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Richard "the Challenger" Cutland, ex British tankie and military specialist at Wargaming, stops by to talk about the types of tanks involved in the Battle of Kursk! Early in Operation Barbarossa, the Germans didn't expect much from their opponents. They did not know about the T-34 and KV-1 tanks, which turned out to be superior designs. The Germans deployed a special commission to study Soviet tank designs and soon introduced the Tiger, Panther, and Ferdinand tanks which Hitler believed were key to victory. The Panther in particular was now outclassing Soviet tanks, but it had giant mechanical issues and broke down frequently. The Soviets had produced a new T-43 model tank, but it was designed to tackle the old German Panzer IV and didn't measure up well to the new German tanks. So they preferred to focus on the trusty T-34 tanks, which made up in speed and numbers what they lacked in range and firepower. The Kursk region also played to the Soviets' advantage in Russia: the dust storms and mudfields hindered air support from the Luftwaffe and the advance of the Wermacht. Erich von Manstein, the German commander, decided not to advance. Instead he yielded ground to the Soviets in an attempt to lure them into overextending. He successfully caught them out at the First Battle of Kharkov, but even though the Soviets suffered heavy casualties there, it wasn't enough to make a dent in their huge army. Manstein needed to do something more drastic. Both he and the Soviets recognized that the Soviet line had a weakness where it bulged out to defend the city of Kursk, making it an obvious target for the next stage of operations.
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*Music by Demetori: http://bit.ly/1AaJG4H
♫ Outro music provided courtesy of Wargaming!
"Reading 'Stars and Stripes'" by Sergey Khmelevsky
Tagged under: World War II,World War 2,World War Two,WW2,WWII,Operation Barbarossa,Barbarossa,Kursk,Battle Kursk,Kursk Tank Battle,Tank Battle,Kharkov,Battle Kharkov,First Battle Kharkov,Tank,Tank Technology,Tank Development,Panzerkomission,Eastern Front,Struggle Russia,Soviet,Soviet Union,Russia,German,Nazi,Germany,German Reich,Wehrmacht,Wermacht,Wargaming,World Tanks,T-34,T34,KV-1,KV1,T-43,T43,Panther,Panzer,Tiger,Ferdinand,Extra History,Extra Credits
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