Russia

Battle For Moscow by Albert Seaton

By Albert Seaton

A German trap of Moscow in 1941 may have knocked Russia out of the battle; a riveting narrative of this important conflict via a British officer with a deep wisdom of the East eu resources.

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When Schmundt, Hitler's military aide and his roving eyes and ears, appeared at 3 Panzer Group Headquarters near the city of Vitebsk on 13 July, Hoth told him that tank casualties had not been heavy and were in no way more severe than those suffered in France, but that the terrain and climate were proving far more wearing on vehicles and on men than had been expected. Mechanical casualties were high. The monotony of the landscape, the somber woods and the flatness of the plains had a very depressing effect on the German tank troops.

Too rarely at this time did the Red Army troops in Belorussia show that heroism since attributed to them by communist propaganda; resistance was uneven; in places it was bitter, but for the most part the Soviet forces surrendered or ran off into the woods. Yet, only three days after the start of the war, the Führer, in a fit of nerves, bypassed von Brauchitsch and suggested to von Bock that the Minsk panzer envelopment should be abandoned in favor of a much shorter one; this proposal von Bock resisted with all the arguments at his command.

Although the Navy was large in numbers of war vessels, it was in fact poorly trained and inadequately equipped. Most of the warships were obsolete. Opposed only by the lightest of German naval forces in the Baltic and the Black Sea, it nevertheless soon lost control of those waters to the Luftwaffe, and, had it not been for the intervention of the British Royal Navy in northern waters, would have lost the sea war in the Arctic Circle. But it is very doubtful whether Stalin had any interest in the naval war or in the Red Fleet, other than using it as a reserve of bayonets to provide marine infantry brigades for the land fighting.

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