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


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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

Articles: 1516


  1. Summing up the overall results of the air part of the liberation operation
    Crimea, carried out by troops of the 4th Ukrainian Front together with
    Separate Primorsky Army in the period from April 8 to May 12, 1944,
    we can say the following.
    The pilots of the 8th Air Army were credited with destroying 478 aircraft, of which of which 301 were shot down in air battles and 177 were destroyed at airfields.
    The Black Sea Fleet Air Force and pilots applied for about 100 more aircraft
    regiments of the 4th Air Army, up to the moment of their reassignment to the 8th Air Army.
    Actual Luftwaffe losses, including non-combat and from raids
    to airfields, amounted to 72 aircraft, including 17 Bf-109, 16
    Non-111, 13 Ju-87, 12 FW-190, 9 Bf-110, 5 Do-24, 3 Ju-88, 3Bv-138, 2 Hs-
    129 and 1 Go-145.
    During the same period, German pilots were credited with 419 shots down.
    aircraft: 252 – from April 8 to 30 and 167 – from May 1 to 12. Wherein
    the most successful ace was sergeant major Gerhard Hoffmann,
    whose account was 62 victories! In second place is Peter Düttmann with 30
    victories, and then Hans Joachim Birkner – 26 victories, Helmut Lipfert
    and Hans Waldmann – 25 victories each and Erich Hartmann – 19 victories.

    Irreversible losses of Soviet aviation during the Crimean War
    The offensive operation consisted of 412 aircraft. 8th VA lost
    266 aircraft: 144 in April and 122 in May. 4th Air Army before reassignment
    its air regiments to its “neighbors” irretrievably lost 36 aircraft, and the Black Sea Fleet Air Force – 90 aircraft.

  2. More from this book:
    If we talk about the air battle for Crimea in general,
    lasting a total of 6.5 months from November 1, 1943 to
    May 12, 1944, its results for Soviet aviation were, to put it mildly,
    disappointing. Let us remind you that according to the prevailing prevailing
    even in Soviet historiography stereotypes, already during the battle for
    Kuban in the spring of 1943, “Stalin’s falcons” gained dominance in
    air, and then held it everywhere until the very end of the war.
    In reality, the ratio of real air victories and
    losses during the battles over the Kerch Strait, Sivash and
    Sevastopol turned out to be even worse for the spacecraft air force in many cases,
    than in 1941–1942! Constantly having a large number
    advantage over the enemy, our fighters not only
    were able to cover their troops from German and Romanian attacks
    attack aircraft and bombers, but also allowed them in many
    cases have a decisive influence on the outcome of battles.

  3. As shown in this work, German fighter pilots
    usually overestimated their achievements by about 2–2.5 times. This
    the difference was formed due to random errors, shortcomings
    systems of fixation and confirmation, as well as outright fantasies
    some pilots who deliberately lied about the results
    air combat. But in general, such an overestimation can be recognized
    rather an inevitable error than the result of conscious
    postscripts. As for Soviet aviation, in which the overestimation
    of their real successes (often equal to zero) by 3–5, and often
    and 10 times was the norm, then this trend fit well into the general
    features of Soviet reality. In which the same
    postscripts and drawing “beautiful pictures” for superiors
    bosses have always been the norm. In general, the reasons for these “contrasts”
    again should be sought in the social and psychological plane.

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