Operation Citadel was the last great German push against Russia during WWII. It turned into the Battle of Kursk, the greatest tank battle in history. Hitler, who had little grasp of strategy, wanted the Germans to hold every inch of ground, while Field Marshal Erich von Manstein wanted a war of movement and maneuver. After much debate, Hitler grudgingly let Manstein fight in his own way. In March, the Russian winter offensive was halted through Manstein’s use of maneuver and counter-attack. One problem remained – the Kursk Salient, a sector of Russian-held territory projecting into the German lines. Manstein and other senior commanders believed the Operation should have been launched quickly, but Hitler delayed, allowing the Russians enough time to dig in and build a solid defensive line. Faced with the deep defenses and batteries of anti-tank guns, the German Panzer divisions had not achieved the breakout they needed. General Model had advanced 13 kilometers in the north, Hoth 32 kilometers in the south. The gap they needed to close stretched over 200 kilometers, and they had run out of steam. While the battle at Prokhorovka took place in the south, a Russian counter-attack began in the north. The tables were about to turn.