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"Valor and Glory Field"

Президент России

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Home Museum-Preserve "The Field of Prochorovka"


History of the Creation and Development of the Museum in Prokhorovka"

There are historical events, over which time has no control . In the annuls of time the  Great Patriotic War occupies a special place.  The more time separates the people of Russia and the people of other countries of the former USSR from the event, the more you realize that we stood on the edge of a precipice and won victory. In July and August 1943,  Belgorod region and further to the north  was the site of one of the largest battles of the Great Patriotic War – the Battle of Kursk. The defensive and offensive battles involved large numbers of troops and military equipment. The Battle of Kursk began with a wall of sound from guns. During the  army defensive battles, the Central and Voronezh fronts  were significantly reduced which stopped the advance of the enemy. To the West and South of Prokhorovka was the largest tank battle of World War II, in which both sides had 1200 tanks and self-propelled guns. Historians all over the world argue that this was the biggest tank battle in history. By  12 July, the Kursk battle had entered a new phase whereby  Soviet troops were on the counter-attack. The victory of Soviet forces in this stage of the battle forced the German High Command to order strategic defense positions on all fronts.

The memory of great acts of heroism from  our people sparked a massive  patriotic movement particularly during the sixties and seventies. It was during this time that a network of museums across the country adopted as their  main theme the subject of military patriotism. Since that time, the story starts and that of Prokhorovka Museum. At its creation a District Committee was initiated with party officials , veterans of the Great Patriotic War, and teachers and pupils of Prokhorov's school. Hundreds of letters were sent out across the country and much exploratory work was done before July 12, 1970 giving the opportunity to open a small room battle scene as well as depicting labour glory. Through great work by correspondence with the participants of the Prokhorovka battle the head of the editorial board Mikhail Afanasyevich Sabelnikov devoted his entire life to perpetuate the soldier's heroism. Following the visit of the Chief Marshal of armoured troops, Pavel Alekseevich Rotmistrov on February 17, 1971  a room of battle glory has been significantly enhanced by exhibits. Therefore, it became necessary for reallocation in a special museum building. By a decision of the Executive Committee of the District Council on October 19, 1972, the village Museum was created. This housed the exposition on an area of 55 sq.m. In 1977, the Prokhorovka Tank Museum become a branch of the Belgorod regional local history museum. The first Director of the Museum was Ignat Nikolaevich Efimenko.

 

He attracted the press photographer  Nikolai Egorovich Pogorelov who was fascinated by the man. Active helpers were students of Prokhorov's high school. Much of what is exhibited in the Museum was collected by diligent people working tirelessly. Successors were Efimenko and Nikolai Boychenko. As a participant of the war, he, more than anyone else, understood what a museum about war should be about.

 

By the 40-year anniversary of the Battle of Prokhorovka the museum was allocated in more spacious premises.  10 years later  this building was closed. Again, the veterans took the initiative of building the new Museum. A Veterans ' Council issued a call to "build a Museum", which was distributed all over the country.

May 3, 1995 was the  50-year anniversary of the great victory. Under the federal programme of preparations for the anniversary, a new exposition of the Museum of history of the Prokhorovka tank battle was created.

 

Its creators were the scientific staff of the Museum of Prokhorovka, Deputy Director of the Belgorod region local history museum N.Shaternikova  and graphic designers from the Moscow Center "State Museum". The Museum exhibited in three halls retold the story about the Prokhorovka battle and the history of the region in which the great battle took place.

 

On April 26, 1995,  the following was signed by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation "on the establishment of the State military-historical Museum in Prokhorovka, and   the main object of the Museum would be  the history of the Prokhorovka tank battle.

It took 15 years to work on the museum. These were the years of constructive work on the opening and the perpetuation of names of heroes of the Prokhorovka battle. Since then, the Museum's collections were enriched by genuine relics of the period of the Great Patriotic War.

More than a million visitors from all over Russia, CIS countries and far abroad came to the Museum. The Museum holds many items having military and patriotic importance and liaises with veterans of the Great Patriotic War. In 2009, the Museum was awarded an honorary sign "for active work on the patriotic education of citizens of the Russian Federation". In 2009, the site was included in a regional competition being one of the "seven wonders of  Belgorod region."  The nomination recognized the site as one of great "cultural and historical " importance and was declared the winner.

The Museum is a member of the All- Russian Museum Festival «Intermuzey», and as such has received international recognition. The International Committee TQM (Total Quality Management) systems and a group of prestigious companies and experienced practitioners have decided to award  the International Prize "Quality Golden Era Award “. This award is an international recognition of the achievements of the museum for promoting tourism and innovation.

 

In 2010, our country commemorated the 65th anniversary date of the victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. By that date, it was decided to build a Museum of military glory of Russia's third most famous battle.