The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

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The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

Post by Cult Icon » 03 Nov 2021 16:10

https://www.helion.co.uk/military-histo ... ume-1-.php

Anyone have a table of contents/preview pages for this book?

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Re: The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Nov 2021 06:36

Cult Icon wrote:
03 Nov 2021 16:10
https://www.helion.co.uk/military-histo ... ume-1-.php

Anyone have a table of contents/preview pages for this book?
Frieser in GSWW v.7 documents decisively, AFAICS, that Hitler did not push Zitadelle on his generals - they were mostly on board. That makes me a little suspicious of Zamulin's research on the German side but I'm sure the book will contain great stuff on the Soviet side.
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Re: The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Nov 2021 15:52

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Nov 2021 06:36

Frieser in GSWW v.7 documents decisively, AFAICS, that Hitler did not push Zitadelle on his generals - they were mostly on board. That makes me a little suspicious of Zamulin's research on the German side but I'm sure the book will contain great stuff on the Soviet side.
Model, commander of the 9th Army did not like the operation and was assigned the North pincer. Manstein liked it. Interestingly enough the same units/commanders that fought in the North had previously fought in the "Rzhev meatgrinder/Operation Mars" and had executed heavy-breakthrough/streamroller counterattacks.

I have this book on order now and it looks like I'll answer my own question. My guess is that vol. 1 is mostly about the German side and vol 2. the Soviet.

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Re: The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

Post by mars » 13 Nov 2021 20:05

Cult Icon wrote:
12 Nov 2021 15:52
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Nov 2021 06:36

Frieser in GSWW v.7 documents decisively, AFAICS, that Hitler did not push Zitadelle on his generals - they were mostly on board. That makes me a little suspicious of Zamulin's research on the German side but I'm sure the book will contain great stuff on the Soviet side.
Model, commander of the 9th Army did not like the operation and was assigned the North pincer. Manstein liked it. Interestingly enough the same units/commanders that fought in the North had previously fought in the "Rzhev meatgrinder/Operation Mars" and had executed heavy-breakthrough/streamroller counterattacks.

I have this book on order now and it looks like I'll answer my own question. My guess is that vol. 1 is mostly about the German side and vol 2. the Soviet.
The vol 1 includes both German and Soviet perspective, and yes Model did not like this operation from the start, Manstein supported it but later had some reservation, and the vol 1 explains the reason for the delay of the operations and Soviet's prepare for the defense in Apr and May

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Re: The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

Post by Cult Icon » 15 Nov 2021 18:11

Half of the text ( up to pg 258) covers German, the rest Soviet.

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Re: The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

Post by Cult Icon » 16 Nov 2021 13:55

description for vol. 2 (release Jan 2022):

Volume 2 is devoted to the preparation by Moscow of hostilities near Kursk in the spring and early summer of 1943 and consists of two parts. Part I analyzes the activities of the Stavka B of the Air Command, the General Staff of the Red Army, the command of the Central and Voronezh fronts to restore troops after the battles in the winter of 1942-1943 and their strengthening before the summer campaign. All events in the north and south of the Kursk Bulge are considered in parallel, in strict chronological sequence, which allows the author to provide a detailed account of the preparation for the Battle of Kursk.

One of the most interesting and important sections of the first part is devoted to the analysis and assessment of the level of professional training of the senior and higher command levels of the Central and Voronezh fronts. The difficult situation in the leadership of the 70th and 48th armies of the Central Front, which developed in the spring of 1943, is examined in detail, as well as the socio-demographic data and professional qualities of the commanders of the rifle divisions that formed the basis of the fronts defending the Kursk arc. For the material for this section the author not only collected materials from Russian archives and museums, but also amongst the families of the officers throughout Russia and in the republics of the former USSR. This section also provides a significant array of recently declassified statistical data on the state of the formations of the three main branches of the armed forces (rifle, tank and artillery) of the Central and Voronezh fronts and their defense at the beginning of the battles.

In the second part the author describes the Red Army’s planning in the area of the Kursk salient in late June - early July 1943, and also considers the major problems that arose for them during this period. This part links together material presented in both volumes. In it, for the first time, unknown documents of the contending forces, are discussed in detail. There is detailed coverage of the work carried out by the headquarters of the Central and Voronezh fronts in late June - early July to determine the date and time of the beginning of the offensive of the German troops, was analyzed.

In the preparation of both parts of Volume 2 a complex array of recently declassified Soviet documents, including operational material of brigade or divisional headquarters were used, along with additional archival sources and memoirs of the participants.

At the same time, in order to answer a number of important questions that have been actively discussed by Russian and Western historians in the postwar period, the author utilises a wide range of captured German sources from the US National Archives, which allow us to not only expand our understanding of those events, but to clarify a number of facts and details, and to provide a more balanced, reasonable assessment of the events that took place in the in the spring and early summer of 1943.

The book includes an appendix with significant statistical material, summarized in tables, which will help the reader to better comprehend what is stated in the text of the book. In addition, it is illustrated by rare photographs collected in domestic and foreign archives, in museums and private collections.

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Re: The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

Post by Boby » 17 Nov 2021 12:58

Cult Icon wrote:
12 Nov 2021 15:52
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Nov 2021 06:36

Frieser in GSWW v.7 documents decisively, AFAICS, that Hitler did not push Zitadelle on his generals - they were mostly on board. That makes me a little suspicious of Zamulin's research on the German side but I'm sure the book will contain great stuff on the Soviet side.
Model, commander of the 9th Army did not like the operation and was assigned the North pincer.
Model opinion was irrelevant. His boss was Kluge and he approved it.

Also irrelevant were Guderian, Gehlen and co.

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Re: The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

Post by Cult Icon » 17 Nov 2021 14:47

Boby wrote:
17 Nov 2021 12:58
Model opinion was irrelevant. His boss was Kluge and he approved it.
Model commanded the 9th Army's attack and then the subsequent defense against the much longer/ultimately more impactful Orel Operation..., there is a viewpoint that he had low confidence and utilitzed his resources to fight two battles instead of one. Vol. 1 of this book has a presentation of the 9th Army's concerns, I am eager to read it later. An obvious factor is the too low infantry strengths of the 9th Army's units even on July 4th, limiting their offensive potential.

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Re: The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

Post by Jan-Hendrik » 17 Nov 2021 16:26

Model was mainly concerned that is InfDivs. would not be refitted fast enough after the winter/spring combat....and he was right!

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Re: The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

Post by Pascal. Kullmann. » 17 Nov 2021 16:38

Cult Icon wrote:
17 Nov 2021 14:47
Boby wrote:
17 Nov 2021 12:58
Model opinion was irrelevant. His boss was Kluge and he approved it.
An obvious factor is the too low infantry strengths of the 9th Army's units even on July 4th, limiting their offensive potential.
And the fact that some of these divs assaulted the most reinforced sector of the Kursk defensive belts (13.A, Ponyri).

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Re: The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

Post by Cult Icon » 24 Nov 2021 04:36

Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
17 Nov 2021 16:38
And the fact that some of these divs assaulted the most reinforced sector of the Kursk defensive belts (13.A, Ponyri).
There are some German advantages though:

Significant artillery superiority (in volume fired but in big inferiority in numbers of guns and mortars despite the large number of GHQ assets) and a relatively narrow front to concentrate their fires. (752 guns and 165 rocket projectors). There were also two Arko there.

747 tanks and assault guns. Also a collection of specialized assets (3 FKL companies equipped with Borgward BIV, 2 Goliath-equipped companies, 2 battering-ram like Ferdinand battalions, 1 Sturmpanzer IV battalion, 1 Tiger battalion, etc.).

Moderate air superiority, the expenditure of 12,823 sorties (by July 15th) by 1st Air division with fighter sweeps and (2/3rds of sorties) attacks by dive bombers and medium bombers. However despite this expenditure the LW did not sufficiently achieve interdiction and shut down the movement of Soviet reserves and suppress their artillery.

A big question mark for me is what the proportion of air sorties were, between armed recon/interdiction and close air support. The LW had already recognized that close air support was the low-hanging fruit, however in the Kursk bulge achieving interdiction is an obvious and crucial goal. The air war in Kuban, the German strategic bombing campaign, and the 35,000 sortie Soviet air offensive prior to Operation Citadel seems to have heavily distracted the LW's presence in the Kursk bulge.

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Re: The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

Post by Pascal. Kullmann. » 24 Nov 2021 08:02

Cult Icon wrote:
24 Nov 2021 04:36
Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
17 Nov 2021 16:38
And the fact that some of these divs assaulted the most reinforced sector of the Kursk defensive belts (13.A, Ponyri).
There are some German advantages though:

Significant artillery superiority (in volume fired but in big inferiority in numbers of guns and mortars despite the large number of GHQ assets) and a relatively narrow front to concentrate their fires. (752 guns and 165 rocket projectors). There were also two Arko there.

747 tanks and assault guns. Also a collection of specialized assets (3 FKL companies equipped with Borgward BIV, 2 Goliath-equipped companies, 2 battering-ram like Ferdinand battalions, 1 Sturmpanzer IV battalion, 1 Tiger battalion, etc.).

Moderate air superiority, the expenditure of 12,823 sorties (by July 15th) by 1st Air division with fighter sweeps and (2/3rds of sorties) attacks by dive bombers and medium bombers. However despite this expenditure the LW did not sufficiently achieve interdiction and shut down the movement of Soviet reserves and suppress their artillery.

A big question mark for me is what the proportion of air sorties were, between armed recon/interdiction and close air support. The LW had already recognized that close air support was the low-hanging fruit, however in the Kursk bulge achieving interdiction is an obvious and crucial goal. The air war in Kuban, the German strategic bombing campaign, and the 35,000 sortie Soviet air offensive prior to Operation Citadel seems to have heavily distracted the LW's presence in the Kursk bulge.
I agree, without the specialized assets, 41.PzK wouldnt have got very far. A good indication on how it would have went are the attacks on the flanks by 216. and 7.Inf Div. They didn't had much assets to work with and didn't get very far. But IMO it would have been more effective (or more neccessary) to use the Sturmpanzers in the 47.PzK area (Olkhovatka heights). They could have been used to shoot up the dug in tank and AT positions on the heights, helping the troubled 2. and 4.PzDiv.

PS: I just meant the Ponyri sector (18.PzDiv, 292.Inf, 86.Inf, elts 78.Sturm, support units) not the whole nothern sector.

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Re: The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

Post by Cult Icon » 25 Nov 2021 05:50

I've read after action reports of the FKL and Ferdinand units, with the remote- control demolitions it appears that despite being well rested and trained, the FKL + engineers weren't operating at 100% effectiveness given that this was relatively new technology. There were areas that they would have liked to done better.

These BIVs blew up strongpoints and minefields. However the Soviet defensive fire (artillery) was so heavy that the mine-clearance operations were slow. In one case the artillery fire obsured lanes so some Ferdinands drove out of the cleared lanes and into mines, disabling them.

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Re: The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk, Volume 1

Post by Cult Icon » 25 Nov 2021 14:53

The Ferdinands were very durable and could only be disabled with mobility kills. However despite their imposing size they proved to not be the "silver bullet" that created instant success in attacks. It reminds me how the Panther tank in the south was considered so very important but the reality didn't live up to the expectation.

On the issue of 9th Army casualties, 22273 were incurred July 5-11th.

7223 of the losses (approx 1/3rd) occurred on July 5 alone. Even the defensive/prep day (July 9th) saw 1861 losses, from counterattacks and Soviet artillery fire.

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