Military Review

Wehrmacht paralysis

In early September, 1941, Hitler signed directive No. 35 on the transition of Army Group "Center" to the general offensive against Moscow (operation "Typhoon").

On September 29, Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Fedor von Bock held a meeting with army commanders and tank in groups. The troops were tasked with capturing Moscow by November 7, before the onset of winter. Von Bock promised Hitler that the Russian capital would fall by this date. The Battle of Moscow began on September 30 - the 2nd German Panzer Group attacked the troops of the Bryansk Front. On October 2, three German field armies (2nd, 4th and 9th), as well as two tank groups (3rd and 4th) launched an offensive on the positions of the Western and Reserve Fronts.

"The enemy is broken and will never rise again!"

These words, transmitted to German radio throughout the world, Hitler uttered 3 on October 1941 of the year in the Reichstag, announcing the first results of Typhoon. Indeed, the German attack on Moscow initially developed successfully: the Wehrmacht outnumbered the defending Soviet troops both in numbers (1 800 000 people against 1 250 000) and in military skill.

In the first days of the formation of the Army Group Center, they broke through the defenses of the three Soviet fronts and surrounded October 7 near Vyazma — connections and units of 16, 19, 20, 24 and 32 of the Western and Reserve Fronts, October 9 near Bryansk - 3, 13 and 50 th armies of the Bryansk Front.

On October 8, the head of the Hitler government’s press service, Otopgruppenhührer SS Otto Dietrich, announced to foreign journalists that, in a military sense, Soviet Russia had been destroyed, the German newspaper Volkischer Beobachter wrote in October on the 10 in October: the enemy was defeated. Stalin’s armies are wiped out. ”

Wehrmacht generals who participated in the battle of Moscow, and German historians evaluate the results of the October victories much more restrained. The commander of the 2 Tank Group, Colonel-General Heinz Guderian, in Memories of a Soldier, wrote about the battles near Bryansk in the first week of October 1941: “The severity of the fighting gradually exerted its influence on our officers and soldiers ... On the battlefield, the division commander (4- th tank. - V.L.) showed me the results of the battles of 6 and 7 of October, in which his fighting group performed responsible tasks. The tanks hit on both sides were still in place. The losses of the Russians were much less than ours ... Returning to Orel, I met Colonel Eberbach there, who also reported to me on the course of the last battles ... For the first time since the beginning of this intense campaign, Eberbach had a tired look, and it was felt that it was not physical fatigue, but emotional shock. I was embarrassed by the fact that the last battles had an effect on our best officers. But on the other hand, in the main command of the ground forces and in the headquarters of the army group, a high mood reigned. It was precisely in this that the gap between the views of the high command and ours was revealed, although at that time the 2 tank army knew nothing that the high command was so drunk with our victories. ”

Wehrmacht paralysisHistorian Klaus Reinhardt in his book “Turning near Moscow” reports: “On October 12, northeast of Bryansk, the encirclement around the northern part of the enemy grouping was finally closed. However, significant forces of the Soviet troops managed to break through on October 8 and, despite great losses (the commander of the front Yeremenko was injured), 12, 13 and October 14 left the encirclement ”.

The restraint of the Germans in the evaluation of the “boilers” near Bryansk and Vyazma is explained by the discrepancy between the results achieved in the battles of early October 1941 and the goals outlined by the command of the Wehrmacht and Army Group Center. Only the 11 divisions could continue the attack on Moscow, and the 48 fought hard with the surrounded Soviet forces (the rest covered the flanks of the advancing group). The fights in the “cauldrons” were stubborn and long. A week after the encirclement of the Soviet troops - October 14, the 1941 of the year was reported in the summary of the Wehrmacht Army High Command (OKH): "The enemy, surrounded ... west of Vyazma, was completely destroyed." But on the daily report cards of the OKH Lage Ost for more than two weeks, it was shown that from nine to five German divisions continued to fight with the "destroyed" enemy.

The Bryansk Cauldron, according to Reinhardt, “pulled off until the end of October the main forces of the 2-th combined-arms and 2-th tank armies ... The Soviet troops ... with their resistance decisively paralyzed the offensive of the southern wing of the Army Group Center and did not allow to organize quick pursuit. The fighting in the “Bryansk Cauldron” did not bring the desired success to the Germans. ” The fighting went on until October 23, when the formations and units of the 3, 13 and 50 armies managed to break out of the encirclement with great losses. The stubborn resistance of the surrounded troops allowed the Soviet command to restore the defensive lines in the Moscow direction. Therefore, when the advanced parts of the Germans reached the Mozhaisk line of defense, they were met, as Reingardt noted, a dense barrier, about which German intelligence knew nothing.

The actions of the Soviet troops in the Vyazma and Bryansk directions disrupted the operation "Typhoon". The strategy of the blitzkrieg assumed that the surrounded and deprived of control and supply of enemy troops would break the will to resist, and they quickly capitulate. So it was in Poland and in France. But in Russia, as rightly noted by the English historian Robert Kershaw in the book “1941 Year by the Eyes of the Germans. Birch crosses instead of iron crosses, the truism of blitzkrieg "turned out to be turned upside down by desperate, sometimes reaching fanaticism, the resistance of the Russians in seemingly hopeless situations." It was precisely this that led to the fact that “half of the offensive potential of the Germans was gone, not to advance towards the goal set, but to consolidate the already existing successes.

In the second half of October, compared with the first decade of the month, the average daily rate of the German offensive fell by a factor of 8 – 10 (from 30 – 40 to 3 – 5 kilometers per day). Along with the growing resistance of the Soviet troops, the Germans were constrained by the problems of supply and mudslides.

In the fierce battles of October, the Wehrmacht suffered heavy losses. According to Martin Garais, in the 1 battalion of the 282 Infantry Regiment, only 148 remained, but “the bloody tribute was paid by the 290 th regiment. In the rota, the numerical strength fell to a 20 man. ”

Paul Carell (pseudonym Obersturmbanführer SS Paul Schmidt - Executive Director of the service News Third Reich and the head of the press department of the German Foreign Ministry) in the book “The Eastern Front. Hitler goes east ”also discusses the large losses of German troops in the October battles. He tells about the state of the German 46th motorized corps: “The losses turned out to be huge until the 3rd infantry regiment of the SS Reich motorized infantry division had to be disbanded, and the surviving personnel transferred to the Deutschlands and der Führer regiments, in the 2nd company of the Great Germany infantry regiment, 60 people remained. Sixty out of a hundred and fifty. ”

Not the best was the position of the 2 troops of the German tank army, advancing on Tula. Its commander, Colonel-General Heinz Guderian, wrote in his memoirs: “On October 29, our head tank units reached a point four kilometers from Tula. An attempt to seize the city from the course came across a strong anti-tank and anti-aircraft defense and ended in failure, and we suffered significant losses in tanks and officers. ” The situation in the 2 units of the German Tank Army is clarified by Paul Carell: “As of October 31, the 3 Tank Division on the outskirts of Tula had only 40 tanks from 150 that were available from the beginning.”

The command of Army Group "Center" considered the combat capability of the Red Army low. However, the large losses of troops, the low level of organization of material and technical supply, including ammunition and fuel, forced von Boc at the end of October 1941 to stop the offensive.

Typhoon blown away

October 30 1941 of the year von Bock signed an order for a second offensive against Moscow, but could only begin on November 15. Prior to that, the German units cleaned up themselves, replenished with ammunition, fuel and other material means. According to the plan of the offensive, the Wehrmacht should have surrounded the Soviet capital with a double ring. Storm was not planned: even 8 October 1941, Hitler ordered after the completion of the encirclement of Moscow to wipe out and flood.

The November offensive of the Wehrmacht was no longer so successful. The euphoria of command in connection with the October encirclement of the Soviet troops has affected. Hitler and the Wehrmacht strategists generally overestimated their combat capabilities. Focusing on the ten-day reports of troops on casualties, the command believed that the loss of the advancing troops was insignificant and the combat capability was high. Therefore, von Bock did not allocate additional forces and funds for replenishment and reinforcement: in November 1941, the group’s reserve consisted only of a guard division and several police battalions. The real combat capability of an army group has significantly decreased - the casualties were much more than indicated in the troop reports.

But the main miscalculation was the underestimation of the enemy. "Mainly in terms of human resources, the fighting qualities of the Red Army and their morale," says Paul Carell. The leadership of the Wehrmacht mistakenly believed that the Soviet troops were practically destroyed near Vyazma and Bryansk and the Red Army was not able to seriously resist. In fact, the resistance of the Soviet troops continuously increased.

The casualties of the attackers grew rapidly: the 137 Infantry Division, according to the former Chief of Operations, Wilhelm Meyer-Detring, in just four days, from 13 to 16, lost to dead and wounded (not counting losses due to frostbite) 1060 fighters these are 34 officer, including five battalion commanders.

Former German 4 Chief of Staff, General Gunter Blumentrit, in an article about the Moscow Battle, said: "In most infantry companies, the number of personnel reached just 60 – 70 people (with the regular number of 150 people. - V.L.)”. In the 2 tank army, according to Guderian, at the same time, the combat strength of the infantry was reduced on average to 50 people in each company.

21 November von Boc wrote in his diary: “According to the number of divisions, judging this at the green table, the balance of power is no worse than usual. But a decrease in combat capability — in individual companies, there remained from 20 to 30 people, large losses in command personnel and over-exertion of people in combination with cold weather give a completely different picture. ”

The combat readiness of the German troops sharply decreased, including due to the death of a large number of experienced soldiers. On November 23, Colonel-General Franz Halder, Chief of the General Staff of the Ground Forces, noted in his diary: “We will never again have such ground troops as we had in June 1941.”

But the command of the Wehrmacht continued to live with illusions and had a completely wrong idea about the real state of the Soviet troops. On November 30, ground forces commander Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch reprimanded von Bock: “The Führer is confident that the Russians are on the verge of complete collapse. He wants to hear specific words from you, Field Marshal von Bock, when this collapse becomes a reality. ”

2 December 1941, Halder made a diary entry: “The enemy has reached the peak of his ability to hold defenses. He no longer has reinforcements. ” On the same day, when the Red Army had only three days left before the start of the counter-offensive, it was stated in the intelligence section of the foreign armies study department in the east: “The Russian command currently does not have reserves and therefore makes attempts, putting into battle all the available forces, suspend the German offensive. " 4 December, the same department came to the conclusion: "The enemy’s combat capability is not so great that a major attack could be launched without significant reinforcement."

The “decisive” attack of the fascists on Moscow was completely exhausted by the beginning of December - the Army Group “Center” had exhausted its capabilities. General Kurt Tippelskirkh infantry in the book "History World War II "writes:" December 4 was made a desperate attempt to once again throw the army on the offensive. After capturing small sections of the 4 army, the next day they retreated to their original positions, the 2 tank army also stopped the offensive after it failed to capture Tula, which was like a eyesore. None of the orders could move these troops forward ... December 6 was ordered to stop the offensive. The troops were supposed to hold their positions. ”

Paul Carell summed up the operation "Typhoon": if in October the Army Group "Center" consisted of 78 divisions, their number decreased to 35 by December. That is, its combat effectiveness has fallen by more than half: the troops did not have the strength not only to attack, but already to defend themselves.

By this time, the Supreme Command Headquarters of the Red Army was able to concentrate a large number of troops near Moscow, unexpectedly for the Germans to launch an offensive and achieve victory. The American historian David Glanz remarked on this point: “The offensive organized by the headquarters near Moscow at the very time when, according to German intelligence, the Red Army was reduced to“ the last few battalions ”, took the Wehrmacht by surprise with its suddenness and made it almost in panic".
21 comment

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  1. Brigadier
    Brigadier 4 December 2016 07: 01
    So it’s accepted today: it is claimed that then only autumn thaw and frost prevailed, then Russia today is torn to shreds, then something else ... Such is their nature.
    Two-faced anus, what else can I say. Their history does not teach anything ... am
    1. V.ic
      V.ic 4 December 2016 07: 50
      Quote: Brigadier
      that then the autumn thaw and frost prevailed over the Hans,

      Two Russian generals: bully "General Dirt" and laughing "General Moroz" defeated the invincible German troops and their allies, and again. The first time it was in 1812 ... lol :
      1. Omsk
        Omsk 4 December 2016 08: 27
        yeah. and mass heroism has nothing to do with it ....
      2. Ulan
        Ulan 4 December 2016 21: 09
        Exactly. Only everyone "forgot" that during the retreat, the French sappers were directing the bridges across the Berezina while standing in the WATER. That is, the river is not frozen, otherwise the French would have simply crossed it on the ice.
        There were no frosts. And in the 41st, the Germans ran out of steam before the severe frosts hit and that they could not take Moscow in November, this only testifies to the staunchness of the Soviet soldiers who foiled the blitz krieg and the arrogance of the Hitlerite command, which did not count on a long war.
        In fact, well, it was not Stalin who had to think for them and take care of the supply of the Wehrmacht.
      3. free
        free 14 January 2017 16: 16
        Soviet soldiers defeated them, not dirt and frost
    2. Cat
      Cat 4 December 2016 09: 51
      On September 29, the commander of Field Marshal Fedor von Bock held a meeting with the commanders of the armies and tank groups. The troops were tasked with capturing Moscow by November 7, before the onset of winter. Von Bock promised Hitler that the Russian capital would fall by this date.

      Fedya, Fedya believed you even printed leaflets, the parade was planned, and you "agent of influence" let "Adolfushka" down! And he leaked everything near Kursk! Took an example from Pauls! Two fellow acrobats. And the Russian soldier has nothing to do with him, General Moroz and General Gryaz fought! And just do, according to the West, a Negro stopped the German military machine .... I beg your pardon, an African American with gum! And if only he was not "across Moscow", then ......
      Only on November 7, 1941, fighters of the Red Army marched on Red Square, who had yet to go 4 years before the final victory!
      And we are the descendants of those who marched in Red Square in 1941 and are not entitled to give someone away, even though it will be General Moroz or General Gryaz. And help Gay Europe who freed you from fascism. These are the multinational people of the Soviet state sworn by you!
  2. Mwg
    Mwg 4 December 2016 08: 44
    After the first cases of the participation of Russian fighters in fights without rules, Western fighters began to say that the Russian real devils were cunning, evil, desperate and merciless. And to fight with Russia is to multiply the qualities of each fighter by the number of fighters and get hell
  3. vomag
    vomag 4 December 2016 09: 31
    Yes, we read them and Haldera and Guderians and Manstein, and others like them ... everywhere the same thing - the great German soldier, the Fuhrer is a bad person, all the time it interferes with the victory either by crucifix or frost, again about the brave German soldier, again the Führer is a very bad person, again with no luck, otherwise they would have taken it ... maybe already they would have won the whole world .. etc ... and, as it were, in the meantime, the Russians have a couple of three poorly trained divisions in bast shoes but to the victorious Wehrmacht, they have one tooth ... everything around them is especially nature, and the Russians are so confused under their feet
    1. Cat
      Cat 4 December 2016 13: 01
      I will answer with the proverb, "What is good for a Russian, death for a Fritz."
  4. Dax
    Dax 4 December 2016 10: 03
    It seems that the "enlightened" have a national trait: to suck a fairy tale out of their fingers, believe in it and live in it. And whoever disagrees - there is a fool, a barbarian intolerant and cannot fight.
    1. captain
      captain 4 December 2016 10: 13
      If we discard the ideological background, then it is worth remembering the defeat not only in the Germans in 1941-45gg, but also in the Battle of Neva, the Patriotic War of 1812g, the Battle of Poltava, etc. The vanquished never wants to admit defeat; he always seeks reasons on the side. Unfortunately, we suffer from this, when we lose somewhere.
      1. V.ic
        V.ic 4 December 2016 10: 55
        Quote: captain
        and when we lose somewhere.

        For example in football, but sometimes in ice hockey.
        1. Cat
          Cat 4 December 2016 13: 52
          Sometimes we were sad and serious !? Who remembers the Second Rochensalm battle !?
          History must be remembered to draw conclusions on errors and correct.
          Our example is Peter I with his toast after the Battle of Paltava "For teachers".
          An example of the present tense "rewrite history"!
          In 2001, I was lucky to be a member of the Russian-German-French scientific meeting. So at the level of "bring it, bite it on the heel." During the seminar, the issue of "tolerance" was discussed. Western guests taught us, ours proved that they themselves had a mustache, etc. At the end of opeitseiosis, the learned brethren were taken out into the countryside where they got drunk "to such and such a mother" and the topic of tolerance gently spilled over, but how about "the black-pops weren’t zadolbali? Zadolbali, and you." In the end, we who were "caught up", the worldview collapsed below the plinth, I did not see big homophobes and chauvenists. Everyone got it, most of all the Jews, and from the Russian and German Jews in turn. I do not give the surname of the learned fraternity by this name. But most of all I remember the story of an old German professor who told a story from his life. In 1945, he was a 13-year-old boy in the "Hitlerjunger" participated in the defense of the outskirts of Berlin. True, it all ended quickly, a "big tank" drove to their baricade, they fired at it with rifles. The tank fired, they got scared and tried to scatter. The tankmen caught him and two of his "colleagues". The tank commander "grimy" in "orders" ordered to take off their trousers and with a belt slashed all three of them so that they slept on their stomachs for a week. Then he took him by the ear and, with all the honest company, dragged him to the first residential building, where the "shirtless" command was handed over to the women who were hiding in the basement. In the evening, one of the tank's crew brought them four loaves of rye bread to the basement.
          By the end of the story, the drunken company was silent, more - there was deathly silence. The German and the female translators were roaring. And the professor who told us in the morning that child abuse is impossible. He confessed to us that he was a von baron and the son of a German general is grateful to the officer who tore him up like a "sidor goat" instead of firing a cannon at their barricade again. Then he recalled how he fed at the Russian field kitchens, got out of Berlin to the destroyed Dresdan. And we were silent and listened. Only a drunken Frenchman mumbled and this, the luminary of Europe, a great teacher, etc.
          The girls tried to find that officer, but to no avail. In 2005, the professor died.
          But the story remains. It was these soldiers who came and saved Europe. Eternal memory to them and a lesson to us.
          Yours faithfully! Your cat.
          1. cfvfhf1
            cfvfhf1 27 December 2016 12: 06
            Thanks you.
  5. Stas57
    Stas57 4 December 2016 11: 32
    showed me the results of the battles of 6 and 7 of October, in which his battle group performed critical tasks. The tanks lined on both sides still remained in their places. Russian losses were significantly less than ours ...

    I had to go down to the river, there they were all
    1. Witness 45
      Witness 45 4 December 2016 14: 31
      What, it is unpleasant to read "... the losses of the Russians were much less ...", it is much more pleasant to read - were they beating ten Russians in one fell swoop? It’s just not clear that these Germans turned out to be such weaklings, cowardly and cowardly, they killed one, we have ten, and out of fear (or out of pity for us?) Rushed to run all the way to Berlin, where they capitulated.
      1. Stas57
        Stas57 4 December 2016 15: 05
        no, everything is simpler there — the bulk of the tanks there were not near the highway, but near the village, near the railway line where our tank theoretician and practitioner didn’t go, the losses of only 11 brigades are equal to the losses of 4, so on for 6 tanks
  6. SEER
    SEER 4 December 2016 18: 57
    Quote: Kotischa
    I will answer with the proverb, "What is good for a Russian, death for a Fritz."
    Yab rephrased:
    "What is tolerant of the Soviet, lie down and die!"
  7. Ulan
    Ulan 4 December 2016 21: 16
    The defeated will never admit that the enemy was stronger and smarter, he will always find any reasons that prevented him from such a powerful.
    There Ukrainians came up with the idea that they are fighting in the Donbass, already with the entire Russian army.
    Poroshenko says that there are 300 thousand of them, the chief of their General Staff that there are two army corps, with all the standard equipment.
    So nothing new.
  8. bazzilio
    bazzilio 11 July 2017 22: 28
    In my opinion, already in September it was possible to understand that “something went wrong” .... After all, the Barbarossa plan and the blitzkrieg were announced to each ordinary Wehrmacht, Goebbels orated almost “from all the irons”). And according to this "barboss", the Wehrmacht should already have been on the Arkhangelsk-Astrakhan line by the end of August (simultaneously capturing both Leningrad and Moscow) ....
    In fact, the fact that "something went wrong" some apparently began to think back in Brest and near Smolensk, but the order is an order, and therefore - "drag nah osten" ....

    And if you look at the results of 1941 on the other hand, then it doesn’t turn out that much, it’s also “defeatist”. In strategic terms, the Germans have achieved not so much. Of the large "strategic" cities, only Minsk and Kiev were taken. Neither Leningrad nor Moscow were taken. And even Sevastopol is still fighting.
    And the only strategic success after the Moscow battle with the Germans can be considered (with a stretch) only defeat in the spring of 1942 near Kharkov. The Battle of Stalingrad itself is no longer a strategic success, because in the end, they didn’t take the city, and they lost the 6th army.
    Well, further on the strategic plan, the Germans have one defeat. Up to Berlin.
    And you can underestimate your losses as much as you like, and exaggerate the losses of the Red Army ... Only this does not fit with the elementary logic: if there was such a ratio of losses, then why did you lose the war?
    There was an article in which one wise guy writes that the Red Army in the Moscow battle (and only in a counterattack) lost 2,8 million soldiers ... And the losses of the Wehrmacht over the same period ..... (attention, as the famous satirist M. Zadornov - are you ready?) ..... 79 thousand (Karl!). That is, the loss ratio is approximately 1:27, not to mention the fact that the number of our losses exceeds the entire available composition of the fronts defending Moscow ...
    After such nonsense, only one question remains: if the Red Army suffered such losses that the personnel of all Soviet troops "died" 2-3 times - then it turns out that there were no Soviet words left on the Wehrmacht’s route to Moscow? And what hindered - to form columns and Ain-Tsvay - a victorious march to the Kremlin ???

    Wait, it seems to have guessed .... He himself is "General Frost" ...))
    Not ... not so ... If for every dead soldier near Moscow this “general" is given a Hero, then it will be like this:

    One million-times Hero of the Soviet Union, Marshalissimuss of the Soviet Union Frost!
    and let Zhukov nervously smoke aside))))
  9. Molot1979
    Molot1979 9 August 2017 08: 18
    The best evidence is that the Fritz systematically underestimated the loss data. 10-day reports lied at least 2 times, in places and three times. And this bullshit was driven upstairs, then they received reinforcements in accordance with their reports of losses, and then they cried in their memoirs that they did not have enough people. So it was necessary to lie less. If judged by ten-day reports, then there were no losses, like Tymchuk’s. Well, there, a couple of soldiers broke their noses, stumbled and another pinched a finger with a bolt of a carbine - is this a loss? And while they killed one hundred billion Russians, and another five hundred billion were captured. And then this nonsense was picked up by historians. True, it remains unclear how, with such miserable losses, the Germans did not win the entire war in the summer of 1941, and in the spring of 1945 they reached the draft of 12 year-olds. Where did all the adults go? In the absence of losses, tens of millions more should have been there in Germany, so why did they have to call for children? And only in such reports / memoirs that there are 20-30 people left in the companies, and the answer lies, where did the adult recruits go.