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"Detailed maps of battle of Kursk?" Topic

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World War Two on the Land

746 hits since 31 Mar 2018
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Marc the plastics fan01 Apr 2018 8:56 a.m. PST

I have failed to find any detailed maps/aerial photos at a tactical level of the Kursk battlefield. I am interested in how the Russian trenches would have looked – joined up WW1 style or WW2 foxholes.

Has anyone come across anything suitable? Most maps are operational scale so barely show town names



deephorse01 Apr 2018 10:07 a.m. PST

There are three photos of Russian defensive positions "at the tactical level" in vol.1 of Operation Citadelle by Restayn & Moller. Problem is that the main trench line goes out of frame to left and right, so the trench could be 200m long or 20km long. They differ from my impression of WWI trenches in that they are not ‘castellated' when seen from above, but rather have a fairly lengthy and gradual zig-zag about them. Not much help I know!

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Apr 2018 1:49 p.m. PST

A quick Google search of images shows them in all kinds of styles, many WW1 stye in long connected stretches:


But also:


Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP01 Apr 2018 1:54 p.m. PST

Best I can offer is "Atlas of the Battle of Kursk" by David M Glantz, 1997. I got my copy from the author. Not sure if it is down to the detail you need though.

Scroll down. Mine is the second Atlas mentioned with 74 maps.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Apr 2018 3:57 p.m. PST
jdginaz01 Apr 2018 8:41 p.m. PST

That first picture isn't a trench it's a anti-tank ditch, most likely one that was dug by civilans in front of Leningrad of Moscow.

Marc the plastics fan02 Apr 2018 1:28 a.m. PST

Thanks guys. The lack of decent photos at least shows I haven't missed anything obvious.

The first photo is definitely an anti-tank ditch- that crops up on google search a lot. The difference in the second and third is interesting. The second is a very rough trench, quite overgrown, whilst the third is clearly a "model" trench in a museum – I wonder how often they looked that well made in practice.

But both show sinuous curves rather than WW1 angles, so that's a start. I am looking to model some for our Kursk games, and have been tempted by the EWM sets, which are clearly WW1 in origin. But in the absence of anything more conclusive I may well try a set



aph175702 Apr 2018 4:18 a.m. PST

The book "Objective Ponyri" may be worth a look.


It features a series of German aeriel recon photos in which you can clearly see trench systems. Each photo is a full page and has a map scale – often around 1" on the map = 100 metres. Zoom in with a magnifying glass and the detail you can see is quite remarkable. Unfortunately the Amazon link doesn't have a see inside feature.

Marc the plastics fan02 Apr 2018 12:22 p.m. PST

That book looks good, but a tad expensive. At least it shows aerial photos are out there somewhere

Good spot. Thanks

Simo Hayha02 Apr 2018 9:42 p.m. PST


this book is exactly what you are looking for. If your looking for tactical information/photos of kursk. the book is well worth the price.

The have a wide variety of trench lines. from straight to crenulated. fox holes.

Marc at work03 Apr 2018 5:04 a.m. PST

Thanks Adrian and Eric – that book does look good. Sadly, I think it is outside my wargames budget for the foreseeable future, but I have been able to find some example pictures from it, which has been helpful.

Much appreciated – if only I could find where those aerial photos come from. There must be a German archive somewhere


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