Operation Kutuzov

Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E
Orel July 24 1943
The Soviet Operation Kutuzov represents the final Soviet seizure of the strategic initiative in the east. With the Battle of Prokhorovka still in the balance, the massive Soviet counteroffensive near Orel (Russia) caused Hitler to order the cancellation of Operation Citadel. The German panzer forces began to withdraw from the Kursk salient to meet Operation Kutuzov. The Operation began on July 12 and ended on August 18 1943 with the destruction of the Orel bulge. The Wehrmacht were unable to stop further Soviet advances westwards and were on the defensive continually thereafter. According to official Soviet sources Soviet casualties in Operation Kutuzov were 429,890 (112,529 killed). According to German historian Karl-Heinz Frieser, Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS units suffered 86,064 casualties, including 25,515 killed and missing. Credit: Wikipedia. Top image: A Tiger I crew taking a break on the Kursk salient in July 1943. The massive Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E will remain forever a symbol of the formidable German Panzer formations of World War II. Fair use. Bottom image: Waffen-SS Grenadiers at Orel on July 24 1943. Photographer: SS-Kriegsberichter Hermann Grönert. Fair use.

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