When fighting petered out in mud at the end of March 1943, both sides could begin to rebuild their battered forces. This was not an easy process, but it became easier due to the unexpectedly long lull before operation Zitadelle began. Although not known at the time, the respite before major combat operations were initiated again was unusually long for the eastern front. This also provided an opportunity to train newly arrived replacements jointly with the veterans among the units.