In July 1943, Hitler launched Operation Zitadelle, the last German offensive on the Eastern Front. It was an attempt to shorten the German lines by eliminating the Kursk salient – created after their defeat at Stalingrad – and was designed to result in the encirclement of the Red Army. In reality the German tanks came up against impenetrable Russian defences: minefields, artillery and anti-tank emplacements, spread through lines 250km deep and manned by Russian troops whose actions often verged on the suicidal. The greatest tank battle in history, Kursk assured the Nazis’ defeat and was ‘the swan song of the German tank arm’. Involving over 9000 tanks, 5000 aircraft, 35,000 guns and mortars and 2,700,000 troops (of whom 230,000 became casualties), the Battle of Kursk was a conflict whose scale and barbarity eclipsed all other clashes in Europe. This book gives a clear, concise account of those dramatic days in 1943, supported by a timeline of events and orders of battle, and illustrated with over fifty photographs.
"The greatest tank battle in world history, known as Operation CITADEL, opened during the early hours of 5 July 1943, and its outcome was to decide the eventual outcome of the war on the Eastern Front. Images of War—Battle of Kursk 1943, is an illustrated account of this pivotal battle of the war on the Eastern Front, when the Germans threw 900,000 men and 2,500 tanks against 1,300,000 soldiers and 3,000 tanks of the Red Army in a savage battle of attrition.Unlike many pictorial accounts of the war on the Eastern Front, Battle of Kursk 1943 draws upon both German and Russian archive material, all of which are rare or unpublished. The images convey the true scale, intensity and horror of the fighting at Kursk, as the Germans tried in vain to batter their way through the Soviet defensive systems. The battle climaxed at the village of Prokhorovka, which involved some 1,000 tanks fighting each other at pointblank range.During this vicious two week battle the Red Army dealt the Panzerwaffe a severe battering from which the German war effort was never to recover fully. Kursk finally ended the myth of German invincibility."
The Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943 was one of the greatest battles in military history involving more than 3 million soldiers, 10,000 tanks and 8,000 aircraft. While many books have been written on this allegedly most decisive battle of the Second World War, many legends live on, above all because of misleading information that recur in most publications - even in the most recent ones. Based on almost 20 years of research reassessing the primary sources, Roman Toeppel sheds light on the phase of decision-making, the preparations and the development of the battle in an engaging style that grips the reader's attention from the first page on. The author concentrates on little-known developments and events leading the reader to astonishing results. He also gives entirely new insights into the historiographic appraisal of this battle, putting thoroughly researched facts against erroneous popular beliefs, myths and legends that have been passed down among historians for generations.
The battle at Kursk in 1943 is often referred to as the greatest tank battle in the history of warfare. This volume makes extensive use of German archival documents as well as various Russian books and articles. As well as an account of the battle, it addresses methodological issues.
In the summer of 1943, recoiling from defeat at Stalingrad, Hitler conducted a limited objective offensive to eliminate the Soviet Kursk salient. Operating a classic pincer attack of the kind that succeeded during the 1942 Kharkov campaign he hoped that the resulting heavy losses inflicted on the Red Army would give the Wehrmacht time to recover its strength. However, the Soviet anticipation of the attack led to extensive losses on both sides as Soviet anti-tank mines and fierce fighting pushed the Germans back, liberating the German-held Orel in the process. Focusing on the northern front of the battle with Generaloberst Walter Model's forces pitted against General Rokossovsky's Central Front between 5 July and 18 August, this volume will explore both the German offensive and the Soviet counteroffensive. Using documents from both sides, extensive photographs – both contemporary and modern, maps and bird's-eye-views this title will shed new light on this often ignored part of the battle.
Few battles attract interest so much as the Battle of Kursk. Operation Zitadelle, the code name given by Hitler to the Wehrmacht's last offensive on the Eastern Front in July 1943, has acquired an almost mythic status as one of the greatest clashes of armour in the history of warfare. Long been depicted as the ‘the swan song of the German tank arm’ by virtue of the huge tank losses experienced by the Germans; the reality, in light of the emergence of new information proved it to be anything but, with historians previously accepting without question exaggerated Soviet accounts of the battle. For all the resources devoted to this operation by the Germans, Zitadelle was an abysmal failure; and whilst they were not outfought by the Red Army at Kursk, they were out-thought by commanders of outstanding quality. Zitadelle describes the German and Soviet tactics and explores the realities of the battles on sodden ground that culminated in the defeat of the panzers and the Soviet advance on the Reich.
“Comprehensive scholarship and convincing reasoning, enhanced by an excellent translation, place this work on a level with the best of David Glantz” (Dennis Showalter, award-winning author of Patton and Rommel). This groundbreaking book examines the battle of Kursk between the Red Army and Wehrmacht, with a particular emphasis on its beginning on July 12, as the author works to clarify the relative size of the contending forces, the actual area of this battle, and the costs suffered by both sides. Valeriy Zamulin’s study of the crucible of combat during the titanic clash at Kursk—the fighting at Prokhorovka—is now available in English. A former staff member of the Prokhorovka Battlefield State Museum, Zamulin has dedicated years of his life to the study of the battle of Kursk, and especially the fighting on its southern flank involving the famous attack of the II SS Panzer Corps into the teeth of deeply echeloned Red Army defenses. A product of five years of intense research into the once-secret Central Archives of the Russian Ministry of Defense, this book lays out in enormous detail the plans and tactics of both sides, culminating in the famous and controversial clash at Prokhorovka on July 12, 1943. Zamulin skillfully weaves reminiscences of Red Army and Wehrmacht soldiers and officers into the narrative of the fighting, using in part files belonging to the Prokhorovka Battlefield State Museum. Zamulin has the advantage of living in Prokhorovka, so he has walked the ground of the battlefield many times and has an intimate knowledge of the terrain. Examining the battle primarily from the Soviet side, Zamulin reveals the real costs and real achievements of the Red Army at Kursk, and especially Prokhorovka. He examines mistaken deployments and faulty decisions that hampered the Voronezh Front’s efforts to contain the Fourth Panzer Army’s assault, and the valiant, self-sacrificial fighting of the Red Army’s soldiers and junior officers as they sought to slow the German advance and crush the II SS Panzer Corps with a heavy counterattack at Prokhorovka. Illustrated with numerous maps and photographs (including present-day views of the battlefield), and supplemented with extensive tables of data, Zamulin’s book is an outstanding contribution to the growing literature on the battle of Kursk, and further demolishes many of the myths and legends that grew up around it.
On July 5, 1943, the greatest land battle in history began when Nazi and Red Army forces clashed near the town of Kursk, on the western border of the Soviet Union. Code named “Operation Citadel,” the German offensive would cut through the bulge in the eastern front that had been created following Germany’s retreat at the battle of Stalingrad. But the Soviets, well-informed about Germany’s plans through their network of spies, had months to prepare. Two million men supported by 6,000 tanks, 35,000 guns, and 5,000 aircraft convened in Kursk for an epic confrontation that was one of the most important military engagements in history, the epitome of “total war.” It was also one of the most bloody, and despite suffering seven times more casualties, the Soviets won a decisive victory that became a turning point in the war. With unprecedented access to the journals and testimonials of the officers, soldiers, political leaders, and citizens who lived through it, The Battle of the Tanks is the definitive account of an epic showdown that changed the course of history.
Kursk was the greatest tank battle of the Second World War, and the decisive last major German offensive in the East. German thrusts penetrated deep into the immense Soviet defenses, but were turned back and never recovered the initiative for the rest of the war.
Mauled at Stalingrad, the German army looked to regain the initiative on the Eastern Front with a huge offensive launched near the city of Kursk, 280 miles south-west of Moscow. Armed with the new Panther tank, Hitler and Field Marshal von Manstein were confident that they could inflict another crushing defeat on the Soviet Union. What they did not know is that the Soviets knew about the coming attack, and they were ready. This book focuses on the southern front of this campaign, which featured one of the biggest clash of armour of the warin the battle of Prokhorovka which involved over a thousand tanks. It examines in detail the tactics and mistakes of the army commanders as they orchestrated one of the bloodiest battles in World War II. Using campaign maps, stunning photographs and vivid artwork, this new study, a companion to Campaign 272 Kursk 1943: The Northern Front, examines whether that the German offensive was doomed from the start as it takes the reader through this titanic clash of armour.