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Zitadelle: The German Offensive Against the Kursk Salient 4–17 July 1943 Paperback – July 27, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"impressive."—Curled Up with a Good Book blog

About the Author

Mark Healy is the author of The Ancient Assyrians, Cannae 216 BC, and Kursk 1943.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; Reissue edition (July 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752457160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752457161
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #826,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read David Glantz's book on Kursk and thought very highly of it. Then I discovered the rave reviews for Mark Healy's book and had to read and compare the two books.
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read many a book on the battle of Kursk in July 1943,but none as good or as balanced as this particular title.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book written in a clear, consise fashion that examines the battle of Kursk in detail. The author looks into the military & political situation prior to Operation Zitadelle & argues that the operation came into being as a miltary solution to a political problem faced by Hitler in that he had to restore his allies confidence in the belief of the ultimate defeat of the Soviet Union.

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.
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