The Russian military excels at making the enemy believe they are going to do one thing and then doing something else. From William Shryver at imetatronink.substack.com:
Maskirovka is a Russian art form.
“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Seventy-nine years ago what was arguably the single greatest battle of the Second World War took place in roughly the same area where battles are occurring again today.
Across a broad front in eastern Ukraine and southwestern Russia, stretching from Bryansk in the north to Izyum in the south, German and Soviet forces faced each other in the summer of 1943, with a substantial bulge in the lines in the area around Kursk. It was this bulge that was targeted by German commanders for envelopment and destruction.
The campaign commenced in the first week of July with a massive German counter-offensive, and continued for several weeks. Several hundred thousand soldiers and thousands of tanks and armored vehicles took part, with massive maneuvers and counter-maneuvers over an expansive landscape of forests, fields, and rolling hills.
Much has been and could be written about the conduct of this battle, but this essay will focus on an aspect of the campaign that was unprecedented: it was the first battle in which the Soviet concepts of maskirovka were aggressively incorporated into every stage of the planning and execution of their operations.