Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright: Why Kursk is the Most Overhyped Battle in History

The Tigers are Burning.

The title of Martin Caidin’s 1974 history of the Battle of Kursk is still evocative, with its imagery of Nazi Germany’s vaunted Tiger tanks in flames. Tigers burning brightly are just one legend of the epic July 1943 battle between Germany and Russia. There are many more: The Greatest Tank Battle in History, the Turning Point of World War II, The Death Ride of the Panzers, Russian tanks ramming German tanks in a mechanized orgy of destruction….

All very colorful, and all mostly or partly untrue.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    A lot of what we think we know about what happened on the Eastren Front turns out to be little more than Soviet-era propaganda.
    It was useful to keep American aid flowing during the war, but was never corrected afterwards.
    I’m beginning to think that much of the blame for the attrocities that resulted from WWII lands as much on Churchill’s shoulders as it did Hitler’s and Stalin’s.
    A good argument could be made that had Churchill not buckled under to the Arabs and not let the European Jews immigrate (be deported) that the entire holocaust might have been averted.

  • bob e

    pretty cool post bcf

  • simus1

    Wars are funny things that quite often turn on strange results stemming from “very good, very prudent, decisions” and vice versa.

    The Japanese Army lost Guadalcanal mainly because their massively overstocked ration/ supply dumps there were immediately seized intact by invading American Marines who could then prioritize the landing of troops and military equipment, not food. The US Navy could then reduce its aircraft carrier, supply vessel exposure in support and spend its time destroying the Japanese vessels used to send food and reinforcements to starving Japanese troops.

    The desert British Army in WW2 had a very severe shortage of decent armor piercing artillery shells until someone noticed that the huge stocks of excellent German shells they had recently captured from the Italians would work just fine
    with a few simple tweaks.

    The RAF raised the early WW2 initiative of making one good fighter out of a few crashed wrecks up to an everyday practice. The Luftwaffe had stringent procedures that ensured such a thing would never be tolerated,

    • Hard Little Machine

      Also being diesel powered they didn’t boil and explode like most other gasoline powered tanks once they were hit.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Almost every vehicle w/o a large gun on it, used by the Soviet army was provided by Detroit, for free.