Re-reading an interesting book on the Kursk battle. Some thought-provoking viewpoints are put forth, and some age-old excuses are debunked. With that said....could the Germans have won a tactical, or even a strategic victory at Kursk? The author cites and puts forth reasons and the excuses used after the war by the German general staff for the failures of Citadel. The first was that the operation was begun too late in the year, allowing the Soviets to build up their defenses in greater depth. The Germans needed that extra time to rebuild their badly depleted units to even contemplate a massive attack in 1943. Another excuse was that Hitler demanded the delay as he wanted his new Panthers and Elephants to participate in the battle. While that is partly true, both of these weapons systems were not even close to being ready for combat and the design teams knew it but would not contest Hitler on this. The Panther suffered more losses to mechanical breakdowns than combat losses.....and the Elephants were not equipped to deal with the Soviet anti-tank teams of infantry and were used at the lead in the assaults rather than being used in overwatch positions where their long 88mm guns could inflict maximum damage at minimal risk. The Germans also had insufficient artillery ammunition available for the many probes they launched in Citadel. Many times the artillery had to ration what support they could provide, else they would have totally depleted their on hand supply of shells. The main reason for Citadel's failure, given by the author, was that the Germans continued to use tactics that worked well in 1939 - 1942. But by the time 1943 rolled around, the Soviets had slowly learned some very costly lessons on how to deal with "blitzkrieg". They still bumbled many opportunities to deal the Germans a fatal blow beginning as early as July 11, but the massive numbers of reserve units at the Soviet's disposal made whatever the Germans achieved almost meaningless. It did not matter if the Germans destroyed 200 Soviet tanks in one day. The Soviets simply brought up a couple more tank brigades and rapidly replaced all their losses. That is something the Germans could not do. The Germans also did not have nearly enough infantry divisions available for Kursk. The Soviets repeatedly assaulted the flanks of the Germans spearheads, and with no infantry to stop the flank threats, the Germans were forced to pull panzer and elite units out of the attack and switch over to the defensive roll.....greatly lowering the strength of their attacks. 2nd SS and Gross Deutchland were two prime examples. The Soviets "knew" where the Germans would attack during 1943....it was obvious even to a schoolchild that the bulge at Kursk was as tempting as a store full of candy to a kid. What if the Germans had not taken the "bait" and had, instead, attacked way north or south of the Kursk bulge with the intent of driving deep into the Soviet rear areas and destroying the Soviet reserves in their staging areas before they could be committed to battle? Lastly, the poor use of air support by the Germans and Soviets. The Germans had insufficient air units available to provide support to all the German attacks....they had to pick and choose where they could support, so not all units got the benefit of air support. The Soviets were just beginning on the upward curve of learning how to employ aircraft in a combined arms force that employed ground attack aircraft, tanks, artillery, and infantry to stop, penetrate, exploit, and destroy German units. The Germans were unprepared for this "new" tactic by the Soviets. So.....the question is......what, if anything, could the Germans have done differently at Kursk to have gotten a more positive end result? And, was a more positive result even a possibility given all the difficulties surrounding Citadel? Thoughts?