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Battle of Prokhorovka on 12 July 1943

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  • Battle of Prokhorovka on 12 July 1943

    The Russians appear to be getting rather upset over some new interpretations over what happened. These are based on examination of Luftwaffe photo recce material recently recovered and a detailed analysis of battle reports and other archived material and suggest that the Soviet armoured mastery was not as great as has hitherto been claimed. I attach the link to the BBC report. Now whilst nearing the end of several years post grad studies into WW2, I understand rather more about the Eastern Front than I did before, it is not a particular area over which I would pretend to have overwhelming mastery. The conclusions drawn byBen Wheatley do appear plausible though. I thought I'd throw this into the forum for comment by some of the real EF fanatics. Is the new interpretation sound? Are the Russians getting into a bit of a pother or not?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48963295
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

  • #2
    https://forum.axishistory.com/viewto...?f=79&t=242148
    In short: Wheatley's article doesn't present any revolutionary interpretations compared with recent literature. Basically the thing was blown out of all proportions by scandal-thirsty journalists. Wheatley said that he discovered some additional details clarifying the course of the battle on Luftwaffe's aerial photos of the battlefield. Unfortunately the quality of images presented in his article is such that you can only discover some blurred dots there. Probably, original photos were better quality.
    For modern Russian literature on the subject see, for example:
    https://www.amazon.com/Demolishing-M...dp/B0759GSLN3/

    That Kellerhoff guy from Die Weldt, I've checked his other articles and can safely assert that it's a complete BS. Basically the man is a gutter press idiot who does't warrant so much ado.

    Comment


    • #3
      The BBC article describing the German offensive as 'a massive surprise attack,' was encouraging.

      Is the word 'salient' out of fashion now?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Artyom_A View Post
        https://forum.axishistory.com/viewto...?f=79&t=242148
        In short: Wheatley's article doesn't present any revolutionary interpretations compared with recent literature. Basically the thing was blown out of all proportions by scandal-thirsty journalists. Wheatley said that he discovered some additional details clarifying the course of the battle on Luftwaffe's aerial photos of the battlefield. Unfortunately the quality of images presented in his article is such that you can only discover some blurred dots there. Probably, original photos were better quality.
        For modern Russian literature on the subject see, for example:
        https://www.amazon.com/Demolishing-M...dp/B0759GSLN3/

        That Kellerhoff guy from Die Weldt, I've checked his other articles and can safely assert that it's a complete BS. Basically the man is a gutter press idiot who does't warrant so much ado.
        Agree with your comments. Valiriy Zamulin's book (Russian edition 2005 and English edition 2012, titled, Demolishing the Myth: The Tank battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk, July 1943: An Operational Narrative), has clarified actions and corrected Soviet commander memoir accounts in the sector aerial photos. Lev Lopukhovskiy [book 2005] also used archival material clarifying actions in the Prokhorovka area [this volume has not been translated into English].

        Ben Wheatley has published one book, on British intelligence of "Hitler's Empire" in the Soviet Union 1941-45. Looking at his footnotes and bibliography he does not illustrate a reading capability for German or Russian which noted above is necessary for breaking new sources or interpretation of sources on the eastern front. In fact, one of his sources was a translation of German Luftwaffe pilot interrogations, indicating he was not into primary source.

        Also agree with you on the article/author. The German attack was not a "massive surprise attack"; repeated postponements eliminated surprise and left the Soviet High Command with the option for an offensive or defense--they decided to defend, then conduct a counteroffensive. Additionally, German line-crossers brought information on the attack date and time. On the morning of the German attack, the Central Front on the northern face of the Kursk salient opened artillery fires on German units occupying their jump off positions delaying the German attack.

        In the forum's Welcome Group, see What Next General thread, I posted the situation background to Model's attack on the northern face of the Kursk salient, starting at Post #63.
        Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 15 Jul 19, 06:31.
        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post

          Agree with your comments. Valiriy Zamulin's book (Russian edition 2005 and English edition 2012, titled, Demolishing the Myth: The Tank battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk, July 1943: An Operational Narrative, has clarified actions and corrected Soviet commander memoir accounts in the sector aerial photos. Lev Lopukhovskiy [book 2005] also used archival material clarifying actions in the Prokhorovka area [this volume has not been translated into English].
          It is an unfortunate fact that it is almost impossible to get Western publishers to publish translations of recent Russian historical scholarship concerning the Eastern Front. I can assert this on personal experience having tried flogging translations of several books to Western publishers only to be told rather matter-of-factly that the preference is for translations of German accounts. Some of the books I have tried getting publishers interested in have included Konstantin Bykov's Kievskii "Kotel": Velichaishiya voennaya katastropha [The Kiev pocket: The greatest military catastrophe], Vyacheslav Artemiev's Perviye Diviziya ROA [The 1st Division of the ROA], Boris Kovalev, Povsednevnaya zhizn: Naselenie Rossii v period Natsistskoi Okkupatsii [Everyday Life: The Population of Russia during the Nazi Occupation], Boris Gavrilov's Dolina Smerti [The Valley of Death: Destruction of the 2nd Shock Army], and Igor Krasilnikov's mammoth 1300 page Perviye 103-dnya voiny zapadnogo fronta i gruppi armiy 'tsentr' [The first 103 days of the war: The Western Front and Army Group Center]. None seem to go beyond early marketing assessments. Incidentally, as an exploratory for publication I translated the material contained in Krasilnikov's book for just one day of Operation Barbarossa (4 July 1941) and posted it on my blog here. http://skoblin.blogspot.com/2011/10/...arbarossa.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Die Welt is simply continuing with the old tricks...

            https://paul-atrydes.livejournal.com/174787.html
            There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Emtos View Post
              Die Welt is simply continuing with the old tricks...

              https://paul-atrydes.livejournal.com/174787.html
              Emtos, I can read Russian. Unfortunately, few others on the forum can. Is it possible for you to provide members with at least a brief English-language summary of this article from Krasnaya Zvezda for those who cannot understand Russian?

              Comment


              • #8
                With quick Google translating.

                KNOWN TALES

                About another fake of the West German newspaper "Welt"

                The date of world-historic significance is approaching - the 30th anniversary of the defeat of fascist Germany and the end of the Second World War in Europe. On the eve of this date, the peoples of the world are intently peering into the events of the past. They seek to once again understand what happened, to comprehend what needs to be done to prevent a recurrence of bloody catastrophe.

                Media pay great attention to the the events of the past war. Newspapers, radio and television of various countries, including capitalist ones, rightly point out the crucial role of the Soviet Union in defeating fascism and liberating the peoples of Europe, emphasize the vitality demonstrated during the war years and the invincibility of the new social and state system, socialist economy, Marxist-Leninist ideology Soviet military art, the courage of Soviet soldiers, indicate a major contribution to achieving victory for the peoples and armies of the anti-Hitler coalition. However, there are also such media outlets, which, contrary to historical truth, are trying to “in their own way” explain the reasons for the defeat of Germany. These include, in particular, the West German newspaper "Welt".

                This Springer edition, whose daily circulation is about a quarter of a million copies, has, it turns out, its “point of view” on the course of the Second World War and the reasons for the defeat of the German fascist troops. The newspaper’s regular presentation on its opinion was timed to the 30th anniversary of the Vistula-Oder operation of the Soviet troops, devoting an entire page to its analysis with text, a diagram and photographs.

                What did the mouthpiece of the West German right forces tell their readers? In the article “The Great Germans' Escape” (or rather, the Great Defeat of the Nazi Forces) the newspaper tries to explain the reasons for the defeat of the Hitler army in this operation. The meaning of her reasoning is as follows: in fear of the Russians, the population of Pomerania embarked on a "great flight" to the west, blocked all roads and did not allow troops to act as it was necessary. Further. Hitler was too stubborn. If it were not for his stubbornness, then things on the Eastern Front would have gone differently.

                To disrupt the next Russian offensive, in the opinion of the Welt newspaper, the German General Staff took radical measures: he appointed his best representative, Colonel General Walter Wenk, to command the troops in Pomerania. Guderian said that to Wenka (we quote from the newspaper): “Mr. Colonel-General, the General Staff has just won the battle ...”, thus making it clear that with the appointment of Wenk, the question of victory over the Soviet Army in Pomerania is a foregone conclusion. But it happened that: Wenk gets into a car accident and can not command the troops, therefore, "Welt" laments, events took an undesirable turn. And finally, the main thing: God was completely merciless to the German army. At the beginning of the Russian offensive (and it was in the middle of January) there was a lot of snow, and at the end of the offensive (it was already April) - there was no snow at all, there was a thaw. All this made the actions of the German troops difficult and helped the Russians achieve victory.

                Is not it true, familiar tales? The inconsistency of such fictions is not even necessary to prove. Nevertheless, Welt, apparently counting on a short memory of readers, decided to resort to them again.

                This room contains many other distortions, absurdities, frauds. Here is one of them.

                At the very top of the strip, a close-up photograph is given of the bent tank, and below it is the following text: "This heavy Soviet tank was shot down in Pomerania" (see photo) Say, look, reader, that Hitler's valiant troops did with Soviet armor. But even those who know only about the war through cinema and books immediately find out cheating: the photo shows not the “Soviet heavy tank”, but the German tank “Tiger II”.

                172101_original.jpg

                What is a technical error? Lack of editorial competence? Not! This is a typical method of forgery, falsification, so often used by some in the West in order to diminish the role of the Soviet Union in achieving a world-historic victory over fascism. Fruitless attempts!

                Col. P. VOLKOVICH

                Red star. 1975. March 6 (No. 55).
                There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Skoblin View Post
                  It is an unfortunate fact that it is almost impossible to get Western publishers to publish translations of recent Russian historical scholarship concerning the Eastern Front. I can assert this on personal experience having tried flogging translations of several books to Western publishers only to be told rather matter-of-factly that the preference is for translations of German accounts. Some of the books I have tried getting publishers interested in have included Konstantin Bykov's Kievskii "Kotel": Velichaishiya voennaya katastropha [The Kiev pocket: The greatest military catastrophe], Vyacheslav Artemiev's Perviye Diviziya ROA [The 1st Division of the ROA], Boris Kovalev, Povsednevnaya zhizn: Naselenie Rossii v period Natsistskoi Okkupatsii [Everyday Life: The Population of Russia during the Nazi Occupation], Boris Gavrilov's Dolina Smerti [The Valley of Death: Destruction of the 2nd Shock Army], and Igor Krasilnikov's mammoth 1300 page Perviye 103-dnya voiny zapadnogo fronta i gruppi armiy 'tsentr' [The first 103 days of the war: The Western Front and Army Group Center]. None seem to go beyond early marketing assessments. Incidentally, as an exploratory for publication I translated the material contained in Krasilnikov's book for just one day of Operation Barbarossa (4 July 1941) and posted it on my blog here. http://skoblin.blogspot.com/2011/10/...arbarossa.html
                  Those are terrific titles. The publisher, Helion, seems to be the only one routinely offering English translations. Have you approached them?
                  Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post

                    Those are terrific titles. The publisher, Helion, seems to be the only one routinely offering English translations. Have you approached them?
                    Actually, I approached Helion many years ago about the Krasilnikov book especially (and several of the other titles). Even filled out an AQ for the title. They felt Krasilnikov's book was too long and wanted me to parse it down about half - which would have defeated the purpose of the book which was supposed to be a comprehensive presentation of the first 103 days of Operation Barbarossa based on operations/intelligence documents from both sides. In general, they seem to want books of limited word count, which makes it impossible to flog some of the more detailed and comprehensive accounts now offered in Russian, such as Lopukhovsky's book on Prokhorovka. The English translation of Zamulin's book was an exception that proves the rule.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Skoblin View Post
                      Actually, I approached Helion many years ago about the Krasilnikov book especially (and several of the other titles). Even filled out an AQ for the title. They felt Krasilnikov's book was too long and wanted me to parse it down about half - which would have defeated the purpose of the book which was supposed to be a comprehensive presentation of the first 103 days of Operation Barbarossa based on operations/intelligence documents from both sides. In general, they seem to want books of limited word count, which makes it impossible to flog some of the more detailed and comprehensive accounts now offered in Russian, such as Lopukhovsky's book on Prokhorovka. The English translation of Zamulin's book was an exception that proves the rule.
                      Thanks for your experience. I have grown to dislike brick and mortar publishers who try to shape historical publications in selected/accepted titles and editing requirements, not to mention the little remuneration for the author/translator work. I had a publisher who wanted me to write a series of books, like the West Point atlases--a facing page narrative to a map--a project that I have always wanted to do on the WWII Eastern Front. I was to totally research and write the narrative with word limits on the facing page, scope and make sketch maps. The sketch maps would be handed off to a map-maker who had the software to pretty up the maps. The publisher in the contract wanted to split my royalty percentage in half with the cartographer. I challenged the publisher on splitting my royalty considering the amount of creative and actual work I would do for the whole multi-volume project. The publisher asked, "if this was a do or die issue with me?" I replied, "No, but it is a question of whether I want to be a slave." The publisher would not pay for the cartographer, and I did not sign the contract.
                      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Skoblin View Post
                        Actually, I approached Helion many years ago about the Krasilnikov book especially (and several of the other titles). Even filled out an AQ for the title. They felt Krasilnikov's book was too long and wanted me to parse it down about half - which would have defeated the purpose of the book which was supposed to be a comprehensive presentation of the first 103 days of Operation Barbarossa based on operations/intelligence documents from both sides. In general, they seem to want books of limited word count, which makes it impossible to flog some of the more detailed and comprehensive accounts now offered in Russian, such as Lopukhovsky's book on Prokhorovka. The English translation of Zamulin's book was an exception that proves the rule.
                        Helion's output seems to have increased markedly in recent years - it might be worth giving them another go.
                        I have sympathy with their view on the Krasilnikov tome, a 1,300 page book is likely to be too heavy and unwieldy for most. Have you thought about publishing it in three volumes?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Emtos View Post
                          With quick Google translating.

                          KNOWN TALES

                          About another fake of the West German newspaper "Welt"

                          The date of world-historic significance is approaching - the 30th anniversary of the defeat of fascist Germany and the end of the Second World War in Europe. On the eve of this date, the peoples of the world are intently peering into the events of the past. They seek to once again understand what happened, to comprehend what needs to be done to prevent a recurrence of bloody catastrophe.

                          Media pay great attention to the the events of the past war. Newspapers, radio and television of various countries, including capitalist ones, rightly point out the crucial role of the Soviet Union in defeating fascism and liberating the peoples of Europe, emphasize the vitality demonstrated during the war years and the invincibility of the new social and state system, socialist economy, Marxist-Leninist ideology Soviet military art, the courage of Soviet soldiers, indicate a major contribution to achieving victory for the peoples and armies of the anti-Hitler coalition. However, there are also such media outlets, which, contrary to historical truth, are trying to “in their own way” explain the reasons for the defeat of Germany. These include, in particular, the West German newspaper "Welt".

                          This Springer edition, whose daily circulation is about a quarter of a million copies, has, it turns out, its “point of view” on the course of the Second World War and the reasons for the defeat of the German fascist troops. The newspaper’s regular presentation on its opinion was timed to the 30th anniversary of the Vistula-Oder operation of the Soviet troops, devoting an entire page to its analysis with text, a diagram and photographs.

                          What did the mouthpiece of the West German right forces tell their readers? In the article “The Great Germans' Escape” (or rather, the Great Defeat of the Nazi Forces) the newspaper tries to explain the reasons for the defeat of the Hitler army in this operation. The meaning of her reasoning is as follows: in fear of the Russians, the population of Pomerania embarked on a "great flight" to the west, blocked all roads and did not allow troops to act as it was necessary. Further. Hitler was too stubborn. If it were not for his stubbornness, then things on the Eastern Front would have gone differently.

                          To disrupt the next Russian offensive, in the opinion of the Welt newspaper, the German General Staff took radical measures: he appointed his best representative, Colonel General Walter Wenk, to command the troops in Pomerania. Guderian said that to Wenka (we quote from the newspaper): “Mr. Colonel-General, the General Staff has just won the battle ...”, thus making it clear that with the appointment of Wenk, the question of victory over the Soviet Army in Pomerania is a foregone conclusion. But it happened that: Wenk gets into a car accident and can not command the troops, therefore, "Welt" laments, events took an undesirable turn. And finally, the main thing: God was completely merciless to the German army. At the beginning of the Russian offensive (and it was in the middle of January) there was a lot of snow, and at the end of the offensive (it was already April) - there was no snow at all, there was a thaw. All this made the actions of the German troops difficult and helped the Russians achieve victory.

                          Is not it true, familiar tales? The inconsistency of such fictions is not even necessary to prove. Nevertheless, Welt, apparently counting on a short memory of readers, decided to resort to them again.

                          This room contains many other distortions, absurdities, frauds. Here is one of them.

                          At the very top of the strip, a close-up photograph is given of the bent tank, and below it is the following text: "This heavy Soviet tank was shot down in Pomerania" (see photo) Say, look, reader, that Hitler's valiant troops did with Soviet armor. But even those who know only about the war through cinema and books immediately find out cheating: the photo shows not the “Soviet heavy tank”, but the German tank “Tiger II”.

                          172101_original.jpg

                          What is a technical error? Lack of editorial competence? Not! This is a typical method of forgery, falsification, so often used by some in the West in order to diminish the role of the Soviet Union in achieving a world-historic victory over fascism. Fruitless attempts!

                          Col. P. VOLKOVICH

                          Red star. 1975. March 6 (No. 55).
                          Unfortunately, true.
                          My former mother in law, Emtos, was sixteen when the Red Army rolled through Eastern Germany and decades later had to be periodically hospitalised.

                          Wars of revenge are , historically hell on women nd children. Coln Ingulden's volume three describes the march of the unpaid Lancastrian army From York to London in rather graphic terms. A book series well worth reading.

                          The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gooner View Post

                            Helion's output seems to have increased markedly in recent years - it might be worth giving them another go.
                            I have sympathy with their view on the Krasilnikov tome, a 1,300 page book is likely to be too heavy and unwieldy for most. Have you thought about publishing it in three volumes?
                            To be honest, Gooner, I was surprised that the person I was dealing with at Helion back then (about 7 years ago) choose the Krasilnikov book as a possible project instead of some of the more manageable titles I had suggested. But it is all moot now as I am busy writing a book of my own.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                              Agree with your comments. Valiriy Zamulin's book (Russian edition 2005 and English edition 2012, titled, Demolishing the Myth: The Tank battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk, July 1943: An Operational Narrative), has clarified actions and corrected Soviet commander memoir accounts in the sector aerial photos. Lev Lopukhovskiy [book 2005] also used archival material clarifying actions in the Prokhorovka area [this volume has not been translated into English].
                              There is also this book available for free:
                              https://archive.org/details/29044474...ly1943/page/n1
                              Which is mostly a compilation heavily relying on previously published works.

                              Comment

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