Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

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stg 44
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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 02 Dec 2021 02:29

Cult Icon wrote:
01 Dec 2021 15:13
Cult Icon wrote:
30 Nov 2021 18:25
(North) Defense of Orel (Luftflotte VI) 12 July - 18th August 1943: 42,235 sorties

(South) Defense of Belgorod-Kharkov (Fliegerkorps VIII), 3-20 August 1943: 12,385 sorties
Defense of Orel: Averages 1,141 sorties a day/37 days historically.

If I cut the timeframe off by 2 days: 12 July- August 18 1943, the average between the two operations combined is 1,426 sorties a day/37 days.

The maximum combined air support of 1st Flieger-division and Fliegerkorps VIII (July 5th 1943) was in the region of 4,450 sorties/day.
Why would you include 8th air corps? They were in the south. What were the sorties of each? That would be pretty important to understanding what sort of air support could be had around Orel and Belgorod respectively. Assuming it is equally split each section of the front had at most only 2,225 sorties were flown in support of 9th army during Citadel, which means that is the max that could be expected per day defending Orel from TTL's Kutuzov offensive.
Cult Icon wrote:
01 Dec 2021 15:13
With the addition of 28,000 Citadel sorties the total between the two operations is 82,620 sorties.

If the Citadel sorties are conserved, and then expended against an alternate Orel Operation the air support would hover at elevated levels for up to 2 additional weeks instead of dropping off as it did.
Which would be huge given that the Soviets employed 3 air armies for Kutuzov. Granted 16th army army was fought during Citadel already, but having the entire strength ready to go without air losses and operating over its own territory was a big advantage to generate extra sorties and recover shot down pilots...as well as deny Soviets pilot recovery and cost them potential sorties by flying further to their targets while exposing them to FLAK that they did not face when defending. Given the advantages conferred on the defender by radar and FLAK in addition to potentially being able to launch more sorties due to shorter turn around time, that would be a major advantage.
For example:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation ... ry_actions
In the early morning of 5 July, the VVS launched a large raid against German airfields, hoping to destroy the Luftwaffe on the ground. This effort failed, and the Red Army air units suffered considerable losses.[60][53] The VVS lost 176 aircraft on 5 July, compared to the 26 aircraft lost by the Luftwaffe.[61][60] The losses of the VVS 16th Air Army operating in the northern face were lighter than those suffered by the 2nd Air Army.[62]
Though the next part of the paragraph has some interesting details that may explain why 9th army had a harder time than Manstein's corps:
The Luftwaffe was able to gain and maintained air superiority over the southern face until 10–11 July, when the VVS began to obtain ascendency [60][63] but the control of the skies over the northern face was evenly contested until the VVS began to gain air superiority on 7 July, which it maintained for the rest of the operation.[64][65]
Sounds like the Luftwaffe needed the advantages of defense to have a shot of maintaining air parity in this scenario.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Cult Icon » 02 Dec 2021 08:05

2nd Panzer Army losses 11-19 July: 19,884 .

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Westphalia1812 » 05 Dec 2021 08:20

Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
01 Dec 2021 15:56
Cult Icon wrote:
01 Dec 2021 15:43
Losses 4th Panzer Army:

1-10 July: 9977

11-20 July: 5725

21-31 July: 7449

1-10 August: 1202

11-20 August: 10154

21-31 August: 14545
Do you know what happened between 21.07-31.07? I thought that no heavy fighting took place after 16.07...
Okay thank you, that makes sense. But there was definitely a bit of fighting, after the 16.07.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Cult Icon » 07 Dec 2021 07:59

stg 44 wrote:
02 Dec 2021 02:29
Cult Icon wrote:
01 Dec 2021 15:13
Cult Icon wrote:
30 Nov 2021 18:25
(North) Defense of Orel (Luftflotte VI) 12 July - 18th August 1943: 42,235 sorties

(South) Defense of Belgorod-Kharkov (Fliegerkorps VIII), 3-20 August 1943: 12,385 sorties
Defense of Orel: Averages 1,141 sorties a day/37 days historically.

If I cut the timeframe off by 2 days: 12 July- August 18 1943, the average between the two operations combined is 1,426 sorties a day/37 days.

The maximum combined air support of 1st Flieger-division and Fliegerkorps VIII (July 5th 1943) was in the region of 4,450 sorties/day.
Why would you include 8th air corps? They were in the south.
The two air forces could attack either one of the salients. They weren't restricted to just attacking one salient. In Citadel, it was planned to reassign the main effort to the North that after the Southern effort was secure with 1st Flieger division and VIII Fliegerkorps.

I do not know of the air support for the south after Citadel was called off until August 18th, so the average up to that day is obviously higher than 1,426 sorties a day/37 days. I forgot to add in that post that I do not know the air support of the North from August 5-9 either. Regardless there was a dip. Roughly 4,450 max to more in the 2,500 range by August.

The lion's share of the air support of VIII Fliegerkorps was Stuka and medium bomber strikes (He-111, JU-88) with a minority of the sorties being Fighter, Recon, and Ground attack (FW190, HS-129, ME-110). 1st Flieger division was similarly organized and with a slightly lower amount of daily sorties during Citadel.
Last edited by Cult Icon on 07 Dec 2021 08:20, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Cult Icon » 07 Dec 2021 08:14

Sorties August 3-4 (both salients under attack, North/South):

August 3: 2004/534
August 4: 1451/1133

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 07 Dec 2021 13:08

Cult Icon wrote:
07 Dec 2021 07:59
The two air forces could attack either one of the salients. They weren't restricted to just attacking one salient. In Citadel, it was planned to reassign the main effort to the North that after the Southern effort was secure with 1st Flieger division and VIII Fliegerkorps.
You don't think the Soviets would attack Orel and Kharkov at the same time?

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Cult Icon » 07 Dec 2021 14:49

stg 44 wrote:
07 Dec 2021 13:08
You don't think the Soviets would attack Orel and Kharkov at the same time?
Well, they eventually did attack at the same time.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 07 Dec 2021 17:07

Cult Icon wrote:
07 Dec 2021 14:49
stg 44 wrote:
07 Dec 2021 13:08
You don't think the Soviets would attack Orel and Kharkov at the same time?
Well, they eventually did attack at the same time.
They largely did not. Kutuzov and Rumyantsev ran at mostly different times with some overlap in August. That was unintentional and a byproduct of the damage suffered by Voronezh and Steppe Fronts in Citadel. They would likely have been launched at the same time and perhaps at the same time as a Mius offensive as well to overload German resources. Which means no concentration of Luftwaffe units to aid the Orel bulge.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Cult Icon » 07 Dec 2021 17:37

stg 44 wrote:
07 Dec 2021 17:07

They largely did not. Kutuzov and Rumyantsev ran at mostly different times with some overlap in August. That was unintentional and a byproduct of the damage suffered by Voronezh and Steppe Fronts in Citadel. They would likely have been launched at the same time and perhaps at the same time as a Mius offensive as well to overload German resources. Which means no concentration of Luftwaffe units to aid the Orel bulge.
Any sources for this or is this theory?

What VIII Fliegerkorps was doing during Citadel was also shifting concentration from A.A. Kempf to 4th Panzer Army, and back. So it is entirely probable that 1st Flieger-division and VIII Fliegerkorps could focus on the Orel salient, and then back to Belgorod-Kharkov.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 07 Dec 2021 20:50

Cult Icon wrote:
07 Dec 2021 17:37
stg 44 wrote:
07 Dec 2021 17:07

They largely did not. Kutuzov and Rumyantsev ran at mostly different times with some overlap in August. That was unintentional and a byproduct of the damage suffered by Voronezh and Steppe Fronts in Citadel. They would likely have been launched at the same time and perhaps at the same time as a Mius offensive as well to overload German resources. Which means no concentration of Luftwaffe units to aid the Orel bulge.
Any sources for this or is this theory?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of ... Rumyantsev
Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev was intended as the main Soviet offensive for 1943. Its aim was to destroy the 4th Panzer Army and Army Detachment Kempf, and cut off the extended southern portion of Army Group South.[289] After the heavy losses sustained by the Voronezh Front, during Operation Citadel, the Soviets needed time to regroup and refit, delaying the start of the offensive until 3 August. Diversionary attacks, launched two weeks earlier across the Donets and Mius Rivers into the Donbass, drew the attention of German reserves and thinned the defending forces that would face the main blow.[290]
The source cited is Glantz and House's book on Kursk.
Cult Icon wrote:
07 Dec 2021 17:37
What VIII Fliegerkorps was doing during Citadel was also shifting concentration from A.A. Kempf to 4th Panzer Army, and back. So it is entirely probable that 1st Flieger-division and VIII Fliegerkorps could focus on the Orel salient, and then back to Belgorod-Kharkov.
You mean the two armies right next to each other? Ok? That doesn't mean they could fly over Kursk to support 9th army and 2nd panzer.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Cult Icon » 08 Dec 2021 14:07

stg 44 wrote:
07 Dec 2021 20:50

You mean the two armies right next to each other? Ok? That doesn't mean they could fly over Kursk to support 9th army and 2nd panzer.
Except that they could and were planning to, and there was a big transfer of LW units right after Citadel was called off. You are wrong...

The only complete operational history of the Belgorod-Kharkov offensive (in English) appears to be by Glanz. It's in the final third of From the Don to the Dnepr. There is a good tactical history of a portion of it in Decision in the Ukraine.

There are no full length operational histories of the Orel Offensive.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 08 Dec 2021 15:30

Cult Icon wrote:
08 Dec 2021 14:07
stg 44 wrote:
07 Dec 2021 20:50

You mean the two armies right next to each other? Ok? That doesn't mean they could fly over Kursk to support 9th army and 2nd panzer.
Except that they could and were planning to, and there was a big transfer of LW units right after Citadel was called off. You are wrong...
Ok, what is your source on that, since you got mine?
Cult Icon wrote:
08 Dec 2021 14:07
The only complete operational history of the Belgorod-Kharkov offensive (in English) appears to be by Glanz. It's in the final third of From the Don to the Dnepr. There is a good tactical history of a portion of it in Decision in the Ukraine.

There are no full length operational histories of the Orel Offensive.
Ok?

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Cult Icon » 08 Dec 2021 15:40

pg. 207-214 of planning and preparation of the Battle of Kursk presents the "Combat strength" of 9th Army units, July 4th 1943. This is not the total number people in the units but only the front-line fighting troops.

The German rating system puts "over 400" people as "strong". Below that are ratings such as "medium-strong", "average", "weak".

Model only attacked with 8 out of 15 infantry divisions in Citadel. The "combat strength" of the infantry divisions in 9th Army ranged from 2700 to 4550.

Most of the infantry battalions of the infantry divisions are 300-something with a minority being over 400, and a few below 300. The infantry divisions, besides 1, only have 6 infantry battalions instead of 9 with 1-2 combat battalions. One division has 3 additional combat battalions. In contrast, 2/3rds of Manstein's Inf divisions had 9 infantry battalions.

The standout, strengthwise is 78th Sturm division.
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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by Cult Icon » 08 Dec 2021 15:44

stg 44 wrote:
08 Dec 2021 15:30

Ok, what is your source on that, since you got mine?

Ok?
books Air War at Kursk, Battle of Prokhorovaka

Pointing at how ill-covered these two battles are despite their great importance. I learned more about the fighting from the unit histories of various formations that fought there, only From Don to the Dnepr is an acceptable operational history.

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Re: Operation Citadel cancelled in late June

Post by stg 44 » 08 Dec 2021 18:39

Cult Icon wrote:
08 Dec 2021 15:44
stg 44 wrote:
08 Dec 2021 15:30

Ok, what is your source on that, since you got mine?

Ok?
books Air War at Kursk, Battle of Prokhorovaka
Can you post some relevant quotes that support your claim?

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