With firsthand accounts from both sides, vivid photos, and maps of the combat zones, Kursk is a riveting hour-by-hour examination of the decisive failure of Nazi Germany's last large-scale offensive on the Eastern Front.
On July 5, 1943, the German army launched Operation Citadel in an attempt to turn the struggle on the Eastern Front to their favor. Attacking with a force of 3,000 tanks and assault guns, the Nazis faced more than 3,900 Soviet tanks, with another 1,500 tanks in reserve. What followed was the largest tank battle the world has ever seen, a titanic clash of arms with heavy casualties on both sides. On July 11, three SS divisions--Totenkopf, Das Reich, and Leibstandarte--attempted to break through the Soviet lines at the village of Prokhorovka and unhinge the Soviet defensive position. Confronting them was the newly deployed Fifth Guards Tanks Army. The battle raged all day. By nightfall the Germans had lost more than 300 tanks and the Fifth Guards Tanks Army 50 percent of their strength. Despite the heavy losses, the Soviet defenders had achieved their aim: halting the German attack. Kursk
provides a gripping account of this key battle.