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Decision in the Ukraine: German Tank Operations on the Eastern Front, Summer 1943 (Stackpole Military History) Paperback – 1 Aug 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; Reprint edition (1 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811711625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811711623
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 562,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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On 22 June, 1941 the German Army swept out of eastern Poland and into the Soviet Union. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In the introduction, a capsule summary of the key events of the war before the Battle of Kursk is given and includes Barbarossa, Stalingrad, the Soviet offensive after Stalingrad in AGS sector and the retaking of Kharkov by Manstein in Feb, Mar 1943. Still in summary but with a greater level of detail, the author describes Kursk. At this juncture, Mr Nipe goes to great length to discuss the tank battles near Prokhorovka as well as the false propaganda and exaggerations of German losses that have surfaced over the years about that fateful July 12th. The author provides statistics of the losses of that fateful day but as he concludes this Kursk summary, he simply states that even if you didn't have the correct casualty figures, all you would need to know that the Soviet numbers quoted were exaggerated was a knowledge of the level of resistance and destruction the 2nd SS PzC (minus LAH) levied on the 1st Tank Army, the 5th GTA and others at the Mius River and at the Merla / Merchik Rivers. Once you read this book you will understand the capability the German panzer corps still had during the last half of July and all of August.

In mid July, after the Allies landed on Sicily and Citadel was becoming too costly, Hitler calls off his offensive. This is when the author leaves summary mode and begins a detailed study and analysis of the next six weeks of battle when the Soviets launched their own offensives to the south of the Kursk salient. The battle action begins in mid July in the Mius River area when Tolbukhin's Southern Front launches a diversionary attack against 6th Army to draw German forces away from the Kursk salient. The subsequent German counterattack to regain lost ground of the newly formed Soviet bridgehead was especially revealing and costly.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dave History Student on 2 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
In the introduction, a capsule summary of the key events of the war before the Battle of Kursk is given and includes Barbarossa, Stalingrad, the Soviet offensive after Stalingrad in AGS sector and the retaking of Kharkov by Manstein in Feb, Mar 1943. Still in summary but with a greater level of detail, the author describes Kursk. At this juncture, Mr Nipe goes to great length to discuss the tank battles near Prochorovka as well as the false propaganda and exaggerations of German losses that have surfaced over the years about that fateful July 12th. The author provides statistics of the losses of that fateful day but as he concludes this Kursk summary, he simply states that even if you didn't have the correct casualty figures, all you would need to know that the Soviet numbers were high was a knowledge of the level of resistance and destruction the 2nd SS PzC (minus LAH) levied on the 1st Tank Army, the 5th GTA and others at the Mius River and at the Merla / Merchik Rivers. Once you read this book you will understand the capability the German panzer corps still had during the last half of July and all of August.
He also brings up a key issue that is rarely mentioned in other books. By July 9th, it was obvious that 3rd PzC was too far behind to assist 2nd SS PzC in attacking Prokhorovka by attacking 5th GTA. Why didn't Manstein commit the 24th PzC which was in reserve to help speed up the advance of Kemp's forces. With the slow progress the Germans were making, it seemed an appropriate response. The author is on a mission to strike down fallacy and to promote the truth. It was a very interesting, worthwhile commentary.

In mid July, after the Allies landed on Sicily and Citadel was becoming too costly, Hitler calls off his offensive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donaldo on 13 April 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author's diligent research pays dividends in this volume, overturning a number of keys assumptions about Kursk and the Wehrmacht in 1943. It's a convincing argument that the focus on the battle of Kursk as being pivotal is wrong. It was certainly dramatic, violent & the last significant offensive by the Wehrmacht. But the idea that the Wehrmacht was a spent force after the battle was not true. It took many more months of bloody fighting in the battlefields to the south of Kursk before the Wehrmacht started to crumble.

There are two general criticisms of this work. The first is the lack of use of Soviet primary sources, which granted is not within the author's control, but it limits insight solely to what was happening on the German side, with educated guesses as to the plans of the Soviets. For example, the Soviet losses as reported by the Wehrmacht regularly appear to be fantastical. And as you know you are only reading one side of the account, you give less credence to them and therefore less attention to these in the text. The lack of insight into Soviet strategy makes it doubly difficult to follow the narrative - endless Soviet reinforcements arrive without much insight into where they came from, how they were formed, what happened to remnants of previous units etc.

The second criticism is one of form. I always feel this is unfair when critiquing a detailed academic study which is about evidencing & analysis of that evidence. The first part of the book detailing Kursk was fine - good introduction, detailing of the action & post-match analysis with key points. The rest of the book though was a bit of a slog, a blow by blow account of the following battles to the south of Kursk.
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