Prior to the formal launch of the Kursk Offensive, a reconnaissance-in-force was conducted along the attack axis. The purpose of these limited actions was to eliminate enemy combat outposts and observation posts in front of the main defensive belt, determine the location of the actual Russian front line, and gain lodgements so that the full force of the offensive spearheads could strike the Russian defenses at first light the next morning. The Russian defenses were strongly reinforced with elements of the 76th, 134th, and 136th Guards Separate Artillery Battalions, 26th Antiaircraft Artillery Division, 868th and 1666th Antitank Artillery Regiments. Stukas led the attack by bombing the Russian forward positions. Near Gertsovka, the 15th Company, 3rd Battalion, Fusilier Regiment of Gross Deutschland Division went forward to clear the heights east of the town proper.
Attacker: German (Company 15, Battalion III, Fusilier Regiment, Panzergrenadier Division Gross Deutschland)