About Did Operation Citadel fail through lack of ambition?
|July 12th, 2012||#1|
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Did Operation Citadel fail through lack of ambition? info
When you look at the maps of the Kursk Salient and read all the books you can find on the matter it strikes me that it was a doomed plan from day one but the thing I do not understand about the Battle of Kursk is why its goals were so small and continually made smaller as the battle unfolded.
Basically it seemed for some reason the Germans had decided to attack the strongest sections of a massive defensive position instead of following the more standard approach of going around the strong points and the way to achieve this in my opinion not to continually move the axis of advance north south but rather in an easterly direction, another words rather than having the pincers meet at Kursk they could have avoided the entire defensive position by meeting in the area of Voronezh.
Surely Manstein knew what he was facing as the Luftwaffe had air superiority at the time and was claiming to have photographed every inch of the battlefield and even if you take into account camouflage and deception the size and nature of the defences must have been obvious.
We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation. ~Francois De La Rochefoucauld
|July 12th, 2012||#2|
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No I don't think that the battle at Ku risk failed due to lack of ambition by the Germans. They did attack from both sides to try and pinch this salient off. The problems was that the Russians knew that they were coming and when, also the Russian by now were better organised better equipped and better trained and led. They had also learnt about aerial reconnaissance had adapted camouflage tactics tho hide what they were doing. The Russian also had moved a huge number of troops from Siberia to defeat Hitlers latest scheme and with the casualties that the Germans suffered on this added to what they had lost in Stalingrad broke them in Russia. The attack there was doomed form the start
LeEnfield Rides again
|July 16th, 2012||#3|
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The reason for the failure was that the Soviets already were to strong :they committed 14 million men in 1943;they had (on the frontline!) in july 1943:8 million men and 13000 tanks.
Already on 12 july (during Citadelle),they started operation Kutuzov .
|July 16th, 2012||#4|
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While I don't disagree with you these are things that the Germans would not have known (including things like the Lucy Spy Ring) and therefore would not have figured in the planning for Citadel.
My interest is in what appears to be a fundamental change in direction for this attack as up until Kursk the plan had been to avoid strong points, cut them off and drive deep into the rear of the enemy yet at Kursk the plan seemed to be "Charge" into the biggest pile of Russians you can find and when that fails adjust you attack into an even denser pile of Russians.
And when you think about it Citadel really was an odd attack because even had it been successful the Germans would have gained nothing but a shorter line of defence as just pinching off the salient would not have broken the Russian lines hence the lack of ambition comment.
|July 16th, 2012||#5|
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through my understanding of the operation, the germans pushed the start date back and that gave the russians extra time to prepare.
The key to peace, is being the guy with the biggest stick.
|July 26th, 2012||#7|
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If the attack at Kursk succeeded then the Russians would have had a vast number of troops cut off and lost. There loss would have been far higher than the German losses at Stalingrad.
|July 26th, 2012||#8|
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1) The Russian lines would not have been broken despite the amount of troops cut off because the decision to pinch off the salient would have left the bulk of the Russian reserves safely on the Russian side of the new lines.
This would have left a very weak line separating the trapped armies from safety.
2) The Germans pretty much stripped the other German armies of there reserves so they were committing a huge proportion of there available resources to the one campaign that was never designed to do anything but shorten their own defensive lines.
This is why I believe the campaign was doomed from the start as its lack of ambition allowed the Russians to concentrate enough force to stop them without fear of having to redeploy troops to counter a breakthrough as no breakthrough was planned consequently the Russians were able to begin offensives against weakened German forces north and south of the salient almost immediately.
|July 26th, 2012||#9|
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Operation Citadel was one last attempt by the Germans to ease the threatening pressure in the East before the British and Americans mounted a Second Front. To be sufficiently prepared for this threat, Hitler knew the campaign had to avoid another battle of attrition with Russia. However, the German delays, caused by the conflicting interpretations Hitler received, gave Russia plenty of time to adequately prepare for the offensive. Moreover, after two years of continuous warfare with Germany, Russia had become very familiar with their opponent's tactics and this was evident in the way the battle played out. Germany had to fight for every inch of ground they covered and this proved incredibly costly to both. While the Russians could afford these incredible losses, Germany could not, and, as a result, they had been effectively exhausted to the point where they would never regain the momentum they previously had.
There was one obvious target for the German army, that of Kursk. The Russian advance had left a bulge to the south of Orel and to the north of Kharkov. Kursk lied at the center of the bulge, and so it became the primary target of Operation Citadel. If Kursk was taken, then the German army could potentially have advanced further eastwards, and the fall of Kursk would also have ensured the flanks of the German armies at Orel and Kharkov.
The strategy was simple: the Germans planned to use a gigantic pincer movement involving two army groups Army Group North and Army Group Center to cut into the neck of the Kursk salient. Army Group North (under Field Marshal von Kluge) which comprised of General Model's 9 Army consisting of armoured and mechanized infantry divisions was to attack from the north, while Army Group South (under Field Marshal von Manstein) comprising of General Hoth's 4 Panzer Army was to attack from the south of the salient. In the process, the German High Command hoped to level off the "bulge" and destroy the Soviet forces within the Kursk salient.
Unfortunately for the Germans, the Russians possessed superior military intelligence just prior to the battle and were able to anticipate the German strike. But what sealed the German army's fate was Zhukov's and Vasilevsky's decisive counter-attacks immediately after the initial German pincer attack by Model and Hoth. The Battle of Kursk was a gamble that had failed miserably; a gamble that ultimately changed the roles of power.
|July 27th, 2012||#10|
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A) Why did they proceed along the restrictive lines they did given that they must have seen the Luftwaffe's reconnaissance of the area, I am prepared to accept the Russians were good at camouflage but it did not hide the massive nature of the defenses being prepared.
B) Why when things were not going well for the northern pincer did Model change his line of attack further west into stronger defenses instead of east into lighter defense lines, he must have known at that point that Russian defense lines further east were going to be lighter especially when southern pincer had headed in a more eastward direction and made good progress.