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on 29 November 2017
A very good and instructive book
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on 31 August 2013
This book has many good attributes that warrant recommendation but from my perspective there are also negatives that prevent it from receiving five stars. The rest of the review will explain my reasoning for the good and bad.
The book can be viewed or conceptualized as having two main parts. There is the tactical events or micro history as the author calls it and the author's commentary and analysis.

In regards to the tactical: there are literally dozens of battle events missing from the narrative and the ones included are not given their full due. I realize this book is a summary and is not meant to provide in-depth coverage but there should be enough tactical/operational information provided to give the reader a true picture or magnitude of the campaign. Even on a tertiary or even secondary level I don't believe this requirement was met.
There are so many hard fought battles for control of key villages, hills, river crossings that are missing that if were present would give the reader a better handle of the fanaticism that both sides displayed or the level of aptitude and in some cases inaptitude that was displayed by some of the commanders.
In the northern salient, coverage stops on the 9th if memory serves. In the south the first five days are also skimpy. Starting with the 10th, a few more details are provided and it improves a little further on the 11th and 12th but with the 13th onwards, the details are back to skimpy.

The details of the extensive defenses erected were short changed as well. This information would give the reader the lengths the Soviets went to prepare for battle and the efforts the Germans were driven to overcome these obstacles. These erected kill zones that include PakFronts, dug-in tanks, elaborate trench systems, bunkers etc were an engineering marvel and should be understood to see the whole picture. However, the frequent discussions on Panthers, T-34s and armor in general were welcomed. The exploits of tanker Rudolf Ribbentrop were presented but surprisingly not of Michael Whitmann.

The second part of the book is the author's commentary and analysis and that was very good and worth five stars. The key commanders are discussed often, describing the problems facing them and what they could do to overcome them. In this instance the battle engagements mentioned are blended nicely with the commentary to provide a valid impression of a particular aspect of the battle. By the end of the book, the collective body of commentary will provide a reasonable but not exhaustive understanding of the campaign and should satisfy all but the most demanding students of the campaign. The comments on Hoth's diverting the SS away from Oboyan toward Prokhorovka as well as the arrival and preliminary preparation of 5th GTA before launch were especially interesting.

The last two chapters move away from the micro history of the battlefield. In "Crossovers", the invasion of Sicily is mentioned, the closing down of Citadel, Manstein's desire to continue the advance against 69th Army. Appraisals of Manstein and Vatutin are also given. It was good. In the last chapter, "Watersheds", casualties are discussed and the impact of the campaign had on the rest of the war is provided. It was a transitional battle that saw the Germans go strategically on the defensive and the Soviets on the offensive. There was greater depth than this; the chapter was very good and should not be skipped when reading the book. The two chapters added to the overall experience and understanding of the war.

There are also 11 maps to study. These B+W maps range from the entire front line to sector to battlefield scale, including the Orel salient. These maps are very basic and provide minimal details.

The narrative is 279 pages but when you deduct the two extensive introductory chapters of prewar history and war history of the first two years plus the last two chapters, there is probably only 150 pages directly related to Operation Citadel.

There is no Bibliography or Appendix but there is a useful Suggested Reading List, Notes Section and Index. There is a small but worthwhile photo gallery.

One last word and I don't mean to demean but it made a difference. I found seven typos, mostly concerning unit designations that confused the battle situation. Two examples: On the southern salient the 167th ID was fighting alongside Das Reich in the latter stages but it was stated the 176th ID. If one didn't know any better, you would think the Germans had an additional division in the fight. On the northern salient the 17th Rifle Army was mentioned but there was no 17th RA. Perhaps the author meant 70th Army or 13th Army or more likely the 17th GRC. All three units were fighting in the area being discussed.

Even with my criticism, I still recommend this book. The commentary and analysis was good and what I call the weak part of the book, the tactical and in some regards the operational, plus the maps can be supplemented by books from Glantz, Nipe, Zamulin and a few others.
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on 10 November 2017
Excellent narrative of the kursk battle a bit complex or deep in parts for a layman but essentially gives what I personally think is a true account of the battles in the north and south salients , for Eastern front and kursk enthusiasts a must read excellent kindle price also for such a comprehensive work.
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on 13 October 2017
I found this book to be a real page Turner. Incredibly detailed and researched, the author has managed to lay out the battleplans in great detail, yet not losing the accounts of action thereby keeping the readers attention .
I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to others who are interested in aspects of war not previously publicized
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on 13 November 2013
The book on the Battle of Kursk by Dennis E. Showalter gives new insights to readers who previously had scant knowledge on battles fought in the Soviet front. The kind of combined arms set warfare waged in the 20th century, in my opinion, will be the last in its genre barring the unpredictable showdown in the Korean peninsular during the 21st century. And it is hoped that this kind of inhuman industrial scale meat grinder annihilation will not be repeated on our generation or the next. The author should provide detailed map on each movement of the operation by both sides so that the reader will have better comprehension of the situation and its environs. Otherwise the book gives a comprehensive knowledge on the kind of warfare waged in the previous century.
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on 7 December 2014
I needed a basic introduction to this battle and had not read any other books on it. Showalter does a very good job placing Kursk in context, explaining why the battle came about and what its consequences were. However, I was disappointed in the detailed description of the action, specifically with the maps. There aren't enough maps and the text mentions many place names that can't be found on them - this makes the narrative hard to follow in places.
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on 10 February 2014
The audio book, and Armor and Blood, provides an excellent history on the events surrounding the famous battle of Kursk. Detailing the build-up, the objectives, the tactics, the battle timeline and the aftermath, using accounts from individuals actually there this is an enthralling audio book. Once I started listening, I did not want to stop... and I have subsequently replayed the book. One not to miss.
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on 24 October 2017
So refreshing to read an account that expands on the usual superlatives and gives another perspective on one of the watershed battles of the war
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on 7 April 2017
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on 12 December 2016
Speedy delivery good price for book
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