Operation Typhoon

Discussion in 'The Eastern Front' started by Gerard, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    As Peter has referred to in his Day by day" thread, October 2nd marks the Anniversary of the launch of Operation Typhoon, the German Assault towards Moscow. The Operation involved Army Group Centre led by Field Marshal Fedor Von Bock.

    Here is a site devoted to the defense of Moscow:

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    The Offensive started spectacularly with the encirclements of the Vyazma and Bryansk pockets and were seen as a good pointer towards the successful conclusions of operations but the Germans underestimated the distance, the weather and most importantly the Soviet Army and its capacity to recover again and again from near disaster.
     
  2. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Battle of Moscow 1941 : Hitler : Stalin : Zhukov : Guderian : Blitzkrieg
    Here is another site giving information on the battle and also some organisational charts relating to Soviet and German formations

    I would not take the pictures as being from 1941 as there is one of a German in Late war Camo brandishing a Panzerfaust which was not available to German Troops in 1941. However the maps are quite good as is the text.

    There are conflicting reports about casualties in this operation but most sources agree that casualties were in excess of 500,000 making it an extremely costly battle on both sides.
     
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    What was the weather like on October 2nd 1941?
    Has anyone got a weather report?
    Was it cold & raining?

    (Just trying to get a feel for that time as I'm still wearing my shorts.)
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Oxford seems to be the closest weather station to you in Wilts, monthly data below:
    (I have no idea what an 'af day' is?)
    yyyy ---mm ---tmax ----tmin -----af -----rain ---sun
    ----------------degC ---degC ----days ---mm ---hours
    1941 ---10 -----14.7 ----6.4 ------0 -----28.8 --120.2
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/stationdata/oxforddata.txt


    So yes, you'd likely still be wearing shorts. Though Posties seem to wear shorts all year round anyway... or maybe ours is just particularly hardy.
     
  5. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Owen, this is taken from the Wiki article about the Operation: By October 7, 1941, the German offensive in this area was bogged down. The first snow fell and quickly melted, turning roads into stretches of mud, a phenomenon known as rasputitsa in Russia. So by October 7th it was raining. Is that any help?
     
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I knew they got stuck in the mud, which caused more problems than people give credit too.
    They always mention the snow.
    I just wondered how soon the weather turned against the "Fascist Invaders".

    Just checked in my Barbarossa to Berlin by Brian Taylor, he too mentions that on 7th October the temperature in the Central Sector dropped and incessant rains fell.

    I notice too that on 4th October the Finns launcehed an attack across the Svir but were repulsed by 7th Army.

    The USA warned the Finns that any advance towrds the Murmansk railway would be taken as an act of war on the USA.
    Mannerheim decided not attack there.
    Sensible move , I think.
     
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I saw a German newsreel on the aerial assault on Moscow.It was intended to be for heimat consumption and the commentator in his victorous reflection and typical Nazi commentary on Luftwaffe successes, extolled the Luftwaffe recent bombardment of British cities mentioning London ,Birmingham and Hull targets and it was the intention to carry out similar bombing of Moscow and raise it to the ground.

    Not referred to by the revisionists of late who attempt to portray BC as "terror bombers".A term introduced by Geobbels in his propaganda exercises on the German people.
     
  8. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    What was the weather like on October 2nd 1941?
    Has anyone got a weather report?
    Was it cold & raining?

    (Just trying to get a feel for that time as I'm still wearing my shorts.)
    Snow Falls

    [Thursday 2 October 1941, Moscow]
    The Soviet TASS News Agency reported:
    On Wednesday heavy snowfalls occurred at Leningrad and in the eastern Ukraine. Since midday the German attacks on Leningrad have markedly decreased in violence.
     
  9. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Manstein's observation on Hitler was that he could not see beyond the engagement itself , the part played by supply and having a reserve to exploit situations didn't exist in his mind.

    Typhoon was such a situation. The supply problem had been on going for sometime and had gotten worse as distance increased.
    replacement parts for tanks/trucks , just were not to be had and the nature of the Russian transportation system / infastructure was now working against the Germans.
    The attrition on the army seems not to have been considered by Hitler who having opted for Kiev now wanted the army to resume its dfrive on Moscow , it was a gamble which didn't pay off.
    Advances were made but they just served to expose an already depleted Army and make it vunerable.

    Perhaps the only real prospect of Moscow falling might hasve been that which would have resulted from some form of internal collapse - but Stalin was never about to let that happen.
    Peace feelers from the Russians were rejected and perhaps should have been considered .
    Certainly Manstein's evaluation on Hitler seems to have been correct and with hindisght it may be applied to some of the generals who wanted to make the last throw on Moscow.
    Russia was just to big for and the Wehrmacht lacked the resources to win an outright victory, when some other form of settlement might have been more beneficial.
     
  10. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    This is an interesting point James and one worth exploring. Whilst I have no doubt that Hitler had a powerful influence over the Military he was still not at the micro-managing stage yet. Manstein's assertion that Hitler could not see beyond the engagement itself is another example of the German General Staff absolving itself of any blame. Blame Hitler for alll the defeats and take credit for all the successes. Whilst I have no doubt that the failure to have a reserve could be laid at Hitler's door, it seems highly improbable that the failure for supply could also be chucked at him. The Planners in OKH must also share responsibility for this. Manstein's observation on Hitler was that he could not see beyond the engagement itself , the part played by supply and having a reserve to exploit situations didn't exist in his mind.

    Typhoon was such a situation. The supply problem had been on going for sometime and had gotten worse as distance increased.
    replacement parts for tanks/trucks , just were not to be had and the nature of the Russian transportation system / infastructure was now working against the Germans.
    The attrition on the army seems not to have been considered by Hitler who having opted for Kiev now wanted the army to resume its dfrive on Moscow , it was a gamble which didn't pay off.
    Advances were made but they just served to expose an already depleted Army and make it vunerable.

    Perhaps the only real prospect of Moscow falling might hasve been that which would have resulted from some form of internal collapse - but Stalin was never about to let that happen.
    Peace feelers from the Russians were rejected and perhaps should have been considered .
    Certainly Manstein's evaluation on Hitler seems to have been correct and with hindisght it may be applied to some of the generals who wanted to make the last throw on Moscow.
    Russia was just to big for and the Wehrmacht lacked the resources to win an outright victory, when some other form of settlement might have been more beneficial.
     
  11. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    It seems a long time ago, but I seem to recall reading that Stalin was himself uncertain of the situation regarding being able to hold Moscow and had a special train on standby for a quick evacuation East if required.
    I personally still feel that the delay in the German attack on Russia, due to having to bail out their Italian Allies in the Balkans, was a major cause of failure, coupled with the early onset of winter conditions and stretched supply lines.

    Regards

    Tom
     
  12. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I personally still feel that the delay in the German attack on Russia, due to having to bail out their Italian Allies in the Balkans, was a major cause of failure, coupled with the early onset of winter conditions and stretched supply lines.

    Regards

    Tom
    I'm not sure that it was as big a factor as we were led to believe Tom. The spring of 1941 was quite wet and indeed no campaigning would have been possible until mid-May at the earliest. In any case I still dont believe it was the weather that stopped the Germans, I think that they were exhausted and also the Russians managed to stop them. If we were still to assume that the weather was the only factor then surely if the temperature hadnt dropped then the mud would have stopped them anyway??

    It was a factor alright but imho not the all important one.
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    In Behind Closed Doors (The BBC Series) It left me with the impression it was the shear weight of the Russian Army and the weather that stopped the Germans reaching Moscow.

    They showed you loads of implacements surrounding Moscow in depth. A bit like but not as grand, The Maginot Line.
     
  14. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Gotthard HeinriciThis is an interesting point James and one worth exploring. Whilst I have no doubt that Hitler had a powerful influence over the Military he was still not at the micro-managing stage yet. Manstein's assertion that Hitler could not see beyond the engagement itself is another example of the German General Staff absolving itself of any blame. Blame Hitler for alll the defeats and take credit for all the successes. Whilst I have no doubt that the failure to have a reserve could be laid at Hitler's door, it seems highly improbable that the failure for supply could also be chucked at him. The Planners in OKH must also share responsibility for this.
    I would agree that he had not yet "gone micro" but he was more and more taking on decisions himself and I would agree that the Staff should have seen the supply problems.
    It was not as if they had not been told - Guderian in "Panzer Leader" syas what he was faced with.
    The temptation to "go for it" is perhaps understandable , the Germans believed ( or Hitler led them to believe) that the USSR was on the verge of collapse and that perhaps the "whole rotten structure " was a bout to come crashing down.
    On the doorstep of Moscow heart ruled head.
    The Russians would repeat this thinking in the Winter of 1942 , believeing that the enemy was a spent force and that one big effort would destroy them.
    Manstiens observations on Hitler are probably valid - but I would agree that Hitler did become a post war scap goat for what went wrong - the weakness of the Army to face Hitler down was as much a major failing as that of resources or failure to appreciate what the Winter would mean.
    All would seem to have lost contact with the relaity being reported from the front.

    Hitler said to Goring that in his life "He had always gone for broke" Moscow was one such instance.
     
  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just thought I'd mention that this time 70 years ago Typhoon had run it's course.
    Battle of Moscow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The Axis offensive on Moscow stopped. As Guderian wrote in his journal, "the offensive on Moscow failed...We underestimated the enemy's strength, as well as his size and climate. Fortunately, I stopped my troops on 5 December, otherwise the catastrophe would be unavoidable."


    In Glantz 'Barbarossa' page 189 he says,
    The Red Army's counteroffensive began at first light on 5 December in the Kalinin Front's sector and , over the next two days , spread inexorably across the entire front from Kalinin southwards to Kastornoe.

    A few days late remembering those events but thought it best to mention them.
     
  16. L J

    L J Senior Member

    I should not put much faith on the claiming of Guderian (implying that,because he stopped on december 5,a catastrophe was avoided) on november 23,the QMG (Wagner) wrote :we are at the end of our material and human resources .
    This means,it was already over before 23 november and,if the Germans had stopped on 23 november,or were forced to stop on 5 december,nothing would have changed .
     
  17. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Halder Diaries (excerpts concerning the sector of AGC):

    4 Dec.
    If FM v.Bock thinks that the costly attacks NW of Moscow promise no further success, he is free to stop them.
    They have already stopped in 4th Army sector. In Pz.Gp. 3 and 4 the attacks are scheduled to be continued on 6 Dec. In the sector of Guderian's Panzer Army there is no reason to call off the offensive.

    5 Dec.
    Guderian decides to fall back at Tula; 36 deg (Celsius) below freezing. Sheduled attacks by PzGp 3 and 4 must be called off.
    Enemy penetration East of Kalinin.
    A series of Führer's orders on allocation of tanks to 1st PzArmy and AGNorth cause some confusuion.

    v.Bock (on phone) They are at the end of their strength. Tomoerrow's attack by PzGp 3 and 4 is off. He will report tomorrow whether a withdrawal is necessary.

    6 Dec.
    Center (I know, I know): Enemy attacks from Voronezh to the north, nothweast and northeast. Heavy traffic on the Dmitrov-Moscow line. Evacuation of Moscow continues.

    Evening situation: The attack against the nothern flank of PzGp 3 has forced us to take back the front south of the Volga Dam. Consequence: we withdraw to the Klin line. On the rest of the front no important changes.
    "Come to my house for supper", said the spider to the fly.
     
    Owen likes this.
  18. Corporal

    Corporal Junior Member

    Huns are really strange people - in December they should have attacked their Ally, Musolini. At least weather conditions are much more favorable in Rome, and accommodation facilities are much better too.


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    The Weather Channel - Weather Underground - AccuWeather
     
  19. DeepDefence

    DeepDefence Member

    I'll definitely have to check this out, awesome!
     

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