ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Stalingrad at Kursk: The Battle of Ponyri, July 7-10, 1943

Updated on February 23, 2011
A section of a game map from Firefight Games on the battle.
A section of a game map from Firefight Games on the battle.
Map situation of the battle
Map situation of the battle
A German Elephant (Ferdinand) rumbles down the road.
A German Elephant (Ferdinand) rumbles down the road.
Russian "animal hunters" on the prowl.
Russian "animal hunters" on the prowl.
Firefight Games Cover of Ponyri Game
Firefight Games Cover of Ponyri Game

Slaughter and Carnage

The battle for Ponyri Station, like many battles, happened for no particular reason as to occur where it did. The rail station and the small town that surrounds it have no military value. Ponyri consisted of a school, water tower, rail station, and tractor factory. But it was there that two powerful and determined foes met, clashing in their attempts to destroy one another like some long-past Gods in Greek mythology. The Germans tried five times to bust through the well defended Russian line, each time, failing. The German XLI Panzer Corps penetrating the Soviet defensive positions and driving rapidly between the road and the railroad line through the high ground where Ponyri was located and then on towards Kursk. This Corps comprised four divisions: 18th Panzer Division, 10th Panzer Grenadier Division, and the 86th and 292nd Infantry Divisions. The 78th Sturm (Assault) Division of XXIII Corps protected the left flank of XLI Panzer Corps and was also involved in the fighting around Ponyri. From west to east the 292nd and 86th Infantry and 78th Sturm Divisions led the assault. The main armored support was provided by the 90 Ferdinands of Heavy Panzerjäger Regiment 656, containing the entire inventory of these armored monsters. In addition, the 292nd and 86th Infantry Divisions had the 216th Sturmpanzer Battalion (45 Brümmbärs) and the 177th and 244 Sturmgeschütz Brigades. The 18th Panzer Division contained 72 more conventional vehicles including 5 Pz II, 10 Pz III kz, 20 Pz III 75, 5 Pz IV kz, and 3 Pz Bef Cmd, and also the 101st Panzer Grenadier Regiment. The 10th Panzer Grenadier Division had an exceptionally powerful artillery complement: seven artillery battalions, a Nebelwerfer regiment, a heavy mortar battalion and an assault gun battalion.

The battle became a whirlpool, sucking in more and more troops on both sides. Records indicate over 10,000 men died for this meaningless terrain. The only value here was the fact that Ponyri station sat astride the second Russian defensive belt in this area of the Kursk offensive from the north. Even if the Germans broke through, there was yet a third defensive line waiting miles away, and events elsewhere during this offensive would dictate the final outcome. However, like a mysterious magnetic field, the Germans sent four divisions to seize the town and were opposed by a dug-in, well armed Russian regiment who were ordered to stand and fight at all costs. Russian reserves were close by, including a full artillery division assigned to support the defenders; something totally unheard of before. Major Sankovsky, commander of the new SU-152 battery of 1442nd SP Art Regiment, assigned to the 13th Army was in support of the 307th Rifle Division around Ponyri Station when the 41st Panzer Corps' attacked with 200 panzers. Leading the way were Tiger I's of Schwere Panzer Abteilung 505, and the Borgward BIV remote control mine clearance tanks. On this day it is believed the major himself knocked out 10 enemy tanks, and in the ensuing three weeks of combat at Kursk the battery accounted for some 12 Tigers and 7 Ferdinands. It was this units results which the SU152 the nickname of  "Animal Hunter".

The battle for Ponyri station was a go-for-broke, see-saw slugfest over a town that the rest of the world never heard of before. It would be called, “Kursk’s Stalingrad.”


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Oleg Alexandrov 

      4 years ago

      We organize trips to Ponyri, Prokhorovka and Stalingrad. You can find us online travel agency Three Whales (Russia)

    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 

      5 years ago from Auburn, WA

      There are so many different layers to the Battle of Kursk that I learn something new all the time. This is no different. Thx for the info.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)