The triumph of Reason

Eriz Moreno


4th July, 1943 – 23th August, 1943
51°43’ N - 36°11’ E


The summer of 1943 put the OKW before a difficult decision, as a result of resigning from a response operation (for economical reasons) emerged the idea of the Unternehmen Zitadelle: to attack the enemy Kursk protrusion, which would be isolated through a double concentrical attack.

The success was supposed to be achieved thanks to an operation of Blitzkrieg type: but due to a two-month delay of the offensive, e.g. of the supply of the promised new, but not determining, Panzerkampfwagen V Panther, with the foresight made by the Ставка who detected the concentration of Panzerdivisionen and motorized infantry units on the North and South of the protrusion, strengthened by the reports of the agent Lucy who had access to the discussions of the OKW (and who communicated the D-day), the enemy had enough time to organize the battlefield where they expected to be attacked, and fortify it from 25 to 40 kilometers deep.

At dusk on July 4th, a sapper from the 9. Armee got to the enemy and communicated the final H-hour.

However, even facing the lack of the element of surprise and/or of sufficient forces, the beginning of the operation was successful at the start; but the OKH would cut it clean and conclude by deciding to abandon the operation without fulfilling the objective of “pinching” the enemy in August, not as much pressured by the local situation, or the triggered offensive against the protrusion of Orel, but rather forced by the situation on Sicilia, which was already noticeable at the beginning of the summer of that year.

After their withdrawal, the initiative completely changed side, as the number of casualties gave the enemy a strategic advantage which would persist until the end of the conflict.


Von Manstein, Erich. Lost Victories. Osceola, WI: Zenith Press, 2004.

Cross, Robin. Citadel: The Battle of Kursk. New York: Sarpedon, 1993.

Guderian, Heinz. Panzer Leader. London: Futura, 1952.
Zhukov, Georgi K. Marshal Zhukov’s Greatest Battles. New York: Harper & Row, 1969.



30th December, 1994 – 12th August, 2000

69º37’ N - 37º34’ E

Depth: 115 metres.


Laid down March 22, 1992; launched May 16, 1994; the K-141 was commissioned on 30th December 1994, being the penultimate of the Project 949A «Антей» class that was to become part of the Северный флот of the Russian Navy; due to economic cuts, the Fleet remained anchored in the Andreyeva Bay since the fall of the Soviet Union. However, Russia´s recovery from the economic depression at the end of the 1990’s led to the revival of the Fleet: in 1999 Kursk successfully accomplished a reconnaissance mission concerning the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea during the Kosovo War.

During the naval exercises on 12th August 2000, a leakage of H2O2 in the practice torpedo, which was supposed to be launched against the vessel Пётр Великий, penetrated a poor welding and reacted with oxide in the torpedo tube; the pressure smashed the torpedo (7:28 UTC), releasing the fuel it carried. The torpedo door was ill-fitted, the explosion killed the torpedo cabin crew and the blast spread through the air vent, which was the same as that of an office, reaching the command centre and badly burning the sailors inside of it. The fire that broke out as a result, damaged twenty one of the stored torpedoes, making six of them explode (7:30 UTC) and destroy the bow of the ship.

The initial attempt of keeping the tragedy secret has failed since, as due to the pressure from the relatives of the crew, the Russian Navy was forced to request aid in order to rescue the survivors.

Following the order of the Kremlin, the Government assigned 160 million dollars for the rescue operation: the bulk of the Navy’s annual budget.

The practice torpedo had never undergone any control, as it did not possess any nuclear warhead.


“I am writing blindly.The time is 13:15.All personnel from sections six,seven and eight have moved to section nine. There are 23 people here. We made this decision because none of us can escape. It is too dark to write here, but I will try. It looks like we have no chance, maybe 10-20 percent. I hope that someday someone will read this. Do not despair.”