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Proff3RTR

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Hi all,

Does anyone know where if at all I can buy any of the Death Ride Kursk series from grognard Simulations here in the United Kingdom?
have been trying to track down some but no dice, any help at all greatly appreciated.

all the best

Perry
 

Proff3RTR

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Perry, let me ask Marc Hirschy, who is the head rules honcho for the Death Ride series....
Thanks Jeff,

Clearly if no dice I will buy direct from GSI but if I can I want to cut out the shipping charges as I can buy two games at a time as opposed to only one with shipping.

Many thanks

Perry
 

RRschultze

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Hi all,

Does anyone know where if at all I can buy any of the Death Ride Kursk series from grognard Simulations here in the United Kingdom?
have been trying to track down some but no dice, any help at all greatly appreciated.

all the best

Perry
Have you tried second chance games. Looked at these a while ago. Rules looked ok but maps were shocking!
 

Proff3RTR

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Have you tried second chance games. Looked at these a while ago. Rules looked ok but maps were shocking!
Maps have been updated, the LXVIII Pz Korps Deluxe maps were shit from what I have seen, They now do black and white maps with green forests and blue rivers, and I like them. I can always make my own maps if they do not come up to spec (HexDraw is awesome). It is the game system and counters I am interested in, and also as said i have seen the new maps and I like them, they remind me of mil maps so it is all good.
 

Proff3RTR

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Hi Perry

How is your Death Ride Kursk hunting going?
Hi Shane,

Bloody well, I have just ordered DRK-LAH & have prepared the games table to set it up along side DRK-TK, end of the month I will be ordering DRK-Das Reich. Will then concentrate on those for the next 6 months whilsts I save up for DRK-GD and the LXVIII Pz Korps set.

In a nut shell, this game has me hooked, I have sold off a lot of stuff to get the II SS Pz Korps set and do not regret it, I wish I had pulled the trigger on this very good game system earlier.

have played 'Seeing Ghosts' 3 times and love it, bloody hard for the TK to get anywhere near a win, 9th July scenario was a mess, I played through to 11th July and had torn up 51st Gds & 97th Guards Rifle Divs pretty bad, 155th Guards Rifle Regiment had been all but wiped out on and around hill 226.6 & held onto a small part of the woods to the East.
However, PZ Regt TK was burnt out (I had 1 Tiger Zug & 5 other Pz III Zugs left!) I had 4 or 5 Pz Zug in workshops and was about to commit the Divisional reserve of (II Abt 5th SSPzGr Regt & B Kompanie TK pZ Engr Abt) when I was informed that DRK-LAH had been posted and was on the way to me (should be here by Wednesday).
So I have taken down the maps and am now preparing to punch/clip and sort LAH when it arrives and then set up a joint SSLAH/TK 9th-13th scenario.

awesome system in short.

all the best

Perry

P.S how's tricks?
 

stuh42asl

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Good so far. Just finished clipping and sorting Gross Deutschland, now on the Russian divisions, then finish 11 and 3rd panzer divisions plus the russians soon. Wow GD is huge. I have come up with a reason why they did not do so well. They should have attacked all out on the night of the 4th, then never stopped. the piecemeal attacks jut gave the russian side the time it needed to start moving up their reserves. And the Tigers should have been the first units to punch the holes needed. If the Germans had done that then the russian commanders would have had one hell of a time trying to stop the massed tiger battalions. The Germans did not have strategic surprise, but a sudden attack the night of the 4th would have given them a big head start. The 3rd Panzer Corps delayed use of the tigers as a battalion proves that if used in the first wave then things would have been different.
 

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Another point is the 501 schwere panzer abtilung.................it was sent to North Africa........only to be destroyed there. Why in the world would a nation send their best equipment
to a sand pit?????? Could not figure that one out.
 

Proff3RTR

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Good so far. Just finished clipping and sorting Gross Deutschland, now on the Russian divisions, then finish 11 and 3rd panzer divisions plus the russians soon. Wow GD is huge. I have come up with a reason why they did not do so well. They should have attacked all out on the night of the 4th, then never stopped. the piecemeal attacks jut gave the russian side the time it needed to start moving up their reserves. And the Tigers should have been the first units to punch the holes needed. If the Germans had done that then the russian commanders would have had one hell of a time trying to stop the massed tiger battalions. The Germans did not have strategic surprise, but a sudden attack the night of the 4th would have given them a big head start. The 3rd Panzer Corps delayed use of the tigers as a battalion proves that if used in the first wave then things would have been different.

I have pondered this one for a very long time, I agree, but would also add that Strachwitz handled the GD Panzer regt very poorly and has a large part to play in how the unit performed very poorly during Zitadelle compared to how it normally performed, by the 7th GD was down to less than 60 Panzers (Excluding the 10th Pz Brigades Panthers).
a big mass attack on the afternoon of the 4th would of broken through in the early hours of the 5th just in time to link in with II SS Pz Korps attacks on the 5th, this would of without a doubt overwhelmed the Russians command systems and also would of got inside their command process timetable and reaction time table. The Germans would of had at least 1 full day to run riot and who knows, Zittadelle at least in the south may of worked.
III Pz korps use of the Korps Tiger Abteilung was so stupid it beggars belief and 501 going to NA was a total waste, NA was a lost cuase after Alamien, so sending them boys there was idiotic, think what II SS Pz Korps could of done with them there on the 12th!

I have just ordered Das Reich, so I now have the full II SS Pz Korps set, end of the month the big save starts for DRK-GD and that set, I am seriously considering selling my L2 edition of Streets of Stalingrad to kickstart my fund raising for GD but I am also wary of doing so as I know how much of a Grail Game SoS is as well (and I enjoy SoS no end as well).
It took me 24 less than 24 hours to punch and clip LAH, gonna try and beat that with DR. I am now looking at resetting my man cave so I can set up the entire II SS map as a complete game, if not I want to be able to set up at least 2 whole modules.

all the best

will post some AAR at some point soon.

Perry
 

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While GD was the premier Heer division, it's leadership during Zitadelle was definitely sub-par. In addition it had under it Pz.Rgt. (Panther) Lauchert aka Pz.Rgt 39 with Panzer Abteilungen 51 & 52 with the only Kursk time Panthers. I'm just a little unclear whether there was also a Pz Brigade (10th Pz Brigade?) command level in addition to the Pz Regiment over the 2 Panther battalions, that would have only added to command delays and friction.

The Panther units had not trained with GD prior to Zitadelle, indeed I doubt that they had conducted much more than Pz. company level training together, many crews only got their tanks just prior to Zitadelle. So to expect optimum coordination between Pz.Rgt 39 and GD would have been wildly optimistic. To be fair to Pz.Rgt 39/Pz.Brig 10, it's leadership seems to have been slightly better than GD's despite the friction between them. I also gather that there were some command personality compatibility issues between GD and it's attached Panthers.

GD does not seem to have conducted sufficient reconnaissance prior to Zitadelle and sufficient mine clearing in the early, opening stages. As a result GD and Pz.Rgt 39 blundered their way through a succession of nasty balkas, swamps and thick minefields before eventually breaking out. Overall a bit of a clusterfuck.

While GD did regularly prove a formidable opponent, Zitadelle was not it's finest hour.
 
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Proff3RTR

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While GD was the premier Heer division, it's leadership during Zitadelle was definitely sub-par. In addition it had under it Pz.Rgt. (Panther) Lauchert aka Pz.Rgt 39 with Panzer Abteilungen 51 & 52 with the only Kursk time Panthers. I'm just a little unclear whether there was also a Pz Brigade (10th Pz Brigade?) command level in addition to the Pz Regiment over the 2 Panther battalions, that would have only added to command delays and friction.

The Panther units had not trained with GD prior to Zitadelle, indeed I doubt that they had conducted much more than Pz. company level training together, many crews only got their tanks just prior to Zitadelle. So to expect optimum coordination between Pz.Rgt 39 and GD would have been wildly optimistic. To be fair to Pz.Rgt 39/Pz.Brig 10, it's leadership seems to have been slightly better than GD's despite the friction between them. I also gather that there were some command personality compatibility issues between GD and it's attached Panthers.

GD does not seem to have conducted sufficient reconnaissance prior to Zitadelle and sufficient mine clearing in the early, opening stages. As a result GD and Pz.Rgt 39 blundered their way through a succession of nasty balks, swamps and thick minefields before eventually breaking out. Overall a bit of a clusterfuck.

While GD did regularly prove a formidable opponent, Zitadelle was not it's finest hour.
Hi Paul,

The 10th Panzer Bde did indeed control 39th Pz Regt (51st & 52nd Pz Abt). And yes, the Panther units did not manage much more than Kompanie sized training exercises before they deployed out East (they arrived mainly the day/night before 4th July).
The unit did not take part in the fighting on the 5th until almost mid morning as they stopped to take on fuel and ammo (this was factored into the initial attack plan due to the fact that they were still unloading as GD etc launched their recon in force on the afternoon of the 4th).
GD has tried and did lump a lot of blame on the initial attacks on the 5th onto the 10th Pz Bde but a lot of the mistakes on that first full morning were down to poor recon and to little pioneer assets (11th Pz asked for more pioneer support and had an easier time in the same area and against the same foe) Von Strachwitz blamed Lauchert & Decker for GD's woe's in the Balka before Cherkasskoye, this is simply not true, the Panthers were still some 8 miles SOUTH of Cherkasskoye when GD was attacking it and in no way can be blamed for GD's poor performance.
10th Pz Bde was taken out of the loop sometime on the 7th IIRC and Strachwitz got his way and took command of what was left of the Panthers (40 odd IIRC) he slated Lauchert and Decker at every opportunity he had, which when you consider both men were far more experienced than him on Panzers and had commanded more than him is strange.
by 7th july GD had lost a lot of Panzers and was under half its start strength as Strachwitz used his armour as a battering ram and showed none of his usual flair, hence why GD had ne real punching power during Kursk. As a unit GD is considered a hard hitting 'fire brigade' that regularly out fought 'Ivan', normally I would agree with this as they did fight very well more often than not but Kursk was a big screw up by them, lots went wrong and they just did not seem to achieve a full head of steam as it were.


hope you are well mate

Perry
 

Paul M. Weir

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Thank you for that, it cleared up some uncertainties that I had. You know how things go, you get on top of a subject and over the years things get much foggier.

I could understand having a Brigade level in the early Pz.Div, they had 2 Pz.Rgt each with 2 Pz.Abt and some divisions might have had an infantry Brigade, as well, to control whatever Infantry units (1/2 Inf.Rgt + Motorcycle Abt). They could have been used a bit like the US Arm.Div's Combat Command HQs. Having a Brigade level command staff over just a single Pz.Rgt with no other supporting units seems to have been a waste of personnel and an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy, adding delay and friction. The Pz.Div's internal Brigade layer were dropped after France as, though useful, were not regarded as an efficient use of manpower and command experience.

Yeah, it was years before I realised how bad GD's performance was, at least in comparison to its available resources. Again, thanks for the clarifications and confirmation of my 'feel' for GD.
 

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Thank you for that, it cleared up some uncertainties that I had. You know how things go, you get on top of a subject and over the years things get much foggier.

I could understand having a Brigade level in the early Pz.Div, they had 2 Pz.Rgt each with 2 Pz.Abt and some divisions might have had an infantry Brigade, as well, to control whatever Infantry units (1/2 Inf.Rgt + Motorcycle Abt). They could have been used a bit like the US Arm.Div's Combat Command HQs. Having a Brigade level command staff over just a single Pz.Rgt with no other supporting units seems to have been a waste of personnel and an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy, adding delay and friction. The Pz.Div's internal Brigade layer were dropped after France as, though useful, were not regarded as an efficient use of manpower and command experience.

Yeah, it was years before I realised how bad GD's performance was, at least in comparison to its available resources. Again, thanks for the clarifications and confirmation of my 'feel' for GD.

Paul,

you are still the Zen Master my friend, and as you know my expertise is the Russian front in general & Stalingrad and Kursk in detail, I would defer to you on many items in the first instance as a matter of course. You are still the king:nod:

all the best

Perry
 

Proff3RTR

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Thank you for that, it cleared up some uncertainties that I had. You know how things go, you get on top of a subject and over the years things get much foggier.

I could understand having a Brigade level in the early Pz.Div, they had 2 Pz.Rgt each with 2 Pz.Abt and some divisions might have had an infantry Brigade, as well, to control whatever Infantry units (1/2 Inf.Rgt + Motorcycle Abt). They could have been used a bit like the US Arm.Div's Combat Command HQs. Having a Brigade level command staff over just a single Pz.Rgt with no other supporting units seems to have been a waste of personnel and an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy, adding delay and friction. The Pz.Div's internal Brigade layer were dropped after France as, though useful, were not regarded as an efficient use of manpower and command experience.

Yeah, it was years before I realised how bad GD's performance was, at least in comparison to its available resources. Again, thanks for the clarifications and confirmation of my 'feel' for GD.
Yep,
a brigade HQ to command a Regimental HQ commanding to 2 Battalions, large Battalions but Battalions none the less, I have often wondered about that myself. it seems also that the service & support echelons were not up to speed either size wise or expertise wise so no wonder they had massive problems with the Panthers.

all the best

Perry
 

stuh42asl

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I have shaken my head..........GD had a huge Pz Brigade, plus Tigers. They did not have rivers to cross, or any major obstacles to contend with so GD along with 3 Panzer Corps are the problems. 3 Panzer Corp had 45 functional tigers yet split them up( major major error there, ) A second error was not attacking full bore. The 3rd PanzerCorp had 3 panzer divisions 6, 7 and 19 along with the 503(book not handy) against primarily foot bound infantry and antitank batteries. So there you have it. I know that they had to establish bridgeheads but waiting until 6th Pz div to relocate behind 7th Panzer wasted valuble time. I would have centralized the 3 divisions and once several bridgeheads were made then swamped the russian front line units. The tigers would have gone first along with the divisions. I think the real reason was the German high command failed their own Moral checks, and failed to really look at their operational plan. They knew the plan was not a good plan but went along with the concept that any plan is better then none. They wasted their resources in a plan that did not have an end game plan.
I give the kudos to the Russians they knew that :
1) Their infantry was primarily foot sloggers
2) Their armor was outclassed, but numerous.
3) And their command structure is rigid.

So they chose the terrain to fight on, they made the right preparations wrt obstacles and training. Trained the infantry how to fight and confidently destroy tanks. And the most important part was their trust in their moral and sheer stubbornness to do what was neccesary. In terms of comparison the Russian had the perfect operational plan with a solid end game phase.. Destroy by attrition the German armor capability, then counterattack with over wealming forces.
 

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Hi Paul,

The 10th Panzer Bde did indeed control 39th Pz Regt (51st & 52nd Pz Abt). And yes, the Panther units did not manage much more than Kompanie sized training exercises before they deployed out East (they arrived mainly the day/night before 4th July).
The unit did not take part in the fighting on the 5th until almost mid morning as they stopped to take on fuel and ammo (this was factored into the initial attack plan due to the fact that they were still unloading as GD etc launched their recon in force on the afternoon of the 4th).
GD has tried and did lump a lot of blame on the initial attacks on the 5th onto the 10th Pz Bde but a lot of the mistakes on that first full morning were down to poor recon and to little pioneer assets (11th Pz asked for more pioneer support and had an easier time in the same area and against the same foe) Von Strachwitz blamed Lauchert & Decker for GD's woe's in the Balka before Cherkasskoye, this is simply not true, the Panthers were still some 8 miles SOUTH of Cherkasskoye when GD was attacking it and in no way can be blamed for GD's poor performance.
10th Pz Bde was taken out of the loop sometime on the 7th IIRC and Strachwitz got his way and took command of what was left of the Panthers (40 odd IIRC) he slated Lauchert and Decker at every opportunity he had, which when you consider both men were far more experienced than him on Panzers and had commanded more than him is strange.
by 7th july GD had lost a lot of Panzers and was under half its start strength as Strachwitz used his armour as a battering ram and showed none of his usual flair, hence why GD had ne real punching power during Kursk. As a unit GD is considered a hard hitting 'fire brigade' that regularly out fought 'Ivan', normally I would agree with this as they did fight very well more often than not but Kursk was a big screw up by them, lots went wrong and they just did not seem to achieve a full head of steam as it were.


hope you are well mate

Perry
The Panthers were a disaster..................fires damaged more than anything else. Their engines overheated to easily as their cooling systems were ineffective. And the overly complex transmissions and final drives caused a lot of major headaches. I have seen many pictures of panthers with their engine blocks and transmissions outside the vehicle.. The russians could repair their vehicles easily,........need parts and there are tanks ko nearby then just rob from them.I have a book on the T-34 and the crews. The crew had a a driver /mechanic, who could do basic maintenance, so need a few road wheels take them from one of the wrecked T-34's , or other parts just scrounge what you need.
 

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I have shaken my head..........GD had a huge Pz Brigade, plus Tigers. They did not have rivers to cross, or any major obstacles to contend with so GD along with 3 Panzer Corps are the problems. 3 Panzer Corp had 45 functional tigers yet split them up( major major error there, ) A second error was not attacking full bore. The 3rd PanzerCorp had 3 panzer divisions 6, 7 and 19 along with the 503(book not handy) against primarily foot bound infantry and antitank batteries. So there you have it. I know that they had to establish bridgeheads but waiting until 6th Pz div to relocate behind 7th Panzer wasted valuble time. I would have centralized the 3 divisions and once several bridgeheads were made then swamped the russian front line units. The tigers would have gone first along with the divisions. I think the real reason was the German high command failed their own Moral checks, and failed to really look at their operational plan. They knew the plan was not a good plan but went along with the concept that any plan is better then none. They wasted their resources in a plan that did not have an end game plan.
I give the kudos to the Russians they knew that :
1) Their infantry was primarily foot sloggers
2) Their armor was outclassed, but numerous.
3) And their command structure is rigid.

So they chose the terrain to fight on, they made the right preparations wrt obstacles and training. Trained the infantry how to fight and confidently destroy tanks. And the most important part was their trust in their moral and sheer stubbornness to do what was neccesary. In terms of comparison the Russian had the perfect operational plan with a solid end game phase.. Destroy by attrition the German armor capability, then counterattack with over wealming forces.
Numbers,numbers,numbers! Ivan had a massive advantage there, link that with the points Shane has highlighted and you have a force that no matter how much you batter & kick it will not break. This is borne out by the very low numbers of Russian POW, During Zittadelle Ivan preferred to die in place or displace on orders to the next defensive line.
Now having said that you have to look at and in some ways be fairly impressed with how deep some of the German units tore into this deep defence line. Initially SS Liebstandarte was only facing reinforced elements of the 52nd Guards Rifle Division (reinforced with Anti tank battalions and regiments and the 230th Tank Regiment in reserve). They were angled towards point 243.2 which was roughly 4.5 miles North of their start line, by the end of the day SSLAH had managed to break into and through the 1st line of defence and was sat just in front of the 2nd defence line roughly 14 Km inside the main defensive belt. This cost them 97 Officers & Men KIA, 522 WIA.(including 17 Officers) &17 missing, the Panzergruppe lost very little as they did not get into action until late afternoon just before SS-Standartenfuhrer Theodore Wisch halted the Division advance for the day, the Tiger Kompanie and Stug Abtielung however lost a bit more due to the fact that they lead the attack from the early morning supporting the 1st & 2nd SS PanzerGrenadier Regiments, the Tiger Kompanie (13th Kompanie) had 1 Tiger as a complete loss & 3 others knocked out & in need of repair at the Divisional workshops.
Fast forward to the high water mark (morning of the 13th July) when Totenkopf finally stop trying to cross the Karteschewka to Prokhorovka road the Korps as a whole had either put out of action or severely mauled the best part of the following:
51/52/95/97th Guards Rifle Divisions
183rd Rifle Division
9th Guards Airborne Division
2/10/18/29/31st Tank Corps
2nd Guards Tank Corps
5th Guards Mech Corps
And a host of smaller independent Tank Brigades and Regiments.
Add to this the plethora of Anti Tank Battalions/Regiments & Brigades that the Russians used to bolster the defensive line and even the most anti SS person could not fail to be anything but impressed by how fair they got. Zittadelle was doomed from the start, we all know that, I am amazed even now that the likes of Von Manstien did not see this, or that they convinced themselves that they could do it and the faith they had in the ability of the German soldier was so high.
Ivan fought with such bravery as they so often did and paid such a high price to stop Zittadelle,

Voronezh front (the one that faced the attack in the south) lost from 5-23rd July 73,892 men & women in total, of which 27,542 were KIA.
The front lost also 1,397 AFV of all types total write offs.
4th Panzer Army lost 13,461 during the offensive period only, of which 2,309 were KIA.
4th Panzer Army lost roughly 126 Panzers as total write offs during the offensive period.

The total of AFV lost on both sides only includes total write offs, the actual number is far higher due to repaired AFV returned to combat etc, 4th Pz Army for example had 629 AFV of all types damaged ( in need of workshop repair) during the offensive period.

Will we ever know the whole story of Kursk, I doubt it, but what I do know is that we have I feel the best knowledge we will ever have on the battle now, and both sides paid a high price during a very short period, after it the Russians knew they would win no matter what, it was not the ‘Death ride’ Of popular myth of the Panzers, but damn it sure as did hurt them.

All the best

Perry
 

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The main German failing was at the operational-strategic level, indeed the main error had a "political" root. Hitler felt that they had to make a major offensive in '43. There was some muttering about impressing the Turks and others. Between the '41 failure before Moscow (after great apparent success) and the utter futility of the whole Caucuses/Stalingrad adventure (Fall Blau) which was completely rolled back, they did have some defensive successes. After spending the whole of '42 getting precisely nowhere and at great cost, the defensive success against Operation Mars and during 3rd Kharkov was not seen as enough.

There has been talk over the years about expanding 3rd Kharkov and producing an early Zitadelle before the Soviets had a chance to fully dig in around Kursk. I used to think that might, just might have been a better choice. However looking at what the Germans did collect for Zitadelle some months later, I'm inclined to discount that. While most Pz/PzGren Div were fairly well up to strength in infantry and artillery, Panzer numbers were woefully short. Most Pz Div had only a (reinforced at best) single Pz Abt instead of the normal 2. Indeed at the start of Fall Blau in '42 some started with 3 Pz Abt. Even 1st-3rd SS had little more than 3-5 Co. of Pz, admittedly some StuGs, Marders and T-34 as well.

3rd Kharkov was won with quite fresh units and at that time might have been able to take a bigger chunk of the later Kursk salient. However at that time most other Pz/PzGren Div were fairly weak. They either had been starved of replacements during '42 in favour of the Fall Blau drive or had been gutted during the rollback of Blau. So while the SS would have been capable of an early Zitadelle, few others would have been in any shape. After that it was a race between German production and Soviet production and digging and guess who produced more and dug deeper. The Germans simply did not have the means for more than transient successes.

We can all discuss the detailed German tactical failures on the Southern Flank but what success they did have was a partial Soviet operational failure. The Soviets expected the preponderance of German force to have been on the Northern flank. The effect was that AG Centre got nowhere fast (or slow) and the Germans did break through in the South. By the time Prokhorovka was coming into view Stavka had a panic attack and forced 5th Guards Tank Army into a overly hasty piecemeal counter attack that gutted it. The point is that there were tactical errors on both sides, but I think in the overall scheme of things they cancelled each other out. That is to be expected in even the most successful operation.

I did an outline of trends a year or two ago, but I feel is worth repeating because it gives a good overall 'feel'.

'41: A great German offensive and Soviet existential crises eventually stopped short "at the last moment", but still the first time in WW2.
'42: A great German offensive eventually stopped and completely rolled back.
'43: A major German offensive stopped in its tracks and the start of the Soviet rollback of the German '41 gains.
'44: Great Soviet offensives wiping out all of German '41 gains.
'45: Great Soviet offensives that extinguished Germany.

So if you really think about it '41 was the only year that the Germans gained anything and that partly because it was a sucker punch against a self deluded Stalin.
 

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Agree 100% Paul, after June 41 the Germans had in all effect lost already. bloody good post mate.

Regards

Perry
 
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