Armed German Soldiers in full Battle dress carrying Mauser K98
Rifles and stick grenades
Oil Canvas Measuring 40x30 inches. Fine attention to detail.
The end of Zitadelle in the south
While the German offensive had been stopped in the north by 10 July, in the south the overall
situation still hung in the balance, even after 12 July. German forces on the southern wing,
exhausted and heavily depleted, had breached the first two defensive belts and believed that
they were about to break through the last belt. In fact at least five more defensive zones
awaited them, although they were not as strong as the initial belts, and some of them did not
have troops deployed. Red Army defenders had been weakened, and major parts of their reserve
forces had been committed. Still, the available uncommitted Red Army reserves were far larger
than the few available German reserves.
On 16 July, German forces withdrew to their start line. Severely depleted, the Germans then
had to face Operation Rumyantsev, an offensive launched to smash the German forces in the
Belgorod–Kharkov area on 3 August. Belgorod fell on 5 August, and on 23 August, Kharkov fell,
despite fierce resistance from German forces. With the capture of Kharkov, the Soviets
considered the Battle of Kursk over.