The battle of kursk
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The battle of kursk. THE SOVIET RECONQUEST OF WESTERN RUSSIA JULY, 1943. KEY INDIVIDUALS. ERICH Von MANSTEIN GEORGI ZHUKOV KONSTANTIN ROKASSOVSKY NIKOLAI VATUTIN. STRATEGIC SITUATION, RUSSIA - JULY, 1943. STALINGRAD DEFEAT (FEB. ‘43) FORCES WITHDRAWAL OF GERMAN ARMY WESTWARD

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The battle of kursk

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The battle of kursk

The battle of kursk

THE SOVIET RECONQUEST OF WESTERN RUSSIA

JULY, 1943


Key individuals

KEY INDIVIDUALS

  • ERICH Von MANSTEIN

  • GEORGI ZHUKOV

  • KONSTANTIN ROKASSOVSKY

  • NIKOLAI VATUTIN


Strategic situation russia july 1943

STRATEGIC SITUATION, RUSSIA - JULY, 1943

  • STALINGRAD DEFEAT (FEB. ‘43)

    • FORCES WITHDRAWAL OF GERMAN ARMY WESTWARD

    • REMOVES THREAT TO CASPIAN OILFIELDS

  • PROBLEM?

    • GERMAN ARMY IS STILL POWERFUL

  • GERMANS INTEND TO CREATE NORTH-SOUTH DEFENSIVE LINE; PURPOSE?

    • BLEED RUSSIANS WHITE

    • ALLOW GERMAN ARMY TO REGROUP FOR 1944 OFFENSIVE

    • MOST GERMAN MILITARY LEADERS AGREE


Kursk origins

KURSK: ORIGINS

  • ERICH Von MANSTEIN ARGUES FOR SUMMER OFFENSIVE

  • MANSTEIN’S PLANS, HOWEVER, CALL FOR ATTACK FURTHER SOUTH

  • GERMAN HIGH COMMAND DECIDES ON ATTACK AGAINST KURSK“SALIENT”

  • WHY THERE?

    • SUCCESS WOULD SHORTEN GERMAN LINES

    • KURSK WAS A VITAL RAILWAY CITY

    • CUTTING OFF THE SALIENT WOULD TRAP 1/5 OF RED ARMY’S MANPOWER

  • ATTACK MUST BE IN SPRING/SUMMER – WHY?

    • MASSIVE BLITZKRIEG TACTICS WILL BE NECESSARY

    • VISIBILITY / MOBILITY ARE CRITICAL


Soviet situation

SOVIET SITUATION

  • SOVIET INTELLIGENCE IS ALREADY AWARE OF POSSIBLE GERMAN OFFENSIVE

    • HOW? W. EURO. SPY RING

    • SOVIET HIGH COMMAND HAD PREDICTED AN ATTACK AT KURSK

  • ZHUKOV ADVISES STALIN TO ALLOW GERMANS TO ATTACK FIRST

  • WHY?

    • IT WILL EXHAUST GERMAN FORCES

    • IT WILL THEN ALLOW RUSSIAN COUNTERATTACK

  • RESULT?

    • SOVIET PLAN CALLS FOR DEFENSIVE STRATEGY FOLLOWED BY COUNTERATTACK

    • MASSIVE DEFENSE-IN-DEPTH NETWORK IS CREATED

  • EXAMPLE?

    • 1 MILLION LAND MINES

    • TRENCHWORKS TO A DEPTH OF 95 MILES

    • 3600 TANKS

    • 20,000 ARTILLERY PIECES

    • 1 MILLION + TROOPS

    • 2700 AIRCRAFT


Soviet defense in depth kursk 1943

SOVIET DEFENSE IN DEPTH,KURSK, 1943


Order of battle

ORDER OF BATTLE

  • GERMANS:

    • 800,000 MEN (approx.)

    • 3,000 TANKS (approx.)

    • 10,000 ARTILLERY PIECES (approx.)

    • 2,000 AIRCRAFT

  • SOVIETS:

    • 1,000,000 (approx.)

    • 5,000 TANKS (approx.)

    • 25,000 ARTILLERY PIECES (approx.)

    • 2,800 AIRCRAFT (approx.)

  • GERMAN BATTLE PLAN:

    • ATTACK RUSSIANS ON NORTH & SOUTH FLANKS FOR SALIENT

    • USE ARMORED THRUSTS TO CUT OFF SALIENT

    • TRAP RUSSIANS INSIDE SALIENT (total of 60 Divisions)


Operation citadel unit dispersal july 1943

OPERATION CITADEL,UNIT DISPERSAL, JULY 1943


Field marshall erich von manstein commanding officer army group don army group south

FIELD MARSHALL ERICH Von MANSTEIN,COMMANDING OFFICER,ARMY GROUP DON, ARMY GROUP SOUTH


Von manstein studying battle maps prior to battle of kursk

Von Mansteinstudying battle maps prior to Battle of Kursk


Erich von manstein russia 1943

ERICH Von MANSTEIN,RUSSIA, 1943


Marshall georgi zhukov deputy commander in chief soviet high command

MARSHALL GEORGI ZHUKOV, DEPUTY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, SOVIET HIGH COMMAND


Gen nikolai vatutin commanding officer 1 st ukranian front

GEN. NIKOLAI VATUTIN, COMMANDING OFFICER, 1st UKRANIAN FRONT


Gen konstantin rokassovsky commanding officer central front army

GEN. KONSTANTIN ROKASSOVSKY, COMMANDING OFFICER,CENTRAL FRONT ARMY


The kursk salient july 5 12 1943

THE KURSK SALIENT, JULY 5-12, 1943


Basic blitzkrieg principles

BASIC BLITZKRIEG PRINCIPLES


German tiger tank

GERMAN “TIGER” TANK


German panther tank

GERMAN “PANTHER” TANK


Waffen ss tiger tank unit moving into assault positions kursk july 5 1943

WAFFEN-SS TIGER TANK UNIT MOVING INTO ASSAULT POSITIONS, KURSK, JULY 5, 1943


Waffen ss panzergrenadiers prepare for kursk assault july 5 1943

WAFFEN-SS PANZERGRENADIERS PREPARE FOR KURSK ASSAULT, JULY 5, 1943


Waffen ss move towards attack positions

WAFFEN-SS MOVE TOWARDS ATTACK POSITIONS


Waffen ss tigers apc move into kursk assault positions

WAFFEN-SS TIGERS & APC MOVE INTO KURSK ASSAULT POSITIONS


German tigers advance towards soviet positions 5 00am july 5 1943

GERMAN TIGERS ADVANCE TOWARDS SOVIET POSITIONS, 5:00am, JULY 5, 1943


The battle operation citadel

THE BATTLE – “OPERATION CITADEL”

  • GERMAN ASSAULT BEGINS ON JULY 5TH

  • SIMULTANEOUS ASSAULTS ON NORTH AND SOUTH FLANKS OF THE SALIENT

  • SOVIETS ARE PREPARED FOR ATTACK

    • RED ARMY HAS PLACED MORE ARTILLERY UNITS THAN INFANTRY UNITS IN NSALIENT

    • ZHUKOV HAS MASSED LARGE ARMOURED RESERVES EAST OF SALIENT

    • DEFENSE-IN-DEPTH LINES ARE WELL DEFENDED

  • INITIAL GERMAN ATTACK ENJOYS SUCCESS

    • Ex. –SOUTHERN ATTACK PENETRATES UP TO 12 MILES

  • PROBLEM:

    • SOVIET DEFENSES ARE EFFECTIVE

    • RED ARMY HAS TOO MANY RESERVES

    • GERMANS CANNOT REPLACE HEAVY CASUALTIES


Tiger tank weaknesses

TIGER TANK WEAKNESSES


Armoured clash kursk

ARMOURED CLASH - KURSK


Stuka tank killers in action kursk

STUKA “TANK KILLERS” IN ACTION - KURSK


Destroyed german armour kursk

DESTROYED GERMAN ARMOUR - KURSK


The battle

THE BATTLE

  • JULY 10: GERMAN ATTACK IN NORTH HAS STALLED

  • JULY 12: SOUTHERN FLANK

    • PROKOROVKHA: MASSIVE 8-HOUR TANK BATTLE

    • GERMANS TANKS SUPERIOR, BUT OUTNUMBERED

    • SOVIET DEFENSES PREVENT GERMAN INFANTRY FROM SUPPORTING TANKS

    • GERMAN TANKS FACE SOVIET TANKS & ARTILLERY ALONE

  • JULY 16: SOUTHERN ATTACK STOPS

  • GERMANS ARE FORCED BACK TO STARTING POSITIONS

  • BATTLE OF KURSK IS EFFECTIVELY OVER


Aftermath

AFTERMATH

  • KURSK IS LAST MAJOR GERMAN OFFENSIVE ON THE EASTERN FRONT

  • GERMANS CANNOT REPLACE LOSSES

  • CASUALTIES:

    • SOVIETS:

      • 177,000 KIA (approx.)

      • 1600 TANKS DESTROYED

    • GERMANS:

      • 55,000 KIA (approx.)

      • 325 TANKS DESTROYED

  • AFTER KURSK:

    • GERMAN ARMY IS IN SLOW RETREAT TO GERMANY

    • RUSSIAN ARMY BEGINS OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS THAT CONTINUE FOR REMAINDER OF WAR


Waffen ss tank crew after battle of kursk

WAFFEN-SS TANK CREW AFTER BATTLE OF KURSK


Soviet victory poster battle of kursk

SOVIET VICTORY POSTER, BATTLE OF KURSK


The soviet reconquest of western russia 1943 44

THE SOVIET RECONQUEST OF WESTERN RUSSIA, 1943-44


Victory monument prokorovkha kursk russia

VICTORY MONUMENT, PROKOROVKHA, KURSK, RUSSIA


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