Battle of Moscow 1941 - How the Nazi war machine almost seized the Soviet Capital.
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Hitler`s plan for Moscow: Kill everyone who lives there, replace it with a lake
Hitler had some radical ideas prepared for Western Europe after he`d won World War II, but these plans were all pretty tame compared to what he had come up with for Russia and Eastern Europe. One of the cornerstones of the Nazi expansionist policy was known as Lebensraum, and it formed an important component of the Generalplan Ost, or `Master Plan for the East.` Originally, Moscow was to be the capital of the entire planned Eastern region, but during Operation Barbarossa Hitler changed his mind about the city. He was fearful that the residents of Moscow would revolt, and he decided that the entire city would be razed to the ground, all the inhabitants would be slaughtered, and parts of the Moscow-Volga Canal would be destroyed so that the city would be completely flooded and turned into a man-made lake.
The Battle for Moscow: How Russia Stopped Hitler's Military During World War II
In October 1941, the Second World War teetered on a knife edge. There was war in China and war in North Africa, and soon there would be war between America and Japan. But in the autumn of 1941, the only war that really seemed to matter was fought in a portion of central Russia. Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, had begun brilliantly on June 22, 1941. Encirclement after encirclement had inflicted almost 4 million casualties on the huge but disorganized Soviet armies. By early October, they had advanced to within 200 miles of Moscow. Now came Operation Typhoon, the offensive to seize the Soviet capital and—or so the Germans hoped—end the campaign.
Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
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Rzhev: Marshal Zhukov's Unknown Battle - WW2 documentary film upsets Russians
"Rzhev: Marshal Zhukov's Unknown Battle" is the sort of film that would have been praised in the West. But not in Russia, where its presenter Alexei Pivovarov is a traitor. 1.5 million people died during the Rzhev campaign 1942-1943, mostly Russians. This huge death toll was result of Josef Stalin's disregard for his own men and of the screwups of Soviet generals. But Russians know little of the Rzhev battles because they have been airbrushed from history. Even Georgy Zhukov, who led the Rzhev campaigns, scarcely talks about them in his memoirs. In the film one German veteran expressed his horror at how the Soviet soldiers were treated as "cannon fodder".
The Greatest Battle chronicles battle for Moscow
During World War II, US armed forces reported a total of about 1 million casualties (292,000 battle deaths). By contrast, 2.5 million Russians and Germans were killed or taken POW in a single battle between August 1941 and April 1942 for control of the Moscow. In The Greatest Battle, Andrew Nagorski argues that the fight for Moscow decided the outcome of WWII. Still, it has drawn less attention than the showdown at Stalingrad (the subject of William Craig's book Enemy at the Gates) or the 900-day siege of Leningrad, with its heartbreaking famine. Nagorski suggests this is not coincidental: This battle did not show the leadership on either side at its best.
Stalin came closer than most realize to defeat - The battle for Moscow
By Oct 1941, most in Moscow were convinced that city was about to be overrun by the Germans. The NKVD had prepared pamphlets: "Comrades! We left Moscow due to the continuous attacks of the Germans. But it's not the right time for us to weep." This admission of defeat was buried in archives. Boris Vidensky recounted that Georgy Zhukov ordered his deputy to calculate the losses near Moscow. After seeing the number, Zhukov barked: "Hide it and don't show it to anybody!" Ilya Druzhnikov recalled that there was 1 rifle available for every 10 men in his unit. On Oct 16 an Air Force officer saw Stalin sitting at his desk asking himself "What shall we do? What shall we do?"
Adolf Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union - June 1941 by John Lukacs (Article no longer available from the original source)
In June 1941 John Lukacs tackles Adolf Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, one of the genuinely decisive moments in history. The real turning point in geopolitical terms came later that year, in December, when the Wehrmacht was halted before Moscow and Hitler took the crazy step of declaring war on the US, but there can be no doubt that the invasion itself was almost certainly the most momentous event in the history of the world. Operation Barbarossa was already the most ambitious invasion ever known, yet Hitler proceeded to increase the odds against himself - He cut back on military output.
Rokossovski's hedgehogs: Stopping advancing German panzers
Moscow 1941: The Russian capital in its darkest hour. At the roadside from the airport is a unique set of metal "hedgehogs", towering obstructions embedded in the ground in summer 1941. Their purpose was to stop the advancing German tanks. Operation Barbarossa had been launched on June 22. Moscow quickly came within the Wehrmacht's artillery range. The inhabitants trembled with fear, and hundreds of thousands tried to flee. They had been told that if any state invaded the USSR the Red Army would counterattack and take the conflict back on to enemy soil. Instead the Third Reich won a crushing series of victories. The overthrow of Stalin seemed imminent.
Fired by patriotism and fear - Moscow 1941 by Braithwaite
When Napoleon was stopped at Moscow in 1812, the first real cracks in his imperial system opened up. More than a century later, Hitler learnt the same harsh lesson. The failure to take the capital was the first time since September 1939 that the seemingly unstoppable German armed forces were halted. The narrative of the battle itself is by well-known: the German thrust at Moscow; the inept and improvised defence; the appointment of General Zhukov to stiffen resistance; the final counter-attack using fresh forces hitherto safely away from the war in far Siberia. What brings all this to life are the stories of 76 interviewees, mainly veterans of the conflict.
Stalin's strange victory - Moscow 1941: A City and its People at War
The Russian victory over the Germans was one of the most unexpected, almost preposterous, outcomes of the Second World War. Underprepared in every sense, Russia was completely overwhelmed. During the summer of 1941, the German army advanced 400 miles towards Moscow within three weeks. By the end of the year, it was within 15 miles of the Kremlin. Within days, however, it had retreated in defeat. Hours before German forces attacked, Stalin was convinced that there was no prospect of war: he threatened to shoot any of his generals who prepared for it.
Workers find a tonne of WW2-era explosives at Moscow hotel
Workers demolishing a Stalin-era Moscow hotel discovered a tonne of explosives that would have been used to blow the building sky-high if Nazi troops had taken the Soviet capital during the Great Patriotic War. After its opening in 1935, the hotel Moskva was one of the Soviet Union’s flagship hotels and stood opposite the Russian parliament and only a stone’s throw from Red Square.
Stalin's shame wiped WWII's greatest battle from history (Article no longer available from the original source)
Few Westerners have heard of the greatest battle of WWII, fought on a scale never matched in western Europe. The Russians wrote the battle of Moscow out of their history books after their suicidal bravery smashed the myth of German invincibility. More than 7 million combatants took part, compared with the 4 million at Stalingrad and the 2 million at Kursk. The Soviet Union lost 926,000 soldiers killed, more than the British lost in all of WWI. Initially, the blitzkrieg attack left the Russians in disarray. The Red air force lost 1200 aircraft on the first morning. Stalin retreated to his country house for 36 hours until his commanders demanded his return.
Battle of Moscow in Great Patriotic War - 60th anniversary
Russia marks the 60th anniversary of the victory of the Great Patriotic War. The Battle of Moscow is one of the greatest battles of the war against Nazi Germany. By Aug. 5 1941, the army group center had reached the key road and rail center at Smolensk, covering more than 2/3 of the distance to Moscow, the hub of the railroad networks. At Smolensk, Adolf Hitler ordered the Army Group Center to temporarily halt and diverted the bulk of its armor to the north and south to help the other two army groups. After a standstill of six weeks, the final attack on Moscow resumed on Oct. 2. The German forces fought all the way within about 95 km of the city.