Kursk battle

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weiwensg
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Rewrite

Post by weiwensg » 16 Jun 2007 07:16

Hi everyone, thanks very much for your valuable feedback. I've made many changes to my Kursk page with your information as well as other sources:

Rewrite: http://www.geocities.com/weiwen_sg/kurskrewrite.htm (deletions are in red, additions are unfortunately in normal font, but are usually next to the deletions)

Original: http://www.geocities.com/weiwen_sg/HOOB6.htm (you can cross check for additions)

I'll be uploading it to my site tomorrow. In the meantime, any last minute changes or suggestions can be posted here.

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Benoit Douville
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Post by Benoit Douville » 20 Sep 2007 00:44

I just read that the Red Army laid over 400 000 mines during the Battle of Kursk? Is this accurate, it seems pretty high.

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Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 20 Sep 2007 07:47

It does not appear a lot to me, considering the length of the frontline. The Afrikakorps had more mines in front of the Alamein position.

All the best

Andreas

Art
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Post by Art » 20 Sep 2007 13:10

The order of the magnitude is quite realistic. I have the source with the number of laid mines at home, so I will be able to give more certain reply later.

Epaminondas
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Post by Epaminondas » 20 Sep 2007 15:25

http://www.dupuyinstitute.org/pdf/m-6mineban.pdf

Page 16. Actually, the soviets had significantly higher numbers of mines, just on the Southern axis of attack.

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 20 Sep 2007 15:38

According to Robin Cross, the Red Army laid down over a million mines, and estimated that on average the density was 2,400 AT and 2,700 AP mines per mile of front - roughly one per foot.

cheers

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Benoit Douville
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Post by Benoit Douville » 21 Sep 2007 00:40

This is pretty astonishing, did they clean everything after the War was over?

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Art
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Post by Art » 21 Sep 2007 09:34

According to the post-war study of the General Staff the Voronezh Front laid some 600 000 mines before the battle started and the Central Front laid 400 000. On the first three defensive lines (so-called army lines) 503 663 anti-tank and 439 348 anti-personnel mines were laid. 434 667 AT mines were laid on the first line of defense. The density of mines per kilometer on the first line was 450 AP and 680 AT on the Central Front and 1120 AP and 923 AT on the Voronezh. It seems that the most part of mines was concentrated on the first position - the example of 6th GA is given, it ahd 69 688 AT and 64 340 AP mines on the first line and 20 200 AT and 9 097 AP on the second.

Jan-Hendrik
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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 17 Oct 2007 10:06

Here you find Issue 4/1993 of the Viertesjahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte to download, the pages 503 to 519 contain the following article:
Kursk-Orel-Dnjepr. Erlebnisse und Erfahrungen im Stab des XXXXVI. Panzerkorps während des. „Unternehmens Zitadelle“, v. Walter Bußmann,


Jan-Hendrik

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tigre
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Kursk-Orel-Dnjepr

Post by tigre » 17 Oct 2007 20:38

Thank you Jan-Hendrik; good reading. All the best. Tigre 8-)

Art
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Post by Art » 29 Nov 2007 17:35

Interesting info on Soviet ammunition expenditure (in thousands shells) during the defensive battle (5-12 July):
Item/Central Front (northern sector of the salient)/Voronezh Front (southern sector)
37-mm AA shells 118.6 24.6
85 AA shells 8.3 1
76-mm regimental guns 60 23
76-mm divisional guns 274.6 182.8
122-mm howitzers 60.6 11.4
152-mm howitzers 31.6 4
http://vif2ne.ru/nvk/forum/0/co/1543720.htm
In all ammunition expenditure for the troops of the Central Front amounted to 1079 railway cars (IIRC 1 railway car = 25 tons), for Voronezh Front - 417 railway cars. Such a difference explains a lot.
Last edited by Art on 30 Nov 2007 09:59, edited 1 time in total.

GaryD
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Post by GaryD » 29 Nov 2007 19:19

Art wrote:Intersting info on Soviet ammunition expenditure (in thousands) during the defensive battle (5-12 July):
Item/Central Front (northern sector of the salient)/Voronezh Front (southern sector)
37-mm AA shells 118.6 24.6
85 AA shells 8.3 1
76-mm regimental guns 60 23
76-mm divisional guns 274.6 182.8
122-mm howitzers 60.6 11.4
152-mm howitzers 31.6 4
http://vif2ne.ru/nvk/forum/0/co/1543720.htm
In all ammunition expenditure for the troops of the Central Front amounted to 1079 railway cars (IIRC 1 railway car = 25 tons), for Voronezh Front - 417 railway cars. Such a difference explains a lot.
I think this calls for more research. The same source (Antipenko) states that the number of artillery pieces and the amount of ammunition were roughly equal in both Fronts. So what could account for such a large difference in ammo expenditure? I suspect the answer is more likely that these numbers are not accurate, or are missing part of the story, rather than the artillery commander at the Voronezh Front was incompetent.

Art
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Post by Art » 30 Nov 2007 12:52

Antipenko comments these numbers in the following way:
" From this the conclusion arises that the grouping of the Voronezh Front's artillery didn't correspond with the character of the operational situation. Or, as it would be more correct to say, the grouping of artillery was caused by the erroneous operational formation in defense of the troops as a whole."
So not only the competence of artillery commander of the front was the case. I think the words "erroneous operational formation" in regard to Voronezh Front have some ground. It should be added that the Central Front was slightly superior in number of artillery pieces, though this superiotiy was not crititical.

I tried to find some additional info on ammunition expenditure. According to the Soviet study of 1944 tranlsated and published by D. Glantz as "The Battle of Kursk: 1943" gives the following figures on the subject:
The Central Front consumed 1 198 wagon loads of ammunition during the period 5-12 July. The consumption for the 13th Army situated on the main axis amounted to 913 wagon loads. At the same time 6th Guards Army of the Vorornezh Front consumed 236 wagon loads in 11 days (most probably this means between 5 and 15 July). The difference between the expenditure of more than 110 wagon loads a day (13th Army) and about 20 wagon loads is rather impressive. In all four armies of the Voronezh Front consumed 1 314 thousands shell and mortar rounds. The total expenditure including units subordinated to the front was estimated by the authors of the study as 1.5 millions shells and mortar rounds.

The authors of the "The rear of the Soviet Armed Forces" give somewhat smaller figures for the Central Front's ammunition consumption: about 1 080 wagon loads including 820 loads for the 13th Army. The firts figure is rather close to the one given by Antipenko.

Finnaly there is a Dupuy Institute database on the Battle of Kursk. I don't know exactly what sources they used, but the ammunition expenditure for 5-12 July in their files looks as follows (HG Sud/Voronezh Front in short tons):
AT artillery 3 152/ 4 242
Field artillery 16 510/ 4 675
Rocket Artillery 3 875/ 1 392
Small Arms 10 732/ 3 184
It's clear that according to these data the total expenditure for the German forces engaged in the battle far exceeded the one for the Soviet forces. Given the fact that in 1943 the Soviet Army was in general superior in terms of availablilty of ammunition, this situations looks like an anomaly and seems to agree with Antipenko's data.

Art
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Post by Art » 24 Jan 2008 11:26

The history of the Soviet 13th Army published in 1972 mentions that 280 wagon loads of ammunition were expended by the Army only in the first day of the battle (5th July). That is a very high figure (in fact more than 6th GA on the southern part of the Kursk salient expended during the entire defensive battle) and seems to be in accord with other data on high ammunition expenditure of the Central Front.

Art
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Post by Art » 07 Feb 2008 17:22

Now another variant of ammunition consumption data. According to the modern source the Central Front consumed 12 500 tons of ammunition or 787 wagon loads between 5th and 12th July while Voronezh Front consumed 730 wagon loads between 5th and 17th.
http://www.tyl.mil.ru/page235.htm
So the total expenditure is on the same level, while the daily expenditure was about 100 wagon loads for Central Front and 52 loads for Voronezh. However, in the next sentence authors write that the average daily expenditure for the Central Front was 135 wagon loads. That gives us the classical figure - 1080 loads again. It's impossible to undertand which variant is correct

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