1⁄35Breaching the Citadel
Episode 4 – Breaching the Citadel By the afternoon of Day 2 (6th July 1943) on the northern salient of the battle(s) of Kursk, Model’s forces had reached the outskirts of Ponyri town following in the wake of massive ground and air bombardments. In 48 hours they had already sustained around 10,000 casualties due to relentless counter-bombardments and combined armour/infantry/air force counter-attacks, and the Soviets had suffered even greater losses up to this point. The German advance slowed to a near-halt all along the line as it encountered the second and third defensive belts of minefields, anti-tank batteries and entrenched fortifications built up over the past months by the Russians. At Ponyri, yard by yard over the next few days the Wermacht’s offensive ground down Marshal Rokossovsky’s defenders in a street-fighting nightmare into which both sides poured ever-increasing numbers of men and machines... This batch of photos attempts to depict the front-line troops on both sides enduring the unendurable. As usual there are no digitised tricks, they’re all clean through the lens. Ep 5 next time –Attrition.
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