II.ϟϟ-Panzerkorps the day before the Prokhorovka clash

During the evening of July 11 1943, SS-Obergruppenführer Paul Hausser readied his divisions for an assault on Prokhorovka. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Totenkopf, commanded by SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Prieß, anchored the left flank of the II.SS-Panzerkorps, while SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Leibstandarte, commanded by SS-Brigadeführer Theodore Wisch, was in the center. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Das Reich, commanded by SS-Obergruppenführer Walter Krüger, moved into its attack zone on the corps' right flank. Feldmarschall von Manstein had prepared orders for his southern forces, with the SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Wiking in lead, to start moving towards Belgorod. While Hausser's SS divisions prepared for battle, there was feverish activity on the Soviet side as well, the Red Army consisted of the 18th and 24th Tank Corps and the Soviet 5th Guards Tank Army who were reinforced by the 2nd Tank Corps, increasing its strength to about 850 tanks. The Battle of Prokhorovka would become known as the greatest clash of armoured forces ever fought in history. Image: “Battle-weary troops are seen here taking a much-appreciated rest during a lull in the fighting. Their faces are a study in stoicism and determination, characteristics that came to define the men of the Waffen-SS as the campaign in Russia dragged on.” Fair use.

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