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Prokhorovka info needed: Tank numbers, units, terrain etc

Discussion in 'Modelling' started by Tre Kronor, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. Tre Kronor

    Tre Kronor New Member

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    Hello all!
    As I said in my introduction Im planning to build a 1:72 scale diorama of the battle of Prokhorovka and I need some info.
    Due to my almost insane craving for details I was hoping someone around here could help me with these (really not important) details.
    I would like to know which units that fought there. I know that it was the 1st, 2nd and 3rd SS divisions but I want to know more exactly
    and what unit markings they had. Any other units around?

    But the most important thing Im looking for, which I assume is very difficult to find out, is tank identification numbers. Ive tried looking at pictures from Prokhorovka but it is really hard to see the numbers and if you DO see them the caption rarely tells which unit it belongs to. Also I would like to know
    which tanks the different units used. I know that Panthers and Tigers was used, did every SS division at Prokhorovka use them? As for now we have two Panthers, a Tiger, a StuG and some T-34s. What camo did they use? After a goggle search some kind of light brown/green pattern showed up. But that doesnt seem right for some reason. Its almost desert brown. As for the T-34s, did they even have camo at Prokhorovka? The above questions apply to the soviet side as well. But the german is most important.

    Another problem I got is the terrain. I cant seem to find any map that makes sense to me. Buildings, elevation and so on. Any help would be very much appreciated.
    I can never get too much information.

    Best wishes!

    NOTE: I did post this same topic in another thread, I hope its ok that I post it here too.

    EDIT: The main purpose of posting this thread here as well is to get some info on the terrain and buildings. But every little piece of informatio about any of this
    is much appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. coporado

    coporado New Member

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    Hi Kronor,

    Maybe this is a good reference for your research
    http://www.amazon.de/Demolishing-Myth-Prokhorovka-Operational-Narrative/dp/1906033897

    There is several documentary stuff on youtube. As far as I remember the Battlefield documentary contains participating divisions, commanders etc. . Look for this one here

    Battlefield - The Battle of Kursk
    Once you know which divisions participated you should be able to find details about tanks, insignia etc. on the web.
     
  3. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    You can find plenty of material on the web, though if you are looking for historical accuracy in your diorama a book will help you to discard obviously mislabeled pictures of which there are plenty. Find a picture you like from one of the SS divisions and take it from there.

    The one below is probably the best price/quality ratio you can find, strangely for Glantz, it has readable maps though as usual, he has very few photos. It does include a complete listing of available tanks for each involved division.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Battle-Kursk-David-Glantz/dp/0700613358

    If you want something less scholarly look at the Osprey publishing offerings on the Kursk campaign.

    IIRC the 200 available Panthers were all in two special formations attached to the Grossdeutchland division so were not involved in the Prokhorovka melee that was an almost exclusively SS affair. The Tigers were parcelled out in company sized formations (sometimes mixed with Pz IIIN "support" tanks) to most Panzer divisions (and panzergrenadier as the SS divisions and GD had not been reclassified as panzer yet). This parcelling out makes historical tank numbers difficult to guess without very detailed orders of battle as a particular 3 digit company/platoon/tank turret number (example 312 means the second tank of the first platoon of the the third company) may apply to a Tiger in a division and to something else in another so you will need photos to get it right .
     
  4. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Ah - the Incredible Shrinking Battle Of Kursk ! ( to use historian Robert Citino's phrase ) . As has been stated above, no Panthers fought at Prokhorovka and much of the 'heavy lifting' was done by StuG IIIs and Panzer IIIs/IVs.

    For much detail including the latest research, I'd recommend 'Thunder At Prokhorovka' by David Schrank which does its best to give a full combat history, with useful appendices including Order of Battle, strengths and losses. You've maybe already seen them, but there's a lot of good stuff modellers in Spezzano's six-volume RZM Publications set, 'Waffen SS At Kursk' - but these are expensive. Many of the same photos can be found in the four 'Koursk' special editions of Armes & Militaria magazine.
     
  5. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    I think all of the Panthers were concentrated in a Panzer Brigade of two regiments, 38th and 39th Pz. Rgt. attached to Gross Deutschland PGD, and the majority of the machines were lost early in the offensive. I had a conversation with someone who delved deep into the operational records, and according to him, the impact of the mechanical undependability of Panther Ds was somewhat overplayed in the historiography; though the losses to causes other than combat was indeed alarming, the greatest number of Panther tank casualties were the result of combat, the lion's share of which occurred in a firefight of several hours when the Brigade's CO was wanted at headquarters and a Tiger battalion commander, Graf Strachwitz, was put in command temporarily. The Count apparently ordered a crazy charge and the Panthers were hit by concentrated enfilading fire from anti-tank guns.

    For you gents who had read their Zetterling, how did Zetterling account for the German withdrawal from the salient if his argument is that losses were not neither as high as once believed nor in itself decisive? From my reading of both earlier works and revisionist historiography, my speculation is that the withdrawing of the II SS Panzer Corps into reserve and expected Russian counteroffensives elsewhere made the salient too dangerous to hold.
     
  6. Tre Kronor

    Tre Kronor New Member

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    Sorry to post again, but I need some more info. As I said above, I have a pinch of ADD, so this is why Im so annoying. What I need to know is this: did all three SS divisions fight outside Prokhorovka together or was it, for example 1st SS div further north and 3rd SS more to the south? Its in scale 1/72 and the terrain is 1,70 meters, I dont know how many meters that is in 1/72 scale, and thats the point. If someone figures it out, then would panzers from all three divisions operate in that area at the same time? I mean could I place a Tiger from 1st SS along with panzer IVs from the other two on the same piece of terrain? The other question is where was the division markings located on Tigers, Panthers (for another diorama) and panzer III and IVs. And a StuG III. I cant figure it out when I search for images. And the tank numbers, where do they go on each vehicle? Did any Sdkfz with 37m PAK participate as well? Im sorry for being retarded and posting again.
     
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Please read the site I referred to. You get the numbers there. One unit attacked the other covered the flank.On scale you need to ask somebody else as we probably can only answer war questions...

    The maps of the attack can be found there I believe, and donĀ“t forget the units attacking further south which where meant to hit the side Abteilung Kempf...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kursk-1943-Plan-GE.svg

    You must also remember the Germans changed the unit emblems to confuse the Russians on their tanks. panthers were pretty much out of battle and Model stopped his northern attack because he was aware the Red Army was about to attack his flank so it is not that simple, sorry.
     

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