The Panzers of Prokhorovka

The Myth of Hitler’s Greatest Armoured Defeat

The Panzers of Prokhorovka cover

The Panzers of Prokhorovka

The Myth of Hitler’s Greatest Armoured Defeat

Pre-order. Available Jun 06 2023

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This ground-breaking new study of the battles of Kursk and Prokhorovka will transform our understanding of one of the most famous battles of the Second World War, widely mythologized as the largest tank battle in history.

Today in Russia there are three official sacred battlefields: Kulikovo, where the Mongols were defeated in 1380; Borodino, where Russian troops slowed Napoleon's Grande Armée before Moscow in 1812; the third is Prokhorovka. This is widely described as the most critical tank battle of the Second World War, which saw the annihilation of Hitler's elite Panzer force in the largest armored clash in history and left Hitler with no alternative but to halt Germany's offensive against the Kursk salient. Victory, on 12 July 1943, at Prokhorovka over Hitler's vaunted SS troops has traditionally been described as a turning point in the Second World War.

The Panzers of Prokhorovka challenges this narrative. The battle was indeed an important Soviet victory, but a very different one to that described above. Based on ground-breaking archival research and supported by hitherto unpublished images of the battlefield, Ben Wheatley argues that German armored losses were in fact negligible and a fresh approach is required to understand Prokhorovka. As we reach the 80th anniversary of the battles of Kursk and Prokhorovka in 2023, The Panzers of Prokhorovka tackles the many myths that have built up over the years, and presents a new analysis of this famous engagement.

Table of Contents

(Subject to confirmation)
List of Figures
List of Illustrations in Plate Section
List of Maps
List of Tables
List of Frequently Used Abbreviations

1. Introduction

Part I The Historical Record
2. The Primary Sources: Documentary Evidence of the Ultimate Fate of German AFV
3. The German Procedure for Categorising Damaged and Lost AFV

Part II Prelude to Prokhorovka, January/February–11 July 1943
4. The arrival of the SS Panzer Regiments and the Origins of the Battles of Kursk and Prokhorovka, February–4 July 1943
5. Prokhorovka Looms – The Southern Pincer of Operation Citadel, 5–11 July 1943

Part III The Battle of Prokhorovka 12 July 1943 – The Statistical Battle
6. The Importance of the 6th Army's Weekly Panzer and Assault Gun Status Report of 1 August 1943
7. Panzer, Assault Gun and Tank Destroyer Losses
8. Supporting Evidence
9. Reappraising Prokhorovka

Part IV The Battle of Prokhorovka 12 July 1943 – A True Narrative
10. The Opposing Forces
11. The Battle of Prokhorovka – 12 July 1943
12. Tiger Tank Losses at Prokhorovka, Myth versus Reality

Part V From Attack to Defence – The Battle of Kursk Following Operation Citadel – mid-July–September 1943
13. Wasting Firemen. Hitler's Influence on Post-Prokhorovka Armoured Strength Prior to the Defence of Kharkov

Part VI The 'Death' of the 'Panzers of Prokhorovka' September 1943–April 1944
14. Retreat to the Dnieper, September–November 1943
15. Kiev's Liberation and Subsequent German Counter-attacks, November–December 1943
16. Renewed Soviet Offensives: The Crushing of the 'Prokhorovka Panzers', December 1943– April 1944

17. Conclusion


Product details

Published Jun 06 2023
Format Hardback
Edition 1st
Extent 320
ISBN 9781472859082
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 48-page plate section in colour and black and white.
Dimensions 234 x 153 mm
Series General Military
Short code GNM
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Ben Wheatley

Dr Ben Wheatley studied Modern European History at…


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