By Robin Cross
Publish yr note: First released January 1st 1993
It used to be the best armoured conflict within the background of the realm - and the decisive conflict of worldwide conflict II. great armies engaged each other on land and within the air, in a clash that integrated the most expensive unmarried day of aerial battle of all time.
This was once the conflict of Kursk - a conflict so bad that even Hitler confessed it made his ‘stomach flip over’.
Citadel was once the final nice German offensive at the jap entrance; its goal used to be to claw again the initiative after the hand over of the 6th military at Stalingrad in January 1943.
The position selected through Hitler used to be the Kursk salient within the heartland of the Ukraine. The date used to be five July 1943, the codename ‘Citadel’. The crimson military, warned of the German plans by way of the ‘Lucy’ secret agent community in Switzerland, was once ready to shield the salient in vast power and intensity. opposed to its breakwaters Hitler introduced his best armoured divisions, merely to determine them mangled past repair.
No faster had the German thrusts been contained, whereas in the tantalizing take hold of of good fortune, than the pink military added a chain of crushing counter-blows with have been to force the Wehrmacht again past the River Dnieper.
Characteristically, Hitler had gambled all on a throw of a unmarried cube and had misplaced the initiative within the East - by no means to regain it.
'Citadel' presents an in depth photo of the conflict of Kursk, from the strategic tug-of-war waged inside either excessive instructions within the agonizing months which preceded the German offensive, to the first-hand studies of the troops at the floor and the airmen flying over the blazing steppe because the conflict reached fever pitch.
Robin go locations the conflict firmly in the wider strategic context of the spring and summer season of 1943, months within which Hitler and Stalin steeled themselves to take judgements which might come to a decision the process the warfare and the form of the peace which followed.
Robin Cross is a amazing journalist and army historian whose books comprise VE Day: Victory in Europe, The Bombers: process and strategies and the U.S. Marine Corps.
Praise for 'Fallen Eagle':
"Mesmerising account of these ultimate, bloody weeks of conflict ... Cross's account of the ultimate hysterical days in his Berlin Bunker is masterful." Sunday Express
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Additional info for Citadel: The Battle of Kursk
Some of our men are a little too inclined to think of a patrol at four or five [o'clock] in the afternoon, and send it out that same night. To be worth a damn, a fighting patrol must start off with an odds-on chance... not six-to-four or even money, but a good two-to-one bet. To make this possible, your information has got to be really good and up to date. As regards to composition of fighting patrols, there is a wide divergence of opinion. In this battalion we go on the principle of maximum firepower with minimum manpower, and our patrols have usually consisted of an officer, a noncom, and nine men - in other words, an assault group consisting of an officer, three [grenade]-throwers, and three Tommy gunners, and a support group of a noncom and three Bren gunners.
Red Army soldiers proved especially proficient in conducting reconnaissance in forests, swamps and mountains. While snow reduced their operational radius and speed, they used it to their benefit when skis and snowshoes were available - the Germans often lacked these, especially during their first Russian winter of 1941/42, to the detriment of their counter-reconnaissance patrols. Some Russians were familiar with skiing, hut it was found that infantry units required 14 days of cross-country ski training, to include adequate physical conditioning.
1st Reconnaissance Company. They now consisted of three small foot/boat-mobile platoons totalling 127 men and not a single vehicle. These companies performed some common tasks and others unique to Pacific island fighting. They secured gaps between regiments, especially when the terrain was extremely rough; acted as a divisional reserve, as a reserve or reinforcement for a depleted regiment; provided beach defence to protect against Japanese counter-landings, for rear area mop-up, a second defence line to halt infiltrators, and headquarters security.