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> KURSK - the greatest tank battle of World War 2, Video too.....
Imperialist
Posted: January 18, 2008 11:13 am
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What is the source of your claims and can you back them with more than one source?
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dead-cat
Posted: January 18, 2008 11:32 am
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the source is the file BA-MA RH21-4/118 KTB 1a
"Tagesmeldungen und Nachmeldungen von II.SS-Panzerkorps zu Pz.A.O.K.4"
quoted from "Kursk 1943, A Statistical Analysis" for everything related to the tank losses of the II.SS Panzerkorps.

the file mentioned is the offical report of the II. SS Panzerkorps to the Pz. A.O.K. 4.
this is as primary as you can get barring a teleportation back in time to count them yourself.
also, it is the only primary source, which, apparently few considered consulting, until recently.
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Imperialist
Posted: January 18, 2008 02:09 pm
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I have seen authors saying one should be cautious about numbers for Kursk, that's why I used "around". But from what you're saying the authors you mention are pretty certain that they have the truth on the issue. So do you know of any other book that has adopted their "newly found" data or whether it has made any headway in the domain, being accepted as norm?
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dead-cat
Posted: January 18, 2008 07:19 pm
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it has.
there's been 2 years since i read that book and have yet to see a publication proving Zetterling and Frankson's source work wrong. the foreword is written by David Glantz.

I've heared the recommendation to caution about "the numbers" at Kursk myself, although long before the book appeared and usually referring to soviet literature (comming from people who read Mannstein who offers a rather similar view, albeit no in-depth statistical analysis).

other than the soviet post-war literature, this authors have no agenda to defend and no ideology to promote.

it's no problem to cross-check, as the archives in Freiburg are available to public access, unlike the soviet/russian ones.
so far nobody has proved the numbers to be wrong and they are backed by original reports issued by the very units fighting the engagements we're speaking about, especially since they are concludent with the other loss reports of higher level units (like within the army group).
so far i have yet to find a gross incompatibility, like the "Panthers at Prokhorovka" stuff from authors which some people seem to regard as "established".

This post has been edited by dead-cat on February 12, 2008 04:34 pm
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Imperialist
Posted: January 18, 2008 09:21 pm
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Dunn and Citino were not promoting ideology yet they put forth the around 300 figure mentioned earlier. So is it safe to say that their books should get in the dust bin on this subject?
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dragos
Posted: January 19, 2008 01:20 am
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Even if the German were sustaining fewer losses than the Soviets, the offensive was doomed from the start. The delay in the launching and the Soviet preparation of several lines of defense in depth made any breakthrough costly. While the norhern pincher went almost according to the plan, the German south went bad from the start. Considering the northern and southern pinchers made contact somewhere east of Kursk-Orel, it is debatable of what gains would have been obtained if they would be able to hold it any length of time. It was not like any encirclement of 1941 or 1942 where the Soviet forces where picked up in dissaray and lacking any form of cohesion.
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dragos
Posted: January 19, 2008 01:29 am
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QUOTE (dead-cat @ January 18, 2008 10:41 am)
the Panthers at Prokhorovka, 1500 tanks clash, "largest tank battle in history", "decesive soviet win", "destruction of the Panzer arm" myth has been exhaustively perpetuated by soviet literature and found no backing in german reports, which are available to everyone in Freiburg.

Not about Prokhorovka, but I remember reading a book many years ago (sorry, I can't remember the title, but I will try to obtain it) with German soldiers testimonies. A German soldier witnessed an attack of Panthers tanks, which subject of technical breakdowns and sepparation from infantry made them easy prey for Soviet anti-tank guns. In the southern sector as far as I remeber,
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dead-cat
Posted: January 19, 2008 09:52 am
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QUOTE (Imperialist @ January 18, 2008 10:21 pm)
Dunn and Citino were not promoting ideology yet they put forth the around 300 figure mentioned earlier. So is it safe to say that their books should get in the dust bin on this subject?

Don't know, as i have not read it. check the biography, it should say where they got the number(s) from.

QUOTE (dragos)

Not about Prokhorovka, but I remember reading a book many years ago (sorry, I can't remember the title, but I will try to obtain it) with German soldiers testimonies. A German soldier witnessed an attack of Panthers tanks, which subject of technical breakdowns and sepparation from infantry made them easy prey for Soviet anti-tank guns. In the southern sector as far as I remeber,

there are a large number of occurances of this kind during the first months of the Panther deployment. Hitler rushed the Panther into combat without adequate field testing. however, once the problems were ironed out, the Panther became the best medium tank of the war, survivability combined with production costs led to a better "bang for the buck" than the Pz. IV, which despite all upgrades remained a pre-war design, surclassed in potential by later, allied and german, developments.

This post has been edited by dead-cat on January 19, 2008 09:52 am
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Florin
Posted: January 21, 2008 02:19 am
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QUOTE (New Governor Of Alaska @ January 16, 2008 07:00 pm)
................... the German obsession for complex new super weapons, like the advanced but then immature Panther and Tiger tanks, largely reduced German tank production.

General Guderian, the best German armor expert and commander, said:

As interesting as these designs were, the practical result was just a reduced production of the Panzer 4, our only efficient tank then, to a very modest level...
...............................

This quote is from the post which started the topic.

First of all, "the German obsession for complex new super weapons" was not bad at all, as philosophy. What was bad was their waste of 3 valuable years (autumn 1939 ... autumn 1942) without concern to improve the existing weaponry. Then suddenly they started a frenzied rush in research in all technical fields - too late, as history proved.

Then, considering what Guderian mentioned: Was the latest 75mm cannon installed on the Panzer IV able to penetrate a frontal plate of a T-34, or T-34/85?
Was it able to penetrate the frontal armor of the newest heavy Soviet tanks?
If not, it is obvious that new types of tanks were needed.

But the Russians could produce their new heavy tanks without reducing the numbers of the T-34, while the Germans were incapable of that. The problem with Germans, in those days, was their design of some components with expensive and slow technologies. The result were small numbers at the output of the factories.
The manufacturing time for a system cannot be shorter than the manufacturing time of any of its components.

An American historian mentioned that the simple fact that the German armored divisions remained functional with so few replacement tanks, for so many years, is a performance.

This post has been edited by Florin on January 21, 2008 02:25 am
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Florin
Posted: January 21, 2008 02:49 am
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QUOTE (dragos @ January 18, 2008 08:20 pm)
Even if the German were sustaining fewer losses than the Soviets, the offensive was doomed from the start. The delay in the launching and the Soviet preparation of several lines of defense in depth made any breakthrough costly. While the norhern pincher went almost according to the plan, the German south went bad from the start. Considering the northern and southern pinchers made contact somewhere east of Kursk-Orel, it is debatable of what gains would have been obtained if they would be able to hold it any length of time.
..................

As far as I know, the Germans really had fewer losses. It is said that even Stalin, who cared so little about his own people, got very angry when he was informed about the magnitude of the Soviet losses.

Regarding "what gains would have been obtained if they would be able to hold it any length of time":
Hitler decided to stop the offensive attempts when he learned that the Americans and the British landed in Sicily. Von Manstein insisted to keep the pressure just few more days, arguing that was required to win. Hitler prevailed: it was time to face the other guys in Italy.
Even though in those days the Anglo-Americans were just a little nuisance, they were exactly the drop to turn the glass from half full into half empty. (As it also happened in late 1942...)

This post has been edited by Florin on January 21, 2008 02:50 am
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Florin
Posted: January 21, 2008 03:52 am
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QUOTE (New Governor Of Alaska @ January 16, 2008 07:00 pm)
.......................
The Battle of Kursk Bulge started on July 5th 1943. It took the Nazis the first few battles to feel the strength of the Soviet defenses. In the large-scale campaign in which four million soldiers took part and which lasted seven weeks the crucial time fell on July 12th, the day of the biggest in history tank battle, which occurred near Prokhorovka village in the Belgorod Region. Armoured Forces Marshal Pavel Rotmistrov, who commanded one of the tank armies, recalled. 
.........................

I guess Marshal Pavel Rotmistrov recalled that in some history written during the Soviet era.
Interesting enough, Russian sources after 1990 consider "July 12th, the day of the biggest history tank battle" as a myth.
A myth created to cover the huge losses in Soviet tanks and other AFV's.
A myth that fitted so well in the Armageddon style of fight between good and evil, style liked by both Communist and Nazi ideologies.
According to this other historical approach, the huge losses in Soviet tanks and other AFV's was not due to a titanic tank battle on July 12, but due to combined enemy factors: tanks, infantry, aviation.

This post has been edited by Florin on January 21, 2008 03:57 am
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MMM
Posted: January 20, 2009 12:27 pm
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QUOTE
german tactical victory

Are you a PG2 player? ;) Tactical victory?! It was a victory, but without relevance in the "bigger picture", as the Russians could (and would) replace their losses, whereas the Germans didn't. Anyway, victory or not (for the Germans, I mean), as a Blitzkrieg it was an utterly failure, because of the little advance made with extremely heavy losses.
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Dénes
Posted: January 20, 2009 07:16 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ January 20, 2009 06:27 pm)
Anyway, victory or not (for the Germans, I mean), as a Blitzkrieg it was an utterly failure.

In mid-1943 we cannot speak of a Blitzkrieg any more. The tactic/term was valid for 1941 (on the Eastern Front), but not any more two years later. So it wasn't a failure as such.

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petru32
Posted: January 20, 2009 11:50 pm
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I think the Russian suffered terrible loses against Army Group Sud during Kursk battle.
Dead Cat, concerning the loses suffered by the German Army there are I have two questions
1. In the forces available for the 2 SS PZCorp there are included also the number of tanks received as reinforcement at the end of each day
2. Does it also includes the number of panzer recovered at the end of each day and repaired.

Also Dead Cat you should take in to consideration the fact that 2 SS PZCorp was considered an elite unit so it received more vehicles than the units of the 48PZCorp so it is normal to see that the forces available for each day are a level near the of the first day of battle.
The initial objective of the German offensive was Oboyan and not Prohorovka the reason of the changing of the objective was the dense mine field and multiple lines with plenty of infantry tank hunters which made the advance to Oboyan almost impossible.
Tthe German Army being in offensive was able to recover all its damaged vehicles and send them to repair units while the Russians being in retreat were forced to abandon their. You will see that as soon as the Germans started to lose more tanks as the crew has the habit to leave an immobilize tank.
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MMM
Posted: January 21, 2009 08:09 am
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QUOTE
In mid-1943 we cannot speak of a Blitzkrieg any more.

Ok, not Blitzkrieg, then! It was a failure from the point of view of "Panzer Attack", of the fact that neither surprise was achieved (because of repeated delays), nor the superiority of men/tanks/guns/planes etc. THAT's what I wanted to say! It applies to Prohorovka, as well.
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