From: Sydney, Australia
On the 43GC the german don't have any chance to encircle Kursk. lvl 4 forts plus high CV value guard troops stand against the german. My only hope was to build a better defense line near the dnyepr, hold a short line...
However, we start the game in 1.4.36. and I still use all my AP to activate the german army :(
I'll disagree with you on a small point there -- the Germans can in fact pull off a Kursk encirclement, right from turn 1 in the 43 GC. That's been the case from 1.03 right to the latest patch. There are enough elite SS assets in the area to break the lines on both sides and pull off the encirclement at at least a shallow level.
That does, however, doom the German army to defeat. I have had 2 opponents try it against me as the Soviets, both succeeded and both surrendered within about 5-6 turns of the start of the game. The reinforcing Soviet mech forces coming down from Moscow and Tula will counter-encircle the Germans on both sides fairly easily before the Germans can reduce the pocket or build any fort levels, and the Germans just can't break out of that with any speed. Plus, if you're playing random weather (which most people do these days) chances are you'll get a turn of mud within 3-4 turns and when that happens it's death for the Germans.
Don't try it. Best to stick with the fallback to a fortified river line as others have suggested and hope to grind the Soviets down from there.
Having said that, the 43 GC is my favourite scenario. It's well worth playing for either side.