|Flak-Abteilung of the Leibstandarte SS|
Anti-Aircraft gunners of the Leibstandarte SS alert the Luftwaffe Stuka dive bomber pilots operating over the Kursk battle area of their position to prevent friendly fire. The Stuka was heavily involved in Operation Citadel. Hauptmann Hans-Ulrich Rudel's cannon-equipped Ju 87 Gs had a devastating effect on Soviet armour at Orel and Belgorod. Rudel was the most decorated German serviceman of World War II, being the sole recipient of the Knight's Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds in January 1945. The Ju 87s participated in a huge aerial counter-offensive in July 1943 against a Soviet offensive at Khotynets and saved two German armies from encirclement. The Soviet offensive had been completely halted from the air although losses were considerable. The Stuka arm lost eight of their Knight's Cross during the Kursk offensive. Image: Leibstandarte SS at Kursk salient in July 1943. Commons: Bundesarchiv.