German Damaged versus Destroyed Tanks at Kursk

In his last post Niklas Zetterling notes that around 20% of German tanks lost in battle were destroyed. Here is the data I have for Kursk in July 1943 (pages 1336, 1337, and 1339 of my Kursk book):

Unit……………….Tanks Destroyed……..Tanks Damaged……..Percent Destroyed

3rd PzD                  12                                  70                            15%

GD PzGrD              26                                144                            15

Panthers                 42                                188                            18

11th PzD                 13                                124                              9

LSSAH PzGrD        20                                138                            13

DR SS PzGrD         18                                129                            12

T SS PzGrD            18                                121                            13

6th PzD                   18                                  87                            17

7th PzD                   26                                103                            20

19th PzD                 23                                  89                            21

503rd “T” Bn             5                                  70                              7

StuG units                 5                                  47                           10

Total                      226                              1310                           15%

 

Note that my count of tanks damaged/destroyed include those that broke down in combat. This is not an insignificant portion. It does not include tanks that were damaged or broken down during the day but were back in the action before they reported towards the end of the day a count of tanks ready-for-action. Rarely do we have reports of tanks damaged, mostly just reports of the number ready-for-action each day.

These figures include assault guns. Also, these figures include Marders (self-propelled anti-tank guns), which is why they differ slightly from the figures in my previous posts.

The units are listed from left to right (west to east) as they were deployed on 5 July 1943. They were organized into three panzer corps.

Also see:

III Panzer Corps Tank Loss Reports 9-21 July 1943

 

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
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Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
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His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
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Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks

    If you can also add the ratio of the Undamaged tanks (of the Total OOB), it would help to understand the attrition of the German armour.

  2. I think you would be interested in Table III.51 of my book on page 1338. Total committed was 1749. Total damaged was 1310. Total destroyed was 226. Of course, some tanks were damaged more than once. So for example, for the Tigers (Panzer VI) total committed was 89, total damaged was 140, total destroyed was 8.

  3. I love finding and absorbing little snap-shots of information like this. As my passion project currently is the development of combat models for a WW2 computer strategy game. These insights add to a library of information running around in my head that are applied when designing the models. I’m striving to provide the player as close to an authentic simulation of managing the conflict as possible within the scope of a playable game design.

    As an aside, Dupuy, and you as well Mr Lawrence, have been influential in providing me with direction, and inspiration through your works. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading the books and blog posts. I look forward to reading your future projects.

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