World War II: Battle of Kursk

World War II: Battle of Kursk

The battle of Kursk started on July 5, 1943 and turned out to be one of the most important battles in WWII. It was also the greatest tank battle in history.


Important Battles of World War II

Battle of Stalingrad is definitely the most important battle of WWII because at Stalingrad the Wehrmacht suffered first major defeat. It later turned that they would never recover from it. Other well-known WWII battles are Battle of Moscow, D-Day, Battle of Midway, Battle of Britain and Battle of Berin. It would be pointless to rank which one of the was more important.

Among them is one of the greatest battles ever and that is the Battle of Kursk. It took place around Kursk in 1943, in the middle of WWII on the Eastern Front, while all other, previously mentioned battles were closer to the start or end of the war.


Battle of Kursk

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Second World War


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Battle of Kursk – Operation Citadel (Unternehmen Zitadelle)

After the defeat at Stalingrad, forces of Nazi Germany were in constant retreat. Basically, at Stalingrad they lost the war and the remaining few years was just finishing the job. Hitler hoped for a different outcome and on July 5, 1943, German forces started the Operation Citadel (Unternehmen Zitadelle). The idea was to encircle and destroy as many Soviet troops and mechanization as possible

Wehrmacht delayed operation few times, mostly because of waiting for reinforcements and new/additional tanks (Panther and Tiger) and Elephant tank destroyers. Two most important commanders on the German side were Erich von Manstein and Günther von Kluge.


Battle of Kursk

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Second World War


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German offensive stopped

While Germany definitely expected success and some big results from this battle (gaining initiative, maybe turning the tide on the Eastern Front, a lot of POWs to be used in German factories) the offensive was almost a complete failure.

The most important reason was that the Red Army knew exactly where the offensive will happen due to collaboration with British intelligence. Therefore, the defense was well-prepared with three lines of defense and numerous strong points. The Soviet plan was to create a deathtrap for German forces and to destroy most of their elite divisions and then counterattack. Germany delays definitely helped even more.

Behind this plan was Georgy Zhukov while other important commanders of the Red Army were Konstantin Rokossovsky, Nikolai Vatutin, Ivan Konev and Sergei Rudenko.

On July 12, Batlle of Prokhorovka was fought. Geman assembled a large tank force (294 tanks and self-propelled guns), composed of 3 most elite SS Panzer divisions, in order to break through Red Army lines. Red Army counterattacked with 616 tanks and self-propelled guns and stopped the German offensive.

German offensive started failing on July 12 and completely failed on July 16.


Battle of Kursk

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The 60th Anniversary of Battle of Kursk


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Soviet counterattacks – Operation Kutuzov (Кутузов) and Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev (Полководец Румянцев)

After the German advance was stopped, Red Army launched the Operation Kutuzov on July 12. This operation, as well Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev, proved to be very costly for the Red Army but they achieved planned results. Besides liberating the territory, German forces also suffered heavy, but for them irrecoverable losses. The battle ended on August 23, 1943.


This is the first article related to World War II events. Stay tuned because more are coming soon.


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  1. Amar Memisevic · July 5, 2018 Reply

    Davai, Zitadelle. Keep goin’

  2. Ярослав · August 26, 2018 Reply

    Сколько мощи выражено в советской иллюстрации !!!!!!!!!!

  3. Mastercig · September 21, 2018 Reply

    The Battle of Kursk was the first time in the Second World War that a German strategic offensive was halted before it could break through enemy defences and penetrate to its strategic depths .

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