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Stalinís Favorite The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army from Kursk to Berlin Volume 1

January 1943-June 1944

Author : Igor Nebolsin


General - Pages : 464 | Images : c 250 b/w photos, 16pp colour maps, c 70 tables

Paperback - Edition : Reprint | Size : 245mm x 170mm | ISBN : 9781912174799 | Helion Book Code : HEL0872

Hardback - Date of Publication : May 2015 | Size : 245mm x 170mm | ISBN : 9781909982154 | Helion Book Code : HEL0450

This is the first detailed combat history of any Soviet unit available in the English language known to the author. The 2nd Tank Army was not an ordinary force; by 1945 it was an elite Guards formation which played a decisive role in the Soviet offensive operations of that year and whose tanks were the first to enter Berlin's streets.The Army commander, Colonel-General Semen Bogdanov, became a Marshal of Armored Troops and was promoted to the position of Chief Commander of all armored and tank units of the USSR shortly after the war, and remained in this position until 1953. 2nd Guards Tank Army remained in Germany until 1993, a period of 48 years. It is the only Soviet Tank Army of the war that still exists today, now named 2nd Guards Army. This study is based on the rarely available operational documents of the Army from the Central Archives of the Russian Defense Ministry and provides an analysis of every battle it fought in World War II. This includes Operation Citadel North (Kursk), Sevsk, Cherkassy, Tyrgul-Frumos and Jassy, Warsaw, Vistula-Oder, Pomerania (including Sonnenwende) and Berlin. What also differentiates this book is that it was created in cooperation with the senior army general (Anatoly Shvebig) who was an active participant in all the Army's engagements. Another unique point is that the combat operations are covered from both sides in a scope and scale that has never previously been attempted. The day by day coverage of events, honest views of the Army's commanders, full statistical data (including unit strengths, movements, and casualties for each operation from both Russian and German points of view), and the 'human element' based on the exciting first-hand reminiscences of Soviet tank officers all make this study an incredibly valuable source of information on tank battles fought on the Eastern Front 1943-1945. According to Major-General Anatoly Svebig, deputy commander of 12th Guards Tank Corps within the 2nd Guards Tank Army, this is the best study on any Soviet unit he has ever seen in his long life! Volume 1 focuses on the first half of the Army's service in the Great Patriotic War. 2nd Tank Army was created in January 1943. In spring and summer of 1943 it was engaged in the fierce battles at Sevsk and Kursk. Combat experience was heavily paid for in blood. The Army played a critical role in containing a strike of the German III. Panzerkorps in February 1944, aimed at rescuing units in the Cherkassy pocket. In March-April 1944 2nd GTA carried out a deep raid to Uman and was amongst the first Russian units that crossed the Romanian border. In May-June 1944 Army was engaged in combats at Tyrgul Frumos and Jassy against strong German armoured forces belonging to 'Grossdeutschland' and 24. Panzer-Division. The text is fully supported by specially-commissioned colour maps and an extensive selection of photographs, many from private collections in Russia. Volume 2 will provide a detailed record of the Army for the remainder of World War II, including its elevation to Guards status later in 1944.


“ … this is an interesting and useful book that helps fill in a major gap in the Red Army’s historical record in the Soviet-German War (1941-45) … This book will no doubt represent a “Godsend” to military historians and history buffs alike … To its publisher Helion, I give a hearty “well done”. Russian Review


“Igor Nebolsin's Stalin's Favorite offers Second World War armored enthusiasts a treasure trove of information about one of the Red Army's top combat armies. One would be hard pressed to find an English language translation of a Soviet army's combat history, and in doing so here the team of Nebolsin and Britton have performed an invaluable service … Stalin's Favorite should be found on the bookshelf of anyone interested in tank warfare, and I highly recommend it to my readers.” GlobeatWar.com


“ … this is a book you should definitely have if you are a student of the Great Patriotic War. It’s as factual as any German unit history I’ve ever read and far more rigorously supported by modern scholarship. I highly recommend it and would give it five stars!” Rat’s Patrol blog


“Stalin’s Favorite was a book that I was looking forward to reading and now that I am, I can honestly say it was worth the wait.  It is incredibly detailed, yet unique in my experience in the English langue to read such a rich history so beautifully displayed … For anyone interested in the eastern front and the Russian perspective of operations at the Brigade to Army level I would highly recommend this book, from operational summaries, to lessons learnt, and notable actions it is a wealth of information.” Great Patriotic War blog  


“ … The book’s strength lies in its fine-grained detail of what the management of large formations actually entails, alongside the day-to-day and week-to-week rhythm of a Soviet army in offense, defense, and rest … The book offers a great deal of understanding of what campaigns on the Eastern Front actually meant to operational commanders.” Journal of Military History

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