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1st Reply From: Joe Cleere <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: QUERY: German Commandeering Russian Tanks at Kursk Date: March 29, 2010 9:53:25 PM EDT To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@h-net.msu.edu> The 2nd SS Panzer Division had about a company of T-34's that it used at Kursk. The Germans recovered them from the battlefield and put them back into working order, but camouflaged the T-34's like their own tanks and put very large German crosses on them in order to ward off friendly fire. Other German armored units did the same thing. In 1944, when the Russians overran German field workshops and depots, they would repaint captured Panther tanks, put red stars on them, and force captured German mechanics to keep them in working order. So this kind of thing went both ways. As for the documentary, it sounds like the makers took a bit of dramatic license here. I've become rather wary of anything shown on the History Channel, Discovery, or National Geographic. Their shows are always full of annoying inaccuracies and gross generalizations. Joe Cleere RBD Library Auburn University 2nd Reply From: Jason Long <email@example.com> Subject: Re: QUERY: German Commandeering Russian Tanks at Kursk Date: March 29, 2010 9:52:28 PM EDT To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@h-net.msu.edu> One of the SS-Panzergrenadier Divisions, either Reich or Totenkopf, had one of its battalions equipped with captured T-34s, but I'm certain that they didn't do anything like what the program says as they were painted with German insignia to prevent fratricide. Sounds like the usual sort of History Channel hype. David Glantz's book on Kursk would have more on their action. Jason Long 3rd Reply From: Geoffrey Megargee <GMegargee@ushmm.org> Subject: RE: QUERY: German Commandeering Russian Tanks at Kursk Date: March 30, 2010 7:12:28 AM EDT To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> I seem to remember hearing about this too. Have you looked at David Glantz and Jonathan House, The Battle of Kursk? If the incident happened, it's in there somewhere, I'm sure... Geoff Megargee 4th Reply Dear Brent: Although I have not heard of this specific tale, several of the German panzer divisions, in particular, SS "Das Reich" Division in the SS Panzer Corps, had previously captured Russian T-34 tanks incorporated into their force structure. These tanks, roughly 15-20 in number, participated in the fighting in the Prokhorovka region from 10-13 July 1943. Since this was a chaotic fight, with forces overlapping one another, it is conceivable that this is the source of the story. Kursk is replete with such apocryphal tales. All the best, David Glantz >>> Scott Hendrix <hendsn1@GMAIL.COM> 03/29/10 8:09 PM >>> From: brent atkinson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: German Commandeering Russian Tanks at Kursk Date: March 26, 2010 11:05:45 PM EDT To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <email@example.com> I am currently studying and writing research on the tank battles on the Eastern Front, specifically at Kursk. I was watching a documentary ("Generals At War") and it mentioned briefly that while at Kursk, German tankers commandeered Russian tanks, got behind Russian lines, and destroyed many Russian tanks with the stolen Russian tanks. I have done extensive independent research and cannot find any reference to this incident or much information on the documentary at National Geographic, where it originally aired. Does anyone have any information on this ever occurring at Kursk or anywhere on the Eastern Front? Thank you, Brent Atkinson ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----