Battle of Prokhorovka

July 12th 1943

At 04:30 (German Time) the Panzergrenadiers of 2 SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment renewed their offensive towards the towards the town of Prokhorovka, followed shortly after by the panzers of the 1 SS Panzer Regiment. They had been moving forward for about an hour when the Panzergrenadiers started to fire off purple flares, huge numbers of flares soared in to the sky all along LSSAH's front line. Purple flares were fired as a tank warning. Leibstandarte had walked in to a massive counteroffensive by Rotmistrov's 5th Guards Tank Army. Soon soviet artillery started smashing into the German positions

This scenario depicts the huge tank battle in front of Prokhorovka between 1 SS Panzer Grenadier Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler and the majority of the 5th Guards Tank Army

Map and Order of Battle


The German forces are deployed in the locations indicated. None of the German forces are dug in.

The Nebelwerfers are on the west flank of the artillery positions

The Soviet 25th tank Brigade together with 1529th SU Regiment deploy in Prokhorovka. The other tank corps start off table and enter in the locations indicated

The 110th tank Brigade and the 36th Guards Tank Regiment can enter the table anywhere in the top half of the right table edge. They arrive for the 12:00 turn (turn 12). [Historically these units remained in reserve all day and were not committed to the battle]

The 53rd Motor Rifle Brigade enters anywhere in the lower half of the right hand table edge at 0930 (Turn 7)

The 99th Tank Brigade's appearance depends on circumstances - see the special rules

The 169th Tank Brigade arrives on table at 0800 (turn 4) followed by the 55th Guards Tank Regiment at 1000 (turn 6). Both units enter the bottom table edge anywhere to the right of Stalinsk, but not within 1000m and LOS of any German AFV or AT gun.

If playing CDTOB then orders for units are laid the turn before arrival

Terrain Notes

The map is 5km x 10km

The red line is the main road. The pink lines are single track dirt roads - all are bordered by intermittent scrub providing light cover and breaking LOS

The black hashed line is a railway. Part of it is embanked but as it runs along the ridge-line this is irrelevant, though it does stop AFV's taking up hull down positions where the railway coincides with the ridge line

The blue lines are gullies, though they are unlikely to have much water in them in July. There are fairly deep and wide. [CD] It takes a cautious advance move to cross a gully, so a unit on hasty advance orders would lose half of it total move allowance. [WPD] lose half move. There is plenty of scrub in the gullies and they provide good cover against DIRECT fire ([CD] +2, [WPD] 4+ save) - there is no bonus vs IDF. Vehicles taking cover in the Gullies can not fire out - the banks are too steep. Infantry can move down the gullies at half speed. Whilst moving down the gullies only stands touching the gullies have LOS against the moving troops. Within the Gullies LOS is 4". Most of the gullies are tree-lined (indicated by the green dots) - the tree lines break LOS (but see below)

The dashed brown lines are ridge-lines. They break LOS. AFV's touching them can claim hull-down status. The units on the dark brown ridges can see over the light brown ridges and the tree-lines. They can not see over the built up areas

The gray areas represent buildings. The outskirts of Prokhorovka will be wooden buildings ([CD] +2, [WPD] 5+ Save). The farms and the centre of Prokhorovka contain substantial buildings ([CD] +3, [WPD] 4+ Save)

The double black line is a AT Ditch which is impassable to vehicles. Troops on foot lose half their move crossing it. It provides good cover against DIRECT fire ([CD] +2, [WPD] 5+ save) - there is no bonus vs IDF. The road crosses the ditch

The open terrain is fields, some will have corn in them in July. The fields are large greater than 1km square. The field borders do not provide any useful cover

Special Rules

The game starts at 0600 German Time (0800 Moscow Time). Turns in both systems will be half hour long. The battle will finish at dusk 1900 (26 turns). Historically the battle petered out circa 15:00 (18 turns)

Just off the top table edge are a long series of villages along the Psel River that are occupied by the Russians. In amongst those villages are the remains of the 99th Tank Brigade. It was planned for the 18th Tank Corps to link up with the Brigade and for it to join the offensive [historically it ended up engaging Das Reich to the northwest]. To represent this at the end of turn 2, and each turn thereafter, roll 2d6. On a 11+ the 99th may enter anywhere along the top table edge as long as its 500m from all German AFV's

LSSAH's artillery was committed in support of Totenkopf to the West at the start of the offensive as Totenkopf was lagging behind Leibstandarte, leaving its western flank exposed. For this reason the German artillery calling scores are very low. In CD terms although the batteries indicated are dedicated they can only be called on a 3 or less. The call values are printed in the OB for WPD. As soon as a soviet tank west of the railway gets over half way down the table, or any tank east of the railway gets within a km of the guns the calling values revert to normal (3+ for WPD)

Both sides committed huge numbers of aircraft to the battle, with the Germans maintaining tenuous air superiority. At the beginning of each side's turn roll 2d6 for air attacks

German: 1-7: no planes, 8: 1 Ju-87D, 9: 1 Fw-190F, 10: 1 Ju-88A, 11: 2 Ju-87D, 12 Roll Twice

Soviet: 1-8: no planes: 9: Il-2m, 10: Pe-2, 11: 2 Il-2m, 12 Roll Twice

Targeting in game terms is random. In CD terms all planes are in GS. For each plane randomise which square foot of table it will target. The target point is the centre of the square targeted. If an area is picked with no enemy targets in it, then roll d6. on a 6 the plane attacks friendly troops, otherwise re-roll the attack location

Air attacks stop on the 15:00 turn (turn 18)

Victory Conditions

There are four victory locations: Stalinsk, Octiabriski, the LSSAH gun line and the two roads leading off the left table edge

The Soviets must:

The Soviets win a stunning victory if they get all 4 conditions; a major victory if they achieve 3 and a minor victory if they achieve 2. Getting one victory condition is a draw. The germans win a minor victory if they Soviets fail in their victory conditions. If the Soviets fail in their victory conditions and the Germans kill more tanks and SU's than they lose AFV's (not armoured cars, SdKfz-250 & 251) the Germans win a decisive victory. In addition if they have any stands in Prokhorovka not shaken or demoralised at games end they win a stunning victory


AVMAS: Maps:

Battle for Kursk - Soviet General Staff Study: David M. Glantz & Harrold Orenstein

Battle of Kursk: David M. Glantz & Jonathan M. House.

Kursk 1943: Nicklas Zetterling & Anders Frankson

Notes on tank strengths at Prokhorovka from David Glantz lecture on Kursk at Historicon 2006

Prokhorovka, V.N.Zamulin