Kursk : The Largest Tank Battle of all time - T34 vs Panthers and Tigers.
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Russian officials have lashed out at Western historians for questioning the Red Army's mastery at Kursk
Winning the biggest tank battle in history remains a great source of pride for Russians. So it is not surprising that Russian officials have lashed out at Western historians for questioning the Red Army's mastery of the battlefield. For decades Russians have seen no reason to doubt Soviet military historians, who portrayed the Battle of Prokhorovka on 12 July 1943 as a turning-point, where the Red Army seized the initiative, then rolled back the Nazi armour. The wider Battle of Kursk - from 5 July to 23 August 1943 - was indeed a turning-point in World War Two. Soviet forces thwarted a huge Nazi counter-attack, after Hitler's troops had suffered a defeat at Stalingrad in the winter of 1942-43. But recently a British historian, Ben Wheatley, analysed German Luftwaffe aerial photos of the Prokhorovka battlefield, taken on 14-16 July, when the area was still in German hands. The photos were found in the US National Archives at College Park, Maryland.
The battle of Kursk 75 years on
The human and material toll of the world’s largest tank battle was horrendous as the Wehrmacht’s tactical edge was overwhelmed by superior means of destruction.
Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
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How the Battle of Kursk Sealed Nazi Germany`s Fate
In 1939, and again in 1940, Adolf Hitler ignored the advice of his cautious generals and decisively ordered bold, creative plans to invade Poland and France, respectively. Hitler felt vindicated, as the German army conquered both nations in mere weeks. By the spring of 1943, however, stung by the crushing loss to the Soviet army at Stalingrad, Hitler`s indecision and loss of nerve at the Battle of Kursk doomed Germany to defeat. Germany would never again mount an offensive in the east.
Kursk: The Biggest Tank Battle, a conflict-series strategy game, now available on Google Play
Kursk: The Biggest Tank Battle, a conflict-series strategy game, now available on Google Play.
Kursk: The Greatest Battle: The Greatest Tank Battle by Lloyd Clark (book review)
The Battle of Kursk was the greatest tank battle in history, but most of the history books have been written from the German side - however "Kursk" gives a good insight to the Russian view of the battle. In 1943 the Wehrmacht planed a two pronged assault on the Soviet lines at the Salient around the Russian City of Kursk, not knowing that the Soviet leadership had been warned by the British through the Enigma intercepts from Bletchley Park which enabled the Red Army to prepare the most complex defensive lines of the Second World War.
Battle of Kursk - A turning point of the Second World War
Prokhorovka is where a crucial battle of the Kursk took place in 1943. This fierce tank clash switched the momentum on the Eastern Front to the Red Army. Spring 1943 Hitler wanted to avenge the defeat at Stalingrad. Soviet offensive had pushed out a huge bulge into German lines around the city of Kursk - and the Germans wanted to pinch it off at its base. But Hitler also wanted to introduce Third Reich's latest tanks (Tiger, Panther) to battle and kept delaying the attack. Meanwhile Zhukov - tipped off by intelligence sources - convinced Stalin to turn the Kursk area into a giant fortress filled with anti-tank guns.
July 5, 1943: Defeat at Kursk Heralds Twilight of the Panzers
The Battle of Kursk features the largest tank engagement in history and is, in military terms, the most decisive battle of WWII. Following their defeat at Stalingrad 5 months earlier, the Germans lacked the strength to attack along the entire Eastern Front. The high command chose to focus on a salient near Kursk, where there was an opportunity to encircle a dozen Soviet armies. The operation was given the code name Zitadelle. Nazi Germany committed nearly a million men, 2,700 tanks and 2,000 aircraft. They would be facing a Russian force of 1.3 million, backed by 3,600 tanks, 2,400 planes and more than 20,000 artillery pieces.
Suppressed Red Army soldiers are now telling their WW2 stories (Article no longer available from the original source)
Russian soldiers whose voices were suppressed for half a century are now telling their stories, with the help of Stuart Britton, who is translating their wartime memoirs. "...to bring to light the voices of the average Russian soldier, the private in the trenches. For decades German sources dominated our view of the Eastern Front." "800 Days on the Eastern Front: A Russian Soldier Remembers World War II" tells of war as Nikolai Litvin saw it on the front lines in the tank battles at Kursk. His roles, ranging from antitank gunner at Kursk to heavy machine gunner in a penal battalion to staff driver for the 352nd Rifle Division, offer unique perspectives on the Red Army.
Biography of Walther Model - Hitler's youngest field marshal (Article no longer available from the original source)
Walther Model, who at age 53 became Hitler's youngest field marshal, is the subject of a biography "Hitler's Commander: Field Marshal Walther Model." Model led a division in the invasion of Poland, and drove a panzer unit into Russia. When the Russians went on the offensive, he gained Hitler's attention with his rock-ribbed defenses. He restlessly roamed the front, bullying his officers and plugging gaps in the line. He criticized "Operation Citadel," the German offensive at Kursk in 1943, as doomed. When the Russians were victorious at Kursk in the greatest tank battle of the war, his 9th Army suffered heavy losses, but he emerged with his reputation intact.
The celebration of the Battle of Kursk's anniversary
Russia is celebrating the 62nd anniversary of a major WWII victory in this southwestern city. The celebration of the Battle of Kursk's anniversary begins early with a ceremony laying wreaths and flowers at a monument to Soviet soldiers and at the Kursk Salient Memorial. A monument to the prominent Russian WWII Marshal Konstantin Rokissovsky will be unveiled. The Battle of Kursk, which covered the territories of the present Oryol, Bryansk, Kursk, Belgorod, Sumy, Kharkov and Poltava regions lasted 50 days. The period between July 5 and August 23, 1943 was filled with furious fighting, on land as well as in the air.
Kursk - Biggest cemetery for the german war dead opened
Right after the celebrations of the Victory Day work will get underway at the village of Besedino, Kursk Region, to bury several thousand German officers and men in what will become the biggest German cemetery in Russia. Today the Sologub cemetery for 80,000 soldiers, located some 70 kilometers away from St. Petersburg, is the largest German burial in Russia. The Besedino cemetery will primarily accommodate German soldiers who died in the battle for Kursk. The Wehrmacht had amassed 50 divisions, including 16 tank units, for its operation Citadel.
Kursk: some interesting revisions - Numbers of tanks (Article no longer available from the original source)
The "myth of Prokorovka" is debunked in terms of numbers of tanks employed, losses on the German side. Many sources maintain that Prokorovka saw 1200-1500 tanks engaged on 12 Jul 43. The 3 divisions of II SS PzKps had only 236 operational tanks. Since only 1st and 2nd SS Divisions actually fought there, the numbers drop to 204 total. Where the Russians have claimed 350-400 German tanks killed. Other exaggerated figures: The USSR have insisted that they destroyed 3700 German a/c at Kursk. German records show 1030 lost July-Aug on all fronts. Russian casualties amounted to 1.680.000 vs. 230.000 on German side.
Kursk witnessed one of the largest tank engagements in history
Battle of Kursk by David M. Glantz, Jonathan M. House. Immense in scope, ferocious in nature, and epic in consequence, the Battle of Kursk witnessed (at Prokhorovka) one of the largest tank engagements in world history and led to staggering losses—including nearly 200,000 Soviet and 50,000 German casualties within the first ten days of fighting. It takes readers behind Soviet lines for the first time to reveal what the Red Army knew about the plans for Hitler's offensive (Operation Citadel), relive tank warfare and hand-to-hand combat, and tell how the tide of battle turned.
60th anniversary of the Kursk Battle - Tiger and Panther tanks
The Battle of Kursk lasted 50 days, between July 5 and August 23. The tank fighting that took place in the course of the battle was unprecedented. July 12 tank combat outside Prokhorovka is the greatest tank battle of the WW2, it involved 1,200 tanks and self-propelled guns. Hitler amassed 50 of his best units, including 16 tank and motorised divisions, and collected the newest materiel, Tiger and Panther tanks, Ferdinand self-propelled guns, Heinkel 129 bombers, and Focke Wulf 190A jets. On the Soviet front Georgy Zhukov and Alexander Vasilevsky were in command. The Red Army outnumbered the enemy by 1.4 times and had double the amount of guns and mortars.
Kursk: The German View - German strategy and operations
Summer of 1943 saw the battle of Kursk, which involved 6000 German and Soviet armored vehicles, making it the biggest tank battle of all time. Students of military history have long recognized the importance of Kursk, and there have been studies of the battle. Yet, the German view of the battle has been ignored. After the war, U.S. Army gathered German commanders' reports of the battle. Due to poor translations done after the war, these documents have been overlooked by WWII historians. Steven H. Newton has translated and edited these accounts, including reports by Fourth Panzer Army. As a result, a new picture of German strategy and operations is made available.
Germans may have been closer to victory at Kursk than recognized (Article no longer available from the original source)
Following their defeat at Stalingrad during the winter of 1942-1943, the German armed forces launched an offensive known as Operation Citadel on July 4,1943. The climax of the Battle of Kursk, involved as many as 6,000 tanks, 4,000 aircraft and 2 million men and is remembered as the greatest tank battle in history. The high-water mark of the battle was the massive armor engagement at Prochorovka, which began on July 12. But while historians have categorized Prochorovka as a victory of improved Soviet tactics over German heavy tanks, new evidence casts the struggle at the "gully of death" in a very different light.