The battle of Kursk has, through the years, worked its way up to one of the most famous battles of world war 2. Many myths, legends and sayings, greatly influenced by soviet war and post war propaganda surround it.
One of the many myths surrounding it is the "fact" that the Tankhunter Ferdinand didn't prove itself in battle. Greatest point of criticism being the lack of a machine gun to fend off enemy infantry. According to soviet sources, numerous "Ferdinands" were taken out by soviet infantry with the use of Molotov cocktails.
Records from the Schweres Panzerjäger Regiment 656 (both with two Abteilunngen with 45 and 44 Ferdinands respectively) paint a totally different picture. Rolf Henning, commander of the Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 654 points out: "The initial fear that the Ferdinand would be really endangered by enemy infantry, turned out to be false. The loud detonation when firing and the morally intimidating look resulted in no enemy infantry units coming close to us at any day of engagement". Members from the Schwere PanzerJäger Abteilung 653 recorded similar Things; "I never witnessed a single enemy soldier coming close to our machine, anyways, our infantry knew they had to protect us". Karl Neunert. Gunner. A report of the XXXXI. Panzer Korps states "The enemy abandons their position in panic when confornted with a Ferdinand". Soviet sources actually indirectly confirm these claims. The 15th of July 1943, a red army commission visited the battleground around Ponyri. Several destroyed Ferdinands were found there, and many had sings of actually being burned out. Although not by soviet infantry, but by the German crews after the vehicle had been rendered useless by Anti tank guns, artillery or mines.
Several other records from other members of the of the Schweres Panzerjäger-Regiment 656 and other diaries further prove these claims; the Ferdinand proved itself in combat and was well liked and treasured by the troop.
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