On the 5th July 1943, the Wehrmacht launched Operation Citadel. Attacking with a force of 3,000 tanks and assault guns, the Germans faced a well dug-in force of more than 3,900 Soviet tanks, with another 1,500 tanks in reserve. The tanks advanced with as many as 50 vehicles packed together per kilometre of line. What followed was the largest tank battle the world has ever seen, with both sides suffering heavy casualties. On the 11th July, three SS divisions attempted to break through the Soviet lines. Facing them were the newly-deployed Soviet 5th Guards Tanks Army. It was the Germans'last chance for a potential breakthrough on the Eastern Front. The battle raged all day, with German attack followed by Soviet counterattack. By nightfall the Germans had lost more than 300 tanks and the 5th Guards Tanks Army 50 percent of their strength. Despite their heavy losses, the Soviet defenders had achieved their aim: the German attack had been halted and all hope of their regaining the initiative lost. 5th Guards Tank Army at Kursk has an eight-page gatefold depicting one of the brigades from the Soviet 5th Guards Tank Army in an innovative and fresh manner. This brigade is shown in battle deployment, with reconnaissance units, advance companies, the main body, the brigade command section, plus all the supporting engineers, signallers and artillery to provide a visual guide to exactly how many tanks and other armoured vehicles were advancing on the 11th July. The book itself is broken down by these sections, looking at each component part of the brigade in turn, their structure, equipment and what they did on 11th July.
AUTHOR: David Porter has had a life-long interest in military history, particularly armoured warfare and AFV technology. Since leaving the British Ministry of Defence in 2006 after 29 years' service, he has worked on a number of research projects. In recent years David has contributed articles and book reviews to the BBC History Magazine, the British Army Review and the Royal Engineers Journal. Since 1997, he has tutored military history leisure courses at Bath University, Dillington House and other further education centres.