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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Healy vs Glantz
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...
Published on 29 May 2011 by Dave History Student

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Does the sloppily written text indicate sloppy research?
This book certainly provides a lot of information, and the illustrations and photographs are excellent and well selected. However, the author's German spelling is gruesome, his translations into English are inconsistent, his rendering of type numbers and designations is sloppy. So how can we be sure that his research was any better? Or the way he came to his conclusions...
Published 21 months ago by Suetonius


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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Healy vs Glantz, 29 May 2011
This review is from: Zitadelle: The German Offensive Against the Kursk Salient 4-17 July 1943 (Paperback)
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. Mr Healy wins here.

Mr Healy spends 170 pages on the offensive while David Glantz spends 176 pages. The volume is about the same but Glantz lists more engagements while Healy is more selective but gives greater depth to each selection. Mr Glantz covers the tank battles near Prokhorovka more fully. This is a close call but for me, I'll give it to Glantz.
I have an interest for July 9th for its a pivotal day in the campaign. The moves and counter moves made that day will lead to the tank battles near Prokhorovka just three days later. Both authors cover the day well but Mr Healy writes an auxiliary chapter, Chapter 37, that discusses the Soviet contention that it was their blocking of Oboyan that caused the Germans to shift to the east toward Prokhorovka which resulted in the massive tank battles. He presents evidence to the contrary, that it was in the German battle plan back in May to shift to the northeast. Very interesting chapter. In a related matter, Mr Healy refutes Soviet claims of destroying thousands of panzers in the first few days. This theory is confirmed on July 13th when Manstein argues with Hitler to continue the battle in the south. Both Mansttein and Kempf were confident that by continuing the assault, Soviet tank reserves could be shattered.
Near the end of Chapter 4, Mr Glantz states in his book that due to the stalled advance of Kempf and the stiff resistance facing 48th PzC driving north toward Oboyan that Hoth orders the 2nd SS PzC to shift its axis toward Prokhorovka. This would be more in tune with Soviet doctrine and a difference with Mr Healy.

Another point of related interest is the number of tanks destroyed in the campaign. Both authors have similar comments and quote similar numbers for this topic. An important point is that the Germans were able to recover many damaged tanks for use in future battle. About 325 panzers were destroyed while another 1600 damaged panzers were recovered for future use. Its estimated that the Russians lost 1614 tanks, five times the number of German losses. This topic is a draw.

In one area both authors were skimpy on and that is the battle for the skies. This is not unusual for Mr Glantz but he does mentions in Chapter 3 the condition of the Luftwaffe in the area before the start of the battle. Mr Healy does discuss a little fuller on the air war in Chapter 16. Both books may disappoint some people on this subject. If so, Christer Bergstrom's book has excellent coverage of the air war.

Each author ends his book with Conclusions. The main theme to both books is the future implications to the lessening of German offensive capabilities. Both are good but Glantz is more extensive and he takes this area.
Both books have pictures but "Zitadelle" has many move and better ones and in this area it clearly wins.
Both books have maps but "Battle of Kursk" has more and better ones, interspersed throughout the narrative and easy to study as your reading. Mr Healy only has a few maps at the beginning of the book. He does have a map of the July 12th tank battle which was helpful. Mr Glantz wins here.
Both books have a useful Appendix. They're similar but "Battle of Kursk" is a little more extensive and Glantz barely wins here.

This is my simple, amateur ratings contest. People, of course, will weigh things differently. Owning either one will make you a winner, but the best choice is to have both books in your library; they really do complement each other.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A notable work on the Kursk battle, 5 Jun. 2013
By 
Susman "Sussman" (London Mills IL) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Zitadelle: The German Offensive Against the Kursk Salient 4-17 July 1943 (Paperback)
This is a very notable work; the author goes into great detail and research to give the reader the most up to date information that has been gleaned from previously unavailable sources. As other reviewers have commented many assertions made in the past about how matters transpired, at Kursk, have now been debunked. This book discusses the historical development of arms that was used in the battle, by both sides. The groundwork for the Soviet in depth defence treatment of the battle front is looked at in detail, as well as the detailed preparations made by the German high command to try and finally break the Soviet forces. You will see that the Germans used more personnel and materials than were previously amassed, for this battle by them, than on whole of the Eastern front since their invasion in 22 June 1941. The book is laced with good pictorials, diagrams and maps. My only very minor critique is the font size used in book was too small, and I needed to use glasses for the first time, which is probable, just me. Any serious reader interested in Kursk should read this weighty book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on the subject currently on the market., 4 April 2013
By 
Bobby Smith (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Zitadelle: The German Offensive Against the Kursk Salient 4-17 July 1943 (Paperback)
If you are seeking a well written, informative and original book on the subject of Kursk, especially from the German perspective, then look no further than this superb book. Unlike many military history authors, Mr Healy writes history in a manner that is neither dry nor boring, with the result being a book that rattles along at a fair pace. For those tank junkies out there this book contains masses of information about tank armour, guns and penetrative power. Basically, if you are the sort of guy (lets face it girls ain't into Tiger tanks!) who finds reading passages about 88mm tank guns and 76.2mm anti-tank guns you will love this book. Some fantastic colour plates are also included, featuring both tanks and planes. The air war over Kursk, often neglected, is also covered in detail. My only complaints are the small print and the use of the word notwithstanding, as it appears way too often throughout the book - at a guess I would say because the book took a long time to write. Still, these are minor quibbles and should not put the reader off buying this outstanding read.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed background and information for the 'largest tank battle', 13 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Zitadelle: The German Offensive Against the Kursk Salient 4-17 July 1943 (Paperback)
This book explains why the Zitadelle offensive came to become such an important element of the German eastern front strategy after the fall of Stalingrad and how its proposed objectives and resourcing became warped through external influences and political pressures. The Russian strategies and equipment are also discussed as a background to this. The progress of the battle is described in detail, with a final chapter providing a short, succint overview of the resultant costs and consequences. Appendices provide orders of battle of both sides, and performance information (with some colour plates in chapter 29) of aircraft, tank types and other weaponry for both. The book also contains many period black and white photographs of the people, equipment and battlefield.

It provides a wealth of information usable to wargamers and designers for this significant battle. Not being a military historian, I cannot comment on the accuracy of its contents, but its reasonings seem logical. My only 'complaint' is the small, light typeface used - but any larger would have resulted in a much larger and more unwieldy book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the Battle of Kursk for a while, 10 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Zitadelle: The German Offensive Against the Kursk Salient 4-17 July 1943 (Paperback)
For a book on any battle of the Second World War this is exceptional, it leaves no stone unturned to find why in the first place that this particular conflict was sought, together with the opinions of all the Commanders of both sides before during and after the conflict. It lays to rest several anomalies that have been handed down over the years. It sets the scene for the largest tank battle of all time and leaves you in little doubt of the cost to man and machine over those terrible days in July 1943. At the height of the battle it was difficult put the book down, I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone with any interest in Second World Battles.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY THIS BOOK!, 10 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Zitadelle: The German Offensive Against the Kursk Salient 4-17 July 1943 (Paperback)
a truly incredible read that takes you through the entire battle. this book is a modern day study and has dispelled many of the myths of the battle one of them being that the battle was the 'death ride of the panzers' in saying that germany's panzer divisions suffered terrible losses in the battle. this is show to be false as many of the tanks only suffered minimal damage and were quickly repaired. what i enjoyed the most from the book was the chapters that look at the tanks on both sides describing their development history, combat performance and a conclusion on them. if you want to learn about the battle of kursk and understand what really happened then get this book. the author describes the battle in an epic way and writes an excellent conclusion looking into why it failed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sets the benchmark, 14 July 2013
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This review is from: Zitadelle: The German Offensive Against the Kursk Salient 4-17 July 1943 (Paperback)
A very readable, and well researched yet refreshing book. I can't recommend Zitadelle too highly.
Mark Healy has raised the benchmark here, making reference to sources left untapped by others.
If you have any interest in the Ostheer, read it. Best military book I've read in the past year.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed but interesting ., 22 Nov. 2013
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More than enough detail for the serious military history buff but plenty of interest for the casual reader . A very interesting piece on the actual losses suffered by the Germans , it appears that history has , for the most part , been written by the victors .
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zitadelle, 7 Mar. 2009
By 
D. Hewitt "MadHewi" (Orpington, Kent United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Battle of Kursk - Half way through the book so far. Brilliant, good read and much detail. A lot of scene setting covering the lead up and preparations to the battle on 5th July 1943. Quality v Quantity - Mark Healy goes into depth particularly on the Panther, Tiger and Ferdinand tanks, he includes back ground on skills and tank training on both sides. Information on terrain and weather conditions. And I am only just half way through!!

Some really great photos and maps includes. The book is nearly 400 pages but the print is small and plenty to read.

If the second half of the book is as good as the first half this book well deserves a five star marking.

Regards

MadHewi
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Does the sloppily written text indicate sloppy research?, 29 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Zitadelle: The German Offensive Against the Kursk Salient 4-17 July 1943 (Paperback)
This book certainly provides a lot of information, and the illustrations and photographs are excellent and well selected. However, the author's German spelling is gruesome, his translations into English are inconsistent, his rendering of type numbers and designations is sloppy. So how can we be sure that his research was any better? Or the way he came to his conclusions? (I'm referring to the paperback edition, reprinted 2011, just in case the publisher finally employed an editor and corrections have been made.) Although Lloyd Clark's "Kursk" is more concise, it is quite possibly the better bet for historians.
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