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|Battle of Kursk|
Tiger Tanks of the 503rd Tank Battalion in Action During the Battle of Kursk.
|Date||July 4, 1943 – July 20, 1943|
|Result|| Axis Victory
In the winter of 1942–1943 the Red Army conclusively won the Battle of Stalingrad. One complete German army had been destroyed, along with about 800,000 German and Axis troops, seriously depleting Axis strength in the east.
In February and March 1943, German Field Marshal Erich von Manstein had completed an offensive during the Third Battle of Kharkov, leaving the front line running roughly from Leningrad in the north to Rostov in the south. In the middle lay a large 200km (120mi) wide and 150km (90mi) deep Soviet-held salient (bulge) in the lines between German forward positions near Orel in the north, and Von Manstein's recently captured Kharkov in the south.
Hitler, now desperate to end the war in the east before Allied military power could threaten German–occupied Europe from the west and south, planned to eliminate the large salient formed around Kursk and destroy the large Soviet forces deployed to defend it. The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht hoped to regain the initiative on the Eastern Front.
With Hitler's assassination, and the assention of Rommel as the Chancellor of Germany, there was a big change in plans.
With the news that the attack on Kursk had been cancelled, Stalin gambled. Against Zhukov's wishes, Stalin threw his forces at the German troops.
Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev
Stalin's Onslaught had failed.