On July 5, 1943, the greatest land battle in history began when Nazi and Red Army forces clashed near the town of Kursk, on the western border of the Soviet Union. Code named "Operation Citadel, " the German offensive would cut through the bulge in the eastern front that had been created following Germany's retreat at the battle of Stalingrad. But the Soviets, well-informed about Germany's plans through their network of spies, had months to prepare. Two million men supported by 6,000 tanks, 35,000 guns, and 5,000 aircraft convened in Kursk for an epic confrontation that was one of the most important military engagements in history, the epitome of "total war." It was also one of the most bloody, and despite suffering seven times more casualties, the Soviets won a decisive victory that became a turning point in the war. With unprecedented access to the journals and testimonials of the officers, soldiers, political leaders, and citizens who lived through it, "The Battle of the Tanks" is the definitive account of an epic showdown that changed the course of history.