[July 13, 2014] While attending an advanced officer course in the mid 1980s, I had the pleasure of meeting a friendly Ukrainian doctor. He was “as old as Methuselah” but was taking his time ensuring all the Army captains were in sound physical health. When my turn came to speak with him, I asked about his origins. He told me of his military service as a Soviet T-34 tank driver during the big war and that he was in a number of battles. He told me one battle was at Kursk.
He said it so nonchalantly that the average person would not have gotten the significance his participation in the largest tank battle in history. The battle took place over 8 days and involved 2 million men, 6,000 tanks, and 5,000 aircraft. The battle ended on July 13, 1943. The men of the Soviet military in this battle can be credited with mauling the German military so badly that they were unable to recover. In the Fall of that year, the Soviets began a major offensive around the Kursk salient and shortly the Germans were in retreat all along the eastern front.
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