How Katukov turned the Germans to Prokhorovka


Tank the battles in July 1943 on the Kursk Bulge are attributed mainly to the counterattack of the 5th Guards Tank Army of Rotmistrov on July 12 near Prokhorovka, ignoring the facts of stubborn tank battles of the 1st Tank Army of Katukov, which were much more important in defensive battles on July 5-12 on the southern flank of the Kursk Bulge.


State of the parties


The Germans delivered the main blow to the north from Belgorod and Tomarovka along the highway to Oboyan (70 km north of Belgorod). This was also explained by the fact that before Oboyan the road to the north was blocked by a swampy flood plain of the Psel River 1,5-2 km wide, which tanks could force only along the highway and the bridge across the river.

The positions of the Red Army were well fortified, three defensive lines were equipped to a depth of 45 km, three more lines extended to a depth of 250-300 km. As a child, in the mid-50s, I had to see an anti-tank moat 110 km north of Belgorod near Medvenka; at that time it was not yet buried. Despite such powerful engineering equipment of the area, the Germans managed to break through them and take the third defensive line near Verkhopeni. The stubborn battles of Katukov’s troops stopped them at this turn.


In this direction, the Germans opposed the 1st Panzer Army and units of the 6th Guards Army. From July 6 to July 15, 1943, Katukov led the operations of four tank and one mechanized corps, five rifle divisions, three separate tank brigades, three separate tank regiments and ten anti-tank regiments, in total there were about 930 tanks.

Katukov’s army was opposed by the German group, which included two infantry divisions, the 48th Panzer Corps, the Dead Head, Adolf Hitler, Reich and Greater Germany tank divisions, reinforced by two battalions of Tiger heavy tanks (about 200 tanks ) and two battalions of Panther tanks (196 tanks and 4 ARVs). In total, about 1200 tanks were concentrated in this direction.

The defensive phase of the battle


On the first day of the battle, July 5, the troops of Katukov’s army were in the area of ​​concentration behind the second line of defensive lines and did not participate in battles. German troops broke through the first line of defense and by the end of the day reached the second line. Front commander Vatutin ordered Katukov to launch on July 6 an army counter-attack on the erupted enemy in the direction of Belgorod.

Katukov believed that such a dangerous counterattack on the enemy’s advancing tank armada could lead to unjustified losses of the tank army. Stalin, learning about the disagreements in the command, called Katukov and asked his opinion. Katukov outlined the risks of a counteroffensive and, to the question of Stalin, what he was suggesting, answered "use tanks to fire from a place, burying them in the ground or ambush", then "we could let the enemy’s vehicles reach three hundred meters and destroy them with aimed fire ", And Stalin canceled the counterattack.

From Katukov’s point of view, he was right, not putting tanks under deadly fire, he was exhausting the enemy’s forces, but Vatutin saw that two German tank corps, advancing on both sides of the Oboyan highway, planned to close the ring around the rifle regiments and eliminate them, so the German troops west of the highway moved across the offensive line from west to east and fell under the flank attack of Katukov, which could disrupt the Germans' plans and inflict serious losses on them.

As a result, the counterattack did not take place on July 6, the enemy seized the initiative, and Katukov’s bet on passive actions was justified only partially. The Germans, introducing large tank forces, slowly but surely grind the troops of the 6th Guards Army, pushed them to the second army defensive line. At the village of Cherkassky, the 67th Guards Rifle Division could not provide significant resistance to the mass of tanks, and by noon the 11th Panzer Division and Great Germany were behind the Soviet units between the first and second lines of defense. The divisions gave the order to retreat, but it was too late, and by the end of the day the Germans closed the ring. There were three rifle regiments in the “cauldron”; not everyone managed to escape from the environment under cover of darkness.

Towards the end of the day, the enemy entered the position of the 1st Panzer Army and, having met with a powerful and organized rebuff at this line, was forced to change the direction of the main attack during the day and move it east of the Belgorod-Oboyan highway towards Prokhorovka. As a result, on July 6, the enemy advanced to a depth of 11 km, but suffered heavy losses in tanks and infantry.

On the morning of July 7, the Germans launched an offensive against the 3rd mechanized corps and the 31st tank corps, organizing an attack of 300 tanks with massive support aviation, broke through the defense of the mechanized corps and forced to retreat in the direction of Syrtsevo. To eliminate the Germans' breakthrough, three tank brigades were deployed to the Verkhopenye area with the task of preventing the advance of the enemy in the north.


Under pressure from the superior forces of the two German tank divisions, Dead Head and Adolf Hitler, by the end of the day, the 31st Panzer Corps had moved to the Malye Mayachki line. The enemy advanced 4-5 km and wedged out to the third army defensive line. The Germans' attempt to expand the wedge in the northeast direction was not successful. As a result of heavy fighting, the left flank of the 1st Panzer Army turned out to be bypassed and driven back to the north-west, the location of the troops was flanking in relation to the enemy and threatened the German wedge at its base, but the Germans continued to rush to Oboyan.

Early in the morning of July 8, the Germans, having entered into battle up to 200 tanks, continued their successful offensive on Syrtsevo and along Oboyan highway. Suffering heavy losses, the 6th Panzer Corps went over the Pena River and took up defense there, and the 3rd mechanized corps also retreated along the highway, restraining enemy attacks. The enemy’s attempt to force the Psel river at its mouth in the Prokhorovka area was unsuccessful, and the German advance eastward in the direction of Prokhorovka was thwarted.

By the end of the day on July 8, the Germans had advanced 8 km, their progress stopped there, their attempts to advance westward at the position of the 1st Panzer Army also began to weaken. They failed to break through the front in this direction.

On the morning of July 9, the Germans entered into battle a fresh tank division to take control of the Syrtsevo, Verkhnopenye area, however, the 6th Panzer Corps repelled all enemy attempts to cross the Pena River and firmly held its position. Having no success here, they launched an offensive against units of the 3rd mechanized corps. The advancing enemy tanks managed to crush the battle formations of the mechanized corps and create a threat to the right flank of the 31st Panzer Corps.

By the end of the day, a rather difficult situation was created on this site. The forces of the weakened 3rd mechanized corps and 31st tank corps were not enough to deter the enemy, and he could quite easily develop an offensive to the north and break through to Oboyan. To strengthen this direction, Vatutin transfers the 5th Stalingrad Panzer Corps under Katukov’s command in the evening, and he concentrates in the area of ​​Zorinsky Dvor.

Given the difficult situation in connection with the Germans breaking through the third line of defense, the representative of the Headquarters on the Voronezh Front Vasilevsky suggested that Stavka transfer from the reserve Steppe Front to help the troops of the Voronezh Front the 5th Guards Tank Army of Rotmistrov. The Soviet command approved this decision on July 9, and the transfer of Rotmistrov’s army to Prokhorovka began, which was tasked with launching a counterattack on the enemy’s wedged tank units and forcing them to retreat to their original positions.


At dawn on July 10, the enemy concentrated up to 100 tanks in the area of ​​Verkhnopenie and struck at the gap between the 6th tank and 3rd mechanized corps. After a fierce battle, he occupied a height of 243, but could not advance further. Nevertheless, having regrouped their forces, the Germans by the end of the day surrounded part of the disparate forces of the 6th Panzer Corps and went to its rear. As a result of heavy battles, the corps suffered heavy losses: by the end of July 10, only 35 tanks remained in its composition.

In the morning of July 11, dramatic events began for the 1st Panzer Army, the Germans launched an attack on the 6th Panzer Corps from three sides and surrounded it in the bend of the Pena River. With great difficulty, separate disparate units managed to break out of the encirclement, not everyone succeeded, the Germans later declared that they had captured about five thousand people.

Counterattack of two tank armies


At this stage, the defensive operation of the troops of the 1st Panzer Army ended, Vatutin even on the night of July 10-11 set Katukov to strike in the general direction to the southeast, capture Yakovlevo, Pokrovka and, together with the 5th Guards Tank Army, encircle the erupted mobile grouping with further development of success to the south and southwest.

At the same time, the commander of the XLVIII German Corps Knobelsdorf, having liquidated the "cauldron", with the remnants of the 6th Panzer Corps and receiving the support of the Commander of the 4th Panzer Army, Gotha, decided in the afternoon of July 12 to develop an offensive to the north on Oboyan from two sides of the Oboyan highway, he still had about 150 combat ready tanks.

As a result, on July 12, there were two offensives — the German troops and the troops of the 1st Panzer and 5th Guards Tank Armies. According to the plan of Vasilevsky and Vatutin, the frontal counterattack of two tank armies from the areas of Verkhnopenye and Prokhorovka in convergent directions to encircle the enemy was supposed to begin in the early morning, but this did not happen.


The counterattack of Rotmistrov’s army near Prokhorovka began at 8.30 am and, due to unsatisfactory preparation, did not achieve a result; moreover, it was not supported at a sufficient level by artillery and aircraft. The main reason for the failure was the capture by the Germans on July 11 of the territory from which the counterattack should be made. The two tank corps of Rotmistrov’s army had to advance in another place on a narrow section, sandwiched by the railway and floodplain of the Psel River, where even brigade battle formations could not deploy, the army entered the battle against the enemy’s well-prepared anti-tank defense and suffered terrible losses. Despite the courage and heroism of the Soviet tankmen, it was not possible to break through the German defense. In the afternoon, everything was already over, the counterattack of Rotmitsrov’s army choked, the Germans left the battlefield. Details about the Prokhorov battle are told here.

The counterattack of Katukov’s army did not start in the morning due to the tank’s unpreparedness to attack, only by noon the 5th Guards Stalingrad Panzer Corps and the 10th Panzer Corps went on the offensive, which was a major success. Soviet tanks penetrated deeply for 3-5 km in several directions at once into the German orders, preparing for the offensive, captured several villages and the German command post and squeezed out the Great Germany division.

Katukov’s counterattack was unexpected for the Germans, they were taken by surprise, and the German command began to take measures to curtail their offensive and withdraw troops from under attack. As a result, with a rather cautious action by the commanders of the Katukov army, the German offensive in the main direction on Oboyan was thwarted. A counterattack was delivered to the enemy’s weak spot and stopped his advance, but to break through and connect with Rotmistrov’s army was not destined.

After July 12, Hitler ordered the cessation of Operation Citadel, the positional battles were mainly fought on the southern flank of the Kursk Bulge, the Germans began to withdraw their troops to their original positions.

The irreparable losses of the 1st Panzer Army and assigned units from July 6 to 15 in the battles on the Kursk Bulge amounted to 513 tanks, and German losses in this direction, according to the American researcher Christopher Lorenz, amounted to 484 tanks and assault guns, including 266 Pz III and Pz IV, 131 Panther, 26 Tiger, 61 StuG and Marder.

Of interest is the use of Panther tanks against Katukov’s army. They were used by the Germans only in this sector of the front; they did not participate in the battles near Prokhorovka. The Germans were in a hurry to put this tank into the troops at the beginning of the Battle of Kursk, and it was "raw", had many shortcomings and design flaws in the engine, transmission and chassis, which they did not manage to eliminate. This led to frequent mechanical breakdowns and ignition of the engine and tank. At the same time, the tank had a powerful 75 mm long-barreled gun and good frontal protection, which Soviet tanks did not penetrate.

The Panther tanks suffered serious damage in the battles; they suffered significant losses from well-organized Soviet tank and artillery fire on tanks not on the forehead, but on the side of the tank. The design flaws of the tank, which were subsequently eliminated, also influenced the effectiveness of their use. At least the 1st Panzer Army “ground” a significant part of these new German tanks and limited the possibility of their use in subsequent German operations.

The undoubted success of Katukov was a good organization of defense during the German offensive, the disruption of the breakthrough of the German offensive on the main direction to Oboyan, which forced the German command to deviate east to the Prokhorovka region instead of attacking the north and disperse its forces.

Comparing the fighting of the 1st Panzer Army and the 5th Guards Tank Army on the Kursk Bulge, it is clear that Katukov, when fulfilling the assigned task, avoided frontal attacks on the enemy and was looking for ways to beat him, and Rotmistrov carried out the will of superior commanders about the frontal attack and carried significant losses in people and technology.
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  1. sen
    sen 18 May 2020 06: 21 New
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    At the same time, the tank had a powerful 75 mm long-barreled gun

    The 75-mm StuK.42 gun in armor penetration was approximately equal to the 1944-mm DS-100C gun on the SU-10 that appeared later in 100, although the latter had twice the muzzle energy.
    1. svp67 18 May 2020 07: 33 New
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      Quote: sen
      The 75-mm StuK.42 gun in armor penetration was approximately equal to the 1944-mm DS-100C gun on the SU-10 that appeared later in 100, although the latter had twice the muzzle energy.

      Sorry, but by ANY projectile. Without this clarification, your statement is incorrect
      1. Octopus 18 May 2020 08: 28 New
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        Quote: svp67
        Sorry, but by ANY projectile. Without this clarification, your statement is incorrect

        )))
        Formally, you are right. The best D-10S projectile of the war years BR-412B at short distances (500 meters) provided armor penetration similar to the panther gun with the Pzgr 39/42 caliber projectile (but a significantly higher kinetic effect). With increasing distance, the advantage of a heavier Soviet shell over a faster German one appeared.

        Having significantly better armor penetration, the Pzgr 40/42 sub-caliber projectile was used by the Germans to an extremely limited extent. On the other hand, more advanced Soviet shells appeared only in the 50s, and the 3BM8 subcaliber - generally in the 66th year.
        1. svp67 18 May 2020 08: 33 New
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          Quote: Octopus
          Formally, you are right.

          This is the correctness of the statement and the accuracy of comparison
    2. hohol95 18 May 2020 08: 13 New
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      75 mm gun StuK. 42

      Are you comparing a StuK 42 self-propelled gun or a 7,5 cm KwK 42 tank gun?
    3. Octopus 18 May 2020 08: 14 New
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      Quote: sen
      75 mm gun StuK. 42

      Who is it allowed to put on panzerkampfwagen sturmkanone? He is entitled to Kampfwagenkanone, i.e. KwK.
      Quote: sen
      although the latter had a muzzle energy twice as large.

      USSR problems with armor penetration are widely known. Formally, you are right, but in fact the Soviet solution to these problems was heavy self-propelled guns with the A-19.
      1. Alekseev 18 May 2020 15: 15 New
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        Quote: Octopus
        USSR problems with armor penetration are widely known.

        That's right.
        But .. during the Battle of Kursk in the Voronezh Front, the enemy did not succeed due to the use of the Tigers, Panthers and T-IV with a 75 mm long-barreled gun and T-III with a 50 mm long-barreled gun (also an unpleasant weapon) and the presence of BPS. Although they also played a role. The interaction between ground troops, artillery and aviation, combat, technical and rear support, tactical and combat training of the best tank formations were at their best. And if KK Rokossovsky organized defense without a chance for a Wehrmacht strike force, then on the Voronezh Front, where the Germans' blow was stronger, problems arose. Gen. Vatutin knew well the staff work, but as a commander was not perfect. His decision to "collapse all the front" and defeat the Germans in the oncoming battles, hoping for a quantitative advantage, as is now quite obvious, was not correct. Honor and praise to the courageous tanker gene. Katukov, who was not afraid to reach Stalin. As a result, his army was not burned in vain, as it happened more than once during counterattacks, but played a major role in the defense of the southern face of the Kursk Bulge.
        1. novel66 19 May 2020 10: 30 New
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          Not certainly in that way. Rokossovsky had more artillery and less tanks, and with the qualitative advantage of the Germans, art played a big role in defense
    4. Viktor Sergeev 18 May 2020 11: 49 New
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      When a tank makes a hole, a 75mm gun projectile is not at all like a hole pierced by an armor-piercing shell of 100 mm. After all, you managed to compare armor-piercing (Su100) with a sub-caliber (Panther). Can you imagine how expensive the projectile was and how few there were?
      1. Octopus 18 May 2020 12: 21 New
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        Quote: Victor Sergeev
        When a tank makes a hole with a 75mm gun shell, it’s not at all like a hole pierced by a 100 mm armor-piercing shell

        The Panther saber carried 4,75 kg under armor (when fully penetrated). This is approximately in the middle between the caliber BB T-34 (BR-350BSP) and ZiS-2 (UBR-271SP).

        I would not dismiss such a projectile as a mosquito.

        The penetration of the D-10 corresponded to the German caliber projectile, and not to the coil.

        Quote: Victor Sergeev
        Can you imagine how expensive the projectile was

        No more expensive than the IS-2 tank, which he could break into a tower or a broken VLD.
        1. Viktor Sergeev 18 May 2020 18: 43 New
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          Nobody shrugs it off, but the probability of a tank being hit by one projectile of this caliber is not 100%, it will make a hole and that’s all if it’s lucky, but there is a 100 kaput armor-piercing tank flew in, guaranteed.
          1. Octopus 18 May 2020 20: 45 New
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            Quote: Victor Sergeev
            but the probability of hitting a tank with one shell of this caliber is not 100%, it will make a hole and that’s all, if you're lucky, but there is a 100 kaput armor-piercing tank flew in, guaranteed.

            What are you talking about? What chamber shell in case of armor penetration is more effective than solid? You're right. But, nevertheless, continuous shells were also considered quite an acceptable solution. The hole diameter (and armor damage from secondary fragments, tank detonation, etc.) are the same for the coil and the solid warhead.

            What is more weighty shell anyway more reliable? Again, you are right. But he pays for his reliability by the weight and size of the liner and their quantity in the car.
    5. NF68 18 May 2020 16: 46 New
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      Quote: sen
      At the same time, the tank had a powerful 75 mm long-barreled gun

      The 75-mm StuK.42 gun in armor penetration was approximately equal to the 1944-mm DS-100C gun on the SU-10 that appeared later in 100, although the latter had twice the muzzle energy.


      KwK 44 L / 70 Panzergranate 39 149 121
      Panzergranate 40 198 154

      With 500 meters, the KwK 44 L / 70 armor-piercing caliber projectile pierced 90 mm at an angle of 149 ° between the projectile and the armor. Subcaliber, and the Germans had very few of them, from 500 meters it could penetrate 198 mm. But, I repeat, the Germans had very few of these shells and the Germans took care of them. Especially cherished when the IS-2 began to arrive in large numbers in the Red Army against which German caliber shells were ineffective. The armor-piercing projectile BS-3 penetrated 500-155 mm from 160 meters. But in the USSR and in Germany, different methods were used to determine the thickness of the penetrated armor, and the German technique, as a rule, gave a greater thickness of penetrated armor. So with \\ this is not all clear. What KwK 44 L / 70 clearly exceeded the BS-3, so it is in the rate of fire and in the number of shells in the tank / Sau.
  2. Yarr_Arr 18 May 2020 07: 19 New
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    The phrase "not everyone could get out of the way" hurts the eye!
    Mighty Russian language
    1. Aviator_ 18 May 2020 09: 01 New
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      "Not only everyone can look into the future"
  3. Free wind 18 May 2020 07: 25 New
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    Our T-34 seems to be with a repair. Three rollers with internal cushioning, two with bandages. In the first photograph, a soldier is sitting in front of the tower, why it is interesting, if for observation and assistance to the commander, it is more logical to get up from the back of the tower, and by the way the hatch is open there. The Germans are firing, ours, like a shaft of fire, have not yet been used.
    1. hohol95 18 May 2020 08: 29 New
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      Our T-34 seems to be with a repair. Three rollers with internal cushioning, two with bandages.

      There could be a factory version. ChTZ and UVZ produced tanks with a similar set of rollers. UVZ had tanks with three rubberized rollers and two with internal shock absorption.
      Medium tank T-34-76. The weapon of our victory is Ilya Moshchansky.
    2. BAI
      BAI 18 May 2020 12: 52 New
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      Our T-34 seems to be from repair

      Shortage of spare parts. For war - the norm. The consequences remained even on the monuments.

      1. Zmeuka 18 May 2020 12: 58 New
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        Quote: BAI
        Shortage of spare parts. For war - the norm. The consequences remained even on the monuments.

        Wow Thank you BAI !!! The first time I see such a photo comparison ..
        I knew that the armament was created precisely simple and repairable in a combat situation .. But so that on the T-34!
        Now it’s clear why our tank became the best tank of the Second World War and not only due to the armor, chassis and engine hi
        1. Alexey RA 18 May 2020 16: 27 New
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          Quote: Zmeuka
          I knew that the armament was created precisely simple and repairable in a combat situation .. But so that on the T-34!
          Now it’s clear why our tank became the best tank of the Second World War and not only due to the armor, chassis and engine

          EMNIP, this became possible not immediately. At first, each plant creatively modified KD and TD according to its capabilities. This bacchanalia of non-standard had to be stopped at the IVS level, which required unification of the produced tanks. And then it all came to the point that it was impossible to remove the tower and rearrange another plant to T-34 from the T-34 of one plant.
          1. Jager 19 May 2020 01: 10 New
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            This is not a bacchanalia. The point is the different production capabilities of different plants.
      2. antivirus 18 May 2020 18: 23 New
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        there was a fairy tale - T34 columns could be heard on the product - not polished boxes rattled, warning the Germans about the approach of tank columns long before the battle. identity savings. blood in exchange for grinding machines and the qualifications of adolescents
        1. Jager 19 May 2020 01: 12 New
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          Why they didn’t put an elementary silencer on the T-34 is a mystery to me.
          1. antivirus 19 May 2020 10: 17 New
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            almost 1000 parts were excluded from the CD to save. Tank lifetime in battle - and number of “lotions”, customer -RKKA
  4. svp67 18 May 2020 07: 39 New
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    Bad, very bad. That in defending the plans of the operation, especially its defensive part, Katukov’s plan was not immediately accepted, but everyone was already replaying along the way. Indeed, as a result, it was he who was right. Since he achieved the greatest result, both in the defensive phase and during the counterattack, albeit at a great price. But based on the results of Rotmistrov’s army’s actions, if Katukov had acted according to Vatutin’s previously approved plan, his army would very quickly “melt away”, under the “fire rain” of shells of enemy tanks and self-propelled guns, as well as artillery and aviation strikes and the result is no longer what to inflict a general counterattack, but it would certainly not be enough to restrain the enemy. So, here it is worth recognizing the rightness of Katukov, although it was necessary to pay for this with many lives of our foot soldiers and artillery.
    1. Olgovich 18 May 2020 10: 10 New
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      Quote: svp67
      . So, here it is worth recognizing the rightness of Katukov, although it was necessary to pay for this with the many lives of our foot soldiers and artillery.

      Of course, Katukov was right, especially since his ambush tactics were exclusively successfully used by him in the battles near Mtsensk and Moscow in 1941.

      And if not for her, the resulting losses would have been much higher among the same infantry and artillery.

      Rotmistrov acted unprofessionally, leaving the army on the move against the uncharted defense of the enemy blindly, terrible losses were brought in ...
      . How he escaped punishment after the investigation -God news ...
      1. svp67 18 May 2020 10: 19 New
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        Quote: Olgovich
        Rotmistrov acted unprofessionally,

        Rotmistrov complied with the order of the front command, and this saved him from severe punishment. Since the front command made a lot of mistakes when introducing his army into battle, actually sending it head-on into the front of the shock force, instead of striking the flank
        1. Hagen 18 May 2020 11: 50 New
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          Quote: svp67
          Rotmistrov carried out the order of the front command

          Yes, you are right, Vaslevsky was responsible for introducing 5gVTA into the battle. But the organization of the battle rests entirely on the shoulders of the commander. If TA does not know that it’s our anti-tank moat, then whose fault is it if not the army headquarters? The same question arises with art support. In this unsuccessful operation, everyone was noted. But directly comparing 1TA and 5GVTA is still not correct. Each has its own place in defense and its tasks during the operation.
        2. BAI
          BAI 18 May 2020 12: 56 New
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          Rotmistrov complied with the order of the front command, and this saved him from severe punishment.

          Hot on the heels of both Rotmistrov and Vatutin were going to judge for the loss of 5 GTA. But then they decided that victory was left without consequences. And already under Khrushchev (a member of the military council of the front (at Vatutin)) they raised it as the greatest attack of all time.
          The combat activities of the 5th Guards Tank Army during the battle of Prokhorovka became the subject of proceedings by a special commission chaired by Georgy Malenkov, a member of the State Defense Committee and Politburo.

          The result of her work was hundreds of pages of various materials, which are still stored in the top secret Archive of the President of the Russian Federation. The stamp of secrecy will not be removed from them, since it contains a detailed analysis of the tactics and strategies of the leadership of the Soviet army during the Battle of Kursk, especially near Prokhorovka.
          However, the general conclusion of that commission is known: the fighting of the 5th Guards Tank Army under the command of Rotmistrov on July 12, 1943 near Prokhorovka was described as "a model of an unsuccessful operation."
      2. strannik1985 18 May 2020 10: 41 New
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        Of course, Katukov was right, especially since his ambush tactics were exclusively successfully used by him in the battles near Mtsensk and Moscow in 1941.

        Another task (the struggle on the outer front of the Bryansk boiler), another scale, approximately equal forces (if we count the entire 1 Guards. SS), the mistakes of the commander of 4 TD Wehrmacht.
    2. Viktor Sergeev 18 May 2020 11: 50 New
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      And who told you that if the blow had been dealt on July 6, the offensive would not have immediately stopped and it would not have been necessary to destroy Rotmistrov’s army?
      1. svp67 18 May 2020 13: 14 New
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        Quote: Victor Sergeev
        And who told you that if the blow had been dealt on July 6, the offensive would not have immediately stopped and it would not have been necessary to destroy Rotmistrov’s army?

        The dynamics of the fighting on the Kursk. The German strike was very strong and they managed to seize air supremacy in those days. Our counterattack units of the 1st Guards were discovered on the march, during the advance and attack of aircraft, and then they would fall under the rink of attacking German tank and mechanized divisions. Katukov’s army would quickly lose tanks, as has happened more than once with our tank units in 41, 42 and at the beginning of the 43rd. When in winter and spring we lost our tank units near Kharkov and they had to be quickly restored before the Battle of Kursk
        1. Viktor Sergeev 18 May 2020 18: 40 New
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          And what if you strike when the aircraft didn’t decide much, for example in the morning or in the evening, or even at night, when everything was decided by quantity and luck? And the Germans didn’t have such a terrible advantage in fighters, in one blow they could cover for a short time. We already lost so many tanks on Prokhorovka that we were afraid of being shot and extended the losses for several days.
          1. svp67 18 May 2020 18: 59 New
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            Quote: Victor Sergeev
            And if you strike when the aircraft didn’t decide much, for example in the morning or in the evening, and even at night, when everything would be decided by quantity and luck

            Let me remind you that summer is summer, the nights are short ... and the optics of German tanks and anti-tank self-propelled guns allowed them to shoot somewhere half an hour longer in the evening and in the morning, due to the better processing of the sights lenses
            Quote: Victor Sergeev
            And the Germans didn’t have such a terrible advantage in fighters, in one blow they could cover for a short time.

            At that initial moment, they had an advantage, until our pilots grind their aircraft.
  5. knn54 18 May 2020 09: 19 New
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    The Germans needed ONLY victory. This was their last chance. In the hope of breaking through the defense, they lost almost the last tank “cats”.
    The Red Army, by all means tried to stop this armada at least somehow.
    We fulfilled our task. The Germans did not.
    "Non iudicatus winners"!
    1. pmkemcity 18 May 2020 10: 16 New
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      The Germans were sorry, I mean Stalingrad, and violated their own law - an offensive against the “far flank”. This “far flank” was the front section of the Kempf group, which, having success, did not have the strength to develop it and fell into a heap west. Having put all the mobile forces into the first strike, they could not, or did not realize, maneuver and support Kempf. There was no strategic maneuver from the unpromising front of the gr. Army Center, there was no operational maneuver in the direction of gr. “Kempf”, there was only a tactical maneuver, “poking” in the Soviet defense, the outcome of which was predicted by the classics of Marxism-Leninism.
    2. svp67 18 May 2020 13: 15 New
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      Quote: knn54
      The Germans needed ONLY victory.

      U.S. too...
  6. Alexey RA 18 May 2020 10: 28 New
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    If my sclerosis did not change me, the battle near Prokhorovka (more precisely, the reflection of the counterattack of the Soviet mechanized reserves) was planned by the Germans in advance, even before the start of the offensive. The Germans quite accurately predicted our counterattack and were ready to repel it.
    Moreover, according to German plans for Rotmistrov, everything could turn out even worse. But part of the forces originally planned to strike at 5 Guards. TA turned out to be constrained by battles with Katukov.
    1. Hagen 18 May 2020 11: 53 New
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      Quote: Alexey RA
      If my sclerosis is not changed

      This is precisely how Zamulin describes the chronology of events, to which the author appeals. Katukov connected in battle those parts with which Manstein wanted to build up the strike of IITK SS.
    2. BAI
      BAI 18 May 2020 13: 03 New
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      the battle near Prokhorovka (more precisely, the reflection of the counterattack of the Soviet mechanized reserves) was planned by the Germans in advance, even before the offensive.

      Absolutely right. 4TA commander General Goth planned the destruction of Soviet tank reserves near Prokhorovka in May.
  7. BAI
    BAI 18 May 2020 12: 36 New
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    Stalin, learning about the differences in command, called Katukov

    This Katukov called Stalin.
  8. faterdom 18 May 2020 15: 20 New
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    I would like to note an interesting fact from the time of "tyranny" of Stalin. Katukov was not afraid to bring his disagreements with the front commander to the Stalin court, substantiated his point of view and was supported by him.
    Now, during the unprecedented heyday of democracy, Vatutin and Khrushchev would be instructed to understand and report. Because they "know better", on "their responsibility."
    That was tyranny then, and now we have such a democracy.
    1. Cer59 2 June 2020 22: 25 New
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      Khrushchev strangely enough was on the side of Katukov. Vasilievsky abstained.
  9. Operator 18 May 2020 20: 18 New
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    The Germans in 1943 near Kursk and Belgorod acted according to the tactics of 1941 - breaking through the front, aerial reconnaissance (which in the period under review was superior to Soviet) of the enemy’s mobile reserves, operational organization of anti-tank defense, the defeat of mobile reserves on a counterattack, the development of an offensive behind enemy lines.

    Katukov outplayed the Germans - did not counterattack, but destroyed the enemy in the attack from pre-prepared / occupied positions. Since the Germans themselves chose for themselves the offensive nature of the fighting, they had nothing to oppose to Katukov’s tactics.

    The Germans defeated Rotmistrov, who acted as tank units of the Red Army near Brody in 1941, from pre-prepared positions where German tanks and self-propelled guns were used as anti-tank weapons similar to tanks and self-propelled guns of Katukov in another section of the Kursk Bulge.

    Given the equal losses of armored vehicles on both sides, the German armored forces on the Kursk Bulge “broken” the ridge “production” - the production of Soviet equipment since 1943 has exceeded the German production by several times.
  10. Cer59 2 June 2020 22: 23 New
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    the author approached correctly and sensibly. but there is one but. the question is why Rotmistrov was forced to advance not ready and in an extremely disadvantageous direction? did Katukov strike only after careful preparation?
    the answer is simple. Their relations with Vatutin were strained, Vatutin understood it was useless to put pressure on Katukov.
    It was not even Vatutin and Vasilievsky. There was Zhukov. our vigorous genius and the greatest strategist of all time. Although it is completely unclear which lyad he pinned to Vatutin. from Bet he had Vasilievsky. and the thing was that, frightened of Zhukov’s responsibility after Rokossovsky’s decision to open art fire, wanting to be clean, he pulled under Oryol and spent two days checking the morale. and when he realized that Rokossovsky and without him defeated the Germans, he rushed to Vatutin to Katukov. Mat remat on KP Katukova perfectly described by Nikolai Popel. "The tanks turned west."
    but Khrushchev shuganul Zhukov from Katukov.
    our eagle rushed to Vatutin on the CP in time for the 11th. being a chase driver and completely unaware of either tactics or strategy, Zhukov most likely also pushed through the impact of Rotmistrov’s tank Army. not so stupid was Vatutin ....
    the fact is that Zhukov did everything in order to hide the real losses of the frontal attack near Prokhorovka. easier to chat.
    But there was a conversation between Katukov and Vatutin about immediate assistance to Rotmistrov. And the way Katukov realized it was perfectly described by the author in his story. but he kept silent about the main thing. when the Germans began to transfer forces from under Prokhorovka, Katukov ordered a reduction in the intensity of the attack, part of the forces began to dig in to repel this same German attack.
    And then the shock fist retreated to them.
    Actually, with his blow, Katukov was able to deprive the Germans of considering themselves winners.
    Now, strange as it may seem, after the end of the Kursk Bulge, Katukov’s tank army had 60 tanks more than at the beginning. Everything is explained simply the repair and restoration of tanks in his army was significantly more successful than that of others. And just before the Battle of Kursk, 2 T-34 battalions were put into operation after repair, they collected all the wrecked tanks in front of the army front.
    I highly recommend N. Popel’s trilogy
    In a difficult time.
    The tanks turned west.
    Ahead of Berlin.
    there are one more recollections of these battles, mine based on those who served in the 1st Guards Tank Brigade. lived nearby.