Soviet Propaganda Leaflet, July 1943

Daniel Horvath, the author, has passed to me a copy of a Soviet propaganda leaflet from July 1943. He said it came from a crashed plane in Orel province.

It is the same thing on both sides of the two-sided printed leaflet. Translation: Russian Propaganda Leaflet (2)


A New
Adventure by Hitler

German soldiers!

On the morning of July 5, Hitler again threw you into a senseless offensive. In two days, this adventure in the Kursk-Belgorod-Orel region cost the German troops 314 aircraft, 1019 tanks and several tens of thousands of soldiers, and

brought no success to the Germans.

Soldiers! With the example of your dead comrades you should be convinced:

The offensive means inevitable death!

Yesterday your comrades fell, tomorrow will be your turn for a reckoning. In the two years of war in the East, Hitler has already destroyed 6,400,000 soldiers and officers in this way.

Soldiers! Think of your families! Refuse to attack!

Go into Russian captivity!

The offensive means death!

Captivity is your salvation!

This leaflet is valid as a pass for German soldiers and officers who surrender to the Red Army.

,<The same in Russian>

Three books to be published this year

I have been quiet about the books that I am working on and publishing because some of them have been slower to release than expected.

I have three books coming out this year. The UK hardcover release dates are:

Aces at Kursk: 30 July 2023
The Battle of Kyiv: 30 August 2023
The Hunting Falcon: 30 September 2023

The U.S. hardcover release dates according to are:

Aces at Kursk: 30 September 2023
The Battle of Kyiv: 30 October 2023
The Hunting Falcon: 31 October 2023

So for a brief moment in time I will be pumping out a book a month. I am currently working on two other books (they might be released in 2023) and I have one other listed on (UK) called “The Other Battle of Kursk” with a release date of 16 July 2024. This is the book “The Battle of Tolstoye Woods.” This has been discussed with the publisher and I may get it published in 2024.

Of course, the only way one gets a book done is to ignore everything else. If some people feel I should be responding in a timely manner to their emails or requests, there is a reason I have not been. Sorry. Three books coming out in one year is evidence that there is some validity to that.

Some relevant links related to Aces at Kursk:

Aces at Kursk – Chapter Listing | Mystics & Statistics (

Aces at Kursk | Mystics & Statistics (

Is this my last Kursk book? | Mystics & Statistics ( The answer is no. I will be working on (and maybe completing) The Battle of Tolstoye Woods in 2024.

145 or 10? | Mystics & Statistics (

So did Kozhedub shoot down 62, 64 or 66 planes? | Mystics & Statistics (

5th Guards Fighter Regiment, 7 July 1943 | Mystics & Statistics (

The 728th Fighter Regiment on 16 July 1943 | Mystics & Statistics (

Soviet versus German kill claims at Kursk | Mystics & Statistics (

So What Was Driving the Soviet Kill Claims? | Mystics & Statistics (

Aces at Kursk – Chapters | Mystics & Statistics (

And related to The Battle for Kyiv: most of this blog from December 2021 through April 2022:

December | 2021 | Mystics & Statistics (

January | 2022 | Mystics & Statistics (

February | 2022 | Mystics & Statistics (

March | 2022 | Mystics & Statistics (

April | 2022 | Mystics & Statistics (

And related to Hunting Falcon:

Award Dates for the Blue Max (1916) | Mystics & Statistics (


Wargaming 101 – In the Bowels of the Pentagon with J-8

Another great William “Chip” Sayers article on wargaming. 


Wargaming 101 – In the Bowels of the Pentagon with J-8

I had been a Soviet Military Aviation analyst for DIA for only a few weeks when a friend from my previous life in the Air Force Reserve Intelligence program invited me to accompany him to the Pentagon to observe a wargame being conducted by J-8, the Joint Staff’s Force Requirements directorate.  The J-8 was basically “wargame central” for the Pentagon, using this tool in various forms to evaluate the impact of various proposed force structure changes on the warfighting abilities of the US military.  In this case, the wargame “command post” was dominated by a floor to ceiling map of NATO’s Central Front with small cardboard chits representing units stuck to the clear acetate covering.  One glance was sufficient to tell me all I needed to know:  the units were in a solid line one-deep stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Alps.  It was 1915 all over again.  Not the most auspicious beginning to 10-years of playing Red Cell in J-8 wargames, but I have to admit it got a lot more interesting from there.

One of my more interesting encounters with J-8 was with regard to an exercise known as “Competitive Strategies.”  The brainchild of Senator — and later Vice-President — Dan Quayle, Competitive Strategies was designed identify and implement ideas that would pit enduring US strengths against enduring Soviet weaknesses.  Senator Quayle, at that time considered a true wunderkind  and the smartest person in the Senate, believed that too often the US was pitting strength against strength — a contest the US could not win — and wanted to engage in what would today be referred to as “asymmetric warfare” that the USSR could not match.  For example, pushing technological warfare beyond what the Soviet industrial base could compete with.

J-8 scoured the Pentagon for ideas, then sent them to the intelligence community to be vetted.  I had missed out on Competitive Strategies I, which took place shortly before I arrived at DIA, but was there for Competitive Strategies II and III.  In the first round, a number of ideas were kicked around, but apparently none were found suitable.  In CS II, I was chosen to be on a board that considered a proposal to counter Soviet air operations (lower case).  The Soviet Air Operation (upper case) was a stratagem the Soviet General Staff came up with when they realized that upwards of half of NATO’s combat power resided in their air forces.  The Air Operation was a preplanned series of strikes intended to deny NATO its airpower advantage by destroying NATO’s air assets on the ground before they could be employed.  This meant that the Air Operation, and the initial ground operations as well, would fire the first shots of WWIII.  I was known to be well versed in the Soviet Air Operation — thus my invitation as a relatively junior analyst to serve on the board — and was not pleased with the proposal.  It seemed inordinately expensive, technologically doubtful, and unlikely to yield the desired impact.  The proposal involved creating a force of ground-launched tactical cruise missiles targeted on virtually every Hardened Aircraft Shelter (HAS) on every Soviet and Warsaw Pact airfield in the East Bloc countries.  These missiles would be fired at the outset of hostilities to catch the enemy aircraft on the ground and destroy them before they could take to the air.

The gentleman who served as our chairman was a good and knowledgeable analyst, but I felt at the time was too prone to “go along and get along.”  We met on a Friday and he proposed to rubber-stamp the proposal and let it go because, “It’s what they want.”  We agreed to meet again on Monday to decide the matter.  As I said, I was young and fairly inexperienced in the way of bureaucracy and chaffed at approving an idea I believed was fatally flawed.  First, the idea proposed creating a sizable force above and beyond the existing force structure, clearly a very expensive proposition.  There were probably an average of 36 to 45 HAS on each of 20-30 airfields on NATO’s Central Front, alone.  That’s 720-1,350 missiles on 180-340 launch vehicles, if they piggy-backed on the similar Ground-Launched Cruise-Missile deployment under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces scheme.  The GLCM force as deployed reached a total of 120 GLCM Transporter Erector Launcher vehicles — each with four missiles — in 22 flights of about 69 airmen, each.  This proposed anti-HAS force would have been potentially three times larger — a very significant investment in force structure above and beyond that already fielded.

Worse, it was highly unlikely that the anti-HAS force would accomplish its intended mission.  The Soviets were all about preempting NATO in order to limit the damage to their own forces and infrastructure, while it was almost inconceivable that NATO would fire the first shot in any credible scenario.  NATO was greatly outnumbered in virtually every category of military equipment and personnel, and starting on the offensive was fairly universally recognized as a death-wish, given the advantages of the defender.  More to the point, getting unanimous consent from all of NATO’s member countries to start a war — regardless of the provocation — was laughable.  Even if one could conceive of a scenario where all the members would agree, the time expended in reaching a decision and promulgating it through the system would ensure that the Soviets — who had thoroughly penetrated NATO’s command structure — would have seized the initiative and launched a preemptive strike long before NATO was ready to move.  This being the case, the Soviets would have gotten the first shot in by launching the Air Operation before the anti-HAS force was ready to go into action.  When the cruise missiles arrived at their targets, they would find the HAS either empty or filled with second-line jets to replace the first-line units which would have recovered at dispersal locations away from their main bases.

Being young and inexperienced, I decided to spend my weekend writing my own substitute proposal, which emphasized doctrinal changes designed specifically to answer the Air Operation.  I had spent a reserve tour working on recreating the AO using individual aircraft on a time schedule, so I believed I had some insight on what the strengths and weaknesses were in the operation.  My proposal was more about where and how to fight, vice buying a whole new category of weapon and the infrastructure to support it.  On Monday morning, I handed out my counter-proposal — Countering the Soviet Air Operation — to the other board members.  After reading it, they voted to adopt it in place of the original proposal and send it forward as our recommendation.

A year or so later, I had the opportunity to host and chair an interagency panel to vet proposals for CSIII.  Over 30 years later, the only proposal I remember was one that proposed to raise several divisions of Marines who would invade the Crimean and Kamchatka peninsulas and cause the fall of the Soviet empire because, as everyone knew, the post-WWII Soviets could not abide by the loss of even a single square centimeter of Soviet territory.  Needless to say, that proposal failed to make the cut.  In fact, such was the disconnect between “Blue” strategists and “Red” doctrine that we could not in good conscience give a thumbs up to any submitted proposal.  Nevertheless, it was a fun, if fruitless, endeavor.  Was Competitive Strategies a completely dry hole?  Had the Soviet Union survived longer, I’m sure it would have proven its worth.  As it was, I was later told that there was at least one proposal adopted through the process.  However, modesty forbids me to talk about it further…

Another interesting J-8 wargame I participated in was a NATO exercise in the late 1980s.  My office was directed to supply a “Red Air” commander and I was selected mainly because the game was scheduled to run over the Thanksgiving holiday that year and I was still fairly junior in the office.  In order to save time, it was decided that we would piggy-back on another wargame that was run every year by another organization.  The did the preliminaries and the first three days of combat, and we would take over from there, starting our game on D+3.

Unfortunately, the folks that had run Red Air had no concept of the Soviet Air Operation, what they would target, or how they would fight.  Their model claimed the Soviet side had lost 800 aircraft in three days and accomplished nothing while doing so.  The losses were excessive, but had they been sacrificed achieving some important goal, that would be one thing.  To simply throw them away like so many target drones was ludicrous.  Red Ground had not fared much better.  They were held to an advance of less than ten kilometers across the length of the front — an inconceivably small movement.  The Soviets could practically have tripped and fallen that far forward.  Any model that could produce such results should have automatically been suspect.

Our overall Red commander was an expert at NATO bureaucracy, but knew very little about how the Soviets would fight.  Despite the team’s protests, he insisted on fighting the Red side according to  MC 161 NATO’s Strategic Intelligence Estimate.[1]  MC 161 was supposed to be NATO’s assessment of the threat, but each NATO country insisted on having the final say on how the threat to them would look.  After the document was compiled and approved, it was used to by the various Ministries of Defence to justify their military budgets.  The upshot was that each country had to have a goodly slice of the threat, whether or not it made sense within the scope of Soviet doctrine.  For instance, during this game, I was instructed to come up with a Soviet Air Force threat to Portugal so that the Portuguese military could play.  I dutifully came up with a scheme to send Tu-95/BEAR bombers along a circuitous route across North Africa to hit a NATO target in Portugal only to be told they had been spotted a thousand nautical miles out and swatted down like flies.  I’m pretty sure those weren’t Portuguese Air Force A-7P attack jets that did in the Bears.  The upshot was that NATO had the Soviets attacking everywhere and concentrating nowhere, thus dissipating their forces and chances for success — precisely the opposite of Soviet doctrine.

As it happened, our overall Red commander suffered a health issue and I moved into his position.  I immediately moved to reconfigure the Soviet attack into something much more akin to their actual doctrine.  After having run three practices according to MC 161, the “Blue” players were unprepared for what hit them — they undoubtedly felt sucker-punched.  To be fair, Blue’s big move had not been a part of the practice runs, either so both sides were confronted with surprises. 

The final plan with fixing attacks (screw-type arrows) to pin three NORTHAG Corps in place while the Northernmost corps was hit with overwhelming force.  The critical moment occurred whenSACEUR ordered a rearward passage of lines to save the corps sector.

The original plan had the Soviets attacking in proportionate attacks all along the front.  The big change I made for Red’s ground offensive was to concentrate forces against the weakest of the NATO corps, while making lower-odds attacks to fix the other forces in place.  Since NATO exercises always assumed a Soviet/Pact invasion, the tools used by white (control) cells developed in a way that were inherently biased to favor the defense.  This bias insinuated itself into the programing of computers that were eventually used to adjudicate results to the extent that the attacker had to overwhelm the defender to make any ground at all.  Witness the beginning of this exercise where in the first three days of fighting, Red forces made less than 10km in the advance.  Our final plan set up an attack so overwhelming that even the computer could not deny a Red victory.  Even that victory was limited such that the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) was able to order a corps-level rearward passage of lines to introduce a fresh defending force in that sector. 

A rearward passage of lines has an unengaged, fresh force set up defensive positions to the rear of the force to be relieved while it is still delaying the enemy.  When the relieved force is pushed back to the relieving force’s new defensive positions, the relieved force slips through the lines at prearranged points with the relieving force taking up responsibility for the sector.  It is one of the most complex and difficult of military maneuvers, and for a brief time, twice the normal amount of defenders are squeezed into the attacker’s line of fire.  To help minimize the risk, SACEUR ordered a fleet of reserve combat aircraft brought in from the UK and other rear bases to cover the maneuver.

One of the key factors in the Red victory came from an unlikely source.  Having failed to do the Soviet Air Operation in the first three days of war, the previous crew left a lot of tools lying around unused.  It so happens that Blue’s movement of aircraft was noted by Red intel and was particularly vulnerable to a belated Air Operation as the aircraft were being staged through auxiliary bases without aircraft shelters.  It would take a little explaining to the control cell, but fortunately, I was on good terms with their leader, having hosted him at my house for an evening of hobbyist wargaming before the exercise.  It turns out that he was one of my all-time favorite game designers, so we had a common language to use.  One of the interesting things I found out was that the program J-8 was using did not explicitly model airbase attacks, and in particular, runway attacks.  I explained to my friend how the Air Operation would work and some of the tricks involved, and he proposed work-arounds to give me realistic results.  Therefore, at the moment that NATO was at its most vulnerable, all of the air cover over the Schwerpunkt turned out to be Red, not the Blue that was intended.  Faced with a catastrophe, Blue’s moves were ludicrously out of touch, the perfect example of Col. John Boyd’s Observe, Orient, Decide, Act-loop going unrecoverably out of cycle.  Everything they did was increasingly out of synch with the reality on the ground and only made matters worse.  The exercise ended with a huge, smoking hole where NORTHAG used to be.

While SACEUR came to the Red Cell to shake our hands, thank and congratulate us on a successful exercise, I am doubtful he was much concerned about what happened on the map as the point was to stimulate conversation among the top NATO leadership.  However, the exercise was never repeated, so I might have gone a tad overboard in delivering a “realistic” enemy.



Presentations from HAAC – Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front in 1944-45

We did have two conference rooms operating and were running parallel briefings for part of the afternoon. The second briefing in the Einstein Conference room of the first day was given by the author Daniel Horvath. It is “Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front in 1944-45” (21 slides): Air Combat Analysis on the Eastern Front 1944 45_DH_2022.pptx


We had a total of 30 presentations given at the first Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC). We have the briefing slides from most of these presentations. Over the next few weeks, we are going to present the briefing slides on this blog, maybe twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursday). In all cases, this is done with the permission of the briefer. We may later also post the videos of the presentations, but these are clearly going to have to go to another medium ( We will announce when and if these are posted.

The briefings will be posted in the order given at the conference. The conference schedule is here: Schedule for the Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 27-29 September 2022 – update 16 | Mystics & Statistics (

The conference opened with a brief set of introductory remarks by me. The seven supporting slides are here: Opening Presentation

It was then followed by a briefing by Dr. Shawn Woodford on Studying Combat; The “Base of Sand” Problem: 20220927 HAAC-Studying Combat

The second presentation of the first day was given by me. It is here (45 slides): Data for Wargames (Summary) – 2

The third presentation of the first day was given by Dr. Tom Lucas of the Naval Post-Graduate School (49 slides):  Fitting Lanchester equations to time-phased battle data

The fourth presentation of the first day was given by Dr. David Kirkpatrick of the University College of London (25 slides):  DKirkpatrick Presentation 19 Jan 22 v2

The fifth presentation of the first day was given by Dr. Niall MacKay, University of York (161 slides): HAAC2022MacKay 

The sixth presentation of the first day was given by Jim Storr (32 slides): HA Conference DC Sep 22 V1.2

The seventh and final presentation of the first day was given by Dr. Shawn Woodford (10 slides): 20220927 HAAC-Understanding Dupuy

The first briefing in the Einstein Conference room of the first day was given by Dr. Michael Johnson (CNA) (64 slides): Main brief

Cost of Iranian “Kamikaze” Drones

I was watching Sky News (UK) last night. In one program (I am not able to now find the link on Youtube) their defense analysis, Professor Michael Clarke, stated that the new Iranian low-tech delta wing “kamikaze” drones cost only $20,000 (see: HESA Shahed 136 – Wikipedia) while the Russian SS-21s cost $300,000 (see: OTR-21 Tochka – Wikipedia). I have no idea of the accuracy of those figures, but Wikipedia does state that the cost of an SS-21 is 0.3 million, based upon this article: Over the weekend, Russia fired missiles worth about $200 million at Ukraine. Forbes&nbsp score; — It gives the cost of the various Russian missiles as: “…the cost of the X-101 rocket was $13 million, the Caliber was $6.5 million, the Iskander was $3 million, the Onyx was $1.25 million, the Kh-22 was $1 million, and the Tochka-U was $0.3 million.” Wikipedia gives the price of each HESA Shahed 136 as $20,000 to €50,000. Its two referenced sources are: Iranian ‘suicide’ drones: Russia’s new favorite weapon in Ukraine war | International | EL PAÍS English Edition ( and Financial toll on Ukraine of downing drones ‘vastly exceeds Russian costs’ | Ukraine | The Guardian. The two articles also state that Russia has ordered 2,400 of these drones, based upon a statement made by Zelenskyy.

The obvious implication is that Russian can fill the skies with these inexpensive low-tech drones, and even if 80% or more are shot down, enough will get through to cause damage. Is this the driver in the new Russian bombardment strategy?

Hellfire R9X

Hellfire R9X. Source:

The missile used to kill Al-Zawahiri in Kabul was the Hellfire AGM-114 R9X. Don’t know the range of this missile, but the AGM-114R Hellfire II has a range of 11,000 meters. It was fired from a “Reaper Drone.” The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper is a UAV with a range of 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometers) and a cruise speed of 194 mph (313 kph). 

Not sure where they operated this from, but there were a lot of options.


Wikipedia notes (bolding is mine):

The Hellfire R9X is a Hellfire variant with a kinetic warhead with pop-out blades instead of explosives, used against specific human targets. Its lethality is due to 45 kg (100 lb) of dense material with six blades flying at high speed, to crush and cut the targeted person — the R9X has also been referred to as the ‘Ninja Missile’ and ‘Flying Ginsu‘. It is intended to reduce collateral damage when targeting specific people. Deployed in secret in 2017, its existence has been public since 2019. This variant was used in the killings of Jamal Ahmad Mohammad Al Badawi, accused mastermind of the 2000 USS Cole bombing, and Abu Khayr al-Masri, a member of Al-Qaeda‘s leadership. The weapon has also been used in Syria, and in Afghanistan against a Taliban commander. It was used twice in 2020 against senior al-Qaeda leaders in Syria; in September 2020 US officials estimated that it had been used in combat around six times. Hellfire missiles fired by a Reaper drone were used on 31 July 2022 to kill Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda, who had previously been involved in planning the 9/11 and other attacks on US targets. It was reported that the missile hit him on a balcony, causing minimal collateral damage. 

The Battle of Britain versus The Battle of Kursk

I do have a blog post on the Pen & Sword Blog on Aces at Kursk. The book will be released in the UK on 30 August and in the U.S. on 31 October. The post is here: Author guest post: Christopher A Lawrence – Pen & Sword Blog (


Aces at Kursk | Mystics & Statistics (

Aces at Kursk – Chapter Listing | Mystics & Statistics (

Economist Article on Russian Casualty Estimates

Sunday evening (probably Monday UK time) The Economist published an article called “How heavy are Russian casualties in Ukraine?” It is here (but not fully available if you do not have a subscription): How heavy are Russian casualties in Ukraine? | The Economist.

The Dupuy Institute was name-checked in the article and the author gave us a shout out on twitter (@sashj). We do appreciate that. 

Still, it does look like the article was heavily influenced or even inspired by my post on 22 July in the section on casualties that started more than half-way down the 7,000+ word post: 

Casualties: William Burns, the Director of the CIA, on 20 July and Mi-6 in the UK are both now putting Russian dead in this war at 15,000. Lots of other people have published much higher figures. Still, this is in line with what I was pointing out a while back: The Ukrainian casualty claims are inflated – part 1 | Mystics & Statistics (

On the other hand, he was not so brave as to pick up on the theme presented in the second half of my paragraph:

Glad to see a little reality is starting to creep back into the estimates. I am surprised that any professional historian and defense analyst let themselves get sucked into the higher figures. Overestimation of enemy casualties is kind of a constant in military history.

I guess these types of statements make people uncomfortable.

Here is series of somewhat related posts on the issue of overclaiming:

The 728th Fighter Regiment on 16 July 1943 | Mystics & Statistics (

Soviet versus German kill claims at Kursk | Mystics & Statistics (

So What Was Driving the Soviet Kill Claims? | Mystics & Statistics (

This issue is further discussed in my soon-to-be published book Aces at Kursk. I do look at the records of individual aces.

The Economist article then goes into a discussion on wounded-to-killed ratios. I will post more on that later when I get in the right mood to (I do have a book I am supposed to be finishing).

Aces at Kursk – Chapter Listing

Below is the list of chapters in my new book coming out next month: Aces at Kursk: The Battle of Aerial Supremacy on the Eastern Front 1943. It is with Pen & Sword in the UK. The release date in the UK is 30 August. We have the UK Amazon link here: Buy from Amazon (UK). The release date for the U.S. is 30 October. The U.S. Amazon link is here: Buy from Amazon. Both of these links are on the right side of the blog. If you click on the image, it goes to the Pen & Sword site. You can pre-order the book direct from the publisher or Amazon or other sites. I have not yet seen a final copy. Not sure if I will have copies available at our conference: Schedule for the Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 27-29 September 2022 – update 9 | Mystics & Statistics ( It is discounted if pre-ordered. It is cheapest if pre-ordered directly from Pen & Sword. They have a nice pre-order discount. It is not a small book, 392 pages. 

Chapter One: The Strategic Air Campaign                                             1

Chapter Two: Both Sides Prepare                                                         14

Chapter Three: The Strike at Dawn: 5 July 1943 (Monday)                 40

Chapter Four: The Fight for Air Superiority: 6-7 July 1943                 60

Chapter Five: The Air War Continues: 8-9 July 1943                           97

Chapter Six: A Less Intense Air War Continues: 10-11 July 1943    119

Chapter Seven: The Air Battle to Support the Offensive:

              North of Kursk, 5-11 July 1943                                               130

Chapter Eight: The Soviet Counteroffensives: 12 -14 July 1943      185

Chapter Nine: Winding Down: 15-24 July 1943                                  213

Chapter Ten: The Last Air Offensive                                                   227

Appendix I: German and Soviet Terminology                                    241

Appendix II: Air Campaign Statistics                                                  251

Appendix III: The Structure of the German Ground Offensive         317

Appendix IV: Commander Biographies                                              332


Aces at Kursk

Oh, and by the way, I have a new book coming out next month: Aces at Kursk: The Battle of Aerial Supremacy on the Eastern Front 1943. It is with Pen & Sword in the UK. The release date in the UK is 30 August. We have the UK Amazon link here: Buy from Amazon (UK). The release date for the U.S. is 30 October. The U.S. Amazon link is here: Buy from Amazon. Both of these links are on the right side of the blog. If you click on the image, it goes to the Pen & Sword site. You can pre-order the book direct from the publisher or Amazon or other sites. I have not yet seen a final copy. Not sure if I will have copies available at our conference: Schedule for the Historical Analysis Annual Conference (HAAC), 27-29 September 2022 – update 8 | Mystics & Statistics ( It is discounted if pre-ordered. It is cheapest if pre-ordered directly from Pen & Sword. They have a nice pre-order discount.

It is not a small book, 392 pages. This book took a while to publish. I could not find an American publisher that wanted to publish it. Oddly enough, when I contacted Pen & Sword, they mentioned that they had been publishing a lot of American authors recently. 

I did have three chapters on the air war in my big Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka book. This book was built from those three chapters, the associated air war appendix, and a lot of other material that has been assembled since I first wrote this around 2002.  I also added some chapters on air war on the north side of Kursk (this was at the request of the publisher) and I did have some Soviet air regiment records that I had collected that was not part of the original big book. I also spend more time than I would like disputing accounts and figures from other books. There have been other works published since 2002 when I first wrote the manuscript for my big Kursk book. Unfortunately, some of these added to the confusion over the history. Maybe the best thing is to ignore other works and just tell your account, but in this case, I did roll up my sleeves and debate the details of what they said. Mostly this was done in footnotes, but I did also put in a few “sidebars” in the text. Kind of hated to do that as some of these people I know virtually, and they have always been decent supportive people. But facts are facts, and I really do think the story needs to be told correctly.

I will probably be working on another Kursk related book this fall called The Battle of Tolstoye Woods. This time with an American publisher. I do have a master plan to do up to a dozen books covering all the fighting in the south of Russia and Ukraine in 1943. May yet get around to covering the entire Battle of Kursk and the three battles of Kharkov in 1943.

A couple of related posts:

Aces at Kursk – Summation | Mystics & Statistics (

Is this my last Kursk book? | Mystics & Statistics (