[302] The Central Front suffered 15,336 irrecoverable casualties and 18,561 medical casualties, for a total of 33,897 casualties. google_ad_format = "160x600_as";

[128] The attacks were mostly behind Army Group North and Army Group Centre. Soviet units from 5 to 8 July conducted 11,235 sorties with combat losses of 556 aircraft (4.95 per cent per sortie).

Do you think anyone even knows where Kursk is? [234][235] The XLVIII Panzer Corps along the Oboyan axis, where the third defensive belt was mostly unoccupied, now had only the Red Army second defensive belt blocking it from breakthrough into the unfortified Soviet rear. [109][106] The two-month delay between the German decision to attack the Kursk salient and its implementation allowed the Red Army ample time to thoroughly prepare.
Only the SU-122 and SU-152 self-propelled guns had the power to destroy the Tiger at short range, but they were not equal to the Tiger's 88mm gun at long range, and there were very few SU-122s and SU-152s at Kursk. The German forces cut off the Soviet mobile spearheads and continued the drive north,[56] retaking Kharkov on 15 March and Belgorod on 18 March. [306] Soviet losses during Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev totaled 255,566 men, with 71,611 listed as irrecoverable casualties and 183,955 as medical casualties. [139][140], According to a Soviet General Staff report, 29 of the 35 major Luftwaffe raids on Soviet airfields in the Kursk sector in June 1943 were against dummy airfields. [226] By the early evening, 2nd SS Panzer Division had reached the minefields on the perimeter of the Soviet second belt of defence. The Waffen-SS had built a full-scale duplicate Soviet strong point that was used to practice the techniques for neutralizing such positions. [249][250][251][252] However, slow progress by the XLVIII Panzer Corps caused Hoth to shift elements of the II SS-Panzer Corps to the west to help the XLVIII Panzer Corps regain its momentum. [196] In the first day, the Germans penetrated 5 to 6 mi (8.0 to 9.7 km) into the Red Army lines for the loss of 1,287 men killed and missing and a further 5,921 wounded.

He recommended completely abandoning Citadel, allowing the army to await and defeat the coming Soviet offensive, or radically revising the plan for Citadel.

The 1st SS Panzergrenadier Division advanced on the left flank towards Bykovka. Thus, a report on 11 August 1943 showed that the numbers of total writeoffs in Panthers swelled to 156, with only 9 operational. Some comrades became frightened, leaped out of the trenches, and began to run away. The Central and Voronezh Fronts fielded 12 armies, with 711,575 men (510,983 combat soldiers) and 625,591 men (446,236 combat soldiers) respectively. [190] Nine infantry divisions and one panzer division, with attached assault guns, heavy tanks and tank destroyers, pushed forward. These brought the total depth of the defences to nearly 300 kilometres (190 mi). A linkup with the II SS Panzer Corps would result with the Soviet 69th Army becoming encircled. [222] The 93rd Guards Rifle Division was deployed further back, along the road leading from Pokrovka to Prokhorovka.

The faces of the soldiers were dark with dust and exhaust fumes. [77][75], On 27 April, Model met with Hitler to review and express his concern for reconnaissance information which showed the Red Army constructing very strong positions at the shoulders of the salient and having withdrawn their mobile forces from the area west of Kursk. A slow increase in the combat strength is observable. To view reviews within a date range, please click and drag a selection on a graph above or click on a specific bar. Unlike Stalin, who gave his commanding generals the liberty to make important command decisions, Hitler's interference in German military matters progressively increased while his attention to the political aspects of the war decreased. [62] For the Wehrmacht to undertake an offensive in 1943, the burden of the offensive, in both attacking the Soviet defenses and holding ground on the flanks of the advance, would have to be carried primarily by the panzer divisions. The 12th Panzer Division, thus far held in reserve and slated to be committed to the northern side of the Kursk salient,[216] along with the 36th Motorized Infantry, 18th Panzer and 20th Panzer Divisions were redeployed to face the Soviet spearheads. Kursk. It became referred to by the troops as "mini-Stalingrad". [149], For the operation, the Germans used four armies along with a large portion of their total tank strength on the Eastern Front. [203] Ponyri, defended by the 307th Rifle Division of the 29th Rifle Corps, was also concertedly attacked on 6 July by the German 292nd and 86th Infantry, 78th Assault Infantry and 9th Panzer Divisions, but the Germans were unable to dislodge the defenders from the heavily fortified village. By 12 August, the outskirts of Kharkov had been reached. [115][116][117] The Soviets employed the labour of over 300,000 civilians. [261], Throughout 10 and 11 July, the II-SS Panzer Corps continued its attack toward Prokhorovka, reaching within 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) of the settlement by the night of 11 July.

[310], According to historian Christer Bergström, Soviet Air Forces losses during the German offensive amounted to 677 aircraft on the northern flank and 439 on the southern flank. Manstein's forces had just spent a week fighting through a maze of defensive works and he believed they were on the verge of breaking through to more open terrain, which would allow him to engage and destroy the Soviet armoured reserves in a mobile battle.

These losses break down as 109 Panzer IVs, 42 Panthers, 38 Panzer IIIs, 31 assault guns, 19 Elefants, 10 Tigers and three flame tanks. [302] His figures are supported by German historian Karl-Heinz Frieser. On 3 August, the Soviets began the second phase of the Kursk Strategic Offensive Operation with the launch of Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev (Russian: Полководец Румянцев) against the German forces in the southern side of the Kursk salient.
On 10 July the full effort of the corps was shifted back to its own forward progress. [151] To help build up supplies for the support of Citadel, the Luftwaffe greatly curtailed its operations during the last week of June. [246][247] Although a fiasco, the Soviet counterattack succeeded in stalling the advance of the II SS Panzer Corps throughout the day. Up to 14 July, 9th Army reported they had lost as total writeoffs 41 tanks and 17 assault guns.

[254], On the evening of 12 July, Hitler summoned Kluge and Manstein to his headquarters at Rastenburg in East Prussia. The Germans hoped to weaken the Soviet offensive potential for the summer of 1943 by cutting off and enveloping the forces that they anticipated would be in the Kursk salient. [t][182][175] The VVS lost 176 aircraft on 5 July, compared to the 26 aircraft lost by the Luftwaffe. In doing so he sought to maintain the armoured strength of his panzer divisions to be used for exploitation once the Red Army defences were breached.

[39] Hitler canceled the offensive at Kursk after only a week, in part to divert forces to Italy. Sign in to see reasons why you may or may not like this based on your games, friends, and curators you follow. Figures for 5–31 July, as given by the Luftwaffe logistics staff (, Some of the historians that consider Operation Citadel as envisioning a blitzkrieg attack or state it was intended as such are: Lloyd Clark (, Guderian developed and advocated the strategy of concentrating armoured formations at the point of attack (, "I urged him earnestly to give up the plan of attack. [80][66] On 17–18 June, following a discussion in which the OKW Operations Staff suggested abandoning the offensive, Hitler further postponed the operation until 3 July.

[197][195], Rokossovsky ordered the 17th Guards and 18th Guards Rifle Corps with the 2nd Tank Army and 19th Tank Corps, backed up by close air support, to counterattack the German 9th Army the following day on 6 July. The Battle of Kursk was a Second World War engagement between German and Soviet forces on the Eastern Front near Kursk (450 kilometres or 280 miles south-west of Moscow) in the Soviet Union, during July and August 1943. The Battle of Kursk is a skirmish map for up to 4 Players.

[66][67] As the last Soviet resistance in Kharkov petered out, Manstein attempted to persuade Günther von Kluge, commander of Army Group Centre, to immediately attack the Central Front, which was defending the northern face of the salient. [88][84][89] Due to concerns of an Allied landing in the south of France or in Italy and delays in deliveries of the new tanks, Hitler postponed again, this time to 20 June. The XLVIII Panzer Corps, commanded by Otto von Knobelsdorff, would advance on the left while Army Detachment Kempf would advance on the right. [174], The 6th Guards Army, which confronted the attack by the XLVIII Panzer Korps and II SS Panzer Korps, was reinforced with tanks from the 1st Tank Army, the 2nd Guards Tank Corps and the 5th Guards Tank Corps. Operation Citadel refers to the German offensive from 4 to 16 July, but Soviet losses are for the period of 5–23 July. Simultaneously, the 6th Tank Corps was to attack the XLVIII Panzer Corps and prevent it from breaking through to the free Soviet rear. The 1st Guards Tank Army clashed with the 2nd SS Panzer Division in a four-hour battle, resulting in the Soviet tanks withdrawing. Kursk was retaken by the Soviets on 8 February 1943, and Rostov on 14 February. In the end he and the Stavka agreed that the Germans would probably target Kursk. [91][88][92] Finally, on 1 July, Hitler announced 5 July as the launch date of the offensive. Witness to the largest tank battle of the entire war. [243] The 10th Tank Corps' attack began on the dawn of 8 July but they ran straight into the antitank fire of the 2nd and 3rd SS Divisions, losing most of its forces. [295] The Western Allied landings in Italy opened up a new front, further diverting German resources and attention. Guderian concluded, "In that case your reaction to the problem is the correct one. [38], The battle was the final strategic offensive that the Germans were able to launch on the Eastern Front. This defaults to your Review Score Setting. Of these, Frieser estimates that 760 were destroyed during the Battle of Kursk. This mission, however, was rarely attempted during Citadel. [l], Operation Citadel called for a double envelopment, directed at Kursk, to surround the Soviet defenders of five armies and seal off the salient.

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