Images of War: Battle of Kursk 1943, Hans Seidler

Images of War: Battle of Kursk 1943, Hans Seidler

The Battle of Kursk was the most important battle on the Eastern Front during 1943, and saw the Soviets repulse the last great German offensive on the Eastern Front. This entry in the Images of War series focuses on that titanic battle.

The pictures are all from the German side of the lines. Most are of the German military equipment in use at Kursk, and where the landscape can be seen it normally is the steppe, with its distinctive vast open spaces. The majority of pictures focus on one vehicle or weapon, but there are some interesting pictures of the wider battlefield. One unusual feature is the inclusion of a number of paired pictures, showing the same scene with a small time gap - one showing a convoy of trucks and tanks and another showing Waffen SS troops and armour advancing across an open plain, with smoke, probably from shell fire of some sort) in the distance.

The pictures vary in quality, but that is only to be expected given that some were taken in action. The captions are accurate (as far as I can tell) although one or two comments are repeated for several pictures (always linked to relevant pictures). Each chapter begins with a useful introductory text explaining the context of the pictures we are about to see.

The book would be more valuable if it contained photographs from the Soviet side of the lines, showing the massive defences and strong formations that defeated the German attack, but the choice of pictures is interesting, and there is a good selection of less common vehicles, including several pictures of armed half-tracks.

1 - Preparations for Battle
2 - Battle Unleashed
3 - Northern Threat
4 - Southern Threat

Author: Hans Seidler
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 144
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2011

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