Battle of Prokhorovka?

by Ammad Ghauri  |  11 years, 5 month(s) ago

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Battle of Prokhorovka?

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  1. Ammad Ghauri
    The Battle of Prokhorovka was a battle fought by the German Wehrmachts Fourth Panzer Army and the Soviet Red Army's 5th Guards Tank Army on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. It is one of the largest tank battles in military history. On 5 July 1943 the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht launched Operation Citadel. The aim of the German High Command was to destroy the considerable Soviet forces in the Kursk salient. Destroying the Red Army in the field would recover the strategic initiaitve for the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front. The operation was to be achieved by five German field armies that were to strike in a pincer movement on either side of the Kursk Bulge. The Soviet Supreme Command, the Stavka, foresaw the German attack and prepared a defense in depth along the lines of the military deep operations theory. Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov convinced Joseph Stalin that the Red Army should remain defensive and wear down the German Army. When the German forces had been worn down sufficiently by the Red Army defense, the Soviet would release their operational reserve to destroy the weakened German spearhead. In the ensuing Battle of Kursk, German forces were halted on the northern Orel sector. However, in the south the formations of Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS achieved a deeper penetration, approaching Prokhorovka. The Red Army was forced to commit its operational reserves sooner than it would have wished. The resulting clash of armour occurred on 12 July, 1943 and became known as one of the largest tank battles in history. The battle was the pivotal battle of the German offensive to encircle Soviet forces in the Kursk salient. Its culmination and outcome are a matter of contention. The German assault failed to achieve its strategic objective, but succeeded in winning several tactical engagments. The Soviets also succeeded in winning a series of defensive engagements and prevented the German formations breaking through their lines, but Soviet attacks against German positions were repulsed. By the the end of the battle both sides had suffered heavy losses. The SS divisions had been crippled. The Soviet losses were much higher, but larger operational and strategic manpower and materiel reserves enabled the Red Army to retain the strategic and operational initiative. The battle marked the end of any realistic chance of a German victory on the Eastern Front. The German Army would remain on the strategic defensive for the remainder of the war.

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