Kursk is famous for having THE biggest tank battle in history, although recent publications strongly refute this. Even so, I ensure there will be some almighty tank battles over the weekend but as ever the outcome of the battle was, once more dicated by the humble footsoldier so please dont think that this weekend is simply and event for the Axis player to dish out some long range, big cat, pain to the Soviet armour.
For the first time at a Fear Naught I took up the offers of some respected folk in the FoW community to help out with list checking to ensure that we maintained a good balance of forces. In fact some very good ideas were proposed to me over the Gazala weekend regarding lists and how they could work.
Finally, some of you were glad to know that the artillery and air cards got a tweak, not only to more accurately resemble the way it worked at Kursk but to also make sure what artillery available is more fairly distributed over the weekend, subject to some anomalies of course.
Here’s a summary of the weekend:
Early morning combat on the 12th of July saw SS forces simultaneously launch attacks on the outskirts of Prokhorovka in the Northern sector and also a force surrounded the cut off Russian troops at Jamki. In the middle a combined SS/Heer force pushed against the Russian lines at Storoshewoje. Two Heer forces attacked the village of Leski and at the Southern end of the line Oserowo.
The fighting was brutal along the entire line and early news reported that the two SS forces in the North were successful while news further South was far from positive. The middle sector and southern sector had hit the Russian forces hard but had discovered a resilient Russian opponent with strength in depth.
Later in the morning (Sat pm) saw the SS forces push further into Prokhorovka and also beyond Jamki attempting to make the most of their gains in the morning. In the middle and South the Russians immediately went on the counter offensive. Once more the SS troops in Prokhorovka succeeded in pushing the Russians back to the far southern outskirts of Prokhorovka. Meanwhile the SS extended themselves at Jamki and the push came to an end, with the Russians holding their ground.
In the Centre at Storoshewjoe the Russians pushed on with some strength and pushing beyond the crucial rail lines and towards the Komssolmolets State farm, in the South the Russians were also succeeding in pushing back the German forces. In the far southern sector the advance was slowed.
The afternoon’s battles on the 12th of July (Sunday’s games) saw both sides committing their reserves to the fight.From the Russians most of these were sent to the central sector with a plan to push through the SS/Heer forces and into the SS flank further North. German reserves were spread out thinner. The German forces had something of a surprise turnaround with both Southern Sectors stabilising comfortably, finally in the centre the German forces held too. The Russians who had gone on the attack around Jamki failed to move the Germans from their positions and around Prokhorovka the SS forces finally ran out of steam and were contained.
Consequently, the rough front line in the early hours of Saturday morning had a few bulges in it , on both sides but was essentially the same with minimal German gain overall (of land). However, given the importance of the task and the huge swathes of land still ahead of them not to mention the depth of the russian defences. The campaign was therefore a failure for the Germans and a minor overall victory for the Russian forces.