Talk:Battle of Kursk

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Good articleBattle of Kursk has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
July 4, 2015Good article nomineeListed
Did You Know
A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on July 24, 2015.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that on 5 July 1943, Nazi Germany launched its final major offensive against the Soviet Union in the Battle of Kursk?
WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors  
WikiProject iconThis article was copy edited by Diannaa, a member of the Guild of Copy Editors, on April 10, 2010.


Dennis and Dircovic removed my information, but you didn't show a valid reason why you said that (book, book-review, link...), while Litvinenko's book is a valid source, and he shown how Heersarzt 10-Day Casualty Reports per Army/Army Group (based on the reports of the German troops) are understated. Remove a valid source (without a valid reason) is wrong. Don't do it again, please! If you want to remove it, please show me a valid source that confirmed Litvinenko's estimate is wrong (book, book-review, link...) Utakem8 (talk) 04:08, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

I tried to find reviews on this source, but google.scholar gives no references to it. It does not automatically mean this source is unreliable, but it definitely means we have no reason to claim it is reliable. Taking into account that some modern Russian historical writings may be of questionable quality (taking into account that the subject, Velikaya Otechestvennaya Voina is a very sensitive topic in Russia, and keeping in mind the official position of the Russian Minister of Culture on that account), it is highly desirable to see how widely this source is being cited. It may be quite possible that in future this point of view will become mainstream, and these conclusions will become universally accepted. However, currently we have to treat this source with cautions.
I may be wrong, so if you provide more references to the works authored by this scholar, I'll try to check if they are being cited by others, if any reviews on his works are available, and if they are positive or not. However, so far we don't have enough information to trust this source more than the sources the article currently cites.--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:20, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
It seems the source ("Military-industrial review") is not an academic peer-reviewed source, so the texts published there have not been vetted by a scholarly community. They may be (although not necessarily are) of unknown quality. If you ask for a third opinion on WP:RSN, the verdict will be "not reliable". I suggest you to self-revert and, if Litvinenko is a really good historian, you will be capable of providing another article or book on the same subject authored by Litvinenko, which is published in a peer-reviewed journal of by a good publisher. In that case, we can return to this question.--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:32, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
you can see online version: (talk) 09:22, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
I do not see this book to be reliable for german losses as it's purely based on guesswork made by calculating some strength reports and averaging the number of losses by months. The Heeresarzt reports are far more reliable than that as those are based on facts. The claim by this "author" that Heeresarzt reports are incomplete and lacking many losses moves this more to soviet propaganda (AKA alternative facts). --Denniss (talk) 08:20, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
All of your said are only personal view, not a valid reason. Please add data, book, link... confirm Litvinenko's estimate is wrongUtakem8 (talk) 09:08, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
The burden of proof falls on the editor adding the source to prove that it is reliable. You have not shown any evidence of reliability for Litvinenko, so the content will not be added back. Kges1901 (talk) 09:24, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
(EC) You added a book from an unknown author, heavily contradicting losses cited/stated by reliable authors/historians so you are in the position to prove the authors wild claims/guesses are valid. --Denniss (talk) 09:27, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
You can see online version (link) in here. And Vladimir Litvinenko is very famous authors in Russian, he is Putin's advisor (you can Google to find him)Utakem8 (talk) 09:37, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
The Vladimir Litvinenko who is being discussed here is Vladimir Vasilievich Litvinenko, who claims to be a doctor of technical sciences and a professor. Vladimir Stefanovich Litvinenko is Putin's adviser, and a completely different person. Kges1901 (talk) 10:07, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

Break Comment[edit]

Since I have been accused of deliberately removing citations without proper reason, I will clarify my motivation behind. Litvinenko claims not only that the German medical service would downplay losses, but he also denigrates several Russian historians that allegedly overstate Soviet losses, as those, who contribute to the "Soviet human wave-attack myth". In his final verdict, the Red Army lost 370-380 thousand and the Wehrmacht 380-430 thousand soldiers, killed, wounded and missing.[1] It should be noted that Krivosheev consider the three independent channels in the German army[2] for submitting casualties reports as "fairly accurate" and "most comprehensive". However, he notes that in the final stage of war, the reports were less accurate.[3] Krivosheev consider at least 800,000 Soviet casualties for the Battle of Kursk, which seem to be in stark contrast to what Litvinenko wants to claim, Overall, Litvinenkos calculation methods and extrapolation of casualties are not convincing and I would cite it only with caution. Regards Dircovic (talk) 11:13, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

"Red Army lost 370-380 thousand" - because Litvinenko counted only killed + seriously wounded (went to hospital)Utakem8 (talk) 12:25, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
I doubt it, because Krivosheev made it clear, that these casualties are irrecoverable losses and they are not returning to the battle of Kursk any time soon. Your claim that he would "only count" seriously wounded is insupportable, given Litvinenkos calculation methods behind it. Dircovic (talk) 20:36, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  1. ^ [Цена Курской битвы — часть II (see last para.)]
  2. ^ "During World War II there were three independent channels in the German armed forces for the submitting of casualty reports. The first channel was for gathering reports from HQs, the aim being to give superior commands an idea of the number of casualties and of reinforcements needed. The second channel was via the medical service and its purpose was that hospitals' workload could thus be assessed, and to ascertain whether hospitals needed to be relocated or their capacity increased. The third channel was to provide personal details of armed services' casualties. Reports via all three channels were submitted, depending on their purpose, to the relevant headquarters (of the army, navy or air force) so that the necessary decisions could be taken." Krivosheev, Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century, Greenhill Books, 1997
  3. ^ "In the final stage of war, however, because of general confusion on the German-Soviet front, the accuracy of these summaries fell sharply. [...] Generally this meant that the figures were calculated on the basis of information pertaining to the preceding months. The systematic recording of casualty numbers was also disrupted at this stage, and reports were contradictory and imprecise, This was particularly true of statics from logistic and servicing units, subunits and departments and also the police and other paramilitary formations made up of foreign nationals (Serb, Croats, Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, French, Beligans, Dutch, etc.)" Krivosheev, Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century, Greenhill Books, 1997
Krivosheev also counted only those wounded that were hospitalized, Mudriy zmei (talk) 14:44, 5 September 2018 (UTC)


It looks confusing. If we list Citadel and Battle of Kursk separately, we imply they were two different battles (which was obvioulsy not the case). However, if Germans sustained 50,000 KIA during Citadel and 50,000 during the battle of Kursk, does it mean they sustained no casualties during the second phase, or "Battle of Kusk" started after Citadel was stopped?--Paul Siebert (talk) 20:40, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

Two other comments. As far as I know, Germans considered every tank that tad been towed to a repair facility as "damaged". In contrast, Soviets used more loose approach. Therefore, many, if not majority of "damaged" German tanks were actually lost either because they were unrepairable or because they were seized during subsequent retreat. Second, I see Frieser as a source for some Soviet losses. I am wondering what data were used by this author? If they were German data, I have no idea on how could the retreating army adequately count the losses of the enemy. If he used soviet data, I would like to see this source. In addition, as soon as we use German data for Soviet losses, it seems natural to use Soviet/Russian data for German losses.--Paul Siebert (talk) 21:00, 1 November 2018 (UTC)

The relevant page from Friester is here, page 152. He uses Soviet documents for the figures, but does not add those figures up; the article statistic was created by adding the highest estimate of Voronezh Front losses with Central Front losses from a different period. Kges1901 (talk) 21:43, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Frieser cites Boris Sokolov, whose claim about 40+ Soviet casualties in WWII is totally fringe. Anyway, my other concerns have not been addressed.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:37, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
I am referring to the Soviet tank losses here, which is the only case that Frieser is used for Soviet losses, and Frieser's figures for tank losses are based on Soviet archival documents, not Sokolov. OTOH the addition method used for the maximum of Soviet tank losses borders on WP:SYNTH and instead the relevant tank loss figures should probably be in a footnote, explained throughly. As for the German casualties, Battle of Kursk is supposed to refer to the entire battle and Operation Citadel to only the German offensive phase. Kges1901 (talk) 23:41, 1 November 2018 (UTC)
Actually, Frieser says "1614-1956 fighting vehicles" was a total loss during the defensive phase, so I see no synthesis here. The only question regarding tanks is how did Germans took into account the tanks that were captured in repair shops?
Regarding the rest, a separation on "Citadel" and "Battle of Kursk" is misleading, and a footnote is not an option. It should be "German offensive (Citadel)" and "Total", otherwise a reader may conclude only the Soviet offensive is considered the battle of Kursk. I was going to fix that, however, I see some problem: the section about German casualties says the losses were 50k KIA during Citadel and 50k total, which is definitely not the case. Some figures are definitely wrong. Can anybody check it?--Paul Siebert (talk) 00:45, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

German casualties. Do Secondary sources use the Primary source cited and how do they interpret them?[edit]

Would anyone care to begin? Simon Adler (talk) 04:53, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
For the beginning, can anybody provide a good link to the Bundesarchive document (a primary source) and explain how was the figure of 52000 KIA/MIA was obtained? It does not seem obvious to me, and we need to see a procedure to decide if that was an original research.--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:54, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
This figure is obtained by adding up the casualties of 9th Army between 1 July and 30 August 1943. There is no need for a link that currently works because it is already archived on webcitation and that is what webcitation is for. Kges1901 (talk) 00:16, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
While the German medical data has been considered reliable by many works, there's still an error in the infobox. According to Germany and the Second World War Vol. VIII p. 200 : The German offensive, Operation CITADEL, together with the two Soviet counter-offensives, lasted for some 50 days. [...] German losses in the course of these three operations (over the period 5 July to 23 August) amounted to approximately 170,000 men, of whom 46,500 dead or missing.
As detailed above, the Germans incurred the following losses during the individual operations: CITADEL: 54,182, of whom 11,023 dead or missing; Orel offensive: 86,064, of whom 25,515 dead or missing; Belgorod–Kharkov Offensive: just under 30,000, of whom approx. 10,000 dead or missing. Dircovic (talk) 00:44, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Exact German casualties for the Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive Operation can be found on p. 197: [FN] See the statistics of the OKH medical officer in BA-MA RW 6/v. 558. According to the 10-day reports for the two periods 1 to 10 August and 11 to 20 August, the total losses of the two German armies amounted to exactly 25,068 men, of whom 8,933 dead or missing. To conclude, German casualties for Operation Citadel are 54,182, of whom 11,023 dead or missing, and 111,132 men, of whom 19.956 dead or missing for the Battle of Kursk. Dircovic (talk) 01:13, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
In that case, I suggest that Frieser's figures replace the 52,000 total that is already there as they are isolated for the specific operations. Kges1901 (talk) 01:20, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
@Kges1901: Should that be sufficient diff? Cheers! Dircovic (talk) 01:42, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
That is satisfactory. Thanks, Kges1901 (talk) 01:58, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Re: "While the German medical data has been considered reliable by many works..." I see no problem to use the sources that use German medical data. However, the way the archival data are used in this article is unacceptable: first, the casualties figures have been extracted from these archival data according to some non-transparent and non-trivial procedure, which is an original research; second, the reference to some blog is unacceptable (if these data were taken from some archive, provide the archival document's number; third, the link is dead, the reference to WaybackMachine discredits Wikipedia. I remove this reference, please, do not restore it in this form. If a reference to this archival document is still needed, add a correct reference.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:51, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
Taking into account that a good secondary source has been added recently, the reference to archival documents is redundant. Please, do not re-add it: we need to be very cautious with primary sources, and we should avoid them.--Paul Siebert (talk) 01:56, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
So, have we reached consensus that Frieser's secondary source is an acceptable interpretation of the primary sourced medical records and should be used? It seems ok to me. Simon Adler (talk) 02:31, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
I haven't studied this question in details (there may be some more recent source that questions Frieser), but I see no formal reason to object.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:42, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

~100,000 German casualties (including wounded) for a whole battle not possible. Germans lost over 100,000 killed in July-August 1943 It looks like a confusion or an anti-Russian falsification. Publish another estimates. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:26, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

Recent edit[edit]

Preserving here by providing this link; my rationale was: "undue claims from Mainstein's self-serving memoirs". --K.e.coffman (talk) 23:30, 30 December 2018 (UTC)