Operation Roland at Kursk 1943

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perrya
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Operation Roland at Kursk 1943

Post by perrya » 16 Jun 2022 13:53

There seem to be two school of thought about this. Many sites indicate it did happen between July 15-17 to close the gap between the 3rd PzC and 2SS Pz C and many Russian maps support this but most of the 69A escaped the trap (about 3-4 divisions). Many other sites declare it was planned but not executed at all, while others state only part of the plan was, that is part of the 2SS Pz DR div. and 7th Pz did attack starting on the 14 or 15 and closed the gap. It ended on the 17th when the 24PzC was sent away. This was the reserve that was to be used in Roland.

Which version is true? The 3rd PzC had already been shattered, the 6th and 19th PzD had barely 20 tanks each, while the 7th had around 50 (does anyone have the exact numbers in PzIII, PzIV?) The DR SS panzer was still strong. Even if all of Roland was executed as planned (which was not, it seems only part was executed) the Russian had 3 armies waiting much further back and the 4th GdTkC and 3rdGdMech C with well over 200 AFV. Any success would have been short.

Art
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Re: Operation Roland at Kursk 1943

Post by Art » 16 Jun 2022 17:18

Operation "Roland" was planned but didn't happened. Actual battle actions north of Belgorod were a different thing.

Dann Falk
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Re: Operation Roland at Kursk 1943

Post by Dann Falk » 17 Jun 2022 22:03

According to Christopher A. Lawrence, in his book Kursk The Battles of Prokhorovka, p 1219, Operation Roland was launched and lasted for four days, ending on 17 July 1943 at 13:00 hours.

The map shown below is from my newly published book The 7th Guards Army from Kursk to Prague 1943-1945, which can be found on Amazon.com.

This map clearly shows the final days of Operation Citadel in the south and Operation Roland.

Hope this helps clarify the issue,

Dann
Map #15 - 13-16 July - 22 Arpil 2022.jpg
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Art
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Re: Operation Roland at Kursk 1943

Post by Art » 18 Jun 2022 07:56

That's curious, because accordign to the COS of the 4 Panzer Army:
Army Group South ordered Fourth Panzer Army to make all preparations necessary to hold its gains, to clear the Pena and Psel River bends, and to be in a position to advance on the enemy rear south of the Psel. This operation—codenamed Roland"—appeared quite promising, but we were never permitted to carry it out.
From "Kursk: the German view" by S. Newton
I wonder why there is a controversy.

perrya
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Re: Operation Roland at Kursk 1943

Post by perrya » 18 Jun 2022 13:24

Well, it was partially done-the part to close the gap between 2SS and 3PzC. Many maps show this. Is it a myth that it was partially completed? The whole Manistein plan to bypass Porkhorva with a right swing with 3PzC to Oboyan would have been a disaster even if the 24PzC was used (with two weak divisions). the 3PzC had the 6Pz with 16 tanks, 19th with 43 tanks, 7Pz with 50 tanks. Even had there some success, the German would then face the 4thG TKC with 142 T34, 27th A with 80+ tanks near Oboyan and 53rd A which was behind Porkhova. It would be up to the 2SS and 1SS divisions to succeed. And to what avail? Kursk was still far away.

Dann Falk
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Re: Operation Roland at Kursk 1943

Post by Dann Falk » 19 Jun 2022 19:18

I think a much larger operation was originally planned for Roland. But, due to developments in the south, a smaller operation was carried out. This is shown on my map, which was closing the gap between 4th Pz A and AD Kempf, as stated in perrya's post.

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Aida1
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Re: Operation Roland at Kursk 1943

Post by Aida1 » 31 Jul 2022 10:08

The intent of Roland would have been to cut off the whole southwestern part of the Kurk salient by a pincer movement. The prerequisite for this was release of XXIV pz corps to intervene against new red army forces coming from the east. Hitler refused this and the only thing allowed was to beat the enemy forces that were entwined with own forces so that forces could be withdrawn. This authorisation was used by OKH and Manstein to circonvent Hitlers decision but Hitler made an end to this by ordering the pulling out of the SS pz corps on july 17 which made Roland impossible.(Das Deutsche Reich und der zweite Weltkrieg Band 8 DVA 2011 pp141-142).

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