Operation Citadel and the Red Army's Advance West.
By Jenny P, Angeline Y, and Lauren H
In 1943, Germany’s strategic defeat in Operation Citadel, the last major German offensive against the Soviets on the Eastern Front, was precipitated by Hitler’s indecisiveness and a lack of reserves, ultimately ending German dominance on the Eastern Front.
-Operation Citadel was a German offensive against Soviets in 1943.
-Took place in the Kursk Salient on the Eastern Front
-Initiated the Battle of Kursk
-Was the last German offensive against the Soviets on the Eastern Front.
-Goal: recover German initiative, restore prestige, and reduce the Kursk Salient.
-Operation Barbarossa and Battle of Stalingrad had weakened Germany
-The delay gave Soviets time to prepare.
-Known as the greatest tank battle of all time.
German Military Strategy
-Two blitzkrieg armor-led pincer attacks at the north and south would converge and surround Soviet forces at Kursk.
-German 9th Panzer Army, aka Army Group Center, came from the north
-German 4th Panzer Army, aka Army Group South, came from the south.
Original planned date for Operation Citadel, but it was postponed by Hitler.
TIMELINE - 1943
Operation Citadel was launched.
The last reserves of the Northern German army were used up.
Hitler ordered the end of Operation Citadel.
German forces were pushed back to starting positions.
Russian Military Strategy
-Soviets prepare 6 trench lines of 3 to 5 trenches each, and 6 Soviet armies were held in reserve
-Massive network of field shields, mines, and anti-tank guns.
-Russians significantly outnumbered Germans
-Joseph Stalin and his top military commanders intended to expand the bulge into a wedge between the two German army groups. (notecard)
Erich Von Manstein:
Georgy Zhukov: Red Army General and served as a cavalry commander. Controlled the Soviet Forces in Kursk.
Field Marshal, Commanding German Army Group South during Operation Citadel.
The German army did not have the mass it needed to defeat the Soviet defenses.
Economy of Force
The Germans left the entire Eastern Front open to the subsequent Soviet counterattack.
The British cracked the German enigma code, and passed the information on to the Soviets
Unity of Command
It was not clear who was making decisions for the German army.
Red Army Advancement
-Over the next month, the Russians pushed Germans back on both fronts.
-Much of German army moved towards Southern Italy in order to block Western powers, this left room for the Soviets to advance west towards Germany
- The Soviets protected their ground and the Germans were unable to progress further into the East.
-Germany was defeated and lost all chances of recovering initiative on the Eastern Front.
How was Germany defeated?
-Germany was tactically superior, but delay in launching gave Russia time to prepare
-Germany lacked reserves and was heavily outnumbered by Russia
-Momentum lost when Hitler heard Americans and British had invaded Sicily, and he wanted to stop the Allies from taking Italy.
Add short body of text
Operation Citadal, the last of many German offensives in Russia, was critical to the outcome of World War II. It allowed the Soviets to make advancements into Germany that would eventually lead the war to a close.
At each table group, you have one crossword sheet.
Work together to fill it out.
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