Battle of Kursk: Operation Citadel 75th Anniversary
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The Battle of Kursk was a Second World War engagement between German and Soviet forces on the Eastern Front near Kursk (450 kilometres or 280 miles south-west of Moscow) in the Soviet Union during July and August 1943. The German offensive was code-named Operation Citadel (German: Unternehmen Zitadelle), The Germans hoped to weaken the Soviet offensive potential for the summer of 1943 by cutting off a large number of forces that they anticipated would be in the Kursk salient. The German offensive led to one of the largest armoured clashes in history, the Battle of Prokhorovka. The German offensive was countered by two Soviet counter-offensives, Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev (Russian: Полководец Румянцев) and Operation Kutuzov(Russian: Кутузов). For the Germans, the battle was the final strategic offensive that they were able to launch on the Eastern Front. Their extensive loss of men and tanks ensured that the victorious Soviet Red Army enjoyed the strategic initiative for the remainder of the war.
Guests are met by MHT at Kursk airport before transfering to our central Kursk hotel
After lunch we explore central Kursk and have our first battle briefing
We continue our exploration of Kursk and it’s main attractions before driving to Marino
At Marino we have a tour of the palace and park complex “Marino”. The palace was built as the main residence of the princely family Baryatinsky, ancient Russian noble family, and was conceived as a symbol of dignity and grandeur of the princely family. Until now, there has remained a magnificent stucco ceilings, marble fireplaces, pristine parquet, antique furniture items. The landscaped park today there are about 180 different species of trees.
Drive to Rylsk
Tour of the ancient city of Rylsk (first mentioned in the chronicles under the year 1152), to keep the atmosphere of the old county town merchant
Sightseeing to Ivan of Rila Mountain – place of the city’s founding, the Assumption (1811) and Basil (1822). Temples with the highest 50-meter bell tower, Church of the Ascension (1866), home where the Russian rulers Peter the Great and Alexander I, the house of Prince Shemyaka, shopping ranks 18th and 19th centuries, the mansions of the richest merchants of Rila – Shelikhov, Filimonov, Vykhodtsev and others, the monument “Russian Columbus” discoverer “Russian America” GI Shelikhov, filming location of the Soviet film “Die Hard”
Having acclimatised and set the scene in the first couple of days with battle briefings we now explore the battle area itself
We drive to Ponyri for a tour of the battle sites of the northern border of defence of Kursk salient
Visit Monuments of Military Glory: monuments to signalmen, sappers and artillerymen
We inspect Teplovskiy heights from which in good weather can be seen Kursk – the main target of the German operation “Citadel”
Visit the memorial and “Poklonnaya height of 269” with a sculptural composition “Angel of Peace”
Visit to Ponyri Historical and Memorial Museum of the Battle of Kursk
Visit of the Memorial “To Heroes of the Northern FAS Kursk Bulge” on Victory Square in Ponyri and Memorial Exhibition at the train station Ponyri
Drive to Svoboda for lunch
Visit to the museum “The command post of the Central Front” for a tour in the bunker of General KK Rokossovsky where he in 1943 commanded a whole front
Excursion to a functioning monastery: Kursk Root Nativity of the Mother of Deserts with a visit to Temples and holy springs. This is one of the oldest Russian monasteries (16th century) built on the site where more than 700 years ago was situated one of the most important shrines of the Orthodox world – Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God “The Omen”
Return to Kursk
Departure in Belgorod Region
Tour of the places of battles in the southern sector of the Battle of Kursk
A Monument to Lieutenant AK Gorovtsov (only Soviet pilot shot down in a dogfight 9 enemy planes)
A Memorial to the Battle of Kursk in the village Yakovlev (tankers monuments, gunners, pilots, the Temple of St. George, the Armenian Khachkars, Muslim Kaaba)
Drive to Prokhorovka
Excursion in a museum “Third battlefield of Russia”. Visiting the memorial temple of Peter and Paul
Tour of the Prokhorovka field, where the July 12, 1943 held the largest tank battle
Belfry tour, busts of Russian generals, the exhibition of military equipment of Victory Park
Drive to Belgorod.
Sightseeing tour of the capital Belogoriya: Cathedral Square, Drama theater, monument, MS Shchepkin, Holy Trinity Boulevard, the eternal fire, an area three museums, Victory Park, a monument to the Afghans, the Transfiguration Cathedral with the relics of St. Iosaf Belgorod and an icon of St. Nicholas PATH, which about 500 years old; a panoramic area with great views of the city, the monument of St. Vladimir Equal to the Apostles, the campus, the embankment of the river Vezёlka.Ekskursiya museum-diorama “Kursk Bulge. Belgorod direction. “
Return to Kursk
After breakfast we have our final debrief and a chance for one last look around central Kursk before leaving for the airport to catch lunchtime flights.