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.
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