The Battle of Kursk was a battle in the World War II, between German and Soviet forces, 450 kilometers (280 miles) south-west of soviet capitol Moscow. This battle lasted during July and August 1943. The Operation Citadel was the codename of the German attack. This military operation led to one of the deadliest conflicts in history, the Battle of Prokhorovka. The Soviet had two counter-offensives, Operation Kutuzov and Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev. This was the last offensive of the German army on the Eastern Front. On the other side, this victory was important for the Red Army and it gave them a strategic initiative for the rest of the World War II.
The plan of the German forces was to weaken the Red Army by cutting off the large number of their forces. This was planned for the summer of 1943. Hitler believed that this victory should give Germany the superiority and prestige with allies. They were considering to withdraw from the war. Hitler also believed that they will capture a lot of Soviet prisoners. They would be used in the armaments industry.
The Soviet forces had information about German plans. They got them thanks to the Tunny intercepts and the British intelligence service. The German attack was delayed, because they were waiting for the new Panther tank and more tiger heavy tanks. During that time, the Red Army had time to construct a better and deeper defense. Their defense included: fortifications, minefields, anti-tank points and artillery fire zones. Also, the depth of this defense was 300 kilometers. The German forces penetrated 35 km in the south and 8-12 km in the north. The Soviet’s counter-offensive during the summer were first successful counter-offensives in the war.