised a massive aerial offensive to blunt the threat. On 16 July the Luftwaffe flew 1,595 sorties, double that of the previous days.[13] In daylight hours the Sturzkampfgeschwader and Schlachtgeschwader attacked Soviet armoured units while the Kampfgruppen targeted the rear-supply lines. Another 1,100 sorties were flown on 18 July. The Junkers Ju 87G units took a heavy toll of Soviet Armour. So heavy were Soviet losses, the air attacks forced a Soviet retreat. The Soviet tanks that had managed to reach German positions had been quickly routed. The 1st Tank Corps had only 33 tanks remaining on 20 July.[14].[15] Model sent a message to von Greim thanking him, "the Luftwaffe's intervention was absolutely decisive to prevent a second, more disastrous Stalingrad".[16] The Second Panzer Army was a German tank army that fought during World War II. Initially it was formed under the name Panzergruppe Guderian, under the command of Heinz Guderian. ...


Ninth Army had to withdraw, their part in the offensive over. Because the German armor was not concentrated and used with the same intensity as in the South, the German armor losses were comparatively light - 143 armored vehicles were total losses in the period July 5 -14 1943.[17] However, this failed to keep up with the steady influx of new soldiers and matériel for the Red Army. Few Soviet guns were captured, and those Soviet units that did retreat did so on orders. The German attack failed to penetrate beyond the Soviet tactical zone. (Redirected from 14 July) July 14 is the 195th day (196th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 170 days remaining. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Matériel (from the French for equipment or hardware, related to the word material) is a term used in English to refer to the equipment and supplies in military and commercial supply chain management. ... For other organizations known as the Red Army, see Red Army (disambiguation). ...


Southern Face

German advance in the South

In the south, the Voronezh Front fared less well against the Fourth Panzer Army with its LII Corps, XLVIII Panzer Corps and II SS Panzer Corps. The II SS Panzer Corps attacked on a narrower frontage against two Soviet rifle regiments. The armored spearhead of Hoth's Fourth Panzer Army forced its way forward, and by the 6th had reached some 15 km past the lines. Again, Soviet planning played a big role. In the south the Soviets had not been able to pinpoint the German attack sectors; this forced them to spread out their defenses more evenly. For example, three of the four Armies of the Voronezh Front had about 10 antitank guns per kilometer of front; this contrasts sharply with the Central Front's distribution of guns, which was twice as heavy in the active sectors. Also, the Voronezh Front made the decision to hold the tactical zone much more thinly, leaving a much higher proportion of units in deeper positions compared to the Central Front. Finally, the Voronezh Front was weaker than the Central Front, yet it faced much stronger German forces. Image File history File links Kursk_south. ... Image File history File links Kursk_south. ... // Background The Voronezh Front was a military subdivision of the Soviet Unions Red Army during the Second World War. ... The German Fourth Panzer Army (German: ) was a German panzer army that saw action during World War II. It played a part in the invasion of France and then on the Eastern front, the 4th Panzer Army and Guderians 1st Army encircled army after army until it came to... The XLVIII Panzer Corps (German ), originally called the XLVIII Motorized Corps, was a corps level formation of the German Heer which saw extensive action on both the east and western fronts during World War II. History The corps was originally formed on 15 December 1940 in Germany as the XLVIII... The II.SS-Panzerkorps was a German Waffen-SS armoured corps which saw action on both the Eastern and Western Fronts during World War II. // The II.SS-Panzerkorps was formed in July 1942 in Bergen in The Netherlands as SS-Panzer-Generalkommando. ... An armored spearhead is a formation of armored fighting vehicles, mostly tanks, that form the front of an offensive thrust during a battle. ... General Hermann Hoth Hermann Papa Hoth (12 April 1885 - 26 January 1971) was a general of the Third Reich during World War II, notable for victories in France and on the Eastern Front, and later, after serving six years in prison for war crimes, as a writer on military history. ...


The German forces made steady progress against the Soviet defenses, but, as in the north, attack frontages (width) and penetration depth tended to drop as the attack proceeded. The trend was not as marked as in the north, however. Beginning with a 30-kilometer-wide attack frontage on July 5, this dropped to 20-kilometers wide by July 7 and 15 km by July 9. Likewise, the depth of the penetration dropped from 9 km on July 5 to 5 km on July 8 and 2-3 km each day thereafter until the attack was cancelled. is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 188th day of the year (189th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 190th day of the year (191st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Soviet minefields and artillery were again successful in delaying the German attack and inflicting losses. The ability of dug-in Red Army units to delay the Germans was vital to allow their own reserves to be brought up into threatened sectors. Over 90,000 additional mines were laid during the battle by small mobile groups of engineers, generally working at night immediately in front of the expected German attack areas. There were no large-scale captures of prisoners nor any great loss of artillery, again indicating that Soviet units were giving ground in good order.


German losses can be seen in the example of the Großdeutschland Division, which began the battle with 118 tanks. On July 10, after five days of fighting, the division reported it had 3 Tigers, 6 Panthers, and 11 Pzkw-III and Pzkw-IV tanks operational. XLVIII Panzer Corps reported, overall, 38 Panthers operational with 131 awaiting repair, out of the 200 it started with on July 5. Infanterie-Division Großdeutschland (mot) Panzergrenadier-Division Großdeutschland Panzer-Korps Großdeutschland The Großdeutschland Division (lit. ... is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Nevertheless, it was obvious that the threat of a German breakthrough in the south had to be reckoned with. The Steppe Front had been formed in the months prior to the battle as a central reserve for such an eventuality. Units of the Steppe Front began movement to the south as early as July 9. This included the 5th Guards Tank Army and other combined-arms armies. Steppe Front was a Front of the Soviet Army during the Great Patriotic War. ... is the 190th day of the year (191st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The 5th Guards Tank Army was a Soviet Guards armoured formation which fought in many notable actions during World War II. The 5th Guards Tank Army was formed on 10 February 1942. ...


The German flank, however, stood unprotected as the Soviet 7th Guards Army stalled Kempf's divisions, aided by heavy rain, after the Germans had crossed the Donets River. The Fifth Guards Tank Army, reinforced with two additional Tank Corps, moved into positions to the east of Prokhorovka and had started to prepare a counterattack of their own when II SS Panzer Corps arrived and an intense struggle ensued. The Soviets managed to halt the SS—but only just. Little now stood in the way of the Fourth Panzer Army, and a German breakthrough looked like a very real possibility. The Soviets therefore decided to deploy the rest of 5th Guards Tank Army. The Red Armys Seventh Guards Army, was redesignated from the Soviet 64th Army on 16 April 1943. ... The Donets River starts in Central Russia upland, north of Belgorod, in the Russian Federation. ...


Prokhorovka
Main article: Battle of Prokhorovka
Memorial on Prokhorovka Field
Memorial on Prokhorovka Field

On the morning of July 12, II SS Panzer Corps advanced on Prokhorovka at the same time that 5th Guards Tank Army launched a series of attacks as part of multi-front counteroffensive scheduled for July 12 and in an attempt to catch the Germans off balance. The SS and Guards units collided west of Prokhorovka in open country punctuated by farms, rolling hills and gullies. What happened next is open to debate with the release of new information from archives. Combatants Soviet Union Germany Commanders Pavel Rotmistrov Erich von Manstein Strength 500 tanks 477 tanks Casualties Ca. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (452x678, 37 KB) Memorial on the Prokhorovka battlefield Author of the Photo: Maxim Egorov From his E-mail: Уважаемый Александр! Я, безусловно, не возражаю. Вариант лицензии можете выбрать по своему усмотрению. Напишете, когда будет опубликовано? J С уважением, М.Егоров File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Battle of... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (452x678, 37 KB) Memorial on the Prokhorovka battlefield Author of the Photo: Maxim Egorov From his E-mail: Уважаемый Александр! Я, безусловно, не возражаю. Вариант лицензии можете выбрать по своему усмотрению. Напишете, когда будет опубликовано? J С уважением, М.Егоров File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Battle of... is the 193rd day of the year (194th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The II.SS-Panzerkorps was a German Waffen-SS armoured corps which saw action on both the Eastern and Western Fronts during World War II. // The II.SS-Panzerkorps was formed in July 1942 in Bergen in The Netherlands as SS-Panzer-Generalkommando. ... --152. ... The 5th Guards Tank Army was a Soviet Guards armoured formation which fought in many notable actions during World War II. The 5th Guards Tank Army was formed on 10 February 1942. ...


The battle can best be described as a very costly tactical loss but an operational draw for the Soviets. Neither the 5th Guards Tank Army nor the II SS Panzer Corps accomplished their missions that day. Tank losses have been a contentious subject ever since. Soviet losses have been claimed as low as 200 or as high as 822 tanks, but the loss records now show that they were probably from 150 to 300 complete losses, with a similar number damaged. Likewise, German loss claims have reached as low as 80 or into the hundreds, including "dozens" of Tigers. This number is impossible to establish because of the German philosophy in counting lost tanks. The number of complete losses for the period 10 July-13 July for the LSSAH and Das Reich divisions was three. Additional to that is an unknown number of damaged tanks, many of which would have been lost in repair depots during the subsequent retreat as a consequence of the Soviet post-Kursk counteroffensive Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev. Nipe puts the number of operational tank reductions in the whole Corps at 70-80, but it is unclear how many of these would have been in short-term or long-term repair. In any event, the losses for both the II SS Panzer Corps and the 5th Guards Tank Army in the “greatest tank battle of all time,” fell short of the mythic proportions sometimes attributed to the Prokhorovka engagement. is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 194th day of the year (195th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev (literally: Commander Rumyantsev, after 18th-century Field Marshal Peter Rumyantsev) was a military operation conducted by the Red Army in its fight against the German Wehrmacht during World War II. The operation was conducted by Steppe Front in the Belgorod sector. ...


The End in the South

Significantly, earlier in the battle the attacking German units had been squeezed into ever-narrowing frontages by the defenders. Elite Soviet Guards Airborne units were holding firm on the flanks of the very narrow German penetration. The Germans could not squeeze many units into this narrow front, nor did they have the combat power to widen the penetration. Thus as the attacking Corps moved forward, they continually lost strength due to the need to hold their own flanks.


While the German offensive had been stopped in the north by July 10, in the south the overall battle (of Kursk) still hung in the balance, even after July 12. German forces on the southern wing, exhausted and heavily depleted, nevertheless had breached the first two defensive belts and believed (wrongly) that they were about to break through the last belt. In fact at least five more defensive zones awaited them, although they were not as strong as the initial belts (and some of them did not have troops deployed). Soviet defenders had been weakened, and major parts of their reserve forces had been committed. Still, the available uncommitted Red Army reserves were far larger than the few available German reserves. is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 193rd day of the year (194th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Hitler cancels the operation

On the night of July 9/10, the Western Allies mounted an amphibious invasion of Sicily. Three days later, Hitler summoned von Kluge and von Manstein to his Wolfsschanze headquarters in East Prussia and declared his intention to "temporarily" call off Operation Zitadelle. Von Manstein attempted to dissuade him, arguing that Zitadelle was on the brink of victory. Hitler gave von Manstein a few more days to continue the offensive, but on 17 July he cancelled the operation and ordered the entire SS Panzer Korps to be transferred to Italy. This article is about the independent states that comprised the Allies. ... Husky was also the codename of Australian military support to Sierra Leone ending in February 2003. ... Sicily ( in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945, standard German pronunciation in the IPA) was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. ... Günther “Hans” von Kluge (October 30, 1882 – August 19, 1944), was a German military leader. ... Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein The neutrality of this article is disputed. ... Remains of largest bunker (Adolf Hitlers) at Wolfsschanze. ... East Prussia (German: Ostpreu en; Polish: Prusy Wschodnie; Russian: Восточная Пруссия — Vostochnaya Prussiya) was a province of Kingdom of Prussia, situated on the territory of former Ducal Prussia. ...


Hitler's decision to call off the operation at the height of the battle has since been strongly criticized by German generals in their memoirs, and also by some historians. For example, it has been pointed out that the SS Panzer Korps would have taken three months to be transferred to Sicily, and thus could not possibly have affected the outcome there, while its contribution to the Kursk operation was vital.[18] Other scholars, however, are of the opinion that Zitadelle had already clearly failed and that Hitler was right in canceling the operation, if not for the right reasons.[citation needed]


In any event, only one German division, 1st SS Panzer Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, departed for Italy without their equipment, the others remaining behind in the USSR to try and stem the Soviet counteroffensive launched in the wake of the failed German offensive. The Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (Lifeguard Standarte of the SS Adolf Hitler) was a Waffen SS guard and combat formation which saw action on both the Eastern and Western fronts during the Second World War. ...


Soviet counteroffensives

Operation Kutuzov, the Soviet counteroffensive at Orel, decisively changed the situation. German Ninth Army units had to be redeployed to resist this attack instead of continuing their own offensive; units from the southern pincer were given warning orders on July 15 to withdraw back to the start lines held on July 4. The purpose of the withdrawal was to shorten the front, enabling the Germans to re-form a reserve. Operation Kutuzov was a military operation by the Red Army in its fight against the German Wehrmacht during World War II. It was named after Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov, the Tsarist general credited with saving Russia from defeat during the invasion by Napoleon in 1812. ... Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev (literally: Commander Rumyantsev, after 18th-century Field Marshal Peter Rumyantsev) was a military operation conducted by the Red Army in its fight against the German Wehrmacht during World War II. The operation was conducted by Steppe Front in the Belgorod sector. ... Orel or Oryol (Орёл) is a city in Russia, administrative center of the Oryol Oblast. ... is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


To the south the Red Army needed more time to re-group after the losses sustained in July, and could not launch their counteroffensive again until 3 August when Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev commenced. Aided by diversionary attacks on the Mius river further south, they took von Manstein's hard-won Belgorod. Fireworks in Moscow marked the capture of Belgorod and Orel, a celebration that henceforward became an institution with the recapture of each Soviet city. On 11 August the Red Army reached Kharkov, a city Hitler had sworn to defend at all costs. The German units had reduced manpower and shortages of equipment. is the 215th day of the year (216th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... ... Coat of arms of Belgorod Belgorod (Russian: ) is a city in Western Russia, situated on the Severny Donets river just 40 km north from the Ukrainian border, at 50°37′N 36°35′E. It is the administrative center of Belgorod Oblast. ... For other uses, see Fireworks (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Moscow (disambiguation). ... is the 223rd day of the year (224th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Battle ends

A cathedral on the Field of Prokhorovka. It commemorates the Soviet victory in the Battle of Kursk.
A cathedral on the Field of Prokhorovka. It commemorates the Soviet victory in the Battle of Kursk.

Field Marshal von Manstein believed the outcome of the offensive phase of Kursk to be much more grey than black and white. For although the Germans were forced to withdraw, the Germans “managed to, at least, partly destroy the mobile units of the enemy’s operational reserves.” However, despite the losses it suffered in the defensive phase of the battle of Kursk, the Red Army managed to go over to a very successful offensive within two weeks, pushing the Germans back to the Dnieper and towards western Ukraine, and Manstein saw the overall campaign as a disaster for the Germans. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (422x629, 27 KB) Cathedral of St. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (422x629, 27 KB) Cathedral of St. ... Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein The neutrality of this article is disputed. ... The Dnieper River (Russian: , Dnepr; Belarusian: , Dniapro; Ukrainian: , Dnipro) is a river which flows from Russia, through Belarus and Ukraine, ending its flow in the Black Sea. ...


By 22 August, utter exhaustion had affected both sides and the battle of Kursk ended. It was followed by a series of successful Red Army operations that led to the crossing of the Dnieper, and the liberation of Kiev during the autumn of 1943. is the 234th day of the year (235th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Combatants Axis Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Rokossovsky, Konev Strength 1,250,000 men 12,600 guns 2,100 tanks 2,000 planes 2,650,000 men 51,000 guns 2,400 tanks 2,850 planes Casualties Low est. ...


The campaign was a decisive Soviet success. For the first time, a major German offensive had been stopped prior to achieving a breakthrough. The Germans, despite using more technologically advanced armor than previous years, were unable to break through the in-depth defenses of the Red Army, and were surprised by the significant operational reserves available to the Soviets in this battle. This was an outcome that few confidently predicted, and it changed the pattern of operation on the eastern front. The victory had not been cheap however. The Red Army, although preventing the Germans from achieving the goals of Citadel, lost considerably more men and matériel than the Wehrmacht. This article is about the armed forces of the Soviet Union. ... The straight-armed Balkenkreuz, a stylized version of the Iron Cross, the emblem of the Wehrmacht. ...


German casualties listed in German sources during the battle proper (as opposed to the following Soviet counter-offensives north and south of the salient) in the period 5 to 20 July 1943 were between 50,000[19] and 57,000.[20] German tank write-offs were between 278[21] and 323.[22] Yet the numbers of destroyed tanks alone does not tell the entire story. For example, Zetterling and Frankson list only 33 tanks destroyed for the three divisions of the SS Panzer Corps as of 17 July, but the number of operational tanks on 17 July as of 19:15 had dropped by 139, leading one to assume that 106 tanks were damaged and not able to take part in the battle, at least temporarily.[23] Soviet casualties were 177,847 as listed in Krivosheev.[24] However, Restayn and Moller point out[25] that Krivosheev's figures for Central Front strength show a decline in strength during the period 5 to 11 July 1943 of approximately 92,700, of which only 33,897 are accounted for as dead or wounded with no explanation given for the further 58,893 losses. Restayn and Moller consider that the missing 58,893 should be accounted for as casualties, in which case total Soviet casualties in this period would be approximately 235,000 (ie 177,847 plus 58,893). Soviet armor losses, again according to Krivosheev, were 1,614 tanks and assault guns destroyed.[26]


From this point on, a new pattern emerged. The initiative had firmly passed to the Soviets, while the Germans spent the rest of the war reacting to their moves. A new front had opened in Italy, diverting some of Germany's resources and attention. Both sides had their losses, but only the Soviets had the manpower and the industrial production to recover fully. The Germans never regained the initiative after Kursk and never again launched a major offensive in the East.


Moreover, the loss further convinced Hitler of the incompetence of his General Staff. He continued his interference in military matters progressively, so that by war's end he was involved in tactical decisions. The opposite applied to Stalin, however. After seeing Stavka's planning justified on the battlefield, he trusted his advisors more, and stepped back from operational planning, only rarely overruling military decisions. The Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH) was Germanys Army High Command from 1936 to 1945. ... Stavka (Ставка) was the General Headquarters of armed forces in late Imperial Russia and in the Soviet Union. ...


Predictable results ensued for both sides: the German Army went from loss to loss as Hitler attempted personally to micromanage the day-to-day operations of what soon became a three-front war, while the Soviet Army gained more freedom and became more and more fluid as the war continued. This page deals with micromanagement in business management. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Bergström 2007, p. 123-125;figures from German archives. Bundesarchiv-Militararchiv, Frieburg; Luftfahrtmuseum, Hannover-Laatzen; WASt Deutsche Dienststelle, Berlin
  2. ^ There are variant numbers given depending on the stage of the operations which took place, and how they were calculated. Soviet sources include all guns, mortars, rocket and anti-aircraft artillery employed from the start of the Operation Citadel to the end of the Soviet counter-offensives. German sources also add tanks deployed in static dug-in positions.
  3. ^ Bergström 2007, p. 127-128;figures from Russian archives; Russian aviation trust; Russian Central Military Archive TsAMO, Podolsk; Russian State Military Archive RGVA, Moscow; Monino Air Force Museum, Moscow
  4. ^ a b Using the German dates of battle
  5. ^ a b Using the Soviet dates of battle
  6. ^ When the week of combat around Kursk had ended, the perceived infallibility of blitzkrieg was destroyed, along with the future hopes of the German Army for victory or even stalemate in the east. Kursk announced to the world that for every offensive theory, there is a suitable defensive one available to those who devote the requisite thought necessary to develop it.Glantz, Colonel David M.. "Soviet Defensive Tactics at Kursk, July 1943". U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Soviet Army Studies Office Combined Arms Center Combat Studies Institute (CSI Report No. 11). 
  7. ^ Hans-Ulrich Rudel of StG 2 Immelmann had used the Ju 87 equppied with two 37 mm cannon over the Kuban front in the Spring of 1943. The Geschwaders Stukas were equipped with them on the very first day of the Kursk offensive. Rudel destroyed 12 Soviet tanks on 5 July. Bergstrom 2007 p. 79-81; 102; 106; 114; 118.
  8. ^ The air battle is misunderstood in most accounts. The Freya radar stations established in Belgorod and Kharkov in 1943 had only picked up Soviet formations approaching from Belgorod and were not responsible for sealing the failure of the strike; Bergström 2007, p.26.
  9. ^ Bergström 2007, p. 27.
  10. ^ Bergström 2007, p. 38.
  11. ^ Bergström 2007, p. 120.
  12. ^ Operation Citadel, Volume 2: The North, by Restayn and Moller, page 333
  13. ^ Bergström 2007, p. 102.
  14. ^ Bergström 2007, p. 109.
  15. ^ Figures from Grigoriy Koltunov and Boris Solovyev: Kurskaya bitva, 1970. Bergström p. 109
  16. ^ Bergström 2007, p. 109.
  17. ^ Operation Citadel, Volume 2: The North, by Restayn and Moller, pages 333-336
  18. ^ Carell, Paul - Hitler Moves East, Volume 2 Scorched Earth.
  19. ^ Glantz & House,page 275
  20. ^ Zetterling & Frankson, page 112
  21. ^ Zetterling & Frankson, adding tables 8.8 and 8.10 on pages 121-122
  22. ^ Glantz & House, page 276
  23. ^ Zetterling & Frankson, pp. 187-188
  24. ^ quoted in Glantz & House at 275 and Restayn & Moller, Volume II, at page 341
  25. ^ page 341 of Vol II
  26. ^ cited in both Glantz & House at 275 and Mawdsely, at page 267

Hans-Ulrich Rudel (July 2, 1916 – December 18, 1982) was a Stuka dive-bomber pilot during World War II. Rudel is famous for being the most highly decorated German serviceman of the war. ...

Bibliography

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  • Glantz, David M.; Jonathan M. House (2004). The Battle of Kursk. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0700613358. 
  • Glantz, David M.; Harold S. Orenstein (1999). The Battle for Kursk 1943: The Soviet General Staff Study. Frank Cass. ISBN 0714649333. 
  • Krivosheev, Grigoriy (1997). Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the twentieth century. London: Greenhill Books. ISBN 1853672807. 
  • Manstein, Erich von (2000). Verlorene Siege (in German). Monch. ISBN 3763752536. 
  • Mawdsley, Evan (2007). Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War, 1941-1945. A Hodder Arnold Publication. ISBN 0340613920. 
  • Mulligan, Timothy P. (1987). "Spies, Ciphers and 'Zitadelle': Intelligence and the Battle of Kursk, 1943" (pdf). Journal of Contemporary History 22 (2): 235-260. doi:10.1177/002200948702200203. 
  • Newton, Stephen H. (2003). Kursk: The German View. Westview Press. ISBN 0306811502. 
  • Nipe, George (1996). Decision In the Ukraine, Summer 1943, II. SS and III. Panzerkorps. J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing Inc.. ISBN 0921991355. 
  • Restayn, J.; N. Moller (2002). Operation "Citadel", A Text and Photo Album, Volume 1: The South. J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing Inc.. ISBN 0921991703. 
  • Restayn, J.; N. Moller (2006). Operation "Citadel", A Text and Photo Album, Volume 2: The North. J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing Inc.. ISBN 092199172X. 
  • Robbins, David L. (2004). Last Citadel. Orion mass market paperback. ISBN 0752859250. 
  • Zetterling, Niklas; Anders Frankson (2000). Kursk 1943: A statistical analysis. Routledge. ISBN 0714650528. 

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  Results from FactBites:
 
::The Battle of Kursk:: (1713 words)
Kursk was to be the biggest tank battle of World War Two and the battle resulted in a severe crisis for Nazi Germany’s war machine in Russia.
At the centre of this bulge was Kursk.
The Battle of Kursk was to have major consequences for the Germans.
Russian Front (2079 words)
He didn't know that at this point in the battle, the russian high command already predicted this development, and since the german advance in the north was stopped, they could now safely send their armor reserve to meet the advancing german tanks in the south.
In the summer of 1943, in the battle of kursk, the much weaker german army broke its fist and lost its best remaining units in its attempt to regain the initiative in one last major attack, for which the russians were fully prepared.
After the battle of kursk, the war in the eastern front was a long russian advance, in which the russian army returned to all the territory it lost to the germans, conquered all of eastern europe, and reached all the way to germany and to Berlin and won the war.
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