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Battle of Kursk

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World War 2 Battle Essay

Battle of Kursk
The battle of Kursk was one of the largest battles of World War Two. It was between German and Soviet forces on the eastern front on soviet land near Kursk. It took place in July and August of 1943 and is considered the biggest tank battle of World War Two. There are not over 400 wartime monuments in the region of Kursk. Kursk lies 315 miles south of Moscow and had been captured by the Germans.in 1941 to be recaptured by the by the Soviets in Febuary 1943. This was one of the larger salients and was 150 miles wide and 100 miles deep. German also had six commands throughout this battle while the soviets had four. The Germans had Erich Von Manstein, Hans Seidermann, Herman Hoth, Robert Ritter and Walter Model. The soviet commanders were Nikolai Fyodorovich Vatutin, Georgy Zhukov, Ivan Konev and Konstantin Rokossocsky. This battled involved four million people from both sides, 70,000 artillery guns, 23,000 tanks and 12,000 warplanes. The battle of Kursk, named operation Citadel, was originally a German attack that ended up being a soviet win. The Germans had hoped that it would weaken the Soviet offensive for that summer by stopping a large number of forces that they had anticipated would be in the Kursk salient. April 15th in 1943 Hilter order stated, “This offensive is of decisive importance. It must end in swift and decisive success. Every commander, every private soldier, must be indoctrinated with awareness of the decisive importance of this offensive. Victory at Kursk will be a beacon for the whole world.”. However while the Germans were preparing soviet partisan movement was watching and reported their information back to he soviet Army. So while Germans readied their side the soviets were already prepared for a huge counterattack. Soviet forces were heavily preparing with thousands of tanks, artillery and men all being moved to the area. The soviets were very ready for Germany to make a move. On the 5th of July of 1943, the Germans made their move to attack. The soviets were prepared and rained down fire on the Germans that delayed the assault for over two hours. This disoriented the German troops since they thought they would have the upper hand blindsiding the soviets. But once they settles they moved their forces to attack, to be met by a storm of anti-tank rounds. To the south, on July 12th, the Germans were battered by advancing soviet forces and then a massive 1,500 strong tank battle took place. By nightfall the Germans had not been able to break through they had desired, although they had lost 350 tanks and over 10,000 men already. The Germans ended up breaking the salient and the soviets launched a major counter-offensive. By July 23rd the German troops had been pushed back past where they had started their attack and ended up retreating and the soviets took victory. This battles was important because it was a turning point along the eastern front and the beginning of the end of the German scourge into Russia. Winston Churchill made a statement later saying, “The three immense battles of Kursk, Orel and Kharkov, all in the space of two months, heralded the downfall of the German Army on the Eastern Front. It broke records for the costliest single day of aerial warfare and the biggest tank battle in the history of mankind. In this battle the Soviets had 177,877 casualties and the Germans suffered 54,182 casualties. With Stalin having huge amounts of aids coming from the U.S., he could sustain his losses while Hitler could not. Germany never again launched an offensive attack in the East.

Work Cited
1. Great Battles of World War Two by John Macdonald
2. Secondworldwarhistory.com
3. Ww2db.com
4. Historyinanhour.com
5. BattleofKursk.org…...

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