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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
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Battle of Prokhorovka
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
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Posted: Monday, July 22, 2019 - 04:10 AM UTC
I found this PDF file on the Battle of Prokhorovka which totally conflicts with previous histories:
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/16161262.2019.1606545
It claims to be meticulously compiled from German and Soviet records, and air recon photos. It's a PDF therefore a long read. Any comments on this? I realize not everything on the internet is necessarily true!
deathdork
Joined: March 26, 2007
KitMaker: 262 posts
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Posted: Monday, July 22, 2019 - 05:18 AM UTC
Thank you for pointing this article out.

The what if side of me wonders how things would have turned out had the Soviets not ignored their own and effective anti-tank ditch
Dioramartin
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New South Wales, Australia
Joined: May 04, 2016
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Posted: Monday, July 22, 2019 - 10:51 PM UTC
Oh dear how tiresome, trying to make out a few blurry aerial views re-write the evidence that has been available for many years from German & Soviet archives. The author’s Conclusion falls flat in its first sentence viz “…the Soviets suffered a major defeat…”. There is little remaining dispute that the AFV loss ratio was approx. 9 to 1 in the German’s favour, although the reported losses on both sides (if taken solely from daily reports) don’t fully account for how many “losses” were subsequently recovered, repaired and put back into action - it's very complicated. The true figures on both sides will forever be disputed and it’s not hard to understand why. Whichever side you were on, it was the immense pressure to give the best possible spin on your own losses to your superiors in daily reports – to risk telling the truth risked at best demotion, at worse the firing squad.

The plain fact is that the GERMANS suffered a major defeat – their objective was to isolate and reduce a large section of the Soviet army via the Kursk pincer movement - THEY FAILED! The Soviet objective was to lure the Germans into exactly that tactic and destroy enough of their forces to render any further offensive capability impossible. THEY SUCCEEDED! The proof being that from the battle of Prokhorovka onwards the Germans were in retreat right through to the battle of the Reichstag, Berlin in April 1945. So please tell me in what way the Soviets suffered a major defeat? Major losses yes absolutely, but they – unlike the Germans – could “afford” them.

I find it particularly interesting that (in my opinion) the most balanced and scholarly work of recent times is not even mentioned in the author’s references – probably because his thesis wouldn’t stand up to it. I refer to Mark Healy’s “Zitadelle”, which reviewed most of the other sources quoted. If you're looking for the best available account (with many excellent photos) I recommend that book, and I have no connection with it or the author.

jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: April 10, 2011
KitMaker: 7,309 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 01:11 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Oh dear how tiresome, trying to make out a few blurry aerial views re-write the evidence that has been available for many years from German & Soviet archives. The author’s Conclusion falls flat in its first sentence viz “…the Soviets suffered a major defeat…”. There is little remaining dispute that the AFV loss ratio was approx. 9 to 1 in the German’s favour, although the reported losses on both sides (if taken solely from daily reports) don’t fully account for how many “losses” were subsequently recovered, repaired and put back into action - it's very complicated. The true figures on both sides will forever be disputed and it’s not hard to understand why. Whichever side you were on, it was the immense pressure to give the best possible spin on your own losses to your superiors in daily reports – to risk telling the truth risked at best demotion, at worse the firing squad.

The plain fact is that the GERMANS suffered a major defeat – their objective was to isolate and reduce a large section of the Soviet army via the Kursk pincer movement - THEY FAILED! The Soviet objective was to lure the Germans into exactly that tactic and destroy enough of their forces to render any further offensive capability impossible. THEY SUCCEEDED! The proof being that from the battle of Prokhorovka onwards the Germans were in retreat right through to the battle of the Reichstag, Berlin in April 1945. So please tell me in what way the Soviets suffered a major defeat? Major losses yes absolutely, but they – unlike the Germans – could “afford” them.

I find it particularly interesting that (in my opinion) the most balanced and scholarly work of recent times is not even mentioned in the author’s references – probably because his thesis wouldn’t stand up to it. I refer to Mark Healy’s “Zitadelle”, which reviewed most of the other sources quoted. If you're looking for the best available account (with many excellent photos) I recommend that book, and I have no connection with it or the author.




Ditto!
J
Biggles2
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Joined: January 01, 2004
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Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 03:07 AM UTC
That is why I expressed my possible doubts on the authenticity and relevancy of the article. The air recon photos are so low res and low contrast that it's impossible to distinguish a tank from a tree. And even if the Germans had lost only 100 tanks, that would have taken a month's production to replace, not to mention any further losses in the interim. Russian losses seem to be mostly light tanks and older 76mm-armed T-34's. The newer generation of T-34 85's were on the way, and on a much faster production schedule.
Any German "victory" was just a flash in the pan, and a minor set-back for the Soviets.
TopSmith
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Washington, United States
Joined: August 09, 2002
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Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 01:39 PM UTC
Kursk was a large series of battles. The Russians in the end won. However, that does not mean all went well in the process. This was only a setback for the Russians that did not change the final outcome. Most large battles have things that do not go well for both sides.
chris1
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Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: October 25, 2005
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Posted: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 02:13 PM UTC
I'll sit down and have a read of it because

A) I'm currently doing,understanding Research methods for my degree
B)i.if its bad I'll have an example of how not to do it.
ii.if it's good I may learn something new.