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Zitadelle: The German Offensive Against the Kursk Salient 417 July 1943 Paperback – July 27, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Both books are well researched and are 5 star quality but the authors have different styles and formats. One book is a little better on one category but comes in second on another.
Mr Healy has spent a little more than half the book on the preparation and introduction to the campaign. It starts with the relationship of Hitler and Manstein at the time of the Kharkov Offensive and then expands on the discussion with Zeitzler, Manstein and other generals in deciding on which form of the Kursk Offensive: the "Fronthand" or the less aggressive "Backhand Approach". Once decided, Mr Healy enumerates every situation or condition that will have an effect on the offensive. Its an extensive analysis that is impressive. It includes Stalin's spy ring, Churchill's notification of the offensive to Stalin, Hitler's delays, planning the offensive, Luftwaffe support, panzer production troubles, partisan interaction, Lend Lease assistance to Stalin and much more. I particularly liked the discussion on Hitler's views on Manstein. It was also significant how many of the generals disavowed the "Backhand" approach.
Mr Glantz also discusses such items but not in as much length or detail. This area goes to Healy.
The next area to compare would be Wonder Weapons and tanks in general. Mr Glantz discusses Hitler's new panzers in chapter one and in chapter two a little about Russian armor. The Tigers, Panthers and Elephants are furthered discussed throughout the book. Mr Healy devotes an entire section of 7 chapters - Part Three- to the subject of wonder weapons and tank tactics. The presentation is impressive.Read more ›
The book expoldes many a myth and answers many questions which previous authours on this battle have left unanswered.
Much of the works of previous titles have taken as gospel, the writings of Russian Commanders such as Rotmistrov, and Russian figures for destroyed german armour and casulaties that make this battle a decisive and complete victory by the Russians.
The myth of hundreds of Tiger tanks being destroyed has never really been challenged in depth by western Historians, until now.
Mark Healy has put together a superb and extremely well balanced book that explores in great detail as to why this battle was fought, other plans proposed and discarded by the Germans, reasons for the delays in the commencement of the attack, Russian stratedgy, the strengths of opposing forces and the various roles of the opposing armies.
In fact the first 190 pages of the 400 page book explains the leadup to the battle in huge detail.
Some of the facts to emerge were that many of the German panzer and infantry units taking part were very understrength, supplies of Oil/Fuel for the luftwaffe were short, the Russians knew of the german plans and adopted a purely defensive battle plan to blunt the attack, and that Hitler always had one eye on when the allies would land in Italy.
All this is explained well and leaves the reader with no questions as to why, how, when and what was to happen.
The actual battle detail of which it draws from both Russian and German sources shows how it was a close run thing at times where the Russians had to pour in reserves in an effort to stop the German advance particulary in the South where Waffen SS Panzer Corps attacked.Read more ›
The Russians became fully aware of the German intentions to attack the Kursk salient thru Enigma, the Lucy spy ring & by reading German radio communications. They then employed deceptive Maskirovka measures to disguise the level & degree of defences that they intended to grind the panzer formations down with. The Zitadelle offensive was continiously delayed by Hitler to the extent that strategic surprise had been totally compromised. Hitler was relying on the build up of the new Tiger, Panther & Ferdinand tanks by which to overwhelm the Russians with, but his real attention was focused on the Mediterranean & Italy causing the delay of Zitadelle & finally its termination thereof.
The author examines the German army & Red army in some detail. While the Red army was starting encourage independence & flexibility of command thru the relaxation of Soviet Party control, Hitler did the opposite & began depriving his commanders of this. The Russians were also far better equipped than they had been throughout 1941-42 & had become a mobilised army with massive amounts of 'Lend Lease' trucks. The German army on the other hand was severely lacking in infantry from the losses incurred in 1941-42. In fact the author argues that the German offensive failed in part due to lack of infantry in that they could not disguise their true intentions nor screen their main battle assets their panzers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An extremely heavy (in terms of content, details and topographical memory) book on military history, with a few hundred pages of text, interspersed with black-and-white and color... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Soh Jian Yi
Oh I really love this book a lot as I have wanted to get it since 2013 but somehow kept postponing buying it till this year over other books and I must say I am fully satisfied by... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Nasha Naufal
No notes, no original sources; reads like Healy is pulling it all out of his head - were you there, Mark. Useless tables that provide tech data on arty weapons (wow! Read morePublished 12 months ago by Steve Bohlin
A few typographical mistakes. OK, that's the critique. It's a highly detailed, painstakingly researched book. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Student
Very good account of the Panzer battle, good photos and graphs, lacking only more maps and details of the air campaign.Published 21 months ago by Antonio Lopez
Why does Mr.Healy's book _Zitadelle_ deserves three stars?
It's not because Healy's style is unreadable. Read more