Semyon Tilipman

This is me, Semyon Tilipman. This photo was taken in Oboyan, near Kursk, before the Kursk battle, 23 June 1943.

In February 1943 a new tank army was formed near Moscow on the basis of our army 29. Its commander became Michael Efimovich Katukov [Michael Efimovich Katukov, 1900-1976, was a Soviet commander, Marshall of tank armed forces in 1959, Hero of the Soviet Union in 1944 and 1945. During the Great Patriotic War he was commanding officer of a tank division, brigade, corps, guard tank army since 1943.] We got a new division of T-34 tanks. I was chief of the telephone facility of a of Communications regiment. After our successful completion of the Stalingrad battle Germans intended to gain revenge at the Kursk salient. In summer 1943 near Prokhorovka two heavily armed tank units collided. There was the third tank army near Prokhorovka and our first tank unit was deployed further to the south in the direction of Kharkov. Our army cut the roadway Kharkov-Poltava. We were holding back German units that were striving to cross the Kursk salient. Katukov, commander of the tank army, was at the vanguard tank unit on the firing line and we were responsible for supporting his communication with the army headquarters. He and commander of the brigade were watching the battle and gave verbal commands to the army headquarters that was developing the tactics of the battle: where to send forces, what additional units to allocate, involve artillery or even air forces. During the battle commander was in a trench with a tank over it; it made a reliable hiding spot. Communications operators that were responsible for supporting communication with the army headquarters were also in the trench with commander.