Storozhevoye Map for the game Prokhorovka!

As I have mentioned before, I am preparing a little write-up for the Italian wargame company Advancing Fire for their game Prokhorovka! (PROKHOROVKA! (advancingfire.com). They are designing a set of scenarios for use in the game Advanced Squad Leader (ASL). They have been providing me with some of their advance material, although I am not involved in the design of the game.

They are drawing their ASL maps from German aerial photographs of the battlefield. This is is one of the aerial photographs they are using. It is of the area Storozhevoye, some 3 1/2 kilometers south of height 252.2.

The link to their game board is below. Just click on it and the game board should appear.

PROKHOROVKA! – Storozhevoje BOARD – VERSION 23-1-21

It helps to spin the image 90 degrees to the right to match it up with the aerial photograph. Also worth looking at is the 1:50000 scale map M 37-38A in my Kursk and Prokhorovka books. The area is mostly in between the grid lines 35 and 36 and 51 to 53 (two square kilometers).

Now, I have looked their work, but I am hardly the right person to conduct photo analysis. Still, it looked pretty good to me. If anyone has any comments, criticisms, recommendations, corrections, edits, and so forth for this map, please let me know. I will forward the comments to them.

Thanks.

 

Other references:

Advancing Fire

PROKHOROVKA! (advancingfire.com)

Did the LSSAH have 3 panzer panzer companies, 4 panzer companies or two panzer battalions in July 1943? | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

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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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14 Comments

  1. Hi Christopher, part of the anti-tank ditch ( in fact the main area of destruction on 12.7.43) can be seen in the top left of the image , running below the 21.6.43 date to the road. I used this image in my first Prokhorovka article. It is the best we have of the ditch. However, the only image there is of the full length of the anti-tank ditch in German hands is GX-3734-SK-61 – 16.7.43 which I based my article on.

    Incidentally, have you seen my new article – it is free to access. https://doi.org/10.1080/16161262.2021.1889278
    I located the SS inventories for 20.7.43 & 1.8.43 they allow for a final assessment of the II SS Panzer Korps losses during Citadel and the battle of Prokhorovka. That Totenkopf lost no panzers between 11-20.7.43 is particularly interesting.

    Ben.

    • Thanks. The tank ditch is outside the area of the Storozhevoye game board. There are some other game boards I will be posting.

      Totenkopf did have a ready for action report on 11 July and another ready for action report on 13 July that was considerably lower. They had over 50 less tanks ready for action over the two days.

      • Indeed, but none of those SS-T tanks became total losses. Totenkopf had the same totals (per tank type) in its inventory for 20.7.43 as it did on 10.7.43. The same is true for its StuG as well. This is all confirmed by the 1.8.43 inventory. Totenkopf did, however, lose 2 Sf Pak between 11.7.43 and 2.8.43 but we cannot be sure when.

        As the II SS Panzer Korps began the battle of Prokhorovka with no more than 522 AFV in its inventory and concluded the battle with no less than 506 of these AFV, then at least 96.9% of II SS Panzer Korps AFV survived the battle, or to put it another way the II SS Panzer Korps lost no more than 3.1% of its pre-battle (11.7.43) AFV inventory on 12.7.43.

        11-20.7.43 maximum II SS Panzer Korps total losses (including Homeland Maintenace)

        LSSAH: 4 Pz IV (of which 1 was Homeland Maintenace)
        1 Pz VI (possible)
        1 StuG
        1 Sf Pak (Homeland Maintenace)

        DR: 4 Pz IV
        1 T-34
        2 StuG

        SS-T: 2 Sf Pak (1 or both may have been lost 30.7-2.8.43)

        Maximum total: 16 AFV lost by the II SS Panzer Korps bewteen 11-20.7.43

  2. Who speaks German can get a very good overview of the discussion in Roman Töppels talk in the Panzermuseum Munster 2017:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Usy_Cex8Zm8

    Töppel was born in Eastern Germany and speaks German and Russian, he compares in a very solid way the different narratives of the Kursk battle and points to the fact, taht already ~1965 good numbers were availabel but were not used (8 mins).

    • Quite so. Which makes it all the more surprising that none of the experts on the subject located the II SS Panzer Korps post-battle inventories until 2020.

      • “Which makes it all the more surprising that none of the experts on the subject located the II SS Panzer Korps post-battle inventories until 2020.”

        Most of the time many west German “historians” followed the Soviet narrative, they did not see an urgent need to check the numbers. 🙁

        Add the fact that the numbers Töppel refers to were provided by former SS officers and found in books published by “interesting” publishing houses.

        And military history was only the ugly little sister, and politically dangerous. That changed later but explains for me some issues.

  3. Well, I just so happen to have my boxes of SS Panzer Corps files next to my desk. The 10-day armor reports I have:

    Adolf Hitler: 1) 20 June, 2) 1 July, 3) 10 July

    Das Reich: 1) 10 June 1943, 2) 20 June, 3) 1 July, 4) 10 July, 5) 20 July 6) 1 August, 7) 20 August?

    Totenkopf: 1) 20 June, 2) 20 July

    You will note that I do report in Appendix III the count of tanks reported completely destroyed. It was also reported day-by-day in the Kursk database.

    Now, I found the 10-day reports a useful cross-check to the daily reports. In particular they were useful for tracking the Panzer Is and IIs, some of the Panzer IIIs and the command tanks that were often not reported on in the daily reports. They also were often my only source on halftrack losses. But in the end, I leaned on the daily ready-for-action reports as I was analyzing combat actions from day-to-day and wanted to track all losses, not just those that were later-on written off as destroyed. We were contracted to produce the database for combat model validation. Hard copies of our research files were made and provided to the U.S. government.

    My 20 July 1943 files include only the maps of where the lost tanks were, they do not include a complete 10-day tank status report chart.

    There is also a report dated 28.7.1943 that provides a listing all vehicles (including halftracks) that were written off as total losses (Totalausfalle) in the area of Belgorod from 5.7-18.71943. It is listed by division (LSSAH. Das Reich and Totenkopf). I assume you have that.

    .
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    P.S. I am still going through my files at the moment, so more may be added to this list.

  4. Thanks Chris, why do you think your total loss figures differ from those I provide above? Which match the inventory from 20.7.43 & 1.8.43. In addition why do think no historian of the battle has used those total loss figures? Just to check how many Totenkopf AFV tanks, assault guns and tank destroyers do you have recorded as total losses between 1.7.43 & 20.7.43. Cheers Ben.

    • Thanks Chris, why do you think your total loss figures differ from those I provide above?

      Do they? I have not checked yet. A “total loss” is different than a loss.

      I tend to focus on “losses” not the reported “total losses.” The “total losses” are listed in my appendices.

      For a listing of “totally destroyed” AFVs, see Table III.49 (page 1336 in my big Kursk book) among others (III.34, III.35, III.37, III.51, III.52).

  5. Yes, but there were only a few additional ‘homeland maintenance’ losses (the only other type of loss recorded) which I always include with total losses in any event.

    Your figures from p.1336 seem to be quite different and do not tally with the 20.7.43 & 1.8.43 inventories in my article. – the latter lists each tank by type, and includes those in long and short term repair (therefore it is a complete inventory – not just including operational AFV and those under three weeks repair). The inventory also includes losses since 20.7.43.The LSSAH transfers are also included in the 1.8.43 inventory. We know a further 15 were retained by the LSSAH and 3 went to II SS Pz Korps HQ (not including light pz).

    The engineer total loss (and homeland maintenance) report you mention from 28.7.43 is accurate for LSSAH & DR – but doesn’t include T-34 losses for the latter. The figures for SS-T are, however, far off the reality. This confirmed by the complete 1.8.43 inventory. The 5-10.7.43 DR and SS-T total loss report is also important here.

    • Well, I may have to revisit this issue at some point, but the 7/28/43 report covering 5-18 July reports for Totenkopf report: 1) 6 Pz IIIs, 2) 7 Pz IVs, 3) 1 Pz VI, 4) 1 StuG III and 5) 2 Pak Sf.

      My Table III.49 (page 1336) reports:
      Pz III long: 6
      Pz IV long: 7
      Pz VI: 1
      StuG III: 2
      Marder II: 2

      We did use multiple sources for this data, and I would have to check back to the notes I assembled 25 years ago on this (they are in the remarks fields of the Kursk Data Base). Probably not going to do that today.

      • Thank you for being so kind as to look at your data. The engineer’s report for 28.7.43 states that 1 Pz III & 1 Pz IV which had been written off as total losses had in fact already been returned to SS-T inventory. This gives us the clue that the engineer was uncertain off his findings for SS-T – no doubt as he was separated from the division.This is confirmed by the 20.7.43 and 1.8.43 inventories which clearly tell us that SS-T lost 2 Pz III, 4 Pz IV, 1 Pz VI & 1 StuG between 5-20.7.43. As you mention 2 Sf Pak were also lost. However, one or both These possibly occurred during the Mius offensive (they reported being 1 below official establishment for Sf Pak on 3.8.43). The 20.7.43 & 1.8.43 inventories confirm that DR lost 14 AFV (the 11 AFV from the engineer’s findings plus 3 T-34 losses which he did not list). I agree with you that LSSAH lost 18 AFV as stated by the Korps engineer.

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