This book, as part of the Osprey "Campaigns" series, is relatively short. It is 96 pages long and about a third of these consist of illustration of one type or another (i.e., maps, contemporaneous photographs, etc.). Hence the relevant question becomes how good of a job does it do for its short length and format? The answer is excellent.
Dr. Forczyk, who has written numerous excellent books in Osprey "Campaign" Series and other Osprey series (i.e., "Duel" and "Command") such as Toulon, Demyansk, Panzerjager vs. KV-1, Panther vs. T-34, Sevastapol, etc. continues on the roll. Like in his previous books, he sums up the topics very well in the restraints imposed by the formats he writes for. His books are very well written, very insightful and well researched. His military experience (he was a military officer in the intelligence brach), to a very large extent, enables him to bring a perspective to his books that few other academicians are able to. This book continues with this tradition.
The book itself provides an operational level history and is written to present a high level picture of the picture, very much analogous to the perspectives provided in books written by Dr. David Glantz (a professor at the U.S. Army War College in Carlyle, PA). The book starts off by providing the strategic picture framing this battle in terms of both armies' dispositions and strength, goals and leadership. The basic situation was that the Soviet offense did not have enough time to be prepared and was not probably not adequate enough for the job, especially given its quality and the poor leadership (at the highest levels) that led it. It were these factors, especially the poor leadership by the supreme commander of this campaign, Timoshenko, that played a decisive role, in the Soviet defeat. Soviet high level leadership, provided by Timoshenko, that was especially bad. He fought a battle based on his experience based in Finland, where battle were relatively static. Unfortunately this style doomed the Soviets, especially considering how fluid German doctrine was. In addition, Dr. Forczyk shows how critical German high level leadership was in terms of bringing victory (i.e., intiative, speed of decision making, goals, etc.).
The book does an excellent job at following the operational movement of the relevant forces, the blocking actions of the Germans and the final German counter attack that sealed the battle. The author does an excellent job at analyzing not only the role leadership in battles but also other factors such as the movement of German air forces to the vicinity that played a critical role in the battle. The maps (on both the operational and strategic levels) are excellent and show the decisive areas of the battles (i.e., Krasnograd) and how the relevant movements and blocking actions of the Germans sealed the fate of the battle. The contemporaneous photographs, like in all of Dr. Forczyk's previous books, do an excellent job at showing various major pieces of military equipment and the environment the battle took place in.
All and all an excellent book in that, despite its short length, succinctly discusses not only the battle itself but the major factors that contributed to victory and defeat on both sides. Five stars.