Diary July 5, 1943

German tank has knocked-out and rolled over a Russian AT gun
A German Panzer IV tank has knocked-out and rolled over a Russian AT gun during the tank battle of Kursk.
WW2 War Diary for Monday, July 5, 1943:

Eastern Front

TANK BATTLE OF KURSK (Operation Zitadelle; ‘Citadel’): final German summer offensive; attempt to encircle and destroy 2 Russian army groups in the Kursk Salient; Hitler declares, in Order of the Day, that the operation will ‘decide the war’ and that giant new Tiger tanks will smash the Russian defences. Operation Citadel will become the greatest tank battle in military history.

Battle of Kursk (initial forces):

Soldiers Tanks Guns Planes
German900,000 men (37 division, inc. 11 Panzers)2,50010,0001,830
Russian1,300,000 men (21 armies)3,60020,0002,500
Secret War

Eastern Front: Russian forces in Kursk Salient have long been preparing to meet German onslaught thanks to British secret reports from ‘Ultra’.

Sea War

Pacific – Operation Toenails: US 43rd Infantry Division lands on New Georgia. Battle of Kula Gulf (night July 5-6): 7 Japanese destroyers (1 lost) attempt to land reinforcements on New Georgia; cruiser Helena sunk.
Mediterranean: U-boat U 593 sinks 2 US LSTs and 1 merchant ship off Algerian coast.

Air War

Mediterranean: B-17 Fortress bombers and Spitfire fighters engage 100 German and Italian fighters over Gerbini airfield (Sicily); top Italian ‘ace’ Captain Lucchini (26 victories) shot down and killed.

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