Discussion in 'The Eastern Front' started by Claptrap, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. Claptrap

    Claptrap Junior Member

    Let me reminds you about Operation Zitadelle, in 1943 where to giants where about to fight each other in one of the most biggest battle ever seen. The germans needed to stop the Soviet advance and so one the germans decided to attack in the Kursk region. However the offensive was previsible in this area and with the help of some spies the Russian took 4 months the prepare themsevles...

    -Biggest tank battle ever
    -Biggest single day air losses
    -Biggest german army ever mobilised

    Georgi Joukov (russia)

    1300000 soldiers
    3600 chars,
    20000 canons
    2400 planes

    feld-marchall von Kluge (germany)
    general von Manstein

    900000 soldiers
    2700 tanks
    10000 canons
    2000 planes

    Claimed as a russian victory only because the Russians stopped the German advance.
    But in fact the Soviet army losses were higher than the german ones.


    Check this out this is really an accurate information page from wikipedia.
  2. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    What aspect of Kursk in particular do you want to discuss?
  3. Bryan

    Bryan Junior Member

    good info, thanks for the link
  4. Claptrap

    Claptrap Junior Member

    I forgot that point o_O

    I wanted to talk especially about the 12th of July where it was the most powerul battle day of operation Zitadelle (Battle Of Prokhorovka). Numerous tanks, planes, infantery were fighting in close combat. I cannot just imagine how it was to walk around the tanks and shot at ennemies that was about 10 meters away and with tanks that collide in each other while firing... and the planes! the bloody planes crashing all around you in clouds of dust. images/smilies/default/ph34r.gif

    This was hell! images/smilies/default/ohmy.gif

    No retreat! Fowards Comrades!!!

    As you can see at top of the picture, the stukas are doing their job.

    Blown tank with impacts of any kind of shells

    Drawn picture but look how the tanks are close to each other
  5. pillip

    pillip Junior Member

    so, who's victory was it?

    if you lose more men and gain your objectives then this is a victory.
    However, if you gain this victory at high cost for an insignificant goal then is it a loss?

    what do you think? victory, for who?
  6. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    (minut2 @ Nov 13 2005, 01:06 PM) [post=41507]what do you think? victory, for who?

    Without doubt a massive victory for the Red Army.

    Not only did they defeat the German summer offensive operations for that year, but as planned they followed it up with an offensive of their own which recovered a huge area of occupied territory.

    Before then, in 1941 and 1942/43, the Red Army had been victorious during the winter but not the summer. 1943 was the first time they beat the Germans in the summer.
  7. pillip

    pillip Junior Member

    me agrees with you, old boy!
  8. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor

    I agree Angie the stopping of the German forces was a big victory for the Russians. It gave them the platform for their own offensive which as you have said recaptured lots of lost territory. It was also the last major German attack on the Eastern Front, with the Failure of Operation Blue (Stalingrad and Causcacus oilfields - I think that was the name of the operation) and Zitadelle the back of the German army in Russia was broken.
  9. jimbotosome

    jimbotosome Discharged

    (Colonel Schnell @ Nov 11 2005, 12:54 PM) [post=41469]As you can see at top of the picture, the stukas are doing their job.
    Super pictures! But are you sure those are Stukas? I know it is a slow camera shutter speed (as you would expect in those days) but I believe the Stuka would be used in a far more vertical dive where it would be more accurate. Those planes don't have the altitude for a vertical dive and look to me like they are strafing or in the "Jabo" bombing mode. The tail seems more rounded, they don't have a dive brake extended below the wing and they don't have the fixed landing gear Stukas had. They look more like ME-110s to me.

    I am not an expert at identifying these types of planes since I know more about battles on the western front. German bombers and attack planes didn't exist very long on the western front thanks to the fighter patrols and fighter/bomber patrols of the Allied Air Forces. Slow planes like the Ju-87 Stuka, Ju-88, HE-111 and ME-110s didn't not have a very long life expectancy in France. They probably only lasted on average 2 to 3 sorties. Allied tanks and infantry rarely if ever saw terrifying attacks like this from the air except happening across the enemy lines within their field of view. Two completely different wars on the two fronts. Almost like the eastern front was a continuation of WWI. Perhaps what really changed the war in the east came about by the emergence of the Sturmoviks (Russian jabos)?
  10. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    You are correct in your assessment that they arent stukas. I've seen this picture before and, as far as I know the aircraft are either PE-2 or IL-2 sturmoviks. One thing is for certain, they are NOT Luftwaffe!
  11. jimbotosome

    jimbotosome Discharged

    (Gotthard Heinrici @ Nov 14 2005, 12:44 AM) [post=41521]Jimbo
    You are correct in your assessment that they arent stukas. I've seen this picture before and, as far as I know the aircraft are either PE-2 or IL-2 sturmoviks. One thing is for certain, they are NOT Luftwaffe!
    Good Eye Gotthard, it does look like a PE-2. It is either that or the ME-110 because I notice that it appears to be twin engine. Both of these planes would fit the profile so it could be either one. Are you sure they are Russian planes? How can you be sure? You may be right but from the photo, I can't tell if they are striking the column of tanks or forces ahead of the column of tanks (the enemy). Just curious. Do you know of a good source of air-to-ground strike photos like these? To me, this is the real story of WWII, not "how good were the Tigers vs the T-34" talk that is prevalent.
  12. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    (jimbotosome @ Nov 14 2005, 01:16 PM) [post=41526]To me, this is the real story of WWII, not "how good were the Tigers vs the T-34" talk that is prevalent.

    Anything but Tiger vs T34! :closedeyes:

    One thing which is rarely covered is the increasing effectiveness of Soviet tactical air in WWII. David M Glantz mentions it in his work, but he doesn't really deal with tactical matters in any detail.

    Anyone know of a good source on the subject?
  13. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    This is only a guess so dont laugh at me but I'm guessing at the fact that the russians are still riding on the tanks that it is the Red air force and not Stukas!! :D

    Seriously I have seen it before and the planes were described as "Red Air Force".

    I didnt the BF110 was used in the ground attack role that much. I thought it was used initially as a fighter and not very good at that.
  14. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    (Gotthard Heinrici @ Nov 14 2005, 03:08 PM) [post=41531] I thought it was used initially as a fighter and not very good at that.

    Poor turning circle. Made a good night fighter though.
  15. jimbotosome

    jimbotosome Discharged

    (angie999 @ Nov 14 2005, 08:56 AM) [post=41529]
    One thing which is rarely covered is the increasing effectiveness of Soviet tactical air in WWII. David M Glantz mentions it in his work, but he doesn't really deal with tactical matters in any detail.

    Anyone know of a good source on the subject?
    You know, I believe there is only one Allied source of tactical matters and that is the Air Forces records and self-assessment. I went back through my book on the US Ninth TAC and it walks through every aspect of air warfare and the evolution of it that took place in WWII. It reads like a history book though no single person was being praised. There were no “stories” about a certain general or any reference to either of the books writers as they are air force personnel that were not commanding. The result of this tends, at least in my mind, to be extremely objective. But the tale is quite astonishing. From every popular facet of the war from invasion preparation to a near day by day account of air, it almost makes you wonder if the Allies really met the real German army.

    A Different History?
    I don’t mean to cause controversy saying that but every major battle from D-Day, to Caen, to Paris, to the Rhine, to Berlin is covered and from the statistics, it seems like the Germans were either destroyed before the Allies got there, or reduced, or pinned down, or their artillery could not fire upon the Allies, to mentioning that Patton’s advance was restricted by how fast tactical air could get ahead of him. I have already mentioned that Panzer Lahr was prevented from showing up later on in D-Day and when they did finally arrive 3 days later, only at 50%. Here is a quote another from Von Rundstedt:
    “Von Rundstedt complained too, that incessant fighter-bomber attacks on roads and rails, as well as the bomber attacks on larger communications centers, prevented the shifting of reserves which could have defeated the Allies on the beaches.” Von Rundstedt reported of the Cherborg campaign, “whenever assembly areas are detected, an attack by fighter-bombers is launched without delay”. The Germans claimed that the “Jabos” were the Allies “most terrible weapon”. The book says that before the end of July 1944, 400 armored column cover missions were flown with claims ranging up to and above 1000 enemy vehicles damaged or destroyed a day.

    The Great Pattoni
    Patton’s secret to high speed warfare was the fighter-bomber. I am sure Patton was sharp, but that wasn’t what did it. Are you aware (according to this book) that the German commander of the forces south of the Loire River, was so impressed by the success of the fighter-bombers against his troops and armor, that he asked in negotiations for the surrender that Gen Weyland (head of XIX TAC) be present at the capitulation of that commanders forces of 20000 on September 7? What point was he trying to make here? That the ground forces not take credit for the conquering of his troops?

    Remember the attempted German thrust at Mortain? Rommel in his book said they were in perfect position to destroy Patton at Mortain but they were thwarted by heavy attacks by fighter-bombers. If there were no air, would Patton have been stopped before he even got out of the gate?

    Who Destroyed Those Forces?
    Using the German soldier authors as a measuring stick, you will see a distinct pattern emerge that the war was not won by the ground commanders. But history for the most part comes from the accounts of soldiers, commanders, tankers, etc. These are in sufficient enough numbers to overlook any expected self-serving account of the army as a whole. But for the most part, Allied soldiers never saw the destruction of German tanks and artillery because they were not within sight but rather behind the enemy lines where they were equally as susceptible to TAC strikes. When you come upon a burning tank as a soldier, you don’t know how the tank was set on fire. You simply see it destroyed and assume it was a tank that passed through earlier or artillery. You don’t receive artillery strikes or movements toward your lines so you naturally assume they are afraid of your Shermans or that they have already been decimated.

    A Bum Rap
    I am not someone that would be considered completely objective on this subject, considering my appreciation of all things aircraft, but doesn’t change what would be the truth. The accounts of the Germans are always consistent. They never proclaim that they were overwhelmed by Sherman attacks. It’s always arty or air strikes used with adjectives “horrific”. But consider the fact that you can’t read a post by a tankophile without hearing how stupid the British and Americans were to have fought the war with the decrepit Sherman. I’ll bet the Sherman has the distinct honor of being call a PoS more than any other piece of equipment in the history of warfare. But just how stupid were the British and Americans if they dominated a much, much greater army than their own? If it was stupid for the Allies to rely on the Sherman as the tank-de-jour in WWII when the Germans had Tigers and Panthers, it was far more stupid for the Germans to rely on Tigers and Panthers when the Allies had Jugs and Typhoons. Isn’t there something incredibly strange about a side criticizing the living-dog-crap out of the other side that whipped them mercilessly?

    What Good Are They?
    What good is a “historian” if they simply regurgitate the same flawed premises with a new spin on some aspect that, in the grand scheme of things, is trivial as to the result and progress of the war? The foot soldier, tank commander, or ground commander is not going to simply say air did it for us and we could not have defeated this enemy without it. But is there really anyone that thinks that German armor, artillery and troops, against Allied armor artillery and troops would still lose? If Tigers and Panthers could kill, even with air power against them, 5:1, then imagine if there had been nothing to stop the German assaults. Heavy tanks coming through Allied troops whose bazookas, anti-tank guns and tanks are incapable of penetrating the German armor, would be able to stand up to them especially if this was following a viscous artillery preparation like the Allies gave them. Is it even remotely possible that the Allies could have won such a war? I question if such a war could have lasted more than a week, let alone destroyed on the beaches or from the coasts before they even got to the beaches. How can the premise of air superiority equaling superiority in all other aspects of war, be challenged? What would you challenge it with, virtually every major battle has both German and Air Force accounts of the devastation by air being a primary cause of the battle's loss. Is this hyperbole or is there a indeed a flawed premise that historians have missed as fundamental to the understanding as atomic theory is to the existence of matter?
  16. Erich

    Erich Senior Member

    it was more of a German victory than you realize especially the big tank battle that you are mentioning. Only with der Führers order to remove the three W-SS Pz Gren. Divisions and their 3 Tiger 1 units was that area secured by the Soviets. Literally the Soviets lost hundreds of Soviet tanks in this battle. Suggest you read Sylvester Stadlers book on the W-SS panzer Korps and George Nipes book covering Kursk and the slaughter of soviet armor in the late summer along the Mius by the 2nd W-SS Pz's.
    I can give you W-SS Tiger 1 losses if you wish for the Kursk battle if interested
  17. Claptrap

    Claptrap Junior Member

    My bad about the "stuka mistake" i though that the photo camera "curved" the wings of the planes while they were moving.

    Howerver we need to indentify those bloody planes, i will check this out on google.

    Again, sorry for the mistake!

    Thanks Erich, i'm of course interested!

    i found something on aeronautics.ru...right here:


    There have plenty of Kursk Battle pictures in the Kursk directory and even in the whole archive! The pictures are very clean! Some pictures are small and some are big. Maybe the bloody plane will be revealed in there!!!

    Check this out it really worth it !
  18. Erich

    Erich Senior Member

    The a/c are Il-2's and the photos presented are both propaganda pics taken at different times of 1943-44. Been studying the Kursk battles especially the 3 W-SS Divisions since 1968.....

    more coming gents

    E ~
  19. Erich

    Erich Senior Member

    here you are now for Kursk and the 3 W-SS Tiger formations

    13th SS Pz regiment 1, the Panzerregiment during Kursk lost a total of 2 Tigers. One of these was wrecked on the field and cannibalized.

    for 8./SS-Pz regiment 2 Das Reich they lost a total of 1 Tiger due to enemy combat.

    for 9./SS- Pz regiment 3 Totenkopf they lost a total of 3 Tigers due to enemy action, with one of them looted, the other Ko'd by a panzerfaust.

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