Battle of Prokhorovka
Wed, 2017-Jul-12 01:11 UTC
Length - 3:44
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The featured article for Wednesday, 12 July 2017 is Battle of Prokhorovka.
The Battle of Prokhorovka was fought on 12 July 1943 near Prokhorovka, 87 kilometres (54 mi) southeast of Kursk, in the Soviet Union, during the Second World War. Taking place on the Eastern Front, the engagement was part of the wider Battle of Kursk, and occurred when the 5th Guards Tank Army of the Soviet Red Army attacked the II SS-Panzer Corps of the German Wehrmacht in one of the largest tank battles in military history.
In April 1943, the German high command began preparing for Operation Citadel, with the objective of enveloping and destroying the Soviet forces in the Kursk salient, by attacking and breaking through the base of the salient from north and south simultaneously. The German offensive was delayed several times due to the vacillation of the leadership and the addition of more forces and new equipment. The Soviet high command, Stavka, had learned of the German intentions, and therefore used the delay to prepare a series of defensive belts along the routes of the planned German offensive. The Soviet leadership also massed several armies deep behind their defences as the Stavka Reserve. This army group, the Steppe Front, was to launch counteroffensives once the German strength had dissipated. The 5th Guards Tank Army was the primary armoured formation of the Steppe Front.
On 5 July 1943 the Wehrmacht launched its offensive. On the northern side of the salient, the German forces bogged down within four days. On the southern side, the German 4th Panzer Army, with Army Detachment Kempf on its eastern flank, attacked the Soviet defences of the Voronezh Front. They made slow but steady progress through the Soviet defensive lines. After a week of fighting, the Soviets launched their counteroffensives, Operation Kutuzov in the northern side and a coinciding one in the southern side.
On the southern side of the salient near Prokhorovka, the 5th Guards Tank Army engaged the II SS-Panzer Corps of the 4th Panzer Army, resulting in a large clash of armour. The 5th Guards Tank Army was decimated in the attack, but succeeded in preventing the Wehrmacht from capturing Prokhorovka and breaking through the third defensive belt – the last heavily fortified one. The German high command, unable to accomplish its objective, cancelled Operation Citadel and began redeploying its forces to deal with new pressing developments elsewhere. The Red Army went on a general offensive, conducting Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev in the southern side and continuing Operation Kutuzov in the northern side. The Soviet Union thus seized the strategic initiative on the Eastern Front, which it was to hold for the rest of the war.
This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:11 UTC on Wednesday, 12 July 2017.
For the full current version of the article, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Prokhorovka.
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