1943: Operation “Citadel” / Battle of Kursk
To take revenge for Stalingrad and regain the initiative, Hitler decided to launch a major offensive operation in the summer of 1943 near town of Kursk. By July, both sides had accumulated large forces. The Germans brought in 900,000 soldiers, 2,700 tanks, 2,000 aircraft and 10,000 guns. The Red Army deployed 1,300,000 soldiers, 3,400 tanks, 2,900 aircraft and 19,000 guns. Both sides also brought several new weapons into the battle. The Germans made a major upgrade to their armored forces: a very powerful tank destroyer “Ferdinand”, and 2 new tanks - “Tiger” and “Panther”. Photo: "Tiger" tank - perhaps the most advanced (but also the most expensive) tank of WW2. It was a formidable adversary: for every “Tiger” lost, the Russians lost 8 tanks:
The Battle of Kursk became known as the largest tank battle in history. On July 12, 1943 two massive tank forces, 850 Soviet against 600 German, collided near village of Prokhorovka in an area of just 3 square miles. Tanks were dueling at point-blank range and often rammed into each other. The crews of the damaged tanks got out and engaged in a bitter hand-to-hand combat. The fighting raged for 8 hours and by the end of the day 700 tanks looked like this:
Liberation by Soviet soldiers of some of the surviving prisoners of Auschwitz. Above the gate of the camp is the famous sign-slogan “Arbeit macht frei” – “Work makes you free”. The concentration camp was discovered on January 27, 1945 by part of the 100th Infantry Division of General Fyodor Krasavina. 1st Ukrainian Front.