World War II Essay on Battle of Kursk. History Research Paper (Research Paper Sample)
Length: 3500 words (roughly 12-14 pages, double spaced); this is a rough guideline, but you may be penalized if you’re not within a few hundred words of the limit. Place word count at the end of your essay.
Research and write about a topic related to Europe and WWII. The topic is completely up to you. A topic is not the same thing as a thesis! You choose your topic at the beginning of your research; you formulate a thesis, or argument, once you have completed considerable research and are able to articulate a coherent argument backed up by evidence from your research.
When thinking about your topic, consider the following:
I am writing about the role of _______ in _______ during World War II”
For example: “I am writing about the role of women in British aircraft factories during World War II.”
If you are having difficulty coming up with a general topic, you may want to consider which of the unit themes or sub-themes was most interesting to you (resistance, mobilization, etc.). And then narrow your topic down by choosing, perhaps, the topic of one of the slides. (For example, “I am writing about the role of the Einsatzgruppen in Belarus during World War II”)
I highly recommend deciding on your topic by mid-October. I also recommend discussing your topic with me during tea/coffee chats (Big Blue Button) or by appointment (set up via email).
You must use at least ten sources for this paper:
- You must have a rough balance of primary and secondary sources.
- We will discuss how to find sources, in class
- You may also use any sources assigned for class; these will count towards your total
- If you use encyclopedias, including Wikipedia, you must cite these and include these in your bibliography, but they will not count as one of your ten sources.
- Secondary sources must be academic, peer-reviewed sources. This includes academic journal articles, books published by university presses, and so on.
Citing your sources:
You must cite whenever you use a source, even if you are paraphrasing. Please review the definition of plagiarism as described in the course outline! I prefer footnotes, Chicago Manual of Style, but I am also fine with you using another citation style, as long as you are consistent, and include the page number for any cited materials.
- Include a bibliography: list sources alphabetically by author’s last name.
- Number all pages (!!!) and double space
World War II Essay on Battle of Kursk
World War II Essay on Battle of Kursk
The battle of Kursk was the biggest tank battle of World War II between German and Soviet forces on the Eastern Front near Kursk that was fought between July 5 and August 23, 1943, on the steppe of Kursk oblast.The Germans who lost the battle of Stalingrad initiated this war by launching the German offensive operation citadel on July 5 in an attempt to pinch off the Kursk salient with surprise attacks on the salient base on both north and south simultaneously. They hoped to surround and destroy the Soviet forces within the bulge. On July 12, the Soviets began their Kursk strategic offensive operation by launching operation Kutuzov against the German. This occurred after the German offensive occupied the north of the salient.[Clark, Lloyd. . Kursk: The Greatest Battle. London: Hachette UK, 2013.] [Dunn, Walter. "The Battle of Kursk", by David M. Glantz and Jonathan M. House." The Journal of Military History 64, no. 3 (2000): 887-945.] [Elder, Major James E. The Operational Implications of Deception at the Battle of Kursk. Auckland: Pickle Partners Publishing, 2015.]
On the South, the Soviets also instigated strong counterattacks, with one leading to a large armoredclash known as the "battle of Prokhorovka". On August 3, the Soviets commenced the second of the Kursk mission by launching an operation against the German forces on the salient South. The Germans wanted to weaken the offensive potential of the Germans by reducing and enveloping the Kursk salient forces. Hitler believed that a victory in this battle would restore the strength of the Germans and strengthen his connection with the allies who he thought wanted to withdraw from the war.[Ibid] [Ibid] [Ibid]
Germans also hoped that they could capture many soviet prisoners to use as slaves in their armament industry. The Soviet government knew the German intentions and planned an attack on the Kursk salient. Aware of these, the Soviets developed a defense in depth designed to erode the German armored spearhead. However, the Germans delayed the offensive while trying to increase their forces and wait for new weapons. Doing so gave the Red Army time to establish a chain of profound defensive belts and form a large reserve force for counter-offensiveness. The war ended with the Soviets declaring victory on Germany, even though both sides prepared vehemently.Hitlers ideologies and delayed tactics contributed to the defeat in the battle. Soviets’ ability to adapt to their enemy led to their victory. Therefore, from both a strategic and oprational viewpoints, the battle of Kursk had a long-term impact on the Second World War.[Glantz, David. "Kursk, Battle of (1943)." The Encyclopedia of War , 2011.] [Elder, Major James E. The Operational Implications of Deception at the Battle of Kursk. Auckland: Pickle Partners Publishing, 2015.]
The German assaulted forces consisted of 50 divisions, three tank battalions, two tank brigades, fifty divisions, and eight artillery assault divisions consisting of 2700 Tiger and Panther tanks, 900,000 troops, and two thousand aircraft. The Soviet forces, made up of the Army of Centerled by General K. K. Rokossovskii, the Voronezh Army under General N.F, and General I.S. Konev's Steppe Front Army, numbered about 1.3 million troops, 2,800 aircraft, and 3,600 tanks. The so-called "Citadel" which was the offensive code of the Germans, involved concurrent thrust against the Soviet-held southern and northern salient. Their successful repulsion enabled the Soviet forces to go over to the offensive by July 12.[Mulligan, Timothy P. "Spies, Ciphers and'Zitadelle': Intelligence and the Battle of Kursk, 1943." Journal of Contemporary History 22, no. 2 (1987): 235-260.] [Ibid] [Ibid] [Ibid]
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