The Panzers of Prokhorovka: The Myth of Hitler’s Greatest Armoured Defeat (Hardcover)

The Panzers of Prokhorovka: The Myth of Hitler’s Greatest Armoured Defeat By Ben Wheatley, Karl-Heinz Frieser (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Ben Wheatley, Karl-Heinz Frieser (Foreword by)
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A ground-breaking new study that transforms 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, where the Soviet annihilation of Hitler's elite SS Panzer force on 12 July 1943 in the largest armoured clash in history has traditionally been described as a key turning point in the 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 Based on ground-breaking archival research and supported by previously unpublished images of the battlefield, Ben Wheatley argues that German armoured losses were in fact negligible and a fresh approach is required to understand Prokhorovka. This book tackles the many myths that have built up over the years, and presents a new analysis of this famous engagement.

About the Author

Dr Ben Wheatley studied Modern European History at the University of East Anglia (doctorate in 2014) and has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the university since 2016. He is a former Teaching Fellow of the Defence Studies Department, King's College London, teaching at the Joint Services Command and Staff College. Publications include British Intelligence and Hitler's Empire in the Soviet Union, 1941–1945 (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017).

Praise For…

“Ben Wheatley joins a very select crew of superb historians who have turned the received wisdom on its head. He has transformed what we thought we knew about history's greatest tank battle. This is a fearless commitment to scholarship, to analysing the evidence wherever it may lead.” —Dan Snow

“The Battle of Prokhorovka has attained an almost holy status in Russian narratives of the war, celebrated not only as a victory but as a monumental and decisive engagement. In this book and the underlying research Ben Wheatley provides wholly persuasive empirical evidence that the familiar story of the battle is wrong. His findings speak for themselves and his clear, calm prose and evident respect for the Red Army serve only to make them more compelling.” —Oliver Moody, Berlin Correspondent for 'The Times'

“Wheatley reveals the truth about the Battle of Prokhorovka in July 1943, “the greatest armoured clash in history”: it was indeed an operational victory for the Soviets, but it came at a huge cost and – contrary to popular belief – utterly failed to destroy Hitler's elite panzer force.” —Saul David, historian, novelist and broadcaster

“A remarkable new history of the largest tank battle of the Second World War and key moment in the 1943 Kursk campaign. This is fundamental reading for anyone wanting to understand operations on the Eastern Front, it will become a template for undertaking battlefield history.” —Dr Marcus Faulkner, Department of War Studies, King's College London

The Panzers of Prokhorovka is a fascinating examination of the loss ratio between the Soviet and Nazi forces during Kursk…Data tables and photos are a feast for the eyes…If you enjoy such information and discussion, this will be an intellectual adventure. If you are looking to better understand Kursk, you will appreciate this work, too…Recommended.” —ARMORAMA

“The author of this new work has spent many years studying the Battle of Prokhorovka and conducted exhaustive research on the units and events of the engagement. In this book he sheds new lights on the action, presenting a new assessment which is in stark contrast to long-accepted narratives of the battle. The book's assertions are well-supported by the evidence presented, and there are many photographs and aerial views of the battlefield to back the author's claims.” —World War II Magazine

“As someone who has been fascinated with the Eastern Front for as long as I have been interested in WWII, this book was an eye-opener….the author makes his case efficiently and the narrative holds your attention throughout…this is an excellent book to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by those who fought long ago.” —AMPS

“Highly recommended … In his brilliant treatise, he [Wheatley] cogently narrates his new analysis which clearly proves Stalin paid a huge cost for it.”” —ARGunners

“This is a truly impressive undertaking…The book exudes great numerical dexterity…As soon as the analysis appears, you'll be pleased at the trouble he took to ferret out the numbers from the German sources. Impressive. Just impressive.” —HMGS

Product Details
ISBN: 9781472859082
ISBN-10: 1472859081
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publication Date: June 20th, 2023
Pages: 320
Language: English