The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk

Volume 1

Valeriy Zamulin

In this first volume of a planned two-volume set, Zamulin takes a close look at the condition of the German and Soviet forces following the winter campaign.
Date Published :
July 2021
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Contributor(s) :
Stuart Britton
Illustration :
79 b/w ills; 39 tables; 7 color maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781914059223
Pages : 566
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : Available


In this first volume of a projected two-volume set, Zamulin takes a close look at the condition of the German and Soviet forces following the winter campaign. Analyzing first the German side, the author demonstrates that the Germans were in a woeful condition, especially with respect to the number of serviceable armored vehicles and the lack of infantry. However, Hitler was determined to regain the initiative in the East, though some German commanders expressed concerns. Zamulin then looks at the German plans for the summer of 1943 and the process of rebuilding its forces. As he shows through data, the Germans struggled to replenish Army Group South and Model's Ninth Army in the north, and the latter was hampered almost right up to the launching of Operation Citadel by the need to conduct a major anti-partisan operation in woods and thickets in the German rear with panzer and infantry divisions earmarked for Citadel.

Zamulin next examines the Soviet side, and discusses the planning for the summer campaign, including the decision to adopt a pre-meditated defense of the Kursk salient and to create a multi-echeloned system of defense (though incomplete in depth). The author demonstrates that the Red Army was able quickly to replenish its forces and also create a large mobile reserve, the Steppe Front. Thus, the delay in launching Citadel was not the fatal German error, and it would have failed even if launched earlier.

About The Author

Valeriy Nikolaevich Zamulin, a PhD candidate, is a leading Russian scholar of the Battle of Kursk. Since 1996, he has been working intensively in the most important Russian and foreign archival institutes, including the Central Archive of Russia’s Ministry of Defense and in the US National Archive, in order to gather and analyze documentary sources on the events in the Kursk bulge in the summer of 1943. In 2002, he was the first to describe the course of the famous Prokhorovka tank clash on a documentary basis, to publish previously unknown figures on the Red Army’s armor losses in the tank battle of 12 July 1943, and to give his assessment of the results, which differed from that previously accepted in Russia. He is the author of more than 60 scholarly works, including six books, in both the Russian and English languages, which have attracted great interest among scholars and history buffs. His most well-known work is "Demolishing the Myth: The Tank Battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk, July 1943: An Operational Narrative" (Helion, 2011). The results of V.N. Zamulin s scholarly work are broadly used by military-historical authors, professors of state universities and Russia s military museums. Several documentary films and television programs have been made with his participation. In 2010-2011, he was the academic consultant during the creation of the new military history museum in the legendary village of Ponyri, which in the Battle of Kursk was the epicenter of the most savage and bloody fighting. At present, Zamulin is a member of the faculty of Kursk State University.

Stuart Britton is a freelance translator who resides in Cedar Rapids, IA. He is responsible for a growing number of translated Russian military memoirs, battle histories and operational studies, which saw an explosion in Russia with the opening of secret military archives and the emergence of new Russian scholars who take a more objective look at the events and historical figures. Two works that received prizes or prominent acclaim were Valeriy Zamulin’s Demolishing a Myth: The Tank Battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk 1943 and Lev Lopukhovsky’s The Viaz’ma Catastrophe, 1941: The Red Army’s Disastrous Stand Against Operation Typhoon. Notable recent translations include Valeriy Zamulin’s The Battle of Kursk: Controversial and Neglected Aspects and Igor Sdvizhkov’s Confronting Case Blue: Briansk Front’s Attempt to Derail the German Drive to the Caucasus, July 1942. Future translated publications include Nikolai Ovcharenko’s analysis of the defense, occupation and liberation of Odessa, 1941-1944, and Zamulin’s detailed study of 7th Guards Army’s role and performance in the Battle of Kursk against Army Detachment Kempf.

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