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Kursk: Hitler's Gamble, 1943 Hardcover – August 26, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0275957339 ISBN-10: 0275957330 Edition: First
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Book Description

This book gives an accurate account of the Soviet victory at Kursk, the signal for the transfer of the initiative to the Soviets in World War II.

About the Author

WALTER S. DUNN, JR. had a 40-year career directing museums, including the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society and the Iowa Science Center.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; First edition (August 26, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275957330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275957339
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,081,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tom Munro on January 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting and challenging work. Rather than write a conventional military history of the cut and thrust of battle the author tries to analyse the forces prior to the battle and to calculate the realistic position. Previous historys have not done this. The reason for that was that previous historys depended on German sources for a narrative of the battle. The Germans at the time of the battle had little idea of the strength of the Soviet forces or the fact that even if this battle had succeeded there were five armies ready to plug the gap. Dunn points out that Soviet histories of the battle have been based on these same German accounts. They have only differed in who they have made the hero's and villians.
Through examining the strength of both armies, Dunn clearly shows that the German army was doomed from the start. His work goes through Soviet and German sources to work out actual casualty rates for each part of the battle. He finds that several of the accounts are wrong. The Soviets for example did not fight heroic last-ditch battles losing vast numbers of men. They in fact defended the Kursk position in an elastic way not losing many men at all. Further Dunn examines the German tank losses and finds that most accounts until now have wildly overestimated the German losses.
Some of the Amazon Com reviewers have been disappointed with this book. The reason for that is that the book is not what they expected. The reality is that the work is fascinating in its detail and is a fine example of a "method of history" which aims at understanding the truth of an event rather than looking at the legends.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on January 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The German conduct of Operation Barbarossa against the Russians along the Eastern front was an incredibly massive and at first very successful campaign which slowly but fatefully turned against the Wehrmacht due both to an underestimation of the strength and resiliency of the Russians on the one hand, and the Germans' over-confidence and arrogance on the other. Indeed, nowhere was their conduct more self-defeating or more disastrous than at Kursk, in one of the most fateful conflicts in the war. In this book, author Walter S. Dunn concentrates tellingly on relating the stunning particulars of the epic exchanges at Kursk that, when the smoke and dust finally cleared, fatefully altered the entire balance of World War Two, not only for the so-called Eastern front of the war, but for the entire Allied war effort in Europe. One might argue that in this regard, if Stalingrad was that point in the conflict at which the fortunes of the Wehrmacht were first so fatefully reversed, then Kursk was the point of no return, where the specter of unavoidable eventual defeat and the horrific destruction of the Nazi Wehrmacht was all that lay ahead.
The Battle of Kursk was one of the most pivotal and epochal struggles in the Allied war against the Germans, and comprised one of the largest tank engagements in military history. Through its devastating destruction in terms of the number of functional and operating armored vehicles left for the Wehrmacht to continue their prosecution of the war, it was the turning point in the war, the catastrophic defeat the Nazis could no longer afford to absorb.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Dunn wrote a good institutional history of the battle of Kursk. Having read his previous work, I was not disappointed. However, the use of maps would have made the book more readable. Unlike one of the previous reviewers, the organization of the book made sense to me because I had seen that organization in other military works and had no difficulty working with it. If a reader desires a more "human" angle to this great clash, there are better works around but if you want as accurate a reading of what units did what and where, this work meets the need. A parting note on the English translation of the SS division names - what is the big deal - I know who they are.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By david.shultz2@gte.net on November 17, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I just read three reviews about a book about the greatest battle of the second world war and they are right in spades. What a dud.... No maps, no personality, not even the mention of Lucy the most secret spy ring of the war. Thank God for Robin Cross
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