Air War over Kursk - Turning Point in the East, Dmitriy B. Khazanov

Air War over Kursk - Turning Point in the East, Dmitriy B. Khazanov

This book focuses on the massive aerial clash between the Luftwaffe and the Soviet Air Force that took place in the skies above the equally massive ground battle of Kursk, a fight that saw the Soviets win control of the air above the some of the fighting after two years of German dominance.

The author has gone a good job of attempting to reconcile the often very contradictory accounts of the battle, not least in the area of casualty figures, where both sides exaggerated their successes to a great extent. In many cases the best anyone can do is report both side's claims and the other sides recorded losses, although Khazanov has also dug out some less familiar German records that tend to give more realistic figures for their own losses.

One word of warning - the most famous incident in the air war over Kursk, the German defeat of an attempted Soviet attack on their airfields early on the first day of the battle, doesn't make its appearance until the start of chapter three, the previous chapter concentrating on events on a different part of the massive front.

The book is very nicely presented, with some unusual photographs, including several showing lend-lease aircraft in Soviet service. There is also a useful section of colour illustrations showing various paint schemes used during the battle. The text is also supported by some very useful appendices, with a great deal of statistical data.

I didn’t realise this book had been translated from Russian until reading the credits, so much credit must go to the translator for avoiding the sometimes stilted nature of some translated Russian works.

1 - On the eve of the battle
2 - 'Zitadelle': The battle begins
3 - Breakthrough to Kursk
4 - Operation 'Zitadelle': The downfall
5 - Operation 'Zutuzov': The counter offensive
6 - War in the night sky
7 - The Red Army advances to Kharkov
8 - Outcome of the Kursk battle

Buy direct from SAM Publications

Author: Dmitriy B. Khazanov
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 144
Publisher: SAM Publications
Year: 2010

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