The battle of Kursk: Hitler wanted revenge for Stalingrad

History 26/03/20 the battle of Kursk: Hitler wanted revenge for Stalingrad

the Battle at the small station of Prokhorovka during the great Patriotic war was an example of the Grand tank battle in the history of war. The battle of Prokhorovka was the epitome of courage and heroism of Soviet soldiers. But the results of this battle still cause heated debate. In question raised a number of techniques and the scale of the operation, which version of separate historians have been exaggerated by Soviet propaganda.

the Revenge for the defeat in Stalingrad

the Battle near Prokhorovka station in the Belgorod region became the largest battle of Kursk defensive operation that went down in history under the name Kursk. The Germans had planned to stay here for one of the biggest operations of its plan, the Citadel, taking in the ring of a Soviet army group.

the Battle began on 10 July

the staff documents there is evidence about the first battle, which occurred on July 10 near Prokhorovka. This fight was held not tanks, and infantry units of the 69th army, which wear down the enemy, they suffered heavy losses and was replaced by ninth airborne division. Thanks to the Marines, July 11, the Germans were halted near the outskirts of the station. They occupied all the advantageous positions in the vicinity of the station: deployed artillery. Natural building – ravines and gullies – securely hide German soldiers and equipment.

Prokhorovskoe pole, rugged ravines and

part of the Soviet 5th guards tank army were obviously in a difficult position: attack a group of tanks located between the beams of the South-West of Prokhorovka and were deprived of the opportunity to deploy the full breadth of tank group. Soviet tanks were forced to advance on a small area bounded on one side by the railroad, and on the other by the floodplain of the Psel river (it is a left tributary of the Dnieper). German tank crews were much more operational space.

Invisible German regrouping

Despite the fact that the official start date of the battle is considered to be July 12 – the fighting continued until 15 July – the culmination of the battle is considered to be July 12.

July 12, a huge number of German and Soviet tanks clashed on the narrow front width of just 11-12 km.

Tank units of the “Adolf Hitler”, “Totenkopf” division “Reich” and others on the eve of the decisive battle to regroup their forces. The Soviet command didn’t know about it. In the direction of Prokhorovka was fought only one German division – “Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler”.

the Offensive repeatedly delayed

the offensive of Soviet troops was postponed several times. Finally, at 8.30 in the morning part went into battle. However, the aircraft could not provide cover and began to operate in the combat area only to 13.00, in the sky appeared for 2 to 10 fighters.

the Soviet offensive were the tank waves, and the attack was frontal in contrast to the German commanders, who were accustomed to the judicious use of manpower and equipment. Such waves appeared because due to the small passages through the minefields, a large number of tanks could not enter immediately into battle. The tanks passed a string, one after another, holding back the attack of the first wave. The Germans saw all these preparations and were able to effectively build the fire of his artillery.

the Ratio of tanks

the red Army was not a single tank-equivalent, able to withstand the 56-ton heavy tank “Tiger”.

Medium tanks T-34 release in 1942, T-70, lendlizovskie tanks “Churchill” and self-propelled guns were opposed by the German heavy “Tiger”, medium tanks T-IV, assault and anti-tank self-propelled guns.

Soviet tankers were sitting in the narrow booths, and the Germans are quite comfortable settled in the tanks, are equipped with a radio, the latest observation devices.

Not only tanks participated in this battle. Historians insist on the term armored forces, which includes also machines wheeled or tracked motorcycles.

the Number of tanks involved in the battle on both sides is not known. In different sources there is information from 1110 to 1500 tanks and self-propelled guns.

On a burning tank

Soviet T-34 tank under the command of Peter Skrypnyk was hit. The crew pulled out their commander, took refuge in the funnel. The tank was burning. The Germans spotted him. One of the tanks moved in the direction of Soviet tank to crush them with tracks. Then a mechanic to save his comrades, rushed out of the saving of the trench. He ran to his burning car, and pointed it at the German “Tiger”. Both tanks exploded.

a Special Commission for Rotmistrov

after the battle of Prokhorovka, the Supreme commander, Joseph Stalin ordered the creation of a special Commission on investigation of circumstances of destruction. By August 1943, the Commission had completed its work and presented a report. Over the commander of the fifth tank army Pavel Rotmistrov was preparing to hold a show trial and shot. But intercession on the part of Vasilevsky saved his life. Later in his memoirs, the captain recognized that his task, his army is not fulfilled.

the Number of losses of Soviet soldiers, according to some German historians, compared to the opponent is equal to about 5:1 some historians insist on a different ratio – 6:1. The number of German destroyed tanks, say the Germans, does not exceed 25 units, the Soviet – 170-180 machines. The Soviet military was talking about 350 destroyed tanks of the enemy.

there you can still find the remains of soldiers and ammunition, and the legendary world group compose about this battle song.

Pavel Rotmistrov safely lived his life in Moscow. In the 70’s, he became an honorary citizen of Prokhorovka station.

When the world learned about the “tank duel”

for the First time about tank duel was written in the late 50-ies in his book Ivan Markin. He called the battle of Prokhorovka the largest tank battle of the XX century. At this time, when he came out to the light of this book, the country was headed by Nikita Khrushchev. During the war he was a member of the Military Council in the southern sector of the Kursk bulge.

Russian Seven

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