Demolishing The Myth

The Tank Battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk, July 1943: An Operational Narrative

Valeriy Zamulin

A groundbreaking book when first published in Russia in 2005, now Valeriy Zamulin's study of the crucible of combat during the titanic clash at Kursk - the fighting at Prokhorovka - is available in English.
Publication date:
April 2011
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Editor :
Stuart Britton
Contributor(s) :
Stuart Britton
Illustration :
180 b/w photos, 8 pages of colour maps
No associated books available.


A groundbreaking book when first published in Russia in 2005, now Valeriy Zamulin's study of the crucible of combat during the titanic clash at Kursk - the fighting at Prokhorovka - is available in English. A former staff member of the Prokhorovka Battlefield State Museum, Zamulin has dedicated years of his life to the study of the battle of Kursk, and especially the fighting on its southern flank involving the famous attack of the II SS Panzer Corps into the teeth of deeply-echeloned Red Army defenses.

A product of five years of intense research into the once-secret Central Archives of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Zamulin lays out in enormous detail the plans and tactics of both sides, culminating in the famous and controversial clash at Prokhorovka on 12 July 1943. Zamulin skillfully weaves reminiscences of Red Army and Wehrmacht soldiers and officers into the narrative of the fighting, using in part files belonging to the Prokhorovka Battlefield State Museum. Zamulin has the advantage of living in Prokhorovka, so he has walked the ground of the battlefield many times and has an intimate knowledge of the terrain.

Examining the battle from primarily the Soviet side, Zamulin reveals the real costs and real achievements of the Red Army at Kursk, especially Prokhorovka. He examines the mistaken deployments and faulty decisions that hampered the Voronezh Front's efforts to contain the Fourth Panzer Army's assault, and the valiant, self-sacrificial fighting of the Red Army's soldiers and junior officers as they sought to slow the German advance.

Illustrated with numerous maps and photographs, and supplemented with extensive tables of data, Zamulin's book is an outstanding contribution to the growing literature on the battle of Kursk, and further demolishes many of the myths and legends that grew up around this battle.


Overall, this is a refreshing and accessible reinterpretation of this classic confrontation, supported by an excellent map section and well-chosen contemporary photos, and must be the closest so far to a definitive account of Prokhorovka.
Military Modelcraft International

Valeriy Zamulin has painstakingly researched and investigated a wealth of primary sources to produce perhaps the most accurate look yet at why and how the German offensive failed to meet its objectives. In particular, Zamulin has examined and, in tremendous detail, presented the crucial events occurring between July 4th and the 17th on the southern facing of the Kursk Bulge.

Zamulin's fresh new book on Kursk represents the best of recent Russian scholarship on the war and is as close to definitive as possible.
David M. Glantz

Zamulin's painstaking analysis definitively establishes the Soviet counterattack at Prokhorovka as the decisive event in the Battle of Kursk, and a turning point in the development of the Red Army. Comprehensive scholarship and convincing reasoning, enhanced by an excellent translation, place this work on a level with the best of David Glantz.
Dennis Showalter, Colorado College

One of the finest examples of World War II operational history published since the Soviet Union's collapse.
World War II Magazine

I cannot recommend this book too highly ... Scrupulously researched and supplemented by a number of excellent maps and photographs, this work will intrigue and inform serious students of the Eastern Front for years to come.
Richard W. Harrison

It is very difficult to do justice to the level of detail provided in this study... in summary, Zamulin has managed to lift the lid on many of the weaknesses of the Red Army during the Battle of Kursk ... While the casual reader may find the length of the narrative rather daunting, the specialist interested in the history of armored warfare and the Great Patriotic War will delight in it. Yet the significance of this work goes further; it provides a genuine, brave, and honest corrective to the Soviet historiography on the Red Army's efforts at the Battle of Kursk. The publisher, Helion, is to be congratulated for making it available to an English-speaking audience, not least of all given the excellent maps and photographic material which are included.
Alaric Searle, Centre for European Security, University of Salford, reviewing for Global War Studies