The Battle of the Tanks by Lloyd Clark

The Battle of the Tanks

Two million men supported by 6,000 tanks, 35,000 guns, and 5,000 aircraft convened in Kursk--on the border of the Soviet Union--for an epic confrontation, the epitome of "total war." With unprecedented access to the journals and testimonials of the officers, soldiers, political leaders, and citizens who lived through it, Clark gives the definitive account of an epic showdown that changed the course of history.

Details The Battle of the Tanks

TitleThe Battle of the Tanks
Release DateNov 1st, 2011
PublisherAtlantic Monthly Press
GenreHistory, Military, Military History, War, World War II, Nonfiction, Military Fiction, Cultural, Russia

Reviews The Battle of the Tanks

  • Chris
    First, I'd like to address those who complain that the first third of this book is not about Kursk, but in fact covers the period after WWI for both Germany and Russia, Operation Barbarossa, the Battle of Moscow, and the Battle of Stalingrad. To these people, I'd like to point out that there is a handy little thing called a "table of contents". No one is forcing you to read the bits you don't want to read.For myself, I liked the backstory. It's b...
  • 'Aussie Rick'
    In his book; “The Battle of the Tanks”, the author, Lloyd Clark, has provided the reader with an admirably told and well presented account of the climatic battle of WW2; Kursk, that occurred on the Russian steppe in July 1943. The author has produced a well-researched, easy to read and easy to follow account of the massive clash between German and Russian forces at Kursk during Operation Zitadelle. With the use of numerous first-hand accounts...
  • Cathal Kenneally
    Definitely a war of attrition, especially from a Soviet standpoint. Even with larger numbers they didn’t “defeat” the Germans but stopped them in their tracks. Kursk was Hitler’s last throw of the dice where the Eastern front was concerned. Despite superior tactics and weaponry they were vastly outnumbered. It was savagely fought from both sides with little headway made by any side.When the Allies landed in Sicily to begin the invasion of...
  • Igor Ljubuncic
    Very cool.The book is engaging, on many levels. First, it gives us a brief intro to both the Nazi Germany and USSR in the years before the war. We learn about Stalin and Hitler and their style of command. Then, the author goes into succinct but colorful detail on the first 2.5 years of WWII before focusing on the great finale.What I really liked isn't just the obvious narrative - it's balanced. You have technical details, historical facts, person...
  • Christopher Bedard
    Excellent and insightful book with not only descriptions of the battle of Kursk and Operation Citadel, but also the "Origins of Annihilation" giving a backstory about the rise of Adolf Hitler's National Socialist German Worker's Party and Lenin/Stalin's Bolshevik Revolution coupled with reasons leading to the point of the Eastern Front. Furthermore, Lloyd Clark's Battle of the Tanks also goes further into giving the backstory leading towards the ...
  • Kirk
    I got this book because I wanted to learn more about the Battle of Kursk, which is one of, if not the, largest tank battle in history. I got a bit more than I bargained for since this book gives a brief overview of the rise to power of Hitler and Stalin, and the first two years of the Eastern Front of WWII. Since I did not know much about either of these, this didn't bother me too much. The author's intent was clearly to provide context on the la...
  • Grant S
    This is a book of two halves really.I enjoyed the first half which is about the early years of the second world war in Europe and the events that led up to the battle of Kursk.So that's the German invasion of Poland, the Ribbentrop - Molotov pact, Operation Barbarossa, Stalingrad etc.I found the second half of the book, the actual battle of Kursk, hard to get through. It's more suited to proper Military Historians rather than someone with a passi...
  • Jack
    I single volume on Citadel. Done. Stalingrad was the end of the beginning for the German army. Kursk or Zitadelle was the beginning of the end. Russian armor was outfought, the German tactics were better, and the Luftwaffe gave more than it got. Except there were too many Soviet formations, especially tank formations. In one battle the Russians lost over 350 tanks to 50 German. Except the Russians could make up their losses easily, the Germans co...
  • Roaldeuller
    Battle of the Tanks is a highly accessible narrative account of the Kursk campaign in the summer of 1943 on the Russian front. It is aimed at a general reader (unlike, say, David Glantz’s densely detailed operational histories)In Battle of the Tanks, Lloyd Clark “seeks to provide the overview that places the battle of Kursk in the context required to do justice to its pivotal position in the course of fighting on the Eastern Front” (p xviii...
  • Raghavendra
    This is one of the better operational books of the Second World War that I have read. The battle for Kursk has always been a fascinating one for me because of the size of the armies involved and magnitude of the repercussions to the Eastern Front( there was even a CoD level :) ) For one thing the book focuses on just the one battle, which means the ground is pretty much well tramped on by the time you get through reading about the initial skirmis...
  • Jake Prest
    I've always been a WWII reader, but I never encountered a book focusing on the Russo-German War fought during this time. The strategies, the battles, and the tanks that filled this book possibly makes this the best book on tank warfare I've ever read, to be honest. A great read!
  • Nick
    I thought the maps could have been more numerous, and the maps that were included didn't seem to appear at the relevant chapters. But I liked the lengthy preamble to the actual offensive and the testimonials of German and Soviet participants was effective. There's plenty here to counteract the tendency of amateur military history students to fixate on weapons without looking at the bigger picture of economies, production, logistics, strategic pla...
  • Grant Kisling
    This is a great book that outlines the war in the east and how it came to a pivotal point at the battle for Kursk. The author does a good job of mixing 1st hand accounts and higher level strategy to give the reader a good perspective. I also liked the conclusions that the author draws about the importance of the battle and what might have changed if it never occurred.
  • Peter Timson
    Good but takes some concentration in following the progress of events.
  • Martin Frost
    Kursk the Greatest Battle Eastern Front 1943 Lloyd Clark Paperback Headline Review 2012 3. Good book but takes a bit to get to Kursk. The photos are a bit muddy being printed on normal paper.
  • Peter Harrison
    This is a superb book. Although entitled "Kursk" the first part covers the run up to the war in both Germany and the Soviet Union, and provides sufficient background for the general reader. (albeit in a slightly cursory way with some slightly iffy conclusions if you're reasonably familiar with it).Once the action gets going though it is superb. A heavy reliance on eyewitness testimony coupled with a strong sense of narrative mean that you are lef...
  • Rob Kitchin
    In early July 1943 the largest single battle in history took place around the Kursk salient on the frontline between German and Russian armies. It involved over two and half million men and several thousand tanks and planes and lasted less than three weeks. In that time the Russians suffered 177,847 casualties and lost 1600 armoured vehicles and 460 aircraft; the Germans lost 56,872 casualties and lost 252 tanks and 159 tanks. In a pincer movemen...
  • Jim
    If you only read 2 books on the Eastern Front in World War II, I'd recommend this book and Michael K. Jones' "Stalingrad." Operation Zitadelle (Citadel) in July 1943 was the world's largest armored clash. Although Stalingrad is often described as a turning point in World War II, it's also been described as the end of the beginning and Kursk (Citadel) has been described as the beginning of the end. From that point on, Germany was largely on the de...
  • Warren-Newport Public Library
    To most of us in the western world, WWII is remembered mainly through experiences endured, and stories related by our own people who were eyewitnesses to battles in our sphere. On the other hand, we remember that there also was an eastern front, but remain oblivious to the magnitude of the battles, and loss of life, military and civilian. The author describes the buildup of arms and equipment on the German and Soviet sides during the decade befor...
  • Ron Kilik
    To most of us in the western world, WWII is remembered mainly through experiences endured, and stories related by our own people who were eyewitnesses to battles in our sphere. On the other hand, we remember that there also was an eastern front, but remain oblivious to the magnitude of the battles, and loss of life, military and civilian. The author describes the buildup of arms and equipment on the German and Soviet sides during the decade befor...
  • Noah
    First, I should mention that Lloyd Clark's style tells a tale. This book never came across as a lecture or a set of empty facts. Instead, Clark told a real story; an exciting, heart-breaking, tragic story of heroism and unimaginable slaughter. Moreover, he filled nearly every page with first-hand accounts, from journal and diary entries to interviews to letters home from the front. This served to *humanize* the book and drive home the fact that t...
  • Nathan
    It's unfortunate that there aren't more good histories of Kursk. Growing up in a Western country, most history classes don't even mention it, and popular accounts of WWII give it a cursory sentence or paragraph, if they acknowledge the battle at all. Clark's book provides a competently written and thoroughly researched account of the battle, and is an excellent resource for those who are unfamiliar with operations on the Russian front. Clark plac...
  • Lachinchon
    The dry data (eg. the names of each reserve unit called up to buttress a particular sector) was thankfully leavened by the inclusion of the recollections of participants, officers and grunts, in both official reports and unofficial diaries, letters, or interviews. It was the latter that kept the book readable and interesting, and not just an accounting ledger. Although the first third of the book is pre-Kursk, it is important to place the battle ...
  • Simon Dobson
    An excellent example of military history, this book deals with one of the most formative, but least known, battles of the Second World War, that raged for weeks around Kursk in Ukraine. Churchill said that, if Stalingrad was the end of the beginning, then Kursk marked the beginning of the end, and it's easy to see why.Clark wisely spend the first half of the book on prequel: the build-up to the battle, the progress of the war in Russia, and the r...
  • Stephen Hackney
    The author, Lloyd Clark, is an historian of WWII, with whom I had not been familiar. While there are a number of books written about the Battle of Kursk, (the largest tank battle in history), Mr. Clark's approach is to unify a complex array of armies, corps, divisions, down to company and platoon units, in which he describes their various experiences, obstacles, and, in many instances, their destruction. But, it is his use of the common soldiers'...
  • Anson Pham
    The book The Battle of the Tanks: Kursk,1943 was somehow an interesting book for me. What intrigues me how it didn't just show one side but both Germany and Soviets side of the battlefield, and how much hardship it was for a soldier on the front line. Take for example as an acting German Commander for the 4th Panzer Division 33rd Regiment recalls"At the head of my men, I stormed the village, which was already within reach... The fighting in the t...
  • John
    This book is supposed to be about the Battle of Kursk, but so far it is I haven't heard about the battle. I am about a third of the way through the book, but to this point is has been a reiteration of how Hitler and Stalin came to power and the 1st years of the WWII, especially on the Eastern Front, nothing about Kursk. I hoping that I will learn about the battle in the last 2/3rds of the book. I finished the book today. Reeding it was like the G...
  • Ryan Bukaty
    Lloyd Clark's "Battle of the Tanks" is a popular history of the largest tactical engagement of armored units in World War II. He invests much attention into interviews with descendants and into measuring the battle lines down to the yard, as anyone would do in researching battles. But that is all this book is: a battle history.Understandably, the work focuses on Kursk itself rather than World War II in general. Clark's book is little more than a ...
  • Pedro Plassen
    Anthony Beevor-grade writemanship.In the first chapters, the author provides an historical context to the battle either through both countries' 21st century history or their leaders psychologic profile which dictated extensively the military strategy. This helps the reader to understand the reason and decisions behind this battle. When entering the battle itself, the author intermixes the story with tactical information and the accounts from thos...
  • Andrew
    An excellent account of the last German offensive in the Soviet Union during World War II, the July 1943 Battle of Kursk. The tank battle also included a pitched battle for air supremacy and vicious infantry attacks during which the Soviets lost three times the personnel that the Germans did, but still gained the strategic upper hand.What makes this account worth reading are the interwoven accounts by soldiers on both sides who survived the battl...