Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Upgrade to today
for only an extra Cxx.xx

You get:

plus This issue of xxxxxxxxxxx.
plus Instant access to the latest issue of 340+ of our top selling titles.
plus Unlimited access to 30000+ back issues
plus No contract or commitment. If you decide that PocketmagsPlus is not for you, you can cancel your monthly subscription online at any time. Auto-renews at $9.99 per month, unless cancelled.
Upgrade for 99c
Then just $9.99 / month. Cancel anytime.
Learn more
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
US
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Read anywhere Read anywhere
Ways to pay Pocketmags Payment Types
Trusted site
At Pocketmags you get
Secure Billing
Great Offers
Web & App Reader
Gifting Options
Loyalty Points

Battlefield: Kursk

World War II saw one of the most epic tank battles in history, as the Germans and the Soviets clashed near Kursk. Julian Humphrys tells the story…
FIRE OF WAR A German Tiger I tank storms through a burning Soviet village
GETTY X2

ARMOURED BEAST

With thick armour and a powerful gun, the German Tiger I was a monster. But it was expensive to build and fewer than 1,500 were produced during the war.

The biggest tank battle in history?

The summer of 1943 saw the German army mount a risky operation that made even Hitler nervous. “Whenever I think of this attack, my stomach turns over,” he told a subordinate. Soviet advances after the Battle of Stalingrad and subsequent German counteattacks had left a huge salient, or bulge, sticking out into the Germanheld territory around Kursk in the Ukraine. Hitler’s plan, which was codenamed Operation Citadel, was to mount attacks from the north and south in order to cut off and surround the Russian troops in the salient. Success would also give the overstretched German army a shorter front line to man.

To build up the force to carry out this ambitious plan, the Germans brought in troops, tanks and planes from other sectors of the front. In the end, 70 per cent of all their tanks and nearly two-thirds of their aircraft in the east were committed to the operation. But would it be enough? Conventional military wisdom states that, to have a chance of success, an attacking force needs to outnumber the defender by three-to-one but, at Kursk, the invaders had no such advantage. Despite their efforts, the Germans around Kursk were still heavily outnumbered.

Hoping quality would defeat quantity, the Germans put their faith in their new tanks – medium Panthers, heavy Tigers and monstrous ‘Ferdinand’ self-propelled guns (essentially a huge gun fixed to a tank chassis). They hoped these cutting-edge war machines would overwhelm the Russian defences, creating a breakthrough that the rest of their armoured force could then exploit.

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of BBC History Revealed Magazine - January 2016
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Digital Issue
January 2016
$4.99
This issue and other back issues are not included in a new BBC History Revealed Magazine subscription. Subscriptions include the latest regular issue and new issues released during your subscription.
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.15 per issue
SAVE
37%
$40.99
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.15 per issue
SAVE
10%
$26.99
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.61 per issue
$4.99

View Issues

About BBC History Revealed Magazine

The January 2016 issue of History Revealed