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Armor and Blood: The Battle of Kursk: The Turning Point of World War II
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Random House Publishing Group 2013
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Description
One of America’s most distinguished military historians offers the definitive account of the greatest tank battle of World War II—an epic clash of machines and men that matched the indomitable will of the Soviet Red Army against the awesome might of the Nazi Wehrmacht.
 
While the Battle of Kursk has long captivated World War II aficionados, it has been unjustly overlooked by historians. Drawing on the masses of new information made available by the opening of the Russian military archives, Dennis Showalter at last corrects that error. This battle was the critical turning point on World War II’s Eastern Front. In the aftermath of the Red Army’s brutal repulse of the Germans at Stalingrad, the stakes could not have been higher. More than three million men and eight thousand tanks met in the heart of the Soviet Union, some four hundred miles south of Moscow, in an encounter that both sides knew would reshape the war. The adversaries were at the peak of their respective powers. On both sides, the generals and the dictators they served were in agreement on where, why, and how to fight. The result was a furious death grapple between two of history’s most formidable fighting forces—a battle that might possibly have been the greatest of all time.
 
In Armor and Blood, Showalter re-creates every aspect of this dramatic struggle. He offers expert perspective on strategy and tactics at the highest levels, from the halls of power in Moscow and Berlin to the battlefield command posts on both sides. But it is the author’s exploration of the human dimension of armored combat that truly distinguishes this book. In the classic tradition of John Keegan’s The Face of Battle, Showalter’s narrative crackles with insight into the unique dynamics of tank warfare—its effect on men’s minds as well as their bodies. Scrupulously researched, exhaustively documented, and vividly illustrated, this book is a chilling testament to man’s ability to build and to destroy.
 
When the dust settled, the field at Kursk was nothing more than a wasteland of steel carcasses, dead soldiers, and smoking debris. The Soviet victory ended German hopes of restoring their position on the Eastern Front, and put the Red Army on the road to Berlin. Armor and Blood presents readers with what will likely be the authoritative study of Kursk for decades to come.
Advance praise for Armor and Blood
 
“The size and the brutality of the vast tank battle at Kursk appalls, this struggle that gives an especially dark meaning to that shopworn phrase ‘last full measure.’ Prepare yourself for a wild and feverish ride over the steppes of Russia. You can have no better guide than Dennis E. Showalter, who speaks with an authority equaled by few military historians.”—Robert Cowley, founding editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History
 
“A fresh, skillful, and complete synthesis of recent revelations about this famous battle . . . As a myth buster, Armor and Blood is a must-read for those interested in general and military history.”—David M. Glantz, editor of The Journal of Slavic Military Studies

“Refreshingly crisp, pointed prose . . . Throughout, [Showalter] demonstrates his adeptness at interweaving discussions of big-picture strategy with interesting revelations and anecdotes. . . . Showalter does his best work by keeping his sights set firmly on the battle at hand, while also parsing the conflict for developments that would have far-reaching...
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Street Date:
08/27/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780812994650
ASIN:
B00B0LP5KI
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APA Citation (style guide)

Dennis E. Showalter. (2013). Armor and Blood: The Battle of Kursk: The Turning Point of World War II. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Dennis E. Showalter. 2013. Armor and Blood: The Battle of Kursk: The Turning Point of World War II. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Dennis E. Showalter, Armor and Blood: The Battle of Kursk: The Turning Point of World War II. Random House Publishing Group, 2013.

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Dennis E. Showalter. Armor and Blood: The Battle of Kursk: The Turning Point of World War II. Random House Publishing Group, 2013.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Armor and Blood
fullDescription
One of America’s most distinguished military historians offers the definitive account of the greatest tank battle of World War II—an epic clash of machines and men that matched the indomitable will of the Soviet Red Army against the awesome might of the Nazi Wehrmacht.
 
While the Battle of Kursk has long captivated World War II aficionados, it has been unjustly overlooked by historians. Drawing on the masses of new information made available by the opening of the Russian military archives, Dennis Showalter at last corrects that error. This battle was the critical turning point on World War II’s Eastern Front. In the aftermath of the Red Army’s brutal repulse of the Germans at Stalingrad, the stakes could not have been higher. More than three million men and eight thousand tanks met in the heart of the Soviet Union, some four hundred miles south of Moscow, in an encounter that both sides knew would reshape the war. The adversaries were at the peak of their respective powers. On both sides, the generals and the dictators they served were in agreement on where, why, and how to fight. The result was a furious death grapple between two of history’s most formidable fighting forces—a battle that might possibly have been the greatest of all time.
 
In Armor and Blood, Showalter re-creates every aspect of this dramatic struggle. He offers expert perspective on strategy and tactics at the highest levels, from the halls of power in Moscow and Berlin to the battlefield command posts on both sides. But it is the author’s exploration of the human dimension of armored combat that truly distinguishes this book. In the classic tradition of John Keegan’s The Face of Battle, Showalter’s narrative crackles with insight into the unique dynamics of tank warfare—its effect on men’s minds as well as their bodies. Scrupulously researched, exhaustively documented, and vividly illustrated, this book is a chilling testament to man’s ability to build and to destroy.
 
When the dust settled, the field at Kursk was nothing more than a wasteland of steel carcasses, dead soldiers, and smoking debris. The Soviet victory ended German hopes of restoring their position on the Eastern Front, and put the Red Army on the road to Berlin. Armor and Blood presents readers with what will likely be the authoritative study of Kursk for decades to come.
Advance praise for Armor and Blood
 
“The size and the brutality of the vast tank battle at Kursk appalls, this struggle that gives an especially dark meaning to that shopworn phrase ‘last full measure.’ Prepare yourself for a wild and feverish ride over the steppes of Russia. You can have no better guide than Dennis E. Showalter, who speaks with an authority equaled by few military historians.”—Robert Cowley, founding editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History
 
“A fresh, skillful, and complete synthesis of recent revelations about this famous battle . . . As a myth buster, Armor and Blood is a must-read for those interested in general and military history.”—David M. Glantz, editor of The Journal of Slavic Military Studies

“Refreshingly crisp, pointed prose . . . Throughout, [Showalter] demonstrates his adeptness at interweaving discussions of big-picture strategy with interesting revelations and anecdotes. . . . Showalter does his best work by keeping his sights set firmly on the battle at hand, while also parsing the conflict for developments that would have far-reaching...
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Robert Cowley, founding editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History
      • content: "The size and the brutality of the vast tank battle at Kursk appalls, this struggle that gives an especially dark meaning to that shopworn phrase 'last full measure.' Prepare yourself for a wild and feverish ride over the steppes of Russia. You can have no better guide than Dennis E. Showalter, who speaks with an authority equaled by few military historians."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "A fresh, skillful, and complete synthesis of recent revelations about this famous battle . . . As a myth buster, Armor and Blood is a must-read for those interested in general and military history."--David M. Glantz, editor of The Journal of Slavic Military Studies "Dennis Showalter's account of the nightmarish battle of Kursk is as lively as it is expertly researched and analyzed. When two industrial military societies send their top armored units into a head-on collision, the horrific result is like none other in the history of modern battle--and only someone of Showalter's scholarly skills can sort out myth from fact, in this gripping account of the most important battle on the Eastern Front."--Victor Davis Hanson, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, author of The Savior Generals "Once again Professor Showalter has produced a wonderful popular history. Armor and Blood is an account of the Battle of Kursk written with panache, wit, and eloquence, and based on up-to-date research into the Soviet and German archives. This is both a great read and a fundamental reconsideration of the battle."--Williamson Murray, co-author of Moment of Battle: The Twenty Clashes That Changed the World "Refreshingly crisp, pointed prose . . . Throughout, [Showalter] demonstrates his adeptness at interweaving discussions of big-picture strategy with interesting revelations and anecdotes. . . . Showalter does his best work by keeping his sights set firmly on the battle at hand, while also parsing the conflict for developments that would have far-reaching consequences for the war."--Publishers Weekly "Showalter . . . goes far toward rescuing the Battle of Kursk from undeserved obscurity."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 3, 2013
        Though noticeably underrepresented in histories of WWII, the colossal clashes at the battle of Kursk in 1943 proved the beginning of the end for the Wehrmacht, argues Showalter (Tannenberg) in this admirable history. The Colorado College history prof covers the battle from before the beginning and on to the end, explaining the origins and evolutions of the opposing armies in refreshingly crisp, pointed prose and sprinkling his narrative with numerous allusions to characters as diverse as Civil War generals, Napoleon, and Brer Rabbit. The presentation of the battle itself is straightforward: Showalter moves through the carnage chronologically and geographically. Throughout, he demonstrates his adeptness at interweaving discussions of big-picture strategy with interesting revelations and anecdotes: the Germans saw this as their last chance to subdue the Soviets before the latter became too powerful; some tried literally burying their tanks “up to their turrets” to avoid enemy fire; sunflowers blanketed the field of battle. Showalter does his best work by keeping his sights set firmly on the battle at the hand, while also parsing the conflict for developments that would have far-reaching consequences for the war. B&w photos and maps. Agent: Frank Weimann, Literary Group International.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        June 15, 2013
        Meticulous account of the July 1943 tank battle between the Red Army and the Wehrmacht, perhaps the largest such battle in history. Showalter (History/Colorado Coll., Hitler's Panzers: The Lightning Attacks that Revolutionized Warfare, 2009, etc.) goes far toward rescuing the Battle of Kursk from undeserved obscurity. In early 1943, the Germans planned a major campaign to eliminate the Soviet salient around the city of Kursk that had resulted from the Wehrmacht's retreat after the Battle of Stalingrad. Preparing to attack both sides of the salient, each several hundred miles long, required immense movements of armies, equipment and aircraft; the launch was repeatedly delayed by supply problems, changes, and quarrels between Hitler and his often skeptical generals. Tipped off months in advance of the attack, the Soviets used the time to construct vast defensive works more than 100 miles deep, a maze of minefields, anti-tank guns, strong points and artillery. German forces attacked, advanced and suffered terrible losses; they inflicted far worse losses on the Soviet defenders but never broke through. Within weeks, Red Army counterattacks recovered the lost ground. Showalter emphasizes that Kursk capped the Red Army's two years of painful education in tactics, logistics and air-to-ground cooperation. While it never matched the Wehrmacht's efficiency (nor did the other Allied armies), it functioned well enough to seize the initiative; the Battle of Kursk was Germany's last operational offensive in Russia. The author mostly describes large unit actions and command decisions, although an astute introduction and conclusion put it all into perspective. Showalter clearly knows his subject, but the avalanche of battle details, tactics and unit maneuvers will appeal to military buffs more than general readers.

        COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from July 1, 2013
        The German defeat at Stalingrad in February 1943 shattered the myth of the invincibility of the Wehrmacht, bolstered Soviet confidence, and drained Germany of vital manpower and material. But it was not the decisive blow on the eastern front. The Wehrmacht was still a formidable force, capable of massive flanking and encircling movements, as it proved just a few weeks later in the recapture of Kharkov. But the battle of Kursk, fought in July and August l943, truly was the decisive battle in the eastern front. It was certainly the greatest tank battle in history; in terms of men and material engaged, it was probably the greatest land battle in history. Showalter effectively conveys both the savagery and the immense scope of the fighting while explaining both the strategic and tactical goals of each side in laymen's terms. When the German defeat was clear, the Wehrmacht was never again able to mount a broad offensive in the east, and the Soviets began their steady move westward. This is a masterful work that may become the definitive account.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 15, 2013

        A professor of history at Colorado College, guest lecturer at West Point, and former president of the Society for Military History, Showalter seems well positioned to write about the crucial Battle of Kursk, which resulted in a Soviet victory that halted the German push east once and for all. History fans will want.

        Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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One of America’s most distinguished military historians offers the definitive account of the greatest tank battle of World War II—an epic clash of machines and men that matched the indomitable will of the Soviet Red Army against the awesome might of the Nazi Wehrmacht.
 
While the Battle of Kursk has long captivated World War II aficionados, it has been unjustly overlooked by historians. Drawing on the masses of new information made available by the opening of the Russian military archives, Dennis Showalter at last corrects that error. This battle was the critical turning point on World War II’s Eastern Front. In the aftermath of the Red Army’s brutal repulse of the Germans at Stalingrad, the stakes could not have been higher. More than three million men and eight thousand tanks met in the heart of the Soviet Union, some four hundred miles south of Moscow, in an encounter that both sides knew would reshape the war. The adversaries were at the...
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