KursK




 
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November 3rd, 2004  
lundin
 
 

Topic: KursK


Kursk, germany vs. russia in probably the biggest tank battle ever. so much has been written about it, and so much of it is wrong. for the longest time historians thought that it was a complete german disaster, when in really the germans where on the verge of victory when hitler called of the offensive to send troops to italy. any thoughts or insight onto this particular battle?
November 3rd, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Personally, I believe that the advice of Heinz Guderian ought to have been considered when he said that the offensive that lead to the Battle of Kursk should have simply been called off and the years primary offensive focussed elsewhere. Funny how poorly the German High Command was at listening to their best people.

Also (don't have the numbers handy) the numbers for Kursk are inflated by the Soviet version. There was also numerous problems with mechanical failure with Panthers, Elephant tanks and other new designs inflated the actual totals of German tank losses.

I think that Kursk is not a Soviet victory so much as it is probably the last chance that Germany had to seize the initiative and exploit it. After Kursk, Soviet production and numbers and a better and better led Red Army in quietly yet definitely handed over the initiative to the Soviet Union.
November 3rd, 2004  
Hegario
 
If an offensive to destroy the Kursk salient had to be made, it should've been made earlier. Instead the offensive was postponed time and time again because Hitler wanted the new Panthers & Elephants on the field. Meanwhile, the Soviets had been able to fortify the salient heavily.

Kursk was not a Soviet victory in the sense of casualty rates but the Soviet warmachine was able to replenish those losses quickly, OTHO the Wehrmacht lost a lot of its newest weaponry. In the beginning it was the greatest concentration of German fighting force ever but in the end it was an army that had lost a lot of its edge.
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November 3rd, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Funny how delays cost the Germans so much in the war. Had it been launched earlier (as planned) Barbarossa would have been more successful than it was.

Had the attack on the Kursk salient occurred earlier, the operation stood to better the German position ... difficult to say how well it would have gone had it been successful.
November 3rd, 2004  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010
Funny how delays cost the Germans so much in the war. Had it been launched earlier (as planned) Barbarossa would have been more successful than it was.

Had the attack on the Kursk salient occurred earlier, the operation stood to better the German position ... difficult to say how well it would have gone had it been successful.
Had Operation Zitadelle (Kursk) been launched as originally planned on the 4th May 1943, the chances are that it would have been reasonably successful. It was in essence a sound plan to begin with and would have destroyed a number of Soviet armies amounting to a 5th of the Red Army's available manpower, shortened the German defensive line and have captured Kursk itself, a useful railroad hub. Trouble was Hitler delayed it time and time again because he wanted the new Panther and Elefant tanks to be involved, a fatal error as it allowed the Soviets to build up their own defences, which they did and then some.

To clear up some misconceptions about the Battle of Prokhorovka, which was long heralded as the largest tank battle in history. Unfortunately this was Soviet propaganda at work and in reality the Wehrmacht tank losses were only 20% of the Red Army's. The German panzers for the most part were able to pick of the Soviet tanks at long range, and there were only a few point-blank range engagements.

I've heard the argument that the Germans were near victory and indeed Manstein himself furiously argued with Hitler not to call off the attack. For once I actually agree with Hitler for calling it off and with the Allies landing in Sicily there was a need to divert some units to Italy.

There was an alternative plan to Kursk commonly known as Manstein's 'backhand' plan. This plan would have utilized the best elements of the German Army, namely their vastly superior tactical ability and mobility. IMO this plan would have resulted in catastrophic casualties for the Red Army, collapsing the entire southern Soviet line, possibly rolling the Soviets all the way back to Stalingrad and beyond.
November 6th, 2004  
MadeInChina
 
Quote:
Had Operation Zitadelle (Kursk) been launched as originally planned on the 4th May 1943, the chances are that it would have been reasonably successful. It was in essence a sound plan to begin with and would have destroyed a number of Soviet armies amounting to a 5th of the Red Army's available manpower, shortened the German defensive line and have captured Kursk itself, a useful railroad hub. Trouble was Hitler delayed it time and time again because he wanted the new Panther and Elefant tanks to be involved, a fatal error as it allowed the Soviets to build up their own defences, which they did and then some.

To clear up some misconceptions about the Battle of Prokhorovka, which was long heralded as the largest tank battle in history. Unfortunately this was Soviet propaganda at work and in reality the Wehrmacht tank losses were only 20% of the Red Army's. The German panzers for the most part were able to pick of the Soviet tanks at long range, and there were only a few point-blank range engagements.

I've heard the argument that the Germans were near victory and indeed Manstein himself furiously argued with Hitler not to call off the attack. For once I actually agree with Hitler for calling it off and with the Allies landing in Sicily there was a need to divert some units to Italy.

There was an alternative plan to Kursk commonly known as Manstein's 'backhand' plan. This plan would have utilized the best elements of the German Army, namely their vastly superior tactical ability and mobility. IMO this plan would have resulted in catastrophic casualties for the Red Army, collapsing the entire southern Soviet line, possibly rolling the Soviets all the way back to Stalingrad and beyond.



That is also biased, how german tanks were able to pick off russian tanks from long range and no close battles happened. THis is waht happened: the soviet 5th guards tank army( some sources say its being caleld the 2nd guards tank army) had to counter attack the 4th panzerarmee because of the breech in provhovka. the soviets launched the attack without artillery support, which is a surprise for the germans also coming towards provhovka, it was indeed a close-ranged battle, however, the russians lost 50% of their tank strength in this battle, the soviets also had the help of infantry tank hunters whom destroyed some 20% of german tanks deployed at provhovka. THe german losses actually mounted to 300,000 and more than 600 tanks because they are not allowed to retreat.. In the end, another counter-offensive finished the battle
November 7th, 2004  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Precision
Quote:
Had Operation Zitadelle (Kursk) been launched as originally planned on the 4th May 1943, the chances are that it would have been reasonably successful. It was in essence a sound plan to begin with and would have destroyed a number of Soviet armies amounting to a 5th of the Red Army's available manpower, shortened the German defensive line and have captured Kursk itself, a useful railroad hub. Trouble was Hitler delayed it time and time again because he wanted the new Panther and Elefant tanks to be involved, a fatal error as it allowed the Soviets to build up their own defences, which they did and then some.

To clear up some misconceptions about the Battle of Prokhorovka, which was long heralded as the largest tank battle in history. Unfortunately this was Soviet propaganda at work and in reality the Wehrmacht tank losses were only 20% of the Red Army's. The German panzers for the most part were able to pick of the Soviet tanks at long range, and there were only a few point-blank range engagements.

I've heard the argument that the Germans were near victory and indeed Manstein himself furiously argued with Hitler not to call off the attack. For once I actually agree with Hitler for calling it off and with the Allies landing in Sicily there was a need to divert some units to Italy.

There was an alternative plan to Kursk commonly known as Manstein's 'backhand' plan. This plan would have utilized the best elements of the German Army, namely their vastly superior tactical ability and mobility. IMO this plan would have resulted in catastrophic casualties for the Red Army, collapsing the entire southern Soviet line, possibly rolling the Soviets all the way back to Stalingrad and beyond.



That is also biased, how german tanks were able to pick off russian tanks from long range and no close battles happened. THis is waht happened: the soviet 5th guards tank army( some sources say its being caleld the 2nd guards tank army) had to counter attack the 4th panzerarmee because of the breech in provhovka. the soviets launched the attack without artillery support, which is a surprise for the germans also coming towards provhovka, it was indeed a close-ranged battle, however, the russians lost 50% of their tank strength in this battle, the soviets also had the help of infantry tank hunters whom destroyed some 20% of german tanks deployed at provhovka. THe german losses actually mounted to 300,000 and more than 600 tanks because they are not allowed to retreat.. In the end, another counter-offensive finished the battle
If you look at this link it states that the total German losses at Kursk were 56,000 men killed and 1000 tanks destroyed, compared with Soviet losses of 177, 847 men killed and 1,600 tanks destroyed. The link lists reliable reference sources so I happen to believe it's accurate:

http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionar...e%20of%20Kursk
November 10th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
"Official" Soviet sources have shown themselves to be as reliable as a corvette with an engine made completely out of wood. Very, very rarely does it offer any real facts. More often than not, it retells history from a purely propagandist viewpoint. German losses are exaggerated. Soviet losses are misreported as being far fewer than they were. Real life stalemates are told as overwhelming Soviet victories. I don't doubt that the people of the former Soviet Union will continue their endeavors to find and publish more reliable information. Not telling the facts as they truly occured amounts to a betrayal of the people who fought, suffered and died against the Germans on the Eastern Front.
November 16th, 2004  
david_the_positive
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by godofthunder9010
"Official" Soviet sources have shown themselves to be as reliable as a corvette with an engine made completely out of wood. Very, very rarely does it offer any real facts. More often than not, it retells history from a purely propagandist viewpoint. German losses are exaggerated. Soviet losses are misreported as being far fewer than they were. Real life stalemates are told as overwhelming Soviet victories. I don't doubt that the people of the former Soviet Union will continue their endeavors to find and publish more reliable information. Not telling the facts as they truly occured amounts to a betrayal of the people who fought, suffered and died against the Germans on the Eastern Front.
So are you going to support this with something or leave it as your opinion only? Perhaps you can give some examples that tie to a particular publication.

By the way, the only place I have seen full, unedited documents on german losses as reported within the German military system was in soviet books, circa 1960-1970s.
November 17th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
I can offer an excellent example -- Operation Mars. It was going on during the same time as the Battle of Stalingrad. It was the main Soviet opperation that year and it was a complete catastrophe, so they wrote it out of history. Nevermind 500,000 Soviet casualties (or the 40,000 German). It offically never happened, etc. I'll go dig up the link if you need one.