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Kursk 1943: The Northern Front (Campaign, Band 272) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 23. September 2014

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"The author offers a very detailed and well researched order of battle. His descriptions of the opposing commanders of the major units are very interesting." IPMS/USA

"Decidedly recommended reading." --Cybermodeler Online

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Robert Forczyk has a PhD in International Relations and National Security from the University of Maryland and a strong background in European and Asian military history. He retired as a lieutenant colonel from the US Army Reserves having served 18 years as an armor officer in the US 2nd and 4th infantry divisions and as an intelligence officer in the 29th Infantry Division (Light). Dr. Forczyk is currently a consultant in the Washington, DC area. The author lives in Laurel, MD.


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Amazon.com: HASH(0x91bf9aec) von 5 Sternen 15 Rezensionen
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HASH(0x91bdd444) von 5 Sternen An excellent battle summary supplemented by great photos 26. September 2014
Von Dave Schranck - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Mr Forczyk has written another efficient, understandable, clear-cut Osprey Campaign; this time the campaign is led by General Model's 9th Army as it attempts to penetrate the Soviet line and reach Kursk where it was expected General Hoth's 4th PzA would link up from the south and help destroy the Soviet salient. It would turn out that neither Model or Hoth would achieve their mission goals and would have to fight savagely just to survive. The book starts with a prehistory that begins in 1942 that explains the key points leading up to the July 1943 Operation Citadel. This prehistory is extended to describe the battle plans, key officers and military units of both sides that would take part in this monumental battle on the northern flank of the salient. In these beginning chapters the strengths of the officers, the general fighting conditions of the forces and the advantages each side has over its enemy are succinctly presented.
To my delight, the Soviet counter offensive, Operation Kutusov, which involves the elimination of the Orel salient is included in this summary. The combine coverage of both the German attack toward the south, the German defense of Orel and the Soviet counter offensive toward the west clearly shows the scale and determination of the combatants. The coverage of the multiple attacks begins on July 5th and lasts until mid August. The coverage includes land and air operations as well as good coverage of both German and Soviet actions.

The author provides concise daily coverage up through July 11th of Model going up against Rokossovsky's Central Front and from the 12th to the middle of August in a more general summary when the primary fighting moves to the Orel salient as Model goes defensive but is eventually pushed back to the Hagen Line by the Bryansk and Western Fronts . Its in this latter phase that Model shows his true cunning and experience in defending his forces against superior numbers and the grave potential of having his forces completely destroyed. The author also clearly shows the importance of this neglected second phase to 9th / 2nd Pz Armies and the huge costs to the Soviets in pushing the Germans back.

To help support the narrative, nine color maps are provided: six 2D and three 3D. Most of the 2D maps generally cover the entire front line progression while the 3D maps show specific assaults. These specific attacks include the important drives toward the key objectives of Maloarkhangelsk, Ponyri and Olkhovatka. These maps are easy to follow and will be very useful when reading this book as well as other Kursk books.

I also enjoyed the many fine photos of key officers, armor and battlefield scenes included in the book as well as their descriptive captions. Also included is an Order of Battle, a Chronology, color action scenes, a closing analysis, a suggested reading list and an Index.

For a sub 100 page book the author has provided a wealth of useful information about the planning and officers aa well as a successful telling of the northern campaigns that despite the huge Soviet losses will keep the Germans on the strategic defense for the rest of the war. It also shows the author's knowledge and experience of this sector and time period that will leave the reader with a sense of confidence in what is being read. This book is highly recommended to all, new student or old, who have an interest in this pivotal battle.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x91c1f084) von 5 Sternen Engrossing and insightful 23. November 2014
Von F. Carol Sabin - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This book examines in unprecedented detail the Northern Front of the Battle of Kursk and the Soviet Orel counteroffensive in the summer of 1943. I found a compelling study where the military detail is touched by accurate and sharp descriptions; interestingly, Kursk defensive operation is presented as part of a larger operation, ending with the reduction of the Orel salient, somehow closer to the official Soviet version (“Battle of Kursk-Orel”).

The strategic and operational context of the Zitadelle is quickly made by the author in the first chapter – “Origins of campaign”, followed by a short “Chronology”, useful to understand the decision making process for both operations. “Opposing plans” and “Opposing commanders” are detailed in the next chapters.

“Opposing forces” description is meticulously explored in a 12-page chapter with accent skillfully divided between the two forces, but also among different participating arms and services - infantry, artillery, pioneers, combat logistics and air support. A particular accent is placed on mine warfare and on tanks’ capabilities and tactics, the latter being normal, since the author is a renowned expert in armor warfare. A complete “Order of battle” concludes the preparatory chapters.

AOK 9’s offensive and Central Front’s defence are detailed in a day-by-day narrative over the next 40 pages, until the start of the Operation Kutusov, which is covered in the next 17 pages, an insufficient coverage, in my opinion, for a five-week operation. For both operations, the author makes an outstanding and detailed presentation of combined-arms fighting and tactics used. The coverage of both forces’ actions is balanced and equidistant.
Of particular note is author’s examination of air warfare throughout both operations and I was impressed by the nice integration of air actions with the land forces’ maneuvers.

Considering the forces involved, the duration, dimensions of the battlefield and losses sustained, I believe that the Soviet counteroffensive, which lasted between 12 July - 18 august 1943, deserves more than a short account, especially when considering author’s talent displayed in last other-than-Osprey-style books.

In the conclusion part - “Aftermath”- the author analyses both commanders’ battle management and troops’ performance, but also losses and tactics. The study concludes with “The battlefield today” and a short index; “Further reading” shows a balanced bibliography of ten books.
The book is filled with about 70 b&w photos showing equipment, leaders or troops in combat, plus three full colour battlescenes. Adding interesting comments for each photo, Dr. Forczyk doubles their value. There are also six informative 2-D maps (only two in Kutusov part) and 3x3-dimensional’ bird’s-eye-views’ (all for Kursk part).
Highly recommended!
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HASH(0x91c1df48) von 5 Sternen A very good, brief and concentrated title by a renowned specialist 6. Dezember 2014
Von Fernando Wilson L. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
A very good, brief and concentrated title by a renowned specialist. Despite the massive coversge of Operation Zitadelle, Forczyk manages to refresh the subject by combining the original german attack with the subsequent soviet counterstrike in a fluid process, without the normal separation that authora interpose between both. Despite being more specifical and brief than the equivalent works by Glantz or Healey, this volume and its future companion provide a very good first entry to the third and last german summer offensive in Russia during World War II. Even the specialistwil find a surprise or two, such as a revised analysis on the performance of the Ferdinand heavy tank destroyer or specific actions such as the attacks on Ponyri. Noy a small feat to manage to squeeze some new juice from subjects so reviewed proeviously
HASH(0x91c1f054) von 5 Sternen Welcome addition to my military history library 7. Januar 2016
Von Stephen P. Ford - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
As usual from Osprey Publishing this is welcome addition to my military history library.
The most recent Osprey book on the Campaign of Kursk which included the biggest tank battle of WWII and marked the decline of German panzer forces offensive operations which until then had punched through the low countries, north Africa and even well into Russia.
Well researched account with orders of battle, charts, pictures and just enough text.
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HASH(0x91c1ff60) von 5 Sternen Soviet Pyric Victory 24. September 2014
Von Edmund P. Leigh - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Robert Forczyk once again does not disappoint. He is a master of research and writing an objective history of this great battle. He covers both sides with similar focus and does not spin the facts as the Soviets have done with this battle. In fact, he sets the record straight on what actually did happen back in July and August of 1943. He has written an excellent history of the Battle of Kursk with the focus of the action occuring on the Northern flank of the German Double Pincer attack. Field Marshal Eric Von Manstein's battle plan led the Southern Pincer which nearly succeeded in capturing its objective when it drove to the heart of the Kursk Salient. When Hitler order his attack to stop; Manstein wanted to keep going in order to preempt the expected counter-offensive. Hilter allowed him to proceed a few days further. This work therefore explores the lesser known Northern effort which did not penetrate Soviet defenses as far as Manstein's Southern pincer. Very little mention of the Southern attack is in this book.

The German Northern attack under Model does not penetrate determined Soviet defenses very far. Col Gen Model senses a Soviet trap. And an extremely well-prepared one at that. The German Northern pincer forces soon ascertain that as soon as their offensive expires then a massive Soviet attack will commence with the goal of destroying the German Army Group Center (AGC). Model intuitively senses this by the evidence of how well the Soviet defense has been prepared and how many anti-tank guns (ATG) and T-34's they have encountered. There are thousands of ATG's and T34's. And because he is Hitler's favorite general (and there were very few of these) he was leeway to do what was necessary to avoid a shattering German debacle. The destruction of German AGC would not occur in 1943 but in 1944 in the Soviet Operation Begration. Col Gen Model is a consummate defensive specialist. He had proved himself in the hard winter of 1941/1942 in the Rzhez Salient battles where he smashed many of Soviet Marshal's Zhukov's offensive attacks under Stalin's ill planned order to destroy the German center. Not many people know about Operation Mars. It is very ugly and a huge Soviet defeat close to Moscow. Stalin does not like bad news and so Operation Mars is assigned to the so called Orwellian memory hole.

Col Gen Model has a great ability for shifting German forces to the most severe desperate areas to smash Soviet offensive thrusts and prevent breakthroughs. For this battle in 1943 he manages to not aggressively attack because he senses the Soviet trap and takes defensive steps to prevent the German salient at Orel from being shattered by establishing a large tank reserve. This is the key to preventing a catastrophic German defeat in the Orel Salient. He establishes a large German reserve to strike where needed the predicted Soviet onslaught thus blunting its affect. He makes the Soviets pay an extremely high price in tanks and men as he uses his Tigers and Ferdinands Tank Destroyer tactical advantages to knock out Soviet tanks at up 3000 yards with their better optics and training of the tank specialists. After which they retreat for another tank trap and so on. The Ferdinand with its 88mm gun and because it lacks a machine gun to fend off infantry is poorly suited for an offensive role but on the flat treeless Soviet landscape it redeems itself by destroying T-34's and even KV-1's at long distances with impunity. Soviet history neglects to report this for obvious reasons. It makes bad press.

The art work showing the various phases of the battle is superb. Again, it is an unbias account of what happen and which is what you would expect from a work by Robert Forczyk - an objective view of the facts.

What is mainly new here for Soviet-German War readers is the aftermath of the Battle of Kursk. It is the little known Soviet Counter-Offensive known as Operation Kutusov which is the thrust to destroy the Orel Salient from July 12 - August 18th. It here that German General Model understands that his forces are greatly outnumbered in men and tanks but by using his Tiger Tanks, Panthers and even Ferdinands as massive Soviet tank killers at long ranges and then moving back in a line he can make the Soviets pay dearly for regaining the Orel salient. Basically they are convinced that perhaps they can win the war in the East if they can bleed them dry and that the Soviet cannot cope with fantastic losses for a long period of time. They must run out of men eventually.

Highest Recommendation !!
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