In this book, noted historian of the Battle of Kursk, Valeriy Zamulin, the author of multiple Russian-language books on the Battle of Kursk and Destroying the Myth: The Tank Battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk, July 1943: An Operational Narrative, takes a fresh look at several controversial and neglected topics regarding the battle and its run-up.
- Valery Zamulin, translated by Stuart Britton.
He starts with a detailed look at the Soviet and Russian historiography on the battle, showing how initially promising research was swamped by Party dogma and censorship during the Brezhnev area, before being resumed with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Zamulin then transitions to discussions of how the southern shoulder of the Kursk bulge was formed, preparations for the battle on both sides, and the size and composition of Model's Ninth Army. He then examines such controversial topics as whether or not the II SS Panzer Corps was aware of the pending Soviet counterattack at Prokhorovka, and the effectiveness of the Soviet preemptive barrage that struck the German troops that were poised to attack. Zamulin also discusses whether or not General Vatutin, the Commander-in-Chief of Voronezh Front, erred when arranging his defences.
Zamulin then takes a look at how the myth of 1,500 tanks colliding on a narrow strip of farm fields became perpetuated in Soviet and foreign history books, when in fact it was impossible for the 5th Guards Tank Army's tanks to attack in massive wave after wave due to the constrictions of the terrain. Zamulin now reveals incidents of the battle that were long kept "behind the curtain" by Soviet censorship. For example, the 183rd Rifle Division defending the Prokhorovka axis was repeatedly struck by friendly aircraft, and a Soviet tank counterattack overran the positions of one of its battalions. Zamulin discusses other cases of fratricide in the Voronezh Front, including the death of one of the 1st Tank Army's foremost tank commanders in a friendly fire incident. In the process, he reveals that a wave of suicides swept through the junior command staff of the 5th Guards Tank Army immediately prior to the famous counteroffensive on 12 July 1943.
All in all, Valeriy Zamulin with this collection of essays and articles, two of which have been reprinted from the Journal of Slavic Military History, makes a new contribution to our knowledge and understanding of this pivotal, epochal battle of the Second WorldWar.
397 packed pages with lavish illustrations and battle maps. A great book that you would rightly expect from Casemates. This world famous battle has been written about and documented on film many times before but what makes this book different is the added true data from the Soviet, previously closed, State archives . We new that both armies suffered with interference from Hitler and Stalin and how each side hid the true events of this decisive battle of the Kursk bulge. Its a good easy read despite the technical approach of the book, I took my time reading this ,sorry old un, because it was a book to savour and look up details not fully understood. I have to say congratulations to Stuart Britton for translating this in a user friendly and understandable way . In short if I ever lose this book I would have to go out and buy another copy pronto. Five Mr Mushroom Heads for being educational as well as a great read .