Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E
Waffen-SS Panzer VI Tiger at the Kursk salient
The Waffen-SS alone claimed a huge number of tank kills – 1,149 in total – during Operation Citadel, along with the destruction of 459 antitank guns, 85 aircrafts and 47 artillery pieces. SS-Oberstgruppenführer Hausser´s men also took 6,441 prisoners. This, indeed, could be considered a great victory. However, from Soviet viewpoint the Battle of Kursk was a strategic success. Their defence tactics worked, preventing the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS breaking through into open and using their Blitzkrieg-style of warfare to outflank, confuse and surround the Soviets. But any hope the Soviets may have had of dealing a major defeat to the II.SS-Panzerkorps ended. Prochorovka was believed to have been a significant German defeat but was actually a stunning reversal for the Soviets. Careful study of the daily reports and combat records of II.SS-Panzerkorps, available on microfilm at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., provides information that the Germans may have been near a success on the southern flank of the Kursk salient. As Feldmarschall von Manstein suggested, Prokhorovka may truly have been a lost German victory. Top image: Tiger fires its main gun at Kursk. Footage from Die Deutsche Wochenschau. Fair use. Bottom image: A Waffen-SS Tiger moves forward at Kursk salient on the exposed Russian steppe. Commons: Bundesarchiv.

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