Belgorod-Bogodukhov Operation

Waffen-SS Panzergrenadier
The Belgorod (Russia) - Bogodukhov (Ukraine) Offensive Operation in July – August 1943 was another Soviet operation that followed the Battle of Kursk. In the fighting that took place on both sides of the Merla and Merchik rivers, the superiority of the Waffen-SS was clearly evident, in spite of being involved in combat operations continuously since July 5 1943. Whilst SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Wiking and 3.Panzer-Division (Wehrmacht) conducted primarily defensive operations, SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Das Reich and Totenkopf repeatedly blunted attacks of Soviet elements south of the rivers and Bohodukhiv. As at Prokhorovka, the Soviets enjoyed tremendous numerical superiority in tanks. Both 1st Tank Army and 5th Guards Tank Army began the operations with over 500 tanks each, while the SS Divisions never had more than about 30 – 50 tanks each at any time during this offensive, in spite of this, all Soviet attempts to penetrate to the railroad line were repulsed with bloody losses in men and tremendous loss in tanks. Belgorod was finally retaken on August 6 1943 and the way was now clear for the concentration of Soviet forces for the final battle of Kharkov (Ukraine). Image: Battle-hardened Panzergrenadier of the Waffen-SS in the battle at Belgorod. His Karabiner 98 Kurz is equipped with a mounted Schießbecher (rifle grenade launcher). Credit: Wikipedia. Commons: Bundesarchiv.

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