Talk:Battle of Prokhorovka

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Numbers?[edit]

If the German strength is 200 tanks, then how did they lose 350 tanks + 70 damaged? I'm assuming that they were not wiped out, so either they must have had a larger force or these casualty figures are inflated.


German field repair workshops were extremely efficient, tanks that were written off as destroyed were often recovered from the battlefield and refitted over time by stripping parts from other vehicles, thus available/destroyed vehicle figures vary considerably from day to day. vehicles counted as destroyed were often not deleted from casualty lists after refit. JH — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.31.54.231 (talk) 16:58, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

The Info Box tells us the Soviets loose up to 300 tanks and some 400 damaged (= max nearly 800). The text says there were up to 800 losses in the morning and about 300 in the afternoon (= max 1100) not dividet in losses and damaged. There is something wrong. In any case it were at least all tanks the soviets had or even more, according to what the article says.--WerWil (talk) 14:13, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Showalter says Prokharovka was a German tactical victory and a Russian operational victory. There is no logical reason to cite Showalter as a source for claim that Prokharovka was a tactical victoy, and ignore his asssertion on the same page that Prokharovka was a Russian operational victory. Therefore the best course is for the page to reflect both of his analyses. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.191.213.248 (talk) 07:23, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

The number of inoperable tanks on 13 July was much larger than the number of write-offs. Leaving this info out would raise the question of why the Totenkopf and Das Reich offensive failed the next day if the only German AFV losses were 3-5 write-offs.

DannyKalb (talk) 15:04, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

I removed the edit mainly because you mistakenly changed the section header in the info box from "German losses" to "Soviet losses". The info is probably fine, but I have no way to check it, as there's no 2010 book by Glantz and House in the bibliography. You will need to provide more information about your source (title, publisher, ISBN please). Thanks -- Diannaa (talk) 15:13, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

It is from the paperback edition of Glantz and House The Battle of Kursk, which has a publication date of 1999. Chapter 6, page 212 in the section entitled "Stalemate, 13 July", 4th paragraph. I will correct the citation. 16:21, 3 November 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.51.16.63 (talk)

Major rewrite[edit]

Tried to reflect the more recent research, in particular Töppel (unpublished M.A. thesis). He has used German and Soviet unit records for the analysis, and his thesis was written to address the mythology of the battle, in particular Rotmistrov and Paul Carell. Andreas 09:28, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Let me have my doubts about the numbers. 700 / 800 is a more realistic figure provided by commanders. I'll try to dig out some numbers. But I don't trust this "modern research"... :( Grafikm_fr 09:58, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
It is not 'modern research', it is going back to unit records. It also depends on what you define as 'Battle of Prokhorovka'. Andreas 10:02, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
You're talking about an "unpublished M.A. thesis". While it is quite true that the traditional description of the battle is quite biased, it is not a single thesis that will contradict all the rest, including witnesses' statements (which were quite numerous). Grafikm_fr 18:20, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
That is correct, but in actual fact I believe that if you go through the recent published literature, you will find similar facts (e.g. in Nipe). The thesis should be available through inter-library loan, and it is using primary sources for both sides (German strength returns and Red Army unit records). While eye-witness records are fine, it should be remembered that Rotmistrov is hardly an unbiased observer, while the Germans on the spot (e.g. von Ribbentrop) saw it as a German victory. So the thesis is not contradicting all eye-witness accounts. Andreas 18:10, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and 200 tanks on Soviet side as strength??? 8O Grafikm_fr 09:59, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
From my re-write: Together with the formations committed during the day, the total number of Soviet tanks in the battle probably reached 500. Andreas 10:02, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Then this figure should go in the infobox. I mean come on, if you stop 500 tanks with just 200 (or at least prevent them from advancing), one calls it a tactical success :) Grafikm_fr 18:15, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
That's what it does at the moment. ;-) Andreas 20:59, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Then I'm lost. The strength is inverted or what? *scratches head* Grafikm_fr 21:11, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
500 Russian tanks attack, 200 German stop them, German tactical success. Andreas 21:16, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
One could just as easily argue that 200 German tanks were moving forward, 500 Soviet tanks stopped them, so it was a Soviet tactical success. DannyKalb (talk) 16:14, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Or 3 German tanks were destroyed at the cost of only 300 Soviet tanks, a Soviet tactical success. I don't find it particularly compelling, but one could always make the argument. Gunbirddriver (talk) 19:04, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, 500 RUSSIAN tanks attack, so why you list 500 under "Wehrmacht" and 200 under "Red Army"??? ^_^ Grafikm_fr 21:17, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Because I made a mistake. Andreas 07:09, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
I thought so ^_^. Grafikm_fr 07:51, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and IIRC (have to dig up the figure), the Soviets lost something like 75% of their attack force (which kinda upset Stalin), so 350-400 tanks lost out of 500 make sense...
I think it was Rots crazy tactics which were a major factor in the high losses. Firing on the move, tilting at non-existent Tigers and elephants. A more cautious advance, picking shots acrefully, would have probably have lessened the absurd loss ratios. How many T 70s were involved in the advance? Do we have a figure for that. Irondome (talk) 19:37, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it seemed to make sense when he was ordering it but it did not work out well. High speed caused decreased control of the tank units and decreased accuracy in their fire. Add to that the fact that the Russian tankers rode buttoned up, with the commander attempting to fire the gun while looking out the periscope at the same time to get a view of what was in front, and the fact that the 5th Tank Army tankers were new to the area and apparently were not made aware of the 15 foot tank ditch at the base of Hill 252.2 (not good), plus they could not communicate with each other (no radios in most tanks, and trouble with them working in tanks on the move for the platoon commander's tanks). All and all, the attack went very poorly. Rotmistrov likely would have been shot if Stalin knew what had happened. I believe that is why the story of the events came out as they did. The epic struggle, the triumph over the Hitlerites. About 1/3 of the tanks were T-70s, with Healy stating that 260 of 850 5th Tank Army tanks were T-70s.(p.171). Gunbirddriver (talk) 01:27, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Who won this battle?[edit]

I know the current conclusion is not going to be popular with some people, so I will try to explain it here. This article is about Prokhorovka, not the Battle of Kursk as a whole. It is clear that Kursk as a whole was a significant victory for the Red Army. I think authors such as Nipe who are trying to explain this away really make some major analytical mistakes. But for this particular battle, I find it very difficult to accept even the version of a Soviet operational victory. To me this was an unmitigated disaster for the Soviet side. 5th Guards Tank Army was thrown away in a pointless charge, with very little to show for it. If it had been used defensively, it would probably have extracted similar, if not more damage for the Germans, and probably suffering less itself. Essentially this battle destroyed the strength of the tank army, reducing its capability to contribute to the counter-offensive. That is not my view, but that of Ivan Konev, as stated in his memoirs. So, the Soviet side completely failed in its aim for the battle (destruction of the SS Panzerkorps), and suffered extremely high losses to a key formation in the process. That is not a victory. The idea that Prokhorovka made a major contribution to the German side calling off the battle can also be discounted, in my view. More important were the Mius offensive, Operation Kutuzov which had stopped the northern advance, and Sicily, all draining away reserves. Andreas 11:09, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

And before I get accused again of being a German POV pusher, have a look at my latest edit on Kamenets-Podolsky Pocket. Thanks. Andreas 11:13, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Let me say I applaud your willingness to explain your edits here. I would only add one more consideration: that Prokorovka may have been a tipping point for the Germans. That is, the Orel counteroffensive, the inability to widen the southern penetration, and the loss up to 11 July did not result in a german decision to give up the offensive (at least in the south). But the effect of the entrance of 5th GTA into the battle on 12 july showed that, contrary to Manstein's assertions, they were not about to break through the last Soviet defenses. On the contrary, this showed that significant Soviet strength remained. Thus the sacrifice of a major part of the 5th GTA may not have been in vain. By the 15th, German units in the south had their warning orders to withdraw.
I think that is a decent argument, but the commitment of 5th Guards Tank Army could have been achieved without destroying it. Simply putting it in the way of the Germans without the stupid charge would have achieved the same effect - to let them know that the Red Army was not going to run out of formations anytime soon. Andreas 13:50, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Your point that the situation in Orel was more important is well taken and I agree; I am simply saying Prokorovka may have provided that 'last straw' needed to get the germans to give it up.
Again, not a bad argument, but I am not convinced that it was necessary to destroy the army to achieve this. Andreas 13:50, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Regarding my willingness to explain my reasoning here - I am aware that this is a very controversial subject, and I have long hesitated before making the revision of today. I would have preferred not to get involved here at all. But I think that the original article was doing too much to propagate old myths, and that is exactly what Wikipedia should not be doing. Andreas 13:51, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Trouble is, it's not an unpublished thesis that will destroy it. While I share your evaluation of the outcome, I still have my doubts about the strength of armies involved. Grafikm_fr 17:59, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
If Paul Hausser gained the victory, why was he removed from command immediately after the battle? --Ghirla-трёп- 10:05, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Could it not be argued that since the overall Kursk battleplan was to absorb and counterattack, that the battle was a strategic success for the Russians on the grounds that the Germans did not advance further? It almost certainly could have been done more cheaply, but so could much of the Eastern Front by Russia, and they did achieve their aim (overall), to stop the German advance. So it may be a tactical defeat but a strategic victory? Special:Contributions/82.153.119.14|82.153.119.14]] (talk) 20:30, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
This is one of these "keep it in context" questions. It has to be remembered that the 'battle' only became prominent from the German POV due to the engagement of so many panzer units. From the Soviet POV the battle was a tactical engagement within an operation that was itself an intermediate phase of an operation which was itself a part of a larger strategic plan. The inordinate attention Prokhorovka received is out of all proportion to the rest of the 'big picture'. In the strategic context the two German offensives were an abject failure since not only did they not achieve the strategic goal, or even reach operational objectives, but they failed to prevent a Soviet counter-attack, and when that counter-attack came, they were unprepared for halting it. Apparently someone at OKH did see the big picture. As I understand it Hitler was typically livid over the outcome, particularly because of the damage done to his new 'super' tanks--mrg3105mrg3105 22:13, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Expand request[edit]

  • More info on particular combat events
  • Expand on reaction of German/Soviet leadership to the battle

Andreas 13:11, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Myth continued beyond the 80s, it seems.[edit]

I have the book "Campaign Series 16: Kursk 1943 - The tide turns in the east" by Mark Healy. It has the usual "point-blank-ramming-charging-huge german losses" type description of the battle...and it is from 1992! :) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 62.201.89.96 (talk) 17:22, 17 December 2006 (UTC).

Major new sources need to be considered[edit]

OPERATION CITADEL volumes 1 and 2, by J. Restayn and N. Moller, published by JJFedorwicz in the past two years does a complete re-analysis of tank losses at Kursk and Prokhorovka. This is based entirely on original sources, and all the statistics are set forth. 72.134.154.5 14:33, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Myth vs Reality section[edit]

This section is not really as dramatic as it has been written to sound. For instance in the 'myth' section it mentions the 'myth' that waves of T34s rushed to close engagements, and then in the 'reality' section it describes T34s and T70s rushing into close engagement. Both versions also mention that the soviets took much higher casualties than the germans. In fact if the 'myth' and 'reality' headings and sentences were removed it would very nearly read as a continuous piece of prose with no contradiction. Which parts of the 'myth' section are actually debunked and where are the references for the 'reality' section? I don't mean to be hostile to the editors involved, I am just a little confused about the course of the battle. 121.45.58.138 09:44, 3 June 2007 (UTC) 02:31, 16 October 2007 (UTC)


Kaptkirk 10/15/07 A real good book on Kursk: "KURSK..The greatest tank battle." by M.K. Barbier/ISBN :0-7603-1254-0 *2002 It backs up the lower numbers of tanks at Prokhorovka,with a order of battle and day by day break down of both fronts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.88.120.113 (talk) 02:31, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Losses[edit]

I suspect the losses given are what in Soviet literature known as "unrecoverable". The Red Army was able to recover a large number of the KOed tanks after the battle (and the Offensive) so they only counted complete write-offs.--mrg3105mrg3105 02:06, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Your supposition is false. It was the Germans not the Soviets who excluded repairable equipment from losses reports, as well as all losses not attributable to enemy fire, which in Kursk with Panther tanks engines proving so flamable and both Tigers and Panther proving to have the most unreliable transmition and suspension could be irreparable. The German system of losses reports was a strange architecture of loopholes, even when it came to personnel losses. `lightly injured` soldiers were excluded from the wounded, while injured men who died after evacuation to a dressing station were excluded from combat fatalaties. as for casualties which did not result from direct enemy action, accidents as well as ilnesses - and what was to be made of combat casualties who contracted infections in hospitals (a natural corolary to injury) - these had a strange way of being reported separately up medical channels. It was only in OKW tallies that personnel losses at least, regardless of their farflung and diverse origins, would merge into one huge figure. As for the Soviets, losses were no source of shame in Stalin's humane universe so why hide them? after all they helped when one applied for replacements. At some point it became unnecessary list the names of the dead and missing and `inaccuracies` started to flourish 79.182.246.240 (talk) 05:34, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Only thing I would disagree with is the need for Soviets to hide losses, if I'm not mistaken they never released official casualty figures for either the Battle of Moscow or Stalingrad (just because Stalin was a dictator didn't mean he didn't need to keep people in the dark about how much they were giving to support him).70.42.157.24 (talk) 20:41, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Almost 65 years later we still are discussing reliable numbers . . .[edit]

I find it intriguing that we are discussing reliable numbers almost 65 years after this battle occurred.

Can we ever come to what most will view as reliable numbers? Perhaps the reluctance of Soviet officials to make records available during the cold war contributes? With the current political atmosphere in Moscow, this may again block research. It is necessary for professional historians who value professional objectivity to take this on. Cool and rational analysis by clear minds so we can see through the fog of war and find a hard number even if it has to be heavily footnoted. Publications by interested parties only confuse the issue.

Even so, I find this article enlightening despite the anguish of the struggle.

What I need are figures which resolve the issues of what the Soviets and Germans meant by loses, such as tanks put out of action during the Battle of Prokhorovka (that is they could not carry on the action and were abandon), tanks recovered after the action, tanks repaired and put back on the field as apposed to tanks used for parts, and it must be clarified as to what is done with tanks on both sides that were say only disabled by a broken track, and easily repairable, but captured by the other side thereby rendering them completely lost. Who defines the terms by what is considered lost makes me despair of ever finding a definitive number.

TDurden1937 (talk) 23:39, 23 January 2008 (UTC)TDurden1937

The numbers are available and have been analysed extensively. However, this analysis is not available in English in its full form. They will be addressed as part of the revamp of the Eastern Front articles in due time.--mrg3105mrg3105 01:01, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Reliance upon contemporary German losses figures, with the qualified exception of the OKW figures, is misplaced. Rudiger Overmans is just one researcher to have noted that they were grossly deflated often by as much as 50%. When reporting losses a commander has two concerns which may produce bias. On the one hand he may wish to appear more successful then he is by deflating losses. on the other, exaggerating losses would butress his pleas for reinforcements. The German generals especially on the Soviet front overwhelmingly prioritised vanity over pragmatism and deflated friendly losses in their reports. Their Soviet counterparts, if anything inflated friendly losses since, perversely enough, losses however gratuitously excessive were not the disgrace that they should have been in Stalin's house of horrors. contemporary Soviet losses figures have been published by Krivosheev. Glantz found them on several occasion - Operation Mars, the 1940-1941 war with Finland for instance - to have been excessive. in addition while Soviet figures of materiell losses include tanks and planes damaged or destroyed, German materiel losses include only total losses, and only those that could not somehow be passed off as technical failures and the like while Soviet figures included malfunctions (a natural concomitant of combat). Eager reliance upon `recent research` based on Primary German reports should be tempered by awareness of this. When account of the above is taken, the difference btween German and Soviet losses emerges as smaller than contemporary German documents might suggest. Soz101 (talk) 05:31, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

This can be proven in a few very simple ways. For example, there are still historians claiming that the King Tiger never was lost in tank vs. tank combat, yet there were multiple capable tanks opposing it and hundreds were deployed against these tanks over the course of the war. Many King Tigers were examined after being destroyed and over-run on the Western and Eastern Front. But as the Germans reported them, almost always as "not damaged" if they could be repaired or "mechanical fault" if they were destroyed and captured there is no German admission of a loss in a tank vs tank battle. So those who furiously defend the honesty of the Reich are inclined to cite this source over all the contradicting evidence.
The second obvious way to discount this is that Soviet and German losses in battles on the Eastern Front after the start of 1943 were even. This is demonstratable in both armoured vehicles and men. With armoured vehicles you only need to look at the amount manufactured and the amount still operational at the end of the war and with men, you only need to look at the amount inducted into service and the amount surrendered vs. still in service. Yet in a large amount of Western sources "trusted" by wikipedia "experts" German casualties are 1/3 that of Russian casualties despite the admission that the Soviets won basically every significant battle from this point to Berlin.
To me, this is a disturbing problem as it indicates that editors of WW2 articles are inclined to trust Nazi sources over many other verifiable sources and noteably to discount actual evidence in favour of cooked books. Its tantamount to Holocaust denial and fascism since it implies that even when worse equipped, outnumbered, hungry and wounded the Germans were still superior soldiers and in these assertions it completely contradicts military theory and the evidence.--Senor Freebie (talk) 07:10, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Please do not change sourced material. Especially when u add a different number in front of citiations, thats really bad. Your edits on the article were reverted by me. Please add reliable sources if you add figures and please do not delete other figures. Blablaaa (talk) 05:30, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Mate, labelling me a vandal for reverting an obviously broken source that is not properly referenced and not properly cited is quite childish. The original poster of the article not only states that it is just his opinion that Frieser is the pre-eminent historian on this battle, but that the total write-offs were 17 and that according to Frieser, the SS had more operational tanks the next day. Since it is proven, in EVERY other source, that the Soviets were successful in causing such significant casualties to the SS that they stopped their attempt at a breakthrough, these are either obvious lies or poorly collated information and given the typical attitude on this subject, when citing dramatically low German casualties its also fairly obvious that they're pushing the same old "German superiority" POV, which has no place in Wikipedia, since even the most biased observers can normally note that they lost the war.--Senor Freebie (talk) 10:34, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
maybe you should not only read rotmistrov. Blablaaa (talk) 15:15, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Compared to glantz, frieser uses archives to draw a clear picture. GLantz "estimates" german losses with including 13 july losses. IF you would have read the books you would see this. Please tell me which books did you read regarding prokhrovka? So which source do you give for your points Blablaaa (talk) 15:26, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I have not written Rominostrov and you have clearly not read Friesner as in this same discussion page, the person who introduced the Friesner source to this article stated that in his POV it was a superior source. Additionally, it also claimed 17 destroyed tanks, not your 3 you're so insistent on putting into the article. Given you are fabricating numbers and attributing them to a source, and the original introduction of Friesner was based on a single POV, its not even contentious to revert to using Glantz's figures. Additionally, if you're claiming that using archival figures is a reliable way to glean numbers out of the Nazi's, you may as well be a holocaust denier, since those archives are pretty clear on that fact. More relevantly, the issue of the reliability of Eastern Front figures from German units is well discussed on wikipedia and nearly all of their archives have been debunked. So stop fabricating numbers and engaging in edit wars.--Senor Freebie (talk) 04:47, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I have both books ^^ and you change figures because you dont like them. You have nothing to put to this discussion. You only write your opinion. Please stop chaning figure. You dont have the books. Stop it now please its disruptive.

Tank Loses[edit]

Hi, the three SS Divisions had 36 total write offs ( tank and assault guns ) from 5th july to 23rd july. at least 19 were destroyed before 12nd july! so there are only 17 destroyed tanks for II SS Tank Army from 12nd July ( beginn of battle of prokhorovka ) to 23rd July . Rotmistrows 5th. GdTA reported the loss of 222 T-34, 89 T-70, 12 Churchill and 11 assaultguns. This are 334 write-offs. (12 july to 16 july ) on 12nd July the 5th GdTA lost 239 ( said by Dr. Karl-Heinz Frieser ). sorry for my bad english . —Preceding unsigned comment added by HROThomas (talkcontribs) 00:09, 1 February 2009 (UTC) Casualties on 12.7. germans : 522 WIA and 97 KIA and MIA this are the casualties for SS Div LAH and SS Div Das Reich ( excludes SS Div. Totenkopf ) Casualties on 12.7 russian : estimated 2000. 5th GdTA got 7.107 casualties from 12nd july to 16th july (3.597 KIA and MIA ). i have no figures of german loses from 12 to 16 . —Preceding unsigned comment added by HROThomas (talkcontribs) 00:29, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Growing scope of article[edit]

This article is fast growing in scope and is becoming a second Battle of Kursk article. May I suggest we limit this to Prokorovka since we already have a Kursk article? DMorpheus (talk) 17:20, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Fine, although a little bit of background info to link it to Kursk is needed. It is all interconected. With regard to the "dubious" tag. Bergstrom uses Gorbach and Khazanov (Moscow 2004) Aviatsya v bitve nad Orlovsko-Kurskoy dugoy for his sources regarding these attacks. If they say the Soviet tanks carried drums on their rear areas believing the battle to be quick and easy, then I believe it is so. Dapi89 (talk) 20:05, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
I have a query about the Red Army casualties listed for this battle, nearly 200,000 casualties seems a little extreme for a single day...--EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 20:19, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
he guys this ist a single battle during battle of kursk . the battle was fought by second SS tank army and 5th guards tank army. 12 july only 1 day . —Preceding unsigned comment added by HROThomas (talkcontribs) 20:32, 12 February 2009 (UTC)


I agree a *little* background on Kursk is needed, but only a little, with a link to the main article. Currently we're going way overboard.
"If they say the Soviet tanks carried drums on their rear areas believing the battle to be quick and easy, then I believe it is so." This statement, though, implies that the fuel would have been jettisoned or not carried if they had *not* believed they were about to enter a quick and easy battle. That is simply incorrect. Soviet tanks routinely carried external fuel, regardless of their expectations of combat, and it was not particularly dangerous to the crews. Almost all photos of WW2 soviet tanks will show external fuel cells no matter what the tactical situation.
Yes, 200,000 is just a little high for this one day ;) Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 20:55, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
hi morpheus iam new here, i cant find where i can talk directly to u is it possible to talk via icq ? i want to discuss the tank losts —Preceding unsigned comment added by HROThomas (talkcontribs) 21:05, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Morph', can I ask for a source? I have made my information verifiable, can you? Otherwise it is an assumption.
About the 200,000, where is this listed? I certainly havn't put this in. Dapi89 (talk) 21:09, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
I will be happy to provide a reference, although it is hard to prove a negative, i.e., the rather well-known fact that diesel doesn't explode unless under pressure, and will not burn even if you expose a tankful to flame. Almost all Soviet tanks were diesel-powered from 1941-1989, and all of those routinely carried diesel fuel cells externally. The fuel cells of the T-55 series, for example, were external. Please be mindful that your source is aviation-oriented rather than AFV-oriented. No doubt I have many silly misconceptions about airplanes..... Regards, DMorpheus (talk) 21:15, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes I understand the resistance of diesel. The combination of 88 mm shells and close range 37 mm may have created the desired effect. Diesel is not invulnerable. Dapi89 (talk) 22:04, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
he dapi is this a joke ? u really think on 12nd jul the russians got 70000 casualties in this skirmish ? u call 70000 casualties for one day at Prokhorovka !!!!!cited material!!!! . please stop removing my figures they are from the lists of the involded SS divisions . Above i said the sources for tank losses. PLEASE read and think before u call 70000 casualties at 12 july a cited material . really laughable .... —Preceding unsigned comment added by HROThomas (talkcontribs) 21:44, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Use your brain and read the edit summary. I made a mistake, however your material is uncited altogether, so no I won't stop removing "your" figures. If you continue to revert you may be blocked. Tank losses are controversial. Both German and Soviet sources contradict each other. Dapi89 (talk) 21:52, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

tank losses are controversial cause soviet sources are far away from truth. if u look above u will see that i only wrote the write off's from second SS tank army. And after this i wrote the tank write offs reported by Rotmistrows 5th guards tank army. i have my figures from an articel of Dr. Karl-Heinz Frieser . An historian who works together with the german military history ministeri. i can send u the articel if u can read german or u buy the book "Das deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg" Paart 1-10 . so i will change the casualtie figures now. 17 tanks write off for II ss tank army and estimated 239 for 18th and 29th tanks corp at 12nd july ! —Preceding unsigned comment added by HROThomas (talkcontribs) 22:05, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
They are not cited in the article. Until you do so they cannot stay. The figures you wrote implied total losses for each side, which in itself is highly misleading. Dapi89 (talk) 23:05, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
i dont understand what u mean with "total losses for each site" . i can write correct write offs for the time betwenn 12 july and 23 july . the 239 are estimated for this special day . i dont know how do add sources do the casualties . at the moment iam only able to write the figures down and tell u my sources. " Das deutsche Reich und der Zweiter Weltkrieg" ( 10 parts ) is in my opinion one of the most reliable source available today.
the day after this battle the SS divisions got more tanks operational than on the evening of 11 July. There come more tanks repaired back than they lost in the battle. Can somebody explain to me how to add a source do figures?

the three ss divisions are part of the II SS tank army and 29th/18th Tanks army are part of 5th guard army . In the infobox they seem to be equal parts is it possible to change it ? dont know how to do . only that the reader know . in the infobox , the Voronezh Front is mentioned i think they did not take part in this skirmish , can i delete this ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by HROThomas (talkcontribs) 22:37, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

"Yes I understand the resistance of diesel. The combination of 88 mm shells and close range 37 mm may have created the desired effect. Diesel is not invulnerable. Dapi89 (talk) 22:04, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

" You're right, diesel is not invulnerable. However, the major motivation the Red Army had in adopting diesel powerplants for most of its AFVs was the far lower risk of fire when hit. See Milsom, Zaloga, or many other sources. Also, neither T-34s nor KVs can jettison fuel. To drop a fuel cell, the crew has to stop, dismount, and manually unbolt and lift or roll off the cells. It is not a system designed for quick jettisoning. Why? because they never intended to drop fuel cells under any particular scenario. The author of your source is mistaken in thinking that fuel cells were present because the Soviet units anticipated little or no enemy contact. They were present because they were never removed from Soviet tanks except accidently, for example, when a tank drove through a building and sheared one off. DMorpheus (talk) 04:40, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

I accept your point. Bergstrom may have misquoted the Russian source. But at the same time, there is no reason to believe that the attacks and diesel drums failed to catch fire, whether the position of the cell was fixed or not. It would be better conveyed by deleting the dubious tag and creating a note section to point to what is probably a mistake by Bergstrom. Dapi89 (talk) 17:30, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm inclined to dispute the whole thing, actually. If Bergstrom actually states that the 37mm usually failed to destroy tanks, he's grossly mistaken. True, it took an experienced pilot to consistently hit the top of the turret or the rear engine deck--either one of which would be enough to K-kill the tank--and a novice (of which there were many in the Luftwaffe at that point) was more likely to simply damage a tank. But it was definitely done all the time and several aces got quite good at it. It was the 30mm Mk103 on the Hs-129 that was noted as being substandard against the T-34 at Kursk. Even a top hit on a T-34 would typically damage it but not disable it. The 37mm, not so. The mighty JS-2 was vulnerable to 37mm on the back deck over the engine and would scurry for cover whenever the Stuka-Gs came out. Bullzeye contribs 09:53, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

T-34 photo[edit]

The photo of a damaged T-34 in the article is from a wrong place: it is taken at Pokrowka, not Prokhorovka. This picture of Panther, judging by the caption, is from Prokhorovka, but it is not free. I suggest at least removing the current photo. Dimawik (talk) 12:03, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Agenda driving[edit]

The use of one historian to cite an outcome of this battle is not acceptable. One editor seems to pushing an undoubted bias-German agenda. Several sources say different things. The source should read: Result disputed. Dapi89 (talk) 00:20, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

And another thing: the blurb didn't support the result claimed. Dapi89 (talk) 00:28, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

first sentence[edit]

even the first sentence "The Battle of Prokhorovka was a battle fought by the German Wehrmacht's 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[7] tank battles in military history." is the propaganda version, so much russian troops participated and not only the 5th GTA , omg.... Blablaaa (talk) 21:48, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Saying it was one of the largest is acceptable. Of course there are many more that probably had large scale battle. Dapi89 (talk) 13:35, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Casualties[edit]

Why have the Glantz casualty numbers been removed without comment on the reason? Has the source been proven unreliable by consensus of editors somewhere? Making unexplained (even in the edit summary) changes is not helpful. (Hohum @) 17:52, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Dear hohum the Glantz issue is explained very often ( Battle of Kursk Talk ) i not removed glantz, i removed glantz old version which used the soviet wartime figure. i have glantz and hes says 300 destroyed. no need to worrie Blablaaa (talk) 17:54, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
So, there is consensus among editors somewhere, that Glantz 1995 is unreliable? Where? (Hohum @) 17:59, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
i dont know but i know that glantz himself thinks this, thats why he changed many in his books. Maybe u shoul think the fact that he gave 320 for german losses on 12 near proko but gives 343 for zitadelle ^^ Blablaaa (talk) 18:03, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Ok, so Glantz updated his figures in a later book. As long as that's correct, I don't see a problem. You could have used the edit comments to explain this. (Hohum @) 18:06, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
When u look the edit: the 60-70 are sourced with Glantz. Blablaaa (talk) 18:08, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
I see the edit Blablaaa. Thanks for fixing that! Caden cool 09:14, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Is there any outside confirmation of Glantz's numbers. He himself admitts to being wrong once how do we know he will not do further revisionating to suite himself. I would like to see at least one other historian back him up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 205.143.204.198 (talk) 21:44, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If you have anything to challenge Glantz's information, provide it. Having incorrect information and updating it in his next book is the opposite of "suiting himself". (Hohum @) 22:14, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

You read the IP completely wrong. The IP did not say they had information to challenge Glantz. The IP asked for "outside confirmation of Glantz's numbers". Please pay more attention Hohum. Furthermore, I agree with the IP. Does anybody know if there is outside confirmation to these numbers? Thanks. Caden cool 09:14, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
I read it fine thanks. There is no basis to require confirmation of Glantz's numbers. He is a reliable source. There is only a need to question them if they are shown to be unreliable. (Hohum @) 11:25, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Once again, could you please pay close attention to what is being said? I have no time to repeat myself again and again. Glantz has admitted to being wrong before. Whether Glantz is reliable or not, I could care less. Now once again, does anybody know of any info that confirms the numbers? Caden cool 11:42, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
First of all. Glantz as a very reliable source dont need any back up. Even if he was wrong. But which information i can gave to u iIP. Glantz uses a bit strange ( for me ) calculation of german archives. He uses german damaged tanks and then estimates the number of total destroyed. While hes doing that he includes some units which were not involded in the 12 july battle + he uses the out of action numbers of the 13 july ( heavy batles). And he gets numbers which were contradicted by the same archivnumbers: He takes "out of action" numbers and uses them as true but than gets destroyed numbers which are totally contradicted by the same documents. Frieser makes it simple he takes the numbers for destroyed tanks: 3. Friesers numbers re backed uo by nearly all german wartime report of the battle. All reports claim "outstanding victory". Manstein for example was very confident of winning now because he thought the enemy was destroyed. No german wartime report would have cmade such statement with the loss of 70 tanks. While looking Glantz we see the obscure situation that he tries to calculate german tank losses with documents which reveal on 30 tank losses for whole zitadelle ( II SS Corps ) :D. That means he has the documents which summarizes 30 losses but he takes this documents and uses the out of action to create 70 losses on 12 july. In my opinion ( be carefull ) glantz is in the bad situation that he used the nonsense numbers in his old book and now tries to find a middle way. Nevertheless he is cited in the box and will stay there. Blablaaa (talk) 11:48, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

@ Caden, relax :-) Hohum is only saying that glantz needs no back up. The overall reputation of an historian decides if hes reliable and glantz really is it. No need for confrontation :-) Blablaaa (talk) 11:49, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

No need to worry, I'm completely relaxed and calm. I know Glantz is respected and considered to be reliable. But that was not the IP's point, just saying. Caden cool 12:10, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

ok misunderstood by me. sorry Blablaaa (talk) 12:23, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Haha no need to be sorry dude. But thanks anyway. :) Caden cool 12:28, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
" Whether Glantz is reliable or not, I could care less. Now once again, does anybody know of any info that confirms the numbers?" Contradicting yourself within the space of two sentences, especially if you keep repeating it, makes it difficult to understand what you are saying on behalf of someone else. You don't care if he is reliable or not? That's a problem, since reliability of sources is a keystone of inclusion in wikipedia articles. Then asking for confirmation of a source - which specifically is questioning its reliability - without foundation.
Also, I expect the IP can coherently talk for themself. (Hohum @) 12:35, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
You clearly have not payed any attention. Let me clarify, what I meant was that I personally could care less, not that he was unreliable for wiki, so please do not put words into my mouth. Now, could you cease wasting my time with nonsense? Thanks. Caden cool 12:50, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Wow. <plonk>. (Hohum @) 13:15, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

I am the IP from above I did not mean for the question to be taken so personally. I am sorry if some editors thought it was a personal attack against Glantz credibility. I am not normally a wikipeadia editor I usally only use it as a starter list of references; I am writing a paper for a college class and would like to use Glantz as a reference. I just thought it was strange for such an academic to go back and change his published work like that. I though it important enough to try reference his reason for doing so. Blablaaa has repeatebly explained how the calculation differ not disrespect Blablaaa but you are not the quality of reference I want to put in my paper I was hoping for a link to a reliable source where Glantz discusses it himself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 205.143.204.198 (talk) 16:27, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Reputable historians modify their findings when newly revealed information comes to light. If you have a Glantz book to use a reference, he almost certainly shows where he got the numbers from within it, and if they differ from one of his previous books, why. I seem to remember he did this in Zhukov's Greatest Defeat. From conversations elsepage, Woogie10w appears to be knowledgeable about Glantz, so it may be worth talking to him. In addition, David Glantz is a useful page as a stepping off point to see how well regarded he is as a historian. (Hohum @) 17:06, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
You are talking to me, anyway I have the Glantz Kursk book on page 275 he wrote "German losses in Citadel are more difficult to pin down" He says SS Pz Korps records from 7/13 indicate they lost 60-70 tanks on 7/12 at Prohorovka and 243 AFV since the operation began. on page 276 Glantz says for the entire battle of Kursk the Germans lost 1,612 AFV damaged and 323 destroyed.--Woogie10w (talk) 02:38, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
I have seen copies of the German wartime operational reports at the US National Archives, they are a hodgepodge without any systematic order. One would have to have a lot of time and patience to glean data from them.--Woogie10w (talk) 02:44, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
also for what its worth the standard Soviet reference work on the war published in 1985 claimed German casualties at Prohorovka 400 tanks destroyed and 10,000 men & officers --Woogie10w (talk) 02:54, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Hi, ip. I cant tell u which sources glantz uses in his older book ( 1995 ) , but i guess its pavel rotmistrovs book "steelguards" or Konevs book.In his newer book he uses german archives. IF u search for information regarding his older figures u maybe ask Nick-D , he has this book. The quality of books depends on the sources/research and the skill of the author. Many/all historians sometimes use bad sources. U cant avoid this. Glantz as historian can be seen as very reliable but on the topic kursk he wrote many things which changed in his newer book. @ Hohum, i read the book about "Operation Mars", which issue do u mean ? Blablaaa (talk) 18:36, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Do you mean, "The Red Army's Epic Disaster in Operation Mars"? Caden cool 22:16, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
This is getting a bit lot off topic for this talk page, but yes, the full title is Zhukov's greatest defeat : the Red Army's epic disaster in Operation Mars, 1942. I was borrowing it from a friend, and don't have it to refer to at the moment - so I'm not sure what edition (or even if there are multiple editions) - but I do seem to remember that he mentioned Krivosheev's expanding work on casualty figures, and that they differed from (and were generally better than) previous information that he had available for his previous works. (Hohum @) 23:39, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Samsonov removed.[edit]

I have reverted the addition of Samsonov cited material, the same site that it comes from, http://militera.lib.ru/h/samsonov2 seems to say that is is soviet cold war, state sponsored, biased, and hence unreliable. (Hohum @) 23:07, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Very funny. Can you proove it ? What means "soviet cold war" ? Western sources for Prohorovka are also cold war and my source is not cold war. You can find this 3.500 dead EVERYWHERE in russian books and in internet. 97 dead soldiers are more then funny. Maybe the whole battle is also soviet propaganda ?

See also russian wikipedia. Is Moskalenko also cold war ?

http://militera.lib.ru/memo/russian/moskalenko-2/02.html

http://upr-juzhnoportovaja.ru/gazeta_jp_231.html

Soviet sources speak about 10.000 losses and 3.500 killed. --Igor Piryazev (talk) 08:04, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

http://militarymaps.narod.ru/oper_1943.html#15 --Igor Piryazev (talk) 08:12, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

WP:RELIABLE and WP:V clearly state that it is up to the editor who adds sources to prove their reliability. It is not up to other editors to prove they are unreliable. You have been told this over a dozen times.
The problem with the source I removed was that it is Soviet Government and Party sponsored, during the Cold War. Conversely, Western sources during the cold war were open to peer review. Please don't start shotgunning many sources on this talk page as well. Just provide some evidence of the reliability of ONE. Stop ignoring wikipedia policies. (Hohum @) 18:35, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I say "Samsonov is reliable". How must I proove that ? He is famous soviet historian. You can not delete my sources and say they are unreliable. We are in wikipedia and not in Nazipedia or kindergarten or russian-sources-are-unreliable-pedia. --Igor Piryazev (talk) 19:13, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Step by Step. Hohum gave you reasons why he consideres him as not reliable. His reasons seem valid, i also agree to Hohum. You didnt contest them with valid points from your side. You have the possibilty to go to reliable source board and request third opinions. Please go there and ask for third opinion, until you got response, Stop edit warring Blablaaa (talk) 19:25, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Why is Samsonov unreliable ? State sponsored ? And ? This is russian infos and you can not say "propaganda". There are 2 opinions in this war. Is it so difficult to understand ???

His reasons seem valid, i also agree to Hohum.

And my reasons against Frieser are not valid ? --Igor Piryazev (talk) 19:28, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

I dont want to work here. I dont care about it. If soviet sources for soviet-german war are unreliable... But such nazis as Frieser are reliable or american or british sources. I give up. --Igor Piryazev (talk) 19:32, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

If you dont understand WW:RELIABLE its maybe a decent idea.Blablaaa (talk) 19:34, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
@Bla. I disagree. Hohom is not a historian therefore his opinions carry no weight in regards to Samsonov being unreliable. Samsonov is a Russian historian, that should count for something. Also Bla, Hohom is also edit warring so be fair okay?. @Igor. Please do not quit Wikipedia because of Hohum. I understand you feel harassed by him and it's wrong but please do not quit. Take Blab's advice and go to the reliable source board and request a third opinion. Caden cool 23:13, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Now user BlaBlaa is gone[edit]

Is it worth changing the info box to reflect the consensus, eg. that Glantz is the middle-ground source and that German and Soviet sources are biased? I don't want to do this unilaterally anymore since when I last did this it resulted in a user running amuck. So far as I can glean, the sources pretty much claim 3 demonstratably different accounts of the battle, depending on their bias. Friesner claims next to no casualties, in contradiction of the SS's own figures. Glantz cites the SS's figures and the various Soviet sources seem to count claims from the front by Soviet soldiers, on the matter of German tanks lost.--Senor Freebie (talk) 03:00, 7 August 2010 (UTC)


I'm dumping the following here for a record of what has been said on BlaBlaaa's talk page regarding this article:

"can please somebody revert seniro freebies edits on prokhorovka? he owns none of the books, hes deleting and chanig sources which were never read by him, he also deleted sources because he thinks he can decide which source is correct and which not. Please revert vandalism.Blablaaa (talk) 14:25, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

dapis vandalism should be reverted too. He deleted the newest research about this battle and replaced it with a debunked book. terrible to watch... . Blablaaa (talk) 14:26, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
I came back to make sure BlaBlaaa did not delete my comment from his page but it seems he did. The comment was as follows; "I came back to check to see if User:Blablaaa was back or unblocked again as I haven't paid much attention to Milhist articles in a while and thought that would be the best place to check their status first. To see Blablaa complaining about "vandalism" on the prokhorovka article is a positive sign for neutrality since this was my first and only significant dealing with him. I'm stating this here, for the record again so its visible for any future discussions about this user since he seems adept at getting unblocked. He believes that he can decide which historians are viable to cite and invariably in all WW2 history articles cites the historian who gives the Germans the lowest casualties. He finds it proposterous that the Germans could suffer casualties even in battles they lost and will fight tooth and nail to prove his point. Its practically trolling and it virtually ended my days as an editor due to the fruitlessness of actually editing articles he was involved in."
On the subject of Prokhorovka I have read most of the sources. The only one I have not read is Friesner as it is not available online. The 2 reasons I have been keen to revert BlaBlaaa's edits have been talked about and talked about. Basically, when Friesner was introduced as a source, he was introduced with one figure and had a question mark put above him for bias. When BlaBlaaa unilaterally decided that Friesner was the most credible source, he decided to use another figure and when told he was not allowed to make decisions like that unilaterally went down a rambling, insane tangent complete with personal attacks and comments about how the Soviets were clearly inferior. This was a pattern for him across all articles he edited. He forum shopped for arbitration, sources and edit partners. Usually the only ones who listened to him were not involved in History articles and usually they were the sort that seemed to share his belief that the Germans were superior soldiers at all times in WW2.
For BlaBlaaa ... if I come back and find that my comments have been removed again I will request, if it is possible for you to be blocked from deleting other peoples comments on here as it is clearly and attempt by you to hide your past faults in a vain attempt to get unblocked and to be able to restart your pro-nazi agenda. I will sit idly by and allow people to call a lot of views and attitudes 'neutral' but your views I will not abide." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Senor Freebie (talkcontribs) 14:42, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

One of the largest tank battles with 3-6 tanks lost from one of the sides? You sure infobox is okay?[edit]

"The German assault failed to achieve its objective." According to the infobox, Soviets lost at least 207 tanks plus 420 damaged, while Germans at most lost 6 tanks and plus 89 damaged. Is that the kind of losses that stops an assault?

3 tanks lost in one of the largest tank battles in history? Come on. Saaska (talk) 12:36, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

That's what the multiple references say. Do you have more reliable references? (Hohum @) 12:55, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Prehaps the following should be consulted for the article, obviously if anyone has access to it: 'Demolishing the Myth. The Tank Battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk, July 1943: An Operational Narrative' by Valeriy Zamulin. I have seen positive comments for the book, and that the author reexamines the info and stats available while providing an unbais (even if more info is presented for the Soviet side) account. Amazon states the author works at the Prokhorovka Battlefield State Museum and has spent quite some time researching the battle.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 22:24, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

If the figure of 3-6 tanks lost for the Nazis is correct, then the rest of the article is open to question: why would they have stopped their attack, the centerpiece of their 1943 summer offensive, after the loss of only 6 tanks? Why was the Totenkopf division taken out of the line for refit after the loss of only 6 tanks? Yet these last two points are not in doubt: the attack did stop and the division was badly mauled and taken to refit. The claim the Nazis lost at most 6 tanks in this battle is thus very questionable. Jshistww2 (talk) 00:54, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Thats not a claim, thats a fact, backed up by archival research. Numerous recent sources confirm this. Losses were not only 3 tanks but also a number of tanks damaged which were therefore not available for further operations. The attack was halted by the German High Command because of developments elsewhere on the front and Manstein was only permitted to continue with very limited offensive operations. Totenkopf was not withdrawn to refit, it was reallocated to the southern Ukraine where it was involved in numerous defensive battles shortly after arrival still in July. StoneProphet (talk) 14:05, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

The following, from the Wikepedia entry on the Totenkopf division refutes both assertions above (that tank losses were minimal and that the division was not exhausted):

SS-Brigadeführer Hermann Priess, the Totenkopf's commander, ordered Meierdress' abteilung to advance and support the beleaguered forces. The PzKpfw IIIs (Panzer III) and PzKpfw IVs (Panzer IV) of Meierdress' unit were supported by the Totenkopf's Tiger I company, 9(schwere)./SS-Panzer-Regiment 3. In ferocious combat with the lead units of the 5th Guards Tank Army, Meierdress managed to halt the Soviet assault, destroying many Soviet T-34s, but at the cost of the majority of the division's remaining operational panzers.
While the SS-Panzerkorps had halted the Soviet counteroffensive and inflicted heavy casualties, it had exhausted itself and was no longer capable of offensive action.

Jshistww2 (talk) 21:55, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

That does not mean its tanks were detroyed. They were simply not operational, thats a difference. Wiki is also not a source. StoneProphet (talk) 00:55, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

External reference "La Batalla de Prokhorovka from Panzertruppen.org" points to proto-nazi site[edit]

The external reference La Batalla de Prokhorovka from Panzertruppen.org points to a proto-nazi web site whose purpose, according to its home page is to commemorate the German WW2 army and displays such insignia. The email contact for the site is okh1939@gmail.com [okh = Oberkommando des Heeres = supreme high command of the army]. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jshistww2 (talkcontribs) 05:23, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

When I clink that EL, Firefox gets rather CPU intensive, but doesn't open the page. Also, http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/scanner/?scan=www.panzertruppen.org shows the site as infected with malware. I am removing it as a precaution. (Hohum @) 01:22, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Most of the battle a myth?[edit]

I read somewhere that some Russian historian had written that most of the battle did not take place as described, that in fact most of the Soviet losses were incurred when they drove into their own anti-tank defences, and that the myth of a titanic battle took place because the generals in charge all assumed they would be shot by Stalin if he ever found out the truth--is this the Samsonov referred to in the above-thread? Historian932 (talk) 20:50, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Recent reinserting of the Soviet claims[edit]

I removed those outdated Soviet claims which were recently cluttered throughout the article. They were presented as most recent "research" claiming to be more accurate than the other sources which were teared down as beeing based on allegedly flawed German sources. Actually its the opposite around. In fact the dispute regarding German casualties has been mostly settled now, as all recent sources have acknowledged that the Soviet exaggerated claims regarding the battle were not true. The Soviet myth of hundreds of destroyed German including large numbers of Tigers tanks has been debunked, this is finished. I also removed the rest, its probably not that interesting that Zhukov was speecheless when he reached the battlefield. The sources which were used to reference those claims were also not very appropriate: strange web pages, google books, web-sites in Russian (probably some online version of Soviet books), interviews from decades ago and so on. It seems those sources were also misused, used to back-up OR or not correctly understood by the editor (switching between different scopes of the battle/areas of operations, using entries of German diaries as proof etc.). E.g. one link - used to ref the claim that the German tank losses were at 300 - also directly links to the Kosave study which states the complete opposite (and is already in the article). I also tried to find some of the claims/numbers in the linked "sources", but was not able to find what has been written into the article. One of the linked sources was apparently a Russian version of Zamulins book, who himself rejects the Soviet myths and states (like all reliable historians today) that the German numbers and casualties have been massivly inflated by the Soviets. The Soviet fantasy version of German losses being several times higher than their actual strenght, which had been promoted for decades, should not be reinserted into the article. StoneProphet (talk) 21:13, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

If cas figures are true, this article desperately needs more explanation[edit]

I realize based on reading the other incredulous posts on the talk page that the sources apparently really do say that the Germans lost 6 tanks and the Soviets lost 334. That's still an utterly staggering tank kill ratio of better than 55:1, far higher than any other single tank-on-tank engagement of the war and far higher than even the total Eastern Front average for the entire war, which I believe was somewhere around 25 or 30:1.

55:1 knockout ratio in a single battle is a statistical massacre, even for the Soviets. The German loss ratio of only .6% of their force with a better than 1 kill + 5 damaged per tank rate from a meeting engagement is even more staggering. As in historically unprecedented murderous efficacy unknown by any meeting engagement of tanks in the history of warfare.

Why is there not more detail given as to how precisely this came to be? Was each German tank crewed by clones of Michael Wittman? Did the Soviets start exploding spontaneously out of fear? Did the Luftwaffe actually kill them all and the comment about "the world's biggest tank battle" is actually grossly misleading? Pardon my confusion but I'd be just as surprised if I read about an American infantry company bumping into a Wehrmacht battalion on patrol and ending up killing a company and a half of them and wounding another three companies with only 6 dead to show for it. Vintovka Dragunova (talk) 16:26, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

37 mm vulnerability versus unprotected fuel, dubious statement with cited source[edit]

The T-34 article says it had 16 mm of armor on the turret top, 20 mm on the hull top and 30 mm on the turret rear. These are defense against heavy machine guns not light cannon. An airplane has little reason to shoot at the front of a tank. David R. Ingham (talk) 01:16, 28 January 2013 (UTC)


(My) methodology for choosing sources[edit]

Since the details of this battle have suffered from both pro-Soviet and pro-German exaggeration, it is imperative that editors clearly understand what makes a piece of information credible and reliable. There are hardly any wholly unreliable sources, instead certain information or data presented in a source may be dubious. Here are a few tips for editors on things that characterize credible information for this article (or any article for a military history):

  • Numbers that originated from memoirs or accounts by German or Soviet commanders should not be taken without cautious scrutiny. Those kinds of sources can be very good for understanding the views of the commanders and the decisions enacted.
  • Numbers that originated from the works of Soviet historians dating to the earlier years of the Cold War should not be taken without some deliberation. Also note that the works of some western historians are based on these bogus sources.
  • Information from Soviet military archives (records of orders, reports, directives, critiques and assessments prepared by the military units being discussed about) are the preferred origin for numbers regarding the Soviet force. More often than not, the information and data presented in the archives were compiled to the best of the knowledge of the individuals responsible for compiling them. This is because the numbers were meant for the eyes of the military leaders and commanders, and therefore had to depict a sufficiently correct picture of the situation.
  • Information from German military archives (records of orders, reports, directives, critiques and assessments prepared by the military units being discussed about) of the Wehrmacht are the preferred origin for numbers regarding the Wehrmacht. More often than not, the information and data presented in the archives were compiled to the best of the knowledge of the individuals or staff responsible for compiling them. This is because the numbers were meant for the eyes of the military leaders and commanders, and therefore had to depict a sufficiently correct picture of the situation.
  • It is also important to understand that discrepancy is perfectly normal with numbers even from military archives.Some times different military reports and documents produced by different military staffs or individuals for the same event would present slightly different numbers and information, and these are usually results of human error or the limitations imposed by the chaos of war or both. The chaos of war, the impossibility to have access to every possible information and the guarantee of human error means that bits of details will be missed, misreported or overlooked by whomever is transcribing the commander's order or compiling the military document or reporting the losses. But also, the methodology followed by the compiler, transcriber or reporter could also affect the final result. A very typical example that often rears its ugly head is, what are the criteria for the classifications of a tank casualty - that is, "unserviceable", "damaged" or "destroyed". These could often vary between different armed forces and even between formations. Another is, what about the counting of a soldier wounded twice as two WIA, or a soldier initially missing and as such counted as MIA but later confirmed dead and mistakenly counted again but as KIA. (These are purported to have happened a lot with the Red Army). Therefore, it is very important to note that the information and data presented in the archives were compiled to the best of the knowledge of the individuals responsible for compiling them, and is in no way an endorsement of accuracy; in fact, far from it. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for two or more historians using the same military archive to arrive at different values, and the main cause of such discrepancy is often their methodologies for interpreting the archival data which is often in the form of the different contexts and criteria they set for their selection of data from the military archives.

EyeTruth (talk) 06:22, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for sharing this, EyeTruth - it should be useful to new and experienced editors with an interest in military history.
Now, however, can you share your methodology for content-dispute resolution?! lol... Azx2 07:33, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
looooool Azx2. Hehehe. I only shared this because I did a massive rework of the article, so before I started I thought it would be a good idea to outline how the numbers and other information will be selected, since the numbers for this battle had been the centerpoint of almost every dispute in this article's talkpage. And when I finished the rework, I also summarized what I had done. (See below). My guarding principle is this: Referencing and citations are the acmic capstone of formal writing. Also, "true" and "false" is a matter of context, and sometimes opinion. This mentality is a rather familiar one, at least in my field. I approach content-dispute with the same mentality (See an example below). EyeTruth (talk) 16:18, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
(I'm in the mood of chattiness, :D). Take for example: whether the statement snow is always white is true or false depends on the specific context, and unless we know it, then the statement could be true or false. Pure snow is always white and impure snow may not always be white. Now, that is a statement with some more context, and it is practically true. But when in doubt, then cite who made what statement, unless of course it is the writer's original statement. EyeTruth (talk) 16:30, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Copyedits request[edit]

OK. So I think I'm 99% done with editing the content of this article. Giving that I'm no English prof, I think my rewrite of this article is in need of some "professional" copyediting if this article is to climb up the ladder. Anyone got an idea of where I can request for copyediting? (Not Guild of Copy Editors. They've got like a backlog of a billion requests). Also anyone skilled in copyediting can help. EyeTruth (talk) 22:15, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

A quick summary of my major rewrite[edit]

I just did a major rewrite (in a series of edits) to this article. I worked with primarily 6 sources, and some bits from several other sources. I also restructured the article to follow a chronological order. Every content in the article before my rewrite were retained provided they were cited. I also found citations for some passages that weren't cited. Other passages that were not cited and sounded dubious were eliminated. Some that were not cited but sounded plausible were left; and if they were in the middle of a cited paragraph, they were tagged with {{citation needed}}; and if at the end, they were left as is or tagged with {{citation needed}}. Excluding the intro of the article, the verifiability (i.e. citation-status) of every single passage in the article is evident – that is, the citation for the sources of every passage is provided, and if there is no cited source, you will be able to notice it. Since the intro is a summary of the article, the citations were not repeated for it; unless a piece of information only appeared in the intro, in which case it is cited. If you have any questions about my rewrite, feel free to ask. EyeTruth (talk) 22:15, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Who made the first move on 12 July[edit]

A primary source (the order issued to LAH on 11 July) also agrees that LAH was to launch a very limited offensive action early on 12 July (secure Lamki) and then go on defence until its neighbouring forces secured its flanks, then the real offensive action for the day will begin. Three secondary sources (Bergstrom, Glantz and Clark) agree that II SS Pz Corp (precisely LAH) made the first move by nudging towards Lamki. Rotmistrov, in his memoirs, concluded that the Germans made their move just as the Soviet started theirs. Based on the info added to the article, Brand or Nipe or both claimed that the Germans were waiting to start their main offensive for when the Soviets made their own move.

I do not see a contradiction in the various accounts above. EyeTruth (talk) 18:38, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Rotmistrov's account covers his actions but are not reconcilled to the record. Ribbentrop was having a cup of coffee when he saw purple tank attack warnings go up all across the front, and down to his right at Das Reich's forward positions. Brand looked through all the orders for Leibenstandarte and clearly provided the circumstance for what they expected to do. The assault by the 5th Gaurds Tank Army came as a surpise to the men in the field and their commanders, who should have detected the movement of large numbers of Soviet armour. Neither Ribbentrop nor any of his company were anticipating being in action till later in the day. It was better off (ie the narrative was more descriptive of the events) as I had it before, but I can come back and fix your edits later. Gunbirddriver (talk) 19:03, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
This has nothing to do with who was surprised or who was not (that will come later). I still do not see a contradiction in Brand's assessment you stated above with the other accounts. All the accounts above agree (or at least do not disagree) that LAH had not started carrying out their primary order for the day – i.e. attack Prokhorovka – when 5th GTA attacked. However, some of the accounts above agree (and none disagree) that LAH already started carrying out the prerequisite operation – attack Storozhevoe and Lamki – before 5th GTA showed up. I see no contradictions. The only problem and source of confusion I see here is lack of specific details. EyeTruth (talk) 19:52, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Who was surprised? Ribbentrop and his company were (Brand, Clark, Glantz and Barbier all agree on that). But the corps headquarters issued orders warning the divisions that the Soviets were preparing for a massive armoured attack (Clark). After all, since at least 9 July, the Germans had known about the 5th GTA's deployment near Prohorovka (Zamulin, Glantz, Clark). If we combine these information, a direct conclusion is that the higher commanders were aware of a possible Soviet attack but perhaps not all lower-level commanders had that same knowledge. This statement "The SS panzertruppen were taken by surprise", is not entirely incorrect and is an over-generalization. Now if Brand actually made such an over-generalization, then this will be a totally different ballpark. But I don't know if he did. Either ways, I haven't tampered with that sentenced. I'm just pointing out the issues with it. I think the problem we have here is lack of specific details. EyeTruth (talk) 19:52, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
No, Rotmistrov's narrative is what has dominated the descriptions of the battle, and it was reflected in how the battle was described here before I fixed it. Now it reflects his description again, of two armoured forces meeting in a huge clash, with Rotmistrov's T-34s racing to meet the advancing SS panzers. The article had left out his bit about the T-34s outmaneuvering and ramming the German Tiger tanks, but basicaally it repeated his account. That account did not reflect the battle. As it was a question of life or death for Rotmistrov, I can see why he would report the battle the way he did, but we do not operate under the same constraints. We should describe what happened based on the record. If you still do not see the problem than it may be a language issue. The Soviets launched a massed armoured attack against the II SS Corps, and the attack fell primarily on the most advanced unit, Liebstrandarte. Joachim Pieper's panzergrenadiers on the reverse (west) slope of Hill 252.2 were overrun. The I SS panzer battalion was at the bottom of hill 252.2, with Ribbentrop's company on the east side of the tank ditch, and the other two companies farther back behind him. Ribbentrop's company were in Pz IVs, not Tigers, and they were swamped by the advancing T-34s, and a melee ensued, with the T-34s held up at the base of the hill by the tank ditch. Orders for Liebenstandardte were cut at 22:50 on July 11th. The orders have Liebenstandardt awaiting the advance of Totenkopf on their left flank before Liebenstandardte was to jump off. Brand states:
This was the starting position for the German side. After that it is indisputable: Neither the commands given for July 12th nor the resulting behavior of the troops, and certainly not given the numbers of tanks and their locations provide a basis for July 12th, to be described as: "two gigantic tank groups, shrouded in dust, smoke and thunder swirling about in a tight space through successive avalanches."(FN 8).
There he is referring to Rotmistrov's description. Liebenstandardt was sitting still, just starting the day, when the massive assault of two Soviet tank corps came their way, and this is what the article should attempt to describe. Gunbirddriver (talk) 20:25, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't think I ever disagreed with anything you've just stated in the above post regarding Rotmistrov's narrative. Now let us return to the issues of who made the first move and who was surprised when the Soviets made their move. I think the problem we have for those are the lack of specific details. BTW, the article didn't repeat Rotmistrov's account of the battle. His works are not even in the bibliography of the article. They are not even among the principle sources used by any of the secondary sources on which the content of the Main engagement section is based. EyeTruth (talk) 20:42, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
If you don't disagree then you should refrain from coming behind me and changing the article's wording. Rotmistrov's account has dominated descriptions of the battle, and all earlier sources have been tainted by it, including Glantz and Clark. Details of what I added have been provided. They are descriptive and supporting references are citated. If people (including yourself) need more information than they have the option of reading the sources cited.
You are trying too hard to go off topic. The article doesn't repeat Rotmistrov's account of the battle. Without even having read Glantz or Clark, you claim that they are both tainted by Rotmistrov's account. If you've read them, you will know that they both criticized Rotmistrov's narrative. So can we now get back unto the main issues: who made the first move and who was surprised when the Soviets made their move? Very specific details is the solution to this confusion. See my posts above with this time stamp: "19:52, 10 July 2013" EyeTruth (talk) 21:24, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
One more thing. Did Brand explicitly say that LAH was sitting still, just starting the day, when the massive assault of two Soviet tank corps came? EyeTruth (talk) 20:45, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, he explicitly said that LAH was sitting still. He said it was obvious, based on the orders issued, the disposition of their forces, and the activities they were engaged in. I thought I already said that above. Gunbirddriver (talk) 21:03, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Ok, so the passage you stated above is it. This one: "Orders for Liebenstandardte were cut at 22:50 on July 11th. The orders have Liebenstandardt awaiting the advance of Totenkopf on their left flank before Liebenstandardte was to jump off." If so, then I still see no contradiction. EyeTruth (talk) 21:24, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Then revert your edit back to what I had.
Here is Dieter Brand commenting and quoting from Ribbentrop's account:
Rudolph von Ribbentrop, a company commander from the II Panzer Battalion / Panzer Regiment of the 1st SS Panzer Division, then a First Lieutenant, provides a vivid description of the atmosphere of the battle and the course on the morning of July 12th. He survived the hottest focus of the battle.(FN 31) His report is shortened here :. "... The day before we had fought across a Russian anti-tank ditch, where the other two companies had ascended into line now, while I, as a reserve company was still positioned behind the anti-tank ditch. The tank ditch ran across the front, and had a single transition point for the road to Prokhorovka ... This tank ditch was a slight dip before an 800 m long slope ... extended towards Prokhorovka, on top of which was the infantry somewhere. There was a profound silence... all units slept the sleep of exhaustion ... "
Prior to quoting Ribbentrop, Brand went through the orders for Liebenstandardt cut the night before and discussed the meaning of the orders based on the practices of the German army and meanings held within the German language, pointing out that what might seem vague to an outsider would be perfectly clear to German officers in the field. He was a Major General in the Bundeswehr and speaks from some experience both as to the German language and military customs of the German army. Gunbirddriver (talk) 21:34, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't disagree at all, since I have no reason or any basis supported by any source to disagree. Without a doubt, LAH – precisely its panzer regiment – was yet to begin its main task for the day when 5th GTA attacked. Brand also made that clear, and the other sources agree. So we don't have a problem of sources disagreeing, hence no contradiction. But also in the order issued for 12 July, a prerequisite minor operation was outlined which entailed nudging forward to secure Storozhevoe, and that was accomplished early-morning on 12 July just before 5th GTA attacked by one of LAH's panzer grenadier regiment. Three secondary sources all support that. Here I have a solution. Let's work this out civilly (I created a scratch pad below): EyeTruth (talk) 01:24, 11 July 2013 (UTC)


"Postliminary" (Section 5) ?[edit]

Is that a "real word"? What does it mean, exactly?97.64.209.102 (talk) 16:42, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Who considers the battle a tactical victory for the Germans?[edit]

Major General Dieter Brand for one. [1] The Soviets lost a tremendous amount of armour and were thrown back onto the defensive. Brand illustrates that the Germans electively decided to discontinue the offensive in part due pressure being exerted on 2nd and 9th Armies from the success of the Soviet Operation Kutuzov. In addition threats in the Mediterranean, with the Allied landing in Sicily on July 10th, meant that forces were needed elsewhere. Southern France was threatened with invasion, as was Italy. This being the case, the II SS Panzer Corps needed to be withdrawn, and the XXIV Panzer Corps was not released to exploit the position. Three other works have been listed in support as well - Clark, Nipe and Zetterling. Gunbirddriver (talk) 01:43, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Zamulin calls it a draw as neither side was able to achieve their objectives, which I think is a fair assessment. If you wanted to get into the nitty gritty, obviously the exchange ratios favored the Germans, but nonetheless they were not able to advance because of the heavy Soviet pressure. Furthermore, there was no immediate prospect of XXIV Panzer Corps reinforcing II SS-Panzer Corps. They were still rebuilding and had less than half the strength of III PzK at the start and hadn't left their positions to move north.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 02:01, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Interesting. I've been following the conversations and edits for the past few days. If it was a "tactical victory" then it was an extremely minor and local one, which illustrates the power of the Allies' military strategic superiority by this stage. I would call it a symbolic defeat of the offensive, as Stalingrad had been a defeat of German defensive prowess. The defeat was the fact that for the first time in the war, a major German offensive had to be ended due to overarching strategic pressures from other fronts. In that sense it was a " strategic defeat" in the sense that German offensive power in any meaningful sense was destroyed for the rest of the war, by the Heer's inability to plan and conduct offensives in isolation. Unsure if this has ever been seen as such by any published sources. Is Robin Cross a reliable source? He seems to have been the first to analyse true German/Soviet tank losses, but is Citadel otherwise a reliable source? Irondome (talk) 02:25, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, Manstein had hopes of using the XXIV Panzer Corps, though clearly it was not as powerful as the two corps used in the offensive. Was the Battle of Prokorovka a draw? Perhaps it is best seen this way. Certainly it was not the crushing defeat of the panzer force that the Russians claimed it was. But the Battle of Kursk overall, that is a different story. The Battle of Kursk was clearly a Soviet victory. It is certainly possible to win a battle and lose the war. Dieter Brand thought the Battle of Prokorovka was the classic example of Manstein's "Lost Victories", as the Germans were simply spread too thin to be able to take advantage of their success. Gunbirddriver (talk) 03:57, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't trust Robin Cross very much at all as I think that he's still using Cold War-era Soviet records, but it's been years so maybe I'm wrong. AFAIK the true scale of the Soviet tank losses at Prokorovka didn't become know until the late '90s. Manstein might have hoped to use XXIV PzK to reinforce any success; it was, after all, his only uncommitted mobile reserve. But he had to know that each of the three divisions only had about sixty tanks apiece at the start of the offensive.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 04:15, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Hi Sturmvogel. My edition of Cross I've just dug out. Its suprisingly early. My edition is 1993, published by BCA. So it looks as if he was the first western historian to break the true tank loss and ratio figures by nation, which has been revolutionary. He also provides a great daily graph of German "runners" in the SS Pzr units for a good chunk of Citadels Prokhorovka period. From a quick skim he seems to be talking a great Soviet tank loss. This looks like new material. I must reread it now. I remember the true losses he revealed really shocked me at the time. He is dodgy on his chronology of events though, by the look of it. Cheers Irondome (talk) 23:51, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

"Localised temporary German tactical success" As outcome text. Consensus?[edit]

It covers all the bases in terms of caveats. It mollifies many of the reverts that this text is subject to. It also covers the broad areas of the senses of the cites given to support that outcome. Temporary and localised are reflected in sources and mainspace cites and capture the complexity of the ongoing debate. Arguably it reaches broad academic consensus on the "outcome". Thoughts people? Cheers Irondome (talk) 23:38, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

I think describing the battle as a draw might be best. Gunbirddriver (talk) 06:30, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I reworded and shortened the long statement from "Localised temporary German tactical success at most, or tactically inconclusive" to "Localised, limited German tactical success". Hopefully that helped without altering the originally preferred message. EyeTruth (talk) 00:01, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for shortening without losing the spirit. It has been stable since I added that "compromise", and it had been a subject of frequent eds before. I assume the target stated above has been achieved. Cheers! Irondome (talk) 00:24, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Note. Re-added "temporary". Grounds: II SS Pzr Corps were withdrawn back to Belgorod by the 17th Aug. This means a holding of the forward positions achieved for less than 5 days. G&H 2004. pg 223. It will also stop terminal nit-pickers. Cheers! Irondome (talk) 02:37, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
What about removing "localized" to still keep it brief? I think "limited" and "temporary" relay the message just fine. (In fact, anything to make it shorter). Of all the battles on Wikipedia, it has one of the most verbose infobox-result and this is coming from a dude that thrives in verbosity :p. EyeTruth (talk) 02:44, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
An interesting point. I was mulling that myself earlier. But I have been persuaded against it after some thought. And a beer. Reasons. Localised and limited are not really repetition. Localised in terms of geographic area and limited in terms of actual operational achievement. P was not captured and Soviet military formations in the encounter were not terminally disrupted or destroyed. In fact the pressure was unrelenting. I think it is attempting to cover two discrete "results of outcome". Cheers! Irondome (talk) 03:06, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Well the other infoboxes had better get more clued then innit? This is probably one of the most edit-warred outcome articles of any engagement on WP. If 5 extra words stop a dumb edit war using 5k lol so be it. As I said above to reason the longer wording. Celebrate your verbosity mate :) Cheers! Irondome (talk) 03:10, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Still prefer a "draw" as neither side achieved their objectives for the day.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 03:35, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I do see Zamulin's point and actually like his big-picture perspective of the outcome. But other authors love to break it down into operational and tactical levels of success or failure. Which of the two approaches is more popular among tertiary sources? EyeTruth (talk) 03:43, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Modern studies seem to be interpreting it on a much more tactical and multi-scenario level. It may be an unitended result of the post cold-war attempt to historically "de-mythologise" P on new evidence. It cuts both ways outcome wise, but draw is no longer sufficient, I would argue. Irondome (talk) 04:13, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
GBD likes draw too.But that was a couple of weeks ago and the section stability may have swayed him hopefully. But draw doesnt capture the reality on several levels. Its that ambiguuity that attracts the we won no we won dickheads. This has kept it stable for weeks. I bet draw would kick off a load of editing crap from nationalist freaks of whatever colour. This seems to shut em up. The notes linked also support it well. Cheers! Irondome (talk) 03:47, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

My thinking on this has changed somewhat since reading further. The sources that comment tend to say the battle was "a tactical German victory, but..." July 12th was the day of the Soviet counteroffensive. In the north it went off as planned and is known as Operation Kutusov. In the south the 5th Tank Army took heavy losses against a panzer corps that was still very much intact. The fact that hundreds of Russian tanks were left burning on Hill 252.2 and that after attacking a single panzer division an entire Tank Army was placed onto the defensive would indicate the Germans had a better day than the Russians. The evidence is that it was the invasion of Sicily that shook the confidence of the German high command and brought the German offensive in the south to an end. The fact was that the Soviets were producing some 1500 T-34s a month, which was an astonishing number to the Germans. Thus the loss of 300, 400 or even 600 tanks was a loss that could be borne. Crew training was not as important to Stalin as it was to the German panzer forces. There was a callous disregard for human life in the Soviet command structure. The lifespan for a T-34 was a matter of two weeks, and this apparently did not trouble the Soviet command. During the quiet period that preceeded the battle replacement tanks had been stockpiled and the 5th Tank Army re-equipped back to full strength in a matter of three weeks. Thus for this battle I think giving both a tactical result and an operational result is important, and I believe it is most accurate to describe the day as belonging to the Germans, but that it did not change the overall situation. That is what we have now and the citations support those statements. If a source says "at best a German tactical victory" than one is compelled to call it such, or remove the citation and look for one that is more clear. Certainly you cannot claim such a citation indicates a draw, as the citation does not say it was a draw. It says it was a German tactical victory (at best). The author cited recognizes the events of the day resulted in heavy losses for the Soviets, but did not change the overall situation. The massive Soviet attack failed but prevented the Germans from advancing further that day. All things being equal the Germans would have resumed their drive. However, all things were not equal. The operation was called off when Hitler became nervous over events in the west, where he felt the vital battles would be fought. The infobox is intended to give a quick answer. To place a lot of qualifiers there is not helpful. The context is explained fully in the lead and at the end of the article. All is available to anyone who wants to know. The sources for the statements in the infobox are cited and quotations provided which make use of the very same words. Gunbirddriver (talk) 00:47, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

I totally agree. I assume it was that earlier rubbish IP edit {inconclusive did he say?) that has got you thinking. I support the evolution of this aspect of the battle, to our present position. The only loss of my original definition has been "temporary", which on reflection I think was a problematic synthesis I was guilty of. Localised and tactical still hold true and are supported by sources. Cheers Irondome (talk) 00:59, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, an IP editor has been reverting Tactical victory and has been claiming original research is the explanation for claiming it so. I cannot see calling the battle a draw, but I can see how it might be difficult to sort out. The sources cited all state it was a tactical victory for the II SS Panzer Corps, but do so with qualifications. Overall, the Germans were looking for a breakthrough in the battle of Kursk, and this never occured, but it seems to me the events of the day should not be confused with the overall result. A victory won in a campaign lost is how I see it. The Cold Harbor of the Russo-German conflict. The Battle of Kursk was clearly a Soviet victory overall, no question, but they did not win it at the Battle of Prokhorovka. July 12 was just the next day in the offensive for the Germans. For the Russians it was the day they started the counteroffensive. To the north they rolled over the 2nd Panzer Army and immediately threatened 9th Army. To the south they ran into the II SS Panzer Corps and were thrown back onto the defensive. Liebenstandarte did not fall back, and Totenkopf did get across the road above Prokhorovka. With a loss ratio heavily in favor of the Germans I think you are compelled to say they won the day, but one day's events do not make the whole story for the Battle of Kursk. Dieter Brand claims it was a clear cut victory, but even he adds this caveat:
Da die deutsche Seite ihren Erfolg vor Prochorowka nicht durch weiteres Verfolgen ihrer ursprünglichen Absicht ausnutzen konnte - und zwar nicht wegen des begrenzt erzielten Ergebnisses, sondern weil eben die Kräfte, die die erkämpften Handlungsoptionen hätten nutzen können, nicht verfügbar gemacht wurden -, ist der am 12.7. zweifelsfrei errungene Sieg einer der von Manstein so treffend benannten "verlorenen Siege".
Which essentially says:
the German side could not take advantage of their success at Prokhorovka by further pursuing their original intent - not because of the limited achieved result, but because the forces that had won the action were not made available – thus the battle fought on July 12th was without doubt one of von Manstein’s aptly named "lost victories".
I think the word "local" may help. I must say I could be wrong and the IP right. The point is to communicate the ideas of what happened in a way that is concise. "Indecisive" is what he had, but if we called it "Inconclusive" would that more accurately reflect the events of the day? I think not, but I can see the position. If we did we would need a citation that said "Inconclusive" instead of tactical German victory with qualifiers. Thanks. Gunbirddriver (talk) 04:32, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
"Inconclusive" is the worst word to use in this context. A meaningless panacea term. Almost as lazy a term as "Blitzkreig" :) I would vehemently oppose its usage here. Irondome (talk) 04:45, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Oh, oh... well... the word which must not be spoken! Okay. Gunbirddriver (talk) 04:51, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

(Moved down from above) I hope someone will ask editory Diannaa to stop inserting original research into this article. The cited sources do not say that Prokharovka was a German tactical victory. They say "at best" a tactical victory, or that Germans "could claim" it was a tactical victory, meaning there is doubt about whether it was. The third source doesn't call it a tactical victory at all. Wikipedia should stick to the language of the sources.. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.191.213.248 (talk) 05:54, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

There is a discussion on this below. It is a difficult thing to describe succinctly. Our solution has been to give a tactical result and an operational result. Multiple sources state the battle was a tactical German victory on the basis of the loss ratio, but operationally neither the Germans nor the Soviets attained their objectives. Feel free to offer an opinion. Diannaa however is a librarian who is helping us to keep the article encyclopedic. Pretty much all I offer her is my sincere thanks. Gunbirddriver (talk) 20:52, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Even the cited sources show considerable disagreement as to whether it was a tactical victory or not. But lets assume that those who say it was a tactical victory were correct. Others claim that Prokharovka was a Russian operational victory. Showalter is emphatic that it was a Russian operational and a German tactical victory. And Showalter is cited as one of two sources who claim that Prokharovka was a German tactical victory. Therefore it is reasonable to cite him as a source for the claim that Prokharovka was a Russian operational victory and to reflect the article text to include that claim.

Since there is no consensus among historians about these matters, the article should reflect that lack of consensus. To do otherwise is to mislead the readers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.191.213.248 (talk) 07:40, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

The sources cited supporting German tactical victory all say it was a German tactical victory, and they all say that overall it did not change the outcome for the Battle of Kursk. Brand points out that the reason the German success of 12 July was not followed up was due to events elsewhere. If you are writing about a battle and then make comments on the result based on events elsewhere you are bringing in a different topic. It is the difference between the Battle of Prokharovka and the Battle of Kursk. There is an article on the Battle of Kursk, and the article is clear on the outcome. The Soviets won a clear victory in the Battle of Kursk. However that was not due to the events at Prokharovka. Following the Battle of Prokharovka the offensive capabilities of the II SS Panzer Corps were still intact. The same cannot be said of the 5th Guards Tank Army. This article should reflect those facts. Gunbirddriver (talk) 16:44, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Dunn paragraph[edit]

Dunn believes that the 10th Panzer Brigade was a Tiger training brigade and may have participated in the battle. The truth is that the brigade was the higher HQ for the two Panther Battalions attached to GD and had no Tigers at all. Dunn, being a Soviet specialist, must have been following Cold War-era Soviet sources to screw up so badly. I propose to delete the entire paragraph.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 03:35, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

I once deleted it when I was reworking the article but returned it out of courtesy to my personally laid out criteria of not deleting any existing content that was cited. Instead I switched it from Wikipedia's voice to Dunn's voice. I support deletion. EyeTruth (talk) 03:47, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Delete. Sturmvogel, do you have a cite for that to balance things? Then we can replace cite for cite. It may be hard finding one though, maybe tables of organisation for GD at time? Cheers Irondome (talk) 03:51, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Look at Zetterling & Frankson, p. 63 for mention of the 10th Pz X.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 01:56, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Or see Newton (2002), p. 75. Also, Ord of bat from Glantz & House 2004, p. 286 also show it. 10th Pz Brigade > 39th Pz Regiment > 51st and 52nd Pz Battalions (both attached to Panzerfüsilier Regiment of Grossdeutschland Division). EyeTruth (talk) 03:46, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Cheers all. Irondome (talk) 21:02, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Pictures from Memorial Prochorovka[edit]

Hi,

I took some pictures there this summer. Is it okay to show the link here?

Greetings from Germany

JO — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:8109:8100:1B8:78CA:1310:6195:100B (talk) 07:40, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

They are your pictures, thus there are no copyright issues with them. That being the case, you could load them up to wikimedia commons. We might be able to use them in the article, or elsewhere. Thanks! Gunbirddriver (talk) 17:34, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

"Soviet air-to-ground communication system failed...."[edit]

Just re this sentence. I dont have the supporting refs to hand. I assume this means that Soviet CAS radio or landline links supplied to Soviet V.V.S teams on the ground failed thus hampering effective and co-ordinated ground attack strikes? Cheers all Irondome (talk) 01:11, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and made some edits on the air section, purely based on my best educated guess on this. Added Rudel too. Involved eds, please feel free to revert and/or trout. Cheers! Irondome (talk) 02:56, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

The Difference between net losses and total losses.[edit]

Healy 2008 pg 346 and Glantz and House 1999 pg. 212 agree precisely on the NET loss in operable AFVs suffered by the 3 SS divisions at Prokharovka between 12 July and 13 July. Healy says it was 43. I have no idea why, when citing Healy, another editor changed 43 to 40, and claimed that 40 was the total number damaged.DannyKalb (talkcontribs) 03:19, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

That is because just above we had listed that the Germans had suffered 3 - 5 tanks destroyed. Tanks destroyed would be part of the net loss. Thus in adding that 43 tanks had been damaged and temporarily removed from service in addition to those already listed destroyed you had inadvertently counted those vehicles twice. Gunbirddriver (talk) 01:15, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Healy writes there was "a differential of just 43 machines from the total of 294 available at dawn on the 12th". Differential means net. It means that the number of AFVs withdrawn from service MINUS the number returned to service was 43. Glantz and House agree. They provide figures for AFV strength in each of the three divisions which total 251, the exact same number and thus the exact same differential loss as Healy. There is no contradiction.

Glantz and House also state on pg. 212 that "Das Reich had repaired enough vehicles to rise to 83 tanks and 24 assault guns." Thus some vehicles were returned to service on July 13. Thus the total number of vehicles withdrawn from service must necessarily be larger than 43, since 43 was the net loss which equals total number removed from service minus total number returned to service, and the total number returned to service was larger than zero.

Since Glantz & House and Healy all provide the exact figure of a net loss of 43 AFVs, Healy would only contradict Glantz & House if the latter contradicted themselves. But they do not. They state "the Corps lost between 60 and 70 of its armored vehicles in combat on July 12." 60 or 70 is the total number, not the differential loss. It means that on July 13 between 17 and 27 vehicles were returned to service in the three SS divisions.

If the other editor has figures for the TOTAL number of vehicles withdrawn from service on July 12-13 that differ from Glantz and House's estimate then by all means let him state what those other estimates are. But it is simply false to say that Healy 2008 contradicts Glantz and House on this matter.

The other editor further volunteers that the German assaults on the 13 July did not fail due to AFVs withdrawn from service. That question is extraneous to the question of how many AFVs were withdrawn from service. It should be up to the reader to decide if the temporary loss of 60-70 AFVs out of 294 adversely impacted the fighting capabilities of the three SS divisions. Deciding on behalf of the reader that the number lost on 13 July didn't matter doesn't help a reader who, for whatever reason, may wish to know how many tanks were temporarily lost on 13 July. That reader has a right to know.DannyKalb (talkcontribs) 03:19, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes, the fact that the German assaults on the 13 July did not fail due to AFVs withdrawn from service is extraneous to how many tanks were removed from service. This edit comment was not directed at the question you suppose, but was directed at your own earlier edit comment. The other editor you are speaking of noted that when you made this change you commented in your edit summary "The high number of inoperable German tanks sustained in was a major factor in failure of 13 July German offensive." This assertion is not supportable, as German tank strength was actually greater on 13 July than it was on 11 July. In noting this Brand states:
So ist z.B. der Bestand an einsatzbereiten Gefechtsfahrzeugen der beiden Divisionen LAH und R am Vorabend vor den Gefechten bei Prochorowka mit 186 Pz, StGsch und PzJg (Sfl) angegeben, und für den Tag danach, d.h. den 13.7., mit 190. Das heißt also, dass das II. SS Pz.K seine Kampfkraft trotz der "größten Panzerschlacht der Weltgeschichte" ungebrochen halten konnte.
To adjust the loss column by adding in total tanks damaged in all three divisions on the one side and contrasting them with only those tanks in a single unit utterly destroyed on the other side is an apples to oranges comparison. Such comparisons distort the event. If we are to start changing one set of numbers to be broader in what is being counted (destroyed tanks plus tanks that suffered damage), we have to count the opposite side in the same manner, and we should attempt to include all units involved, not just the 5th Guards Tank Army. The 5th Guards Tank Army came up against Leibstandarte, but Totenkopf had its on fight against the 10th Tank Corps and the remainder of the 1st Tank Army, and Das Reich had to battle the 2nd Tank Corps and the 2nd Guards Tank Corps. I have not noted editor DannyKalb consistent in regards to drilling down on this question. If we can get better numbers than I am all for it, but we cannot count equipment sent off to get wireless antennas repaired on the one side and then only count vehicles that were smouldering hulks on the other side and claim we have better illustrated what happened. Gunbirddriver (talk) 03:29, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

If the other editor can cite a source for total withdrawals from service which differs from the Glantz and House estimates then by all means he should state what those other sources are. But citing a figure (that Glantz and House themselves refer to) of 43 AFVs net loss to try and contradict a total loss of 60-70 on 13 July is comparing apples to oranges. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DannyKalb (talkcontribs) 03:19, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

The other editor claims that both Brand and Frieser contradicts Glantz and House. That may be the case. Since their works are written in German and published in Germany there is no practical way to verify his claim. He should quote what both Brand and Frieser say. He doesn't need to translate it. I know a native German speaker. DannyKalb (talk) 03:34, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Were destoyed APCs considered to be AFVs in the German definition of destruction/damage? Simple point, but I just want it clarified. I assume no such ambiguity is in the sorces? Irondome (talk) 04:32, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
They had their own line on the damage reports so far as I know.
The books I read speak of tanks and assault guns.DannyKalb (talk) 06:33, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
I tallied the reports as of 18:00 11 July and 12 July from the KOSAVE II study and came up with the totals of 6 tanks reported destroyed, 4 Pz IV from LSSAH and 2 Pz III from TK and 36 reported damaged, including attached assault guns. Coupled with the 19 vehicles reported repaired, the on-hand strengths add up exactly between the two days. Interestingly, the numbers under repair as of 18:00 12 July are generally much higher than the total of destroyed + damaged. I suspect that there's some double-counting going on between these two categories, but DR reports 51 tanks and assault guns under repair; LSSAH, 59; and TK, 42. That said I think that the differences between the two days' strengths is the most definitive number we've got since KOSAVE used the strength returns from each division and its attachments. BTW, Sd.Kfz. 250 and 251s were also lost or damaged in very small numbers.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 06:02, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
Nipe estimates 70-80 SS tanks rendered inoperable at Prokhorovka, similar to Glantz and House's estimate of 60-70 rendered inoperable. I added a citation for Nipe to the article and changed the estimated range to 60-80.

The differences between the two days strengths is by definition an underestimate of the number of AFVs rendered inoperable at Prokhorovka, because some AFVs were returned to service with Das Reich on July 13. Nipe speaks of other returns on that day as well. The total number of AFVs rendered inoperable on July 13 would have been 43 (the difference between the two days strengths) plus whatever the estimated number of returns was on July 13. As I mentioned, this could be anywhere from Glantz and House's low estimate of 17 returns to Nipe's high estimate of 37. DannyKalb (talk) 06:33, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Read what I wrote a little more carefully; I said nothing about the 13th. KOSAVE gives strength reports for the evening of the day of; I'm not sure where everybody else got their data or for what time it is. The difference between the report for the evenings of 11 July and 12 July is as I stated before. KOSAVE tracks returns from repair and, as far as I know, estimates nothing. During that same period returns were 8 Pz IIIs and a Tiger to DR and 10 StuGs to LSSAH's attached StuG Abteilung. I don't know off-hand when combat petered out on 12 July, it might have been continuing in some sectors past 18:00. Returns between the evenings of 12 and 13 July were 8 to DR and 0 to the other divisions.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 06:54, 4 November 2013 (UTC)


I get it. You say that on July 12 there were 19 returns. That would be consistent with Glantz's lower estimate. In other words, the difference between the number of AFVs available before the battle on the 12th and after it was 43. There were 19 returns on the 12 July. Thus the total losses on 12 July were 19 + 43 = 62, which is within Glantz & House's range of 60-70 SS AFV losses for Prokharovka. If somehow the 8 returns on the 13th came in soon enough to be counted in the days order of battle then perhaps the total losses might even have been 19 + 8 + 43 = 70. Thus I see your review of the KOSAVE data as consistent with Glantz's estimate. That is good because we are not supposed to do original research for Wikipedia. But it is clear that Glantz & House's estimate of 60-70 SS AFVs lost at Prokhorovka is not an outlier but rather is consistent with what others have found. In my view we should go with Glantz & House's estimate, barring any last minute additional analyses found by people who can read German. DannyKalb (talk) 07:45, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Where's the GA symbol?[edit]

According to the talk page, this article is a GA, yet I don't see the GA symbol in the upper right-hand corner. Is this due to a bot malfunction, or has the GA reviewer forgot to add the symbol? AmericanLemming (talk) 03:52, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

I think Legobot usually adds it. Somehow this one got missed, so I have added it now. -- Diannaa (talk) 04:03, 3 January 2014 (UTC)