Citadel, Prokhorovka and Kharkov: The armoured losses of the II SS Panzer Korps Sonderverbände during the battle of Kursk, July-August 1943

Ben Wheatley

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The three armoured SS Sonderverbände (special units) Leibstandarte, Das Reich and Totenkopf which constituted the II SS Panzer Korps played a key role during the battle of Kursk (5.7–23.8.1943), first during Operation Citadel (5–16.7.43) and then (minus the Leibstandarte) during the defence of Kharkov (3–23.8.43). For the first time, as a result of a recent archival discovery (complete armoured inventories for 20.7.43 and 1.8.43), this article can give the exact number of armoured losses the II SS Panzer Korps sustained during Operation Citadel, which included the supposedly crippling armoured battle of Prokhorovka (12.7.43). The article also establishes the actual number of operational AFV that was available to the II SS Panzer Korps before, during and after Operation Citadel. Taken together this information allows for a detailed examination of Hitler’s strategy preceding the defence of Kharkov, including his decision to send the II SS Panzer Korps to the Mius Front (30.7–2.8.43).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-170
Number of pages50
JournalJournal of Intelligence History
Issue number2
Early online date11 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Eastern Front
  • II SS Panzer Korps
  • Kharkov
  • Kursk
  • Operation Citadel
  • Prokhorovka
  • Second World War
  • Soviet Union

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