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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 24 November 2012
This is the first book by Lloyd Clark I have read, and I must say I am very impressed. The book is well written and cleverly thought out. It combines a narrative of the battle intertwined with excerpts of diaries, letters and interviews from soldiers of both sides. The end result is a highly readable account of one of the most important battles of the Second World War.

The author provides quite a bit of information around the battle, beginning with a look at the rise of both Hitler and Stalin, as a way of introducing the reader to the mindset of both leaders and their armies in the run up to, and during the course of, the Battle of Kursk. Although it is well written, some readers may find this part of the book unnecessary, particularly if they have knowledge of the run up to and launch of Barbarossa. Overall though its inclusion does not detract from the overall work.

If there is one thing I would mark this book down for is the lack of editing, but this is just me being fussy I suspect. Overall, I would recommend this as very worthwhile read and look forward to reading more works by this author.
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on 14 January 2017
I am planning a to wargame the 1942 Eastern Front as one of my 2017 projects and bought this book as a quick introduction to the pivotal battle of the year. Hence, I am not writing this review with much expert knowledge on the topic. The author clearly knows his stuff, as he should being a lecturer at the royal Military College Sandhurst, and from what I can tell has taken account of some of the more recent revisionist accounts of the battle. Why only OK? With 413 pages of text I was very surprised to find just over 240 of them devoted to Zitadelle. The first circa 170 pages were devoted to the origins of WW2, the rise of Stalin and Hitler and the early Eastern Front campaigns. Yes it made for interesting reading, but was way too much of an introduction to the main topic. Another observation, already made by another reviewer is that the maps are mainly in the wrong places. In my edition the opening chapter on "Zitadelle Preliminaries, February - July 1943" starts on page 173. The most appropriate map to explain this "The Eve of Battle" is back on page 36. So, a few negatives. However when the author gets going on Kursk I found the text quite riveting. In particular the personal, first hand accounts of the fighting really added to what could have been otherwise quite a slog through dry text. In hindsight The Daily Telegraph review on the back cover sums the book up quite well. "Few stories are better told than this". This is the story of Kursk, not a deep academic tome.
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on 23 September 2016
I have read many accounts of Kursk, but none as compelling as this. I did not want to put the book down, it was so gripping. The traumas and horrors that both sides endured were almost beyond enduring, and the intensity and savagery of the fighting terrifying even to read. A must read for any student of war history. Brilliant!
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on 10 April 2016
Although a good writer, more then half of the book is spend on the ''how we got there'' events.
I have other books for that, I wanted a more in depth account of the battle and in this it fails.
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on 9 August 2017
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Well researched, well crafted and very interesting. The maps were very good but don't be fooled into thinking that the map at the start of each chapter actually relates to that chapter. You have to read the correct map to get the gist of the action. Fabulous book, glad it is 7n my collection.
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on 12 May 2017
A good general summary of the rise to power of Hitler and Stalin and the early part of the war in Russia followed by a very thorough account of the battle of Kursk and it's aftermath. Very readable and informative book. Excellent
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on 6 August 2017
Great - thanks very much! Promptly delivered, specifications just as advertised and packed very properly.
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on 27 March 2017
very happy with puchase!!
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on 2 September 2017
great book
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on 6 May 2012
Lloyd Clark's book seeks to tell the story of the 1943 Kursk battle, placing it in the context of the larger German-Russian relations and the Eastern front, and to tell it from both sides. This scope means the book falls between two stools. On the one hand, the contextualisation material takes up far too much of the book. It is only at page 218 (out of 389) that we get to the battle. For anyone who is interested in military history, the pre-war material is a distraction; they most likely bought the book to read about the battle in particular. The context needed to focus solely on the immediate run up to it, not the previous thirty years, and it needed to be a lot shorter (it could have started around page 166, for example). On the other hand, given that the battle constitutes less than half the book and it's trying to detail a massive engagement, the material is quite sketchy and sometimes difficult to follow. There are a number of maps in the book, but the text never refers to them once and they appear at chapter breaks rather than where they are discussed in the narrative (and it's quite difficult to link up text and map due to labelling and coverage). They could have been used to much better effect. The description is quite dry, and whilst Clark tries to place the reader on the battlefield through the voices of some of the men who took part in the battle it doesn't work as effectively as it might. Kursk works as a general primer to the hostilities between Germany and Russia, the Eastern front, and the battle, but readers with a general interest in Second World War military history who want a detailed account of the battle itself will probably be better off looking elsewhere.
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