The Battle at Prokhorovka

UpdatedDecember 29, 2003

Brief translation from

Some data specified from [1] - AMVAS

See also Maps section

Used materials of


    It should be noted that the battle at Prokhorovka was a set of tank battles in July, 10-15, 1943. In this period there were also a battle 20-35 km South of Prokhorovka (Shakhovo-Aleksandrovka) between the troops of 69th Army together with a part of the 5th Gds. Tank Army vs. 3rd German Tank Corps. From the Soviet side were used: two Mechanised brigades and a separate tank regiment of the 5th Gds. Mechanised Brigade, one tank brigade of the 2nd Gds. Tank Corps (~160 tanks) and the 96th Tank Brigade of the 69th Army (~20 tanks).

    Here I mean the Battle at Prokhorovka as a combat of the German 2nd SS Corps against  part of the troops of Soviet 5th Gds. Tank Army and 5th Gds. Army.

    ***NOTE*** Figures from different sources may vary!

Soviet Forces:

        84 T-34, 4 Mk IV "Churchill", 52 T-70, except one brigade (26th?) - 44 tanks, operated with the troops of 69th Army.

        *-These numbers are given for the end of the war.


        **-composition on Dec., 1942

        In the previous days of battle lost much tanks and had: 35 T-34, 4 Mk IV "Churchill", 46 T-70.

2nd Tank Corps. Subordinated to Voronezh Front HQ.

        OOB specification from [1] for August 01, 1943:

The 2nd TC operated together with the 2nd Gds. TC vs. SS Panzer Division "Das Reich".

The 2nd Gds. TC started attacks at 10:00 am. The 2nd TC was left in defense. Until  noon the soviet offensive was stopped by German aviation and rocket launcher's fire. At 15:00 SS panzer division launched a counter-offensive and forced soviet troops to retreat 2 km on 5km of front line.

Losses of the 2nd and 2nd Gds. TCs were ~85 tanks(47%) (44 from them irreparable).


5th Guards Mechanised Corps (Gen.-Major B.M. Skvortsov)

        10th Gds. Mechanised Brigade (Col. I.B. Mikhailov)

            51th Gds. Tank Regiment (Col. D. Ja. Klinfeld)

        11th Gds. Mechanised Brigade (Col. N.V. Grishchenko)

            54th Gds. Tank Regiment (Major V. P. Ryazantsev)

        12th Gds. Mechanised Brigade (Col. G.Ya. Borisenko)

            55th Gds. Tank Regiment (Lt. Col. Goldberg, from Aug - Lt. Col. P.K. Zhuravlev)

        24th Gds. Tank Brigade (Lt. Col. V.P. Karpov)

        52th Gds. Tank Regiment

        53th Gds. Tank Regiment

        104th Gds. Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment (Major F.Z. Babachenko)

        1447th Self-Propelled guns Artillery Regiment (Major F.V. Gajdash)

        409th Separate Gds. Mortar Battalion

        2nd Separate Gds. Motorcycle Battalion (Capt. V.P. Kuzmin)

        4th  Separate Gds. Armored Battalion

        68th Separate Gds. Field Engineer Battalion (Capt. A.V. Turetskov)

        737th Separate Anti-Tank Artillery Battalion [1]

        285th Mortar Regiment [1]


     There were 105 tanks in the 10th Gds. Mechanised Brigade and 24th Gds. Tank Brigade. In memoirs of the 5th Gds. Tank Army Commander - P.A. Rotmistrov he wrote that these brigades were used in the evening of July, 12 vs. panzer SS "Totenkopf" division, but some later works on the contrary say that they were not used that day.

    SS Panzer Division "Totenkopf" was fighting against the 42nd, 52nd, 95th, 97th Gds. Rifle Divisions of the 5th Gds. Army. In the backs of the 5th Gds. Army the weakened 31th Tank Corps of the 1st Tank Army (50-64 tanks) stayed, but it also hadn't been used that day.


18th Tank Corps (Gen.-Major B.S. Bakharov till July 25,1943)

        110th Tank Brigade (Lt.-Col. M.G. Khljupin)

        170th Tank Brigade  (Lt. Col. V.D. Tarasov -till July, 13, 1943 then - Lt. Col. A.I. Kazakov)

                1st Btln. - Capt. Isaev

        181st Tank Brigade (Lt. Col. V.A. Puzyrev)

                1st Btln. - Major Garibyan

                2nd Btln. - Capt. Skripkin

        32th Motorised Rifle Brigade

        36th Gds. Separate Tank Regiment [1]

        292nd Mortar Regiment

        ? - Anti-tank Artillery Regiment (76 mm guns)

        ? - Anti-tank Artillery Regiment (57 mm guns)

        1694th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment

        30th Gds. Mortar Regiment

        1000th Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment (data on Aug 01) [1]

        736th Separate Anti-Tank Battalion (data on Aug 01) [1]


    68 T-34, 58 T-70, 18 Mk IV "Churchill"


    29th Tank Corps (Lt.- Gen. I.F. Kirichenko)

        25th Tank Brigade (Col. N.K. Volodin)

        31st Tank Brigade (Col. S.F. Moiseev)

        32nd Tank Brigade (Col. A.A. Linev)

        53th Motorised Rifle Brigade

        108th Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment

        1446th Self-propelled guns Artillery Regiment [1]

        38th Separate Armored Car Battalion (on July 01. No such one on Aug. 01) [1]

        747th Separate Anti-Tank Battalion [1]

        271st Mortar Regiment [1]

        75th Mtcl. Btln [1]


    122 T-34, 70 T-70, 11 SU-122, 9 SU-76


    The 18th TC together with the 29th TC were ordered to start an offensive to the line: Andreevka - the grove North to the sovkhoz "Komsomolets". The next target was to capture enemy in Krasnaya Polyana, Bolshie Mayachki, Krasnaya Dubrava region. The attack started at 08:30 am.


18th TC:

Attack direction-South outskirts of Vasilievka, hills 220.4, 252.4, 251.2.

Attack order:

1st attack echelon - the 181st, 170th Tank Brigades (the nearest target-Malye Mayachki, the next target - hill 251.5, Krasnaya Polyana (181st), Krasnaya Dubrava (170th).)

2nd attack echelon - the 32nd Motorised Rifle Brigade together with Artillery group (292nd Mortar Regiment, 76mm ATAR, 57mm ATAR) and the 36th Separate Tank Regiment (after the 170th brigade. Main task: covering the right flank of the corps. Target - Sukhaya river).

3rd attack echelon - the 110th Tank Brigade and recon group. Target was to reach to the hill 251.2 at the end of a day.


    As there were three deep ravines from the left bank of Psel river to the railroad Belenikhino-Prokhorovka the tanks of the 1st echelon had to attack the strongly fortified sovkhoz "Oktiabrsky" settlement. At 12:00 Oktiabrsky was captured*.

(At the same time in memoirs could be seen the statement, that the 170th Tank Brigade (~65 tanks) was totally destroyed in  5(!) minutes.)

    On 12:00 troops of the corps were fighting on the line: 181th Brigade -Andreevka- hill 241.6; 170th brigade - the ravine South-East to Mikhailovka. 32nd Motorised Rifle Brigade was attacking Andreevka.

    At the end of the day troops of the corps reached the line: 200m East to Bogoroditskoe's church, South outskirts of Vasilievka, Andreevka, 2 windmills of Prelestnoe, northern side of ravine. At the South-Eastern side of ravine-Andreevka, sovkhoz "Oktiabrsky".

    The most strong defense was marked at hills 217.9, 241.6.

    At the end of the day German troops performed an counterattack from Kozlovka-Greznoe and Kozlovka-Polezhaev with the powerful aviation support.

    The troops of the corps took on  defensive status.

    The 32rd Motorised Rifle Brigade, 110th Tank Brigade, 36th Gds. Tank Regiment - Vasilievka, Mikhailovka, Prelestnoe.

    181st Tank Brigade - Petrovka vicinities.

    170th Tank Brigade -Petrovka (excluding), Beregovoe.

    1694th Anti-Aircraft Regiment's positions-Beregovoe vicinities.

    Artillery fire line - Vasilievka, sovkoz "Komsomolets", Psel river, road Veseliy, Polezhaev, sovkhoz "imeni Voroshilova"


*-The most discussible task, as in the same time the 32nd Tank Brigade of the 29th TC reported  an assault on this settlement and the 53rd Motorised Rifle Brigade of the same Corps managed (as it reported) not only to capture, but also to leave this sovkhoz!


29th TC:

    The target of the 29th Tank Corps was operating together with the 1529th Self-Propelled Gun Regiment and 76th Gds. Mortar Regiment (Rocket launchers) to break defense line: the grove 1 km to the North to sovkhoz "Komsomolets" and to capture enemy forces for the end of the day in Luchki, Mayachki, Pokrovka region.

    Attack order: 32th Tank brigade, 31st, 25th Tank Brigades, 53th Motorised Rifle Brigade together with the 271st Mortar (?)  Regiment. The troops of the corps attacked in the direction to sovkhoz Komsomolets, Teterevino, Pokrovka

    The landscape forced soviet tanks to stay on the road Prokhorovka-Belenikhino that lead to the lower defense of the flanks.

    In spite of powerful defense, Soviet tanks (32nd, 25th brigades) had reached sovkhozes "Oktjabrsky" and "Stalinsk" vicinities where they were stopped.

    The troops location on 11:00: 500m  North-East to sovkhoz "Oktiabrsky", 500m North-East to sovkos "Stalinsk", 500m South-East to Storozhevoe.

    32th Tank Brigade: Attacked along the railroad to the front of 900m to sovkhos "Komsomolets", sovkhoz, "Oktiabrsky", Pokrovka. Met a powerful anti-tank defense. Covered by its infantry and the infantry of the 53th Motorised Rifle Brigade, took the defensive positions in a region of hollow 1.5 km to "Oktiabrsky".

    31th Tank Brigade: Was moving after the 32th Brigade from 1 km south to Barchovka on "Oktiabrsky". Had many losses from German aviation. At 10:30 reached "Oktiabrsky" but was stopped by aviation. At 15:40 repelled a German counter-attack. Lost 24 T-34, 20 T-70, 62 men.

    25th Tank Brigade: Followed by the 122mm and 76mm self-propelled guns batteries attacked in the direction to Storozhevoe, Ivanovskiy vyselok, Teterevino, hills 228.4, 246.3, 218.3. Were taking drumfire from the forest North-West to Storozhevoe and east outskirts of Storozhevoe and lost many of the tanks. On 10:00 the residuals of tanks returned to the hollow in 1.5 km South-West to Storozhevoe (6 T-34, 15 T-70) and set in defense on unnamed hills 0.6 km south-east to Storozhevoe. Two German counter-attacks were parried. Total losses: 26 T-34, 24 T-70, 67 men.

    53rd Motorised Rifle Brigade: Attacked since 09:00. At 11:00 reported about capturing "Stalinsk", Storozhevoe, "Oktiabrsky". after enemy`s counter-attacks was forced to retreat 0.5 km east to "Oktiabrsky", South-East outskirts of Yamki.

    1446th Self-propelled Gun Artillery Regiment: Supported by the 1st and 6th batteries of the 25th Tank brigade, 2nd, 3rd, 5th - 32th Tank brigade. 11 guns were lost and damaged .

The reported total corps losses:

Used forces: T-34 - 122, T-70 - 70, SU-122 - 11, SU-76 - 9.

Total losses: T-34 - 95, T-70 -36, SU-122 - 10, SU-76 - 9

Irreparable losses: T-34 - 75, T-70 - 28, SU-122 - 8, SU-76 - 6.

The other troops of the 5th Gds. Tank Army

6th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division

1st Separate Gds. Motorcycle Regiment

678th Howitzer Artillery Regiment

994th Light Bomber Aircraft Regiment

108th Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment

689th Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment

377th Separate Engineer Battalion

4th Separate Signals Regiment

Specified from [1]:

6th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division

146th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment

366th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment

516th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment

1062th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment

678th Howitzer Artillery Regiment

689th Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment

76th Gds. Mortar Regiment

53rd Gds. Separate Tank Regiment

1549th Self-propelled gun Artillery Regiment

1529th Self-propelled gun Artillery Regiment (on August 01. No such on July 01)

1st Separate Gds. Motorcycle Regiment

994th Light Bomber Aircraft Regiment

377th Separate Engineer Battalion

Some Airborne divisions also took part in this battle (e.g. the 9th Gds. Airborne Division/33rd Inf. Corps/5th Gds. Army)


TC- Tank Corps

Gds. TC - Guards Tank Corps

ATAR-Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment


1. "Kurskaya bitva. Khroniki, fakty, ludi", Moscow, Olma-press, 2003