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Heroes of the Motherland With the add-ons Dark July 43 - X-Maps for Dark July 43 by Lock 'N Load Publishing ...

Heroes of the Motherland with add-ons Dark July 43 - X-Maps for Dark July 43 by Lock 'N Load Publishing Heroes of the Motherland with add-ons Dark July 43  - X-Maps for Dark July 43 by Lock 'N Load Publishing

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!


 An Argosy of wargaming goodness arrived on my porch a while ago. There is just so much that comes with Heroes of the Motherland that I have a real problem figuring where to start, and what to write about. I received not only HOTM, but also two add-ons for it. They are  Dark July 43: The Battles for Prokhorovka Third Edition, and also the X-Maps for Dark July. 

HOTM Counters

 The Eastern Front in World War II is probably the one campaign that has more games, tactical, operational, and strategic than any other. The types of weapons and troops you can use in this game span the depth and breadth of the war. Tanks that were built before the war to King Tigers and JS-2s are present for your gaming pleasure.


 LNL's premise for their tactical World War II era games is simple but breathtaking in scope. They have developed a core set of rules that span the years 1930-1959. This core set allows gamers to learn it, and then adds a few extra rules for each game. That means that gamers can game all of the conflicts and campaigns during those years with a single rules set. This has been tried in the past, but to my knowledge only for Ancient and Medieval gaming. The game scale is fifty meters wide to the hex. You play with squads, half-squads, and vehicle crews etc. 


 The Core Manual is sixty-six pages long. However, do not be discouraged. It is written in large script and has many pictures and examples throughout. The Module Rules and Scenario Booklet really has only four pages of rules to learn. This is how encompassing the Core Rules are. They are also constantly being updated. The rules are up to version 5.0 now.

 The game comes with:

14 x Color Geomorphic  8.25 x 12.75 Maps.
5 x CounterSheets with over 550+ counters. 
1 x Color Core system manual featuring the latest v4.1 rules.
1 x Color Game Module rules,  Examples of play with 12 scenarios and One Campaign.
3 x 11 x 17 Player Aid Cards.
2 8 x 11 Player Aid Cards.
1 x Heavy Duty box.

HOTM Campaign

 The sequence of play is:

Rally Phase
Operations Phase
Fire Combat
Laying Smoke
Melee Combat
Administrative Phase

 I really like this system for tactical gaming. That does not mean that I do not own and like others. You can ask my wife. I think it is a losing proposition to compare games against each other. Much like a parent, you can find good and bad traits in your children, or a game's rules and mechanics. We are Wargamers, so we buy Wargames, many, many Wargames. Back to HOTM, the rules have been worked on to be streamlined and as easy to understand as possible. The setup of the rules and scenarios are done in a sequence to make it easier on the gamer to learn.

 The components that come with any Lock 'N Load game are some of the best on the market. The counters are extremely well done, and for those who cannot play without it, they come already clipped. Almost all of them fall out of the sprues with nothing extra stuck to them, or the need for cleaning them up. The maps are once again well done. They are on thick paper stock. Some people prefer mounted maps, but I can play on either surface without giving it a second thought. 

 The Dark July module adds in the seminal fight between the SS divisions and the Russian forces rushing forward to make sure that operation Zitadelle is a German defeat. The module is a bit misnamed because there is also a scenario about the Battle for Ponryi on the northern flank of Zitadelle. So this means you can see how effective Ferdinands really were. There are only two pages of rules that come with Dark July, and some are optional. This is what Dark July comes with:

1 x 34 x 22 Color Map.
2 x Color Geomorphic 12.75 x 8.25 Maps.
1 x Counter Sheet with over 80+ counters.
1 x Color Module rules, Examples of play with 6 Scenarios.
1 x 8 x 11 Player Aid Cards.


                                  Dark July Counters

 The X-Maps add-ons that Lock 'N Load sells are worth every penny. The maps are the same as the ones that come with the module, for example Dark July. The difference is that the hexes are much larger. The standard maps in Dark July are 8.25" X 12.75". The X-Maps come in at 11" X 17".
So you get the same maps, but are able to play with less clutter, which is always a good thing. So if you do buy any of the main game's modules I suggest that you do invest in the X-Maps for it. The X-Maps for Dark July contain:

One Color Two Part 51 x 33 Map.Two Color 11 x 17 Maps.

One 11 x 17 Player Aid Card.

 Great system, great components (besides the lack of mounted maps, which again I could care less about), if you have any interest in the theater I think it is time and money well spent investing in HOTM. Thank you Lock 'N Load for letting me review all of this gaming goodness.

X-Maps Size


Stalin's Triumph Nations At War by Lock 'N Load Publishing  Stalin's triumph is a platoon level game, a...

Stalin's Triumph A Nations At War game from Lock 'N Load Publishing Stalin's Triumph A Nations At War game from Lock 'N Load Publishing

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!



 Stalin's triumph is a platoon level game, and it is part of Lock 'N Load Publishing's 'Nations At War' series. Stalin's Triumph is about the battle of Kursk on the Eastern Front in July 1943. For those familiar with the battle, the names Ponryi and Prokhorovka are well known. The game has scenarios from both sides of the Kursk cauldron dealing with the attacks of the German Army Group South and Army Group Center. This is good because some games center on the part of the battle that took place in the south and give only lip service to the  violent clash in the north. It also gives the player a chance to use Ferdinand tank destroyers (these were named after Dr. Porsche). Besides those you get a plethora of armored vehicles to command. Tigers, Panthers, and Panzer IVs are here along with T-34s, Churchills, and the SU-152 (the beast slayer). The German player can also use FlammPanzer (flamethrower tanks) and Goliath remote controlled demolition vehicles. Air support, which played such a crucial role, is also in the mix. The game includes 'Fate Points' and battlefield chaos to represent the 'friction' of the battlefield.

 The game comes with:

Stalin's triumph: Module And Scenarios Booklet
Nations At War: Second Edition Core Rules 
Five Counter Sheets
Six 11" X 17" Geomorphic Maps
Fifteen Scenarios
Three Scenario Campaign On The German Division Das Reich
Two Six Sided Die
A German And Soviet Unit Point Cost Sheet: to design your own       scenarios
Terrain Effects Chart
Rule Summary Sheet
Chaos Table Sheet
Player Aid Sheet
Online you can also find these aids:                                                   
  A Free Vassal Module
  Stalin's Triumph: Clarifications And Corrections Volume 2.2
  Nations At War: Clarifications And Corrections Volume 2.2
  Nations At War: Compendium Volume 1
  (I will have some links at the bottom of the review)

 The counters are your typical Lock 'N Load ones, meaning that they are well done and pop from the sprues with minimal effort and cleaning up. They might be a little on the 'busy' side with all of the information included on them. The coloring of the German counters is a bit foreboding and adds a nice touch. The maps are functional with easy to distinguish terrain. They can be mixed and matched to make plenty of different terrain sets which can only add to the life of the game. The scale of the game is roughly 150 meters to each hex. The Platoons are approximately 40-60 men, 3-5 tanks, and 3-5 gun teams. Each turn is meant to be anywhere from 5-15 minutes of real time.

  This is the turn sequence:

Operations phase: Players alternate pulling a marker from an opaque container. These can be Formation, Administration, Chaos, or End Turn markers.
Formation Impulse; If a Formation is activated this is the sequence:
 1. Unit Formation Marker removal
 2. Check Command Status
 3. Perform Rallies
 4. Perform Fire Missions: Mortar/Artillery
 5. Perform Operations: Movement, Assault, etc.

 The game includes the following actions that the player can do:
   Mine Removal/Placement
   Opportunity Fire
   Ranged fire
   Fire Smoke
   Battlefield Chaos Rules
   Fate points: These are used to be able to reroll die throws or raise    or lower die throws etc.

These are additional rules:
   Anti-Aircraft units
   Close Air Support
   Support Weapon Placement

 One interesting rule addition is the ability of your forces to use 'overwatch'. This is something that is missing in a lot of games, especially as it was and still is a common practice in war. 

  So it comes down to why buy into Lock 'N Load's 'Nations At War' games? One reason is that they are actually listening to players and are constantly updating and revising the rule system (not just on these but all of their games). The physical quality of their components are some of the best on the market. It would have been nice to have mounted maps, but that would have added a large sum to the actual cost and also to the shipping. A mounted map is a nice touch, but what I usually do with games without them is to put a sheet of plexiglass on top to stop any movement. It also acts as the map's protector. Many of us learned this trick when we were Padawans. The rules come in at thirty-five pages, but the printing is extra large and is in color. So it is easy to read and understand with old Grog eyes. I know we are not getting old, just aging like fine whiskey. The standard set of rules also makes it so you can pretty much hop from one game in the series to the next without the time consuming learning or teaching. As others have mentioned, the 'chit pull' system for operations is a great way to keep the fog of war going and to help make these games very solitaire friendly. In this day and age a way to play solitaire is almost a mandate in any game. 'On your game table' longevity is enhanced by the fact that the game has rules for anyone to create their own scenarios.

 The game series has more of a randomness to its 'chit pull' than a lot of other games. In this series it is possible for a turn to end before you can pull a chit to activate some or one of your units. Most games vary the time when you can activate all of your forces on one side, but you can usually activate all of them during a turn. Not so in this game. You may really need that tank platoon to attack that bridge, but instead it just sits there for a turn. It may seem maddening in a game, but just read almost any book about any battles and you will see the same thing in history. You can, if you have the 'Fate Points' to spend, use two of them to be able to put the marker that you just drew back into the cup and choose again.

 I like the game and look forward to playing others in the series. Tactical games are an odd lot. Players either buy into the designer's choices to try and represent space and especially time. I think the game mechanics in this game work and work well. Apparently in the first counters that were made, there was an error on the SS Tiger counters. This was fixed very quickly and the copy of the game I have all is good.


  The Battle Of Kursk: Controversial and Neglected Aspects by Valeriy Zamulin translated by Stuart Britton ...

The Battle Of Kursk: Controversial and Neglected Aspects by Valeriy Zamulin and Translated by Stuart Britton The Battle Of Kursk: Controversial and Neglected Aspects by Valeriy Zamulin and Translated by Stuart Britton

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!



translated by

 Here we are at Kursk again with another great book by Valeriy Zamulin. He is the author of sixty books and other historical works, mostly about the battle of Kursk. This book about the controversial and neglected aspects, digs deep into some interesting questions. Among them are:

Could the Germans have won the battle of Kursk?
Did Vatutin err?
With what forces did Model begin the battle of Kursk?

 No sane military leader expects to win an attack against dug in troops with less than a three to one advantage in men and weapons. The Germans planned this attack knowing they did not even have a parity in forces, and in some cases were heavily outnumbered. So why did they think they could win? 

 Mr. Zamulin goes into all the details of Army Group Center and Army Group South in the attack. He considers all of the variables and comes to the conclusion that if 'Operation Citadel' was launched earlier in April or May the Germans would still have lost. I believe that he is probably correct, but the answer lies not in numbers or trenches, but in hubris. Until 1943, the Germans trounced the Russians whenever the weather was warm. On the German side, I believe that they thought they lost in 1941 and 1942 to 'General winter', and not exclusively to the Russians. With the Japanese in the Pacific, the term was coined 'Victory Disease'. I think the German plan for Kursk showed that they suffered from the same virus.

 This book is standard fare for a Helion & Company volume, meaning that it is an excellent work with eight pages of colored maps and many pictures from during the war. The author is as meticulous with his writing as with his figures and statistics. Anyone looking for what actually happened at Kursk without the legends and stories should look no further than this work and the author's 'Demolishing the Myth'. These books should be required reading for anyone who wants to know the real truth about the battle of Kursk. In 2018 he will be publishing a third book about Kursk, 'The Forgotten Battle of the Kursk Salient',  about Army Group Kempf's offensive.


Book: The Battle of Kursk: Controversial and Neglected Aspects
Author: Valeriy Zamulin
Translator: Stuart Britton
Publisher: Helion & Company
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

Chance to win Kursk - Battle at Prochorovka . PC game by Yobowargames         All you have to do is comment at bottom of this a...

Win Kursk PC Game!!! Win Kursk PC Game!!!

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!


Chance to win Kursk - Battle at Prochorovka. PC game by Yobowargames
All you have to do is comment at bottom of this article then go to TW Facebook page "like" page and post and also share and comment.
Closing date 19th April.
Good Luck!
Thanks to Yobowargames for the Steam serial donated for this comp. Also look out for a review shortly!

Drive on Moscow  What is it about the 'Barbarossa bug'? Wargamers seem to have an itch that can never be scratched when it comes...

Drive on Moscow PC Game Review Drive on Moscow PC Game Review

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!


Drive on Moscow 

What is it about the 'Barbarossa bug'? Wargamers seem to have an itch that can never be scratched when it comes to simulating moves and battles on the Eastern front in WW2. It seems there is enough on this subject; does the gaming world want to do with yet another battle across the plains and steppes of Russia? Yes, of course! The Eastern Front was and remains the mother of all battles that we have never seen the like since. 

In salutation of that truth, Shenandoah Studio and Slitherine) have demonstrated precisely how to please us. Ted Raicer's Drive on Moscow is a true gem and you are most encouraged to give it more than just a try and it's a good value to boot. 

The studio has arranged game content to be about the exciting and volatile battles of maneuver and counter-attack that occurred during the final thrust to capture Moscow before the end of 1941. Yes, that means the game calendar skips over the initial stages of Barbarossa; nevertheless, players won't mind, because they will keenly experience the critical period from October to December, as the Germans recognized the urgency of defeating their foe before the depths of harsh winter arrive. On the other hand, the Russians thought they had a breather and hadn't expected a late season attack at their heart of the nation; thus, they are disorganized and unprepared for battle in the beginning. 
The Germans have some decisions to make; they can't do it all
Massive initial attacks allow panzers to flow forward blazing; the landsers mop up thousands of isolated troops as they struggle to keep up with mechanized elements. Russian cavalry will nip at German supply lines. Indeed, over-extended German forces will run out of fuel and can immobilize at the worst time. A diminished Luftwaffe will still pin down Russian troops who can only find time to regroup when the Rasputitsa arrives, slowing the Wehrmacht to a crawl. But frosty weather is around the corner, allowing the Germans one final push through the forests surrounding Moscow! Then they better dig in, because with the deeps snow come the Siberians and Russian tank corps. 

The experience of Drive on Moscow is truly engaging and the flavor of each campaign varies sufficiently from playing to playing. The AI is robust enough to be frustrating in early attempts,  and other reviews have praised the PvP element.


The author had to struggle through some personal biases while working on this review. I've a grognard attitude about board wargames but a casual attitude about computerized variety. What that means to me is that, for the latter, I don't have a need to look under the hood for underlying combat charts, realism rational movement tables, supply rules and so forth. All of us know these make a wargame distinct from other games, but I figure I've done enough mastery of tomes like the Advanced Squad Leader rule book for board games -- let the computer handle that stuff. 

I find it necessary to share my biases to help the reader understand how and why I approached this review with some trepidation, exacerbating the fact that this is my first review for A Wargamer's Needful Things. So, let me get the negatives and biases off my chest; I'm sure some will recognize them within themselves, too. 

First, the author doesn't care for area movement in wargames. Hexes, give me hexes; I grew up on hexes and eat them for breakfast. I'm talking about Avalon Hill's  Battle of the Bulge, Afrika Korps, Panzerblitz and the like, produced in 60s and 70s. Truth be told, this is exactly why I didn't go for Shenandoah's  Battle of the Bulge when it came out last year (2015). I'll be purchasing that game now, you take it to the bank! 
hmm the areas of battle do not look digestible, Sir!
Next, the impulse movement system felt strange at first. I grew up on IGO-UGO. But in this, players activate units in one area, moving/attacking into different area(s) and/or staying inside the one they start in. Once that area is activated, it's done, and so are any units that didn't (or forgot) to move. Now, there are many latter-era wargames that use this method, but I'd never felt comfortable about them (e.g. Breakout: Normandy).

move these guys, too! (Unless you want them to camp for a few days).
Finally, we all know rough terrain is going to have an adverse effect on combat, but in this game it's abstracted by being forced to blow up the cities or trees before inflicting damage.  It's an okay mechanism as far as the outcomes, but I'm used to 'defense is doubled' or 'column shifts' for this sort of effect. However, for the casual gamer, it's just fine as far as simulating results, but my grognardish left-handed brain didn't want to wrap around this notion right away.  
see how the exploding pop-up highlights and animates each combat

Learning the Game

Shenandoah does a very good job making it easy to learn the game while providing a design that is not-so-easy to master. That's exactly what a casual player is looking for. Grognards who want to check out the systems and rationales can find them easily in the manual, so they can get that 'yep this is a wargame' feeling. 
You want charts? You got charts!

Not only does the game come with a comprehensive and eye-pleasing on-line manual, but the in-game main menu allows options for a step-by-step tutorial or a basics of play summary (for those who don't want to read manuals nor suffer the pace of tutorials). Gameplay effects of rules interactions are not described in entirety, which is a good thing, because it makes the game harder to master.

During most calendar turns, players alternate impulses that can vary in length from 0-18 hours, depending on the weather. This time variability is a huge factor affecting outcomes in different replays of the same campaign.

better fix this one, methinks! 
Note: impulses are confusingly called turns during gameplay, which is absolutely not helpful in learning the game, even if the manual gets it right. 

Calendar turns during 'offensive' weather last for 72 hours and 120 hours in 'nasty' weather. This does seem counter-intuitive until one realizes that movement in bad weather is often significantly restricted, particularly for the Germans. 

It should be mentioned that the online manual is comprehensive and  easy to read and includes tips of play. 

User Interface 

The UI is very easy to use and highly informative about game play and events. It's better than many I have seen out there and is especially kind to the eyes of older gamers. However, there are a couple of minor design factors that may need to be addressed.

First, I would have to say that an aesthetically appealing and informative interface is just fine, but the menu screen is overly large. For example, when you hit the 'supply' option on the menu, you'll be forced to drag the map around to see what's underneath. Making this menu smaller in size would render this unnecessary. We've all seen these PC games with miniaturized heads-up displays causing bloodshot and eye-strained squinting... but... I really don't need to see this UI from across the room.
Get used to moving your map around to see under the overlarge interface
The other minor gripe with the UI is this small panel in the corner. As you can see, this includes the the redo button (top) and the menu button (bottom). Yes, the redo button is fantastic and essential because you can test all your moves to get an idea of success probabilities -- an absolute necessity to have at your fingertips. Likewise the menu button. Unfortunately, the designers have inexplicably made it impossible to minimize or turn off this panel. As a result, it's often blocking units/areas hidden underneath, particularly the top left zone of the map.
This UI can't be minimized and is glued opaquely over the map corner.
The get-around is to play with the zoom until you can see the units underneath.
The last glitch (not pictured) with UI involves not being able to see all the zones on the left side of the map when applying reinforcements or air interdiction. That's very annoying if you want to do something over there in either of those phases. It's possible to manipulate visibility, I think, by zooming in and out, varying the resolution or changing from windowed to full-screen, but that shouldn't be necessary to manipulate.


The graphics of the maps, units and animations are quite pleasing. The map changes in hue and color for different weather conditions such as clear, mud, frost and snow. Battle animations create tension; it's very well-designed. I can use 640 x 480 up to 1920 x 1080 resolutions. 
A satisfying destruction!

AI Effectiveness

One of the reasons I play more computer games is that gamers in SE England seem to love all sorts of miniatures games rather than my favorite board games. Solitaire is okay, but not great for some games at all. Computer games with good AI are a substitute for real-life competition. However, we all know that many games come with atrocious AI. Honestly, Stephen Hawking can say what he wants about robots taking over, but I don't see that happening with some of the AI evident in these computer games. 

Drive on Moscow's AI is very adequate to learn the game and to get up to speed on how the various play elements work together. It took me a while to realize that the AI likes to nip at supply lines; keeping them open makes all the difference in (especially the German) offensives. 

AI Zhukov tries to cut the lines. Note the cav unit pinned down by air interdiction (outline in blue).

Key points to keep in mind when playing the AI (or a human counterpart):

1) As previously mentioned, once an area is activated, all units within are considered to have activated. Use them or you'll lose them for the calendar turn. Trust me, you'll want that firepower as far forward as possible and the AI will know you left them behind.

2) Cut off supplies. Being out of supply puts enemy units dead in the water and unable to defend as time goes on. The AI is somewhat spotty about securing supply lines as time goes on. 

3) Players can activate units in the rear to reinforce an existing battle; doing so will also activate any units in that area that are yet to be activated. This is a good way to keep up the momentum as units get strung out making sure supply lines are safe. The AI taught me this trick. After I kept losing Operation Typhoon to Konev, I watched the AI play as Halder, and learned alot. 

4) The Germans do need to make a robust try at Kursk and Voronezh by calendar turn three. Keep in mind that the German flank on the south is 100% secure once these are taken (unlike the northern sector). Seizing these two cities prevents the Russians from placing reinforcements in them. It will feel like your Panzer corps are floating in outer space up there, but the AI has no good way of taking these cities back. Kursk is a must, and Voronezh is not far behind because of the +1 VP you get per turn. You won't get Bryansk as quickly, but the security you'll get in the south is worth it. 
Turn 2 Breakthrough at Kursk

Post- Kursk Exploitation
Finally, by using the Turn 3 prepared offensive, Voronezh falls.
This is necessary because the Russians will reinforce the city
if the offensive is not used. Note Orel, to the Northwest, still needs to
be taken but the Russians are too busy elsewhere to defend it at the moment. 

5) Look for chances to take Moscow, especially during your October offensive.  Often the AI under-defends the capital.  if you can make a breakthrough, you can march into the city for an instant win! 

 Gameplay Excitement

You'll have fun with this, especially for casual players. You'll know the nuts and bolts of the game are sound. You'll cheer with joy at crushing wins and moan when the dice fail you in defeat. Sometimes the panzers will roll over hill and dale, crushing Russians left and right on the fast track to Moscow. German tank commanders will especially enjoy blowing holes with the free offensives on turns 1-3 and 11. 

But watch out! Suddenly the AI will order a Militia unit into the open and somehow it will shoot your Panzer corps right up and into the dead pool (say what?!). Nothing is certain, just probable. Watch out for those Russian cavalry units, they are tough. And yes, the Germans cannot afford elimination -- each unit counts as a VP for mother Russia. 

You'll probably start as the German player because who doesn't want to do that, right? But hear me, you'll want to play the Russians very quickly; the AI will show you tactics needed to be successful in the game (especially for Operation Typhoon, which is hard enough to win as the Germans). Don't be daunted if it seems like Typhoon is impossible for the Axis. It's not -- but it will take a few tries! The Voronezh gambit is finally what put me over the top.

But the game on full campaign mode seems more satisfying. Truth be told, I didn't try the two 'middle' scenarios before writing this review. I'm sure they are worth a shot, too.

This badge on Steam is not so easy to get.

In conclusion, casual players are likely to be more than satisfied and happy with this game. The technical backbone has enough crunch to satisfy grognards too, although those who are looking for deep detailed game structure will probably pass. I've yet to try PvP but other reviewers find it quite satisfying. I know a guy who loves area board games -- I'll see if he wants to give it a go. Enjoy! Marc Hanna.

Demolishing the Myth by  Valeriy Zamulin translated by Stuart Britton  Kursk it brings to mind nebelwerfers and Stalin&#...

Demolishing the Myth by Valeriy Zamulin and translated by Stuart Britton Demolishing the Myth by Valeriy Zamulin and translated by Stuart Britton

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!


Demolishing the Myth


translated by

Stuart Britton

 Kursk it brings to mind nebelwerfers and Stalin's organs screaming, but most of all the oily pall of burning tanks. That one sentence sent to Koba, "the tigers are burning", was supposed to have summed it up. The only question is, did it really happen? Was the Panzerwaffen destroyed on July 12th 1943 at Prokhorovka, or are the earlier histories all wrong, and the true history is very different. 'Demolishing the Myth' looks to answer that question.

 Kursk is probably the second most written about battle following Waterloo. The tank battle at Prokhorovka has been stated many times to be the largest tank battle in history. Unfortunately, due to Soviet propaganda and other untruths, it has been very hard for historians to peel back the layers and find the truth about Kursk. The actual battle of Prokhorovka has been wrapped even tighter in an impenetrable fog than the rest of the Kursk battle. Long known as the 'death ride' of the panzers, Prokhorovka was really much smaller in scale than was imagined. Only in some Soviet dreams was the ground littered with burned out panzers. That is not to say that the fighting was not bitter and to the death, as was all the fighting in the Kursk salient. I want to stress that point. Just because we now know that Dubno in 1941 saw the greatest amount of tanks in one battle, with approximately 5,000 Soviet and 1,000 German tanks, it does not mean that the battle of Prokhorovka was any less important or earth shattering in its consequences or the lives of its veterans.

 "Demolishing the Myth' is a book that was first released in Russian and written by Valeriy Zamulin. It was translated into English by Stuart Britton. Zamulin was a staff member of the Prokhorovka state museum, and has immersed himself deeply in the battle of July 12th. This is a book about that day, and the tremendous conflict that took place there. The book shows more light on the Soviet side, but is sweeping enough to keep you informed about what was happening on both sides of the war. There is some background given on the Soviet main force in the battle, the 5th Guards tank army, and its leader Pavel Rotmistrov. The reason for the battle of Kursk, the German plan, and the days from July 5th to the 11th are gone into, is to give the reader a good foundation of the facts leading to the clash on July 12th. The book itself is over six hundred pages long, and is well supplied with photos from the war. It also has a set of color photos taken to show how the battlefield looks today. The author has also liberally supplied the reader with tactical maps of the engagement. The book continues with an overview of the end of the battle of Kursk. One of the book's greatest assets is the numerous Soviet after battle assessments, and their conclusions on why the 5th Guards tank army was given a bloody nose by the SS panzer grenadier divisions. The hour by hour description of the battle is top notch. The book also comes with a complete Soviet and German order of battle and copious notes. The author brings up the fact, but does not belabor the point, that it is possible that an attack by the 5th Guards tank army should have happened at another site, and not straight into the SS panzer grenadiers. The possibility of using this large force in a flank attack would have brought the German attack to a stand still without the commiserate loss of vehicles and soldiers.

 The author also uses personal accounts to try and put the reader into the contestants' shoes. All in all, the book gives all the whys, and not just the facts of what happened. 

 There have been numerous books written about the battle of Kursk. There are some with a Soviet slant and others that have a German one. With the fall of the Soviet Union and the ability of authors to view the official and non-official reports of the battle, we are now much better informed as to what really did take place. Helion and Company is to be heartily thanked and congratulated on this book. The information alone is worth the price, let alone the top notch physical components of the book. There are so many books on the market about Kursk that one cannot at this time say "this is the one book you need to understand Kursk", however I can state categorically that 'Demolishing the Myth' deserves a spot on your shelf.


Author: Valeriy Zamulin
Translator: Stuart Britton
Publisher: Helion and Company
Distributor: Casemate Publishing
Date of Review: 10/23/2016