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1 MH-14: Germany Arrested. 2 WWII: Germany Arrested: Strategic Overview Germans restored tactical mobility with Blitzkrieg –Poland, Norway, France (1939-40)

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Presentation on theme: "1 MH-14: Germany Arrested. 2 WWII: Germany Arrested: Strategic Overview Germans restored tactical mobility with Blitzkrieg –Poland, Norway, France (1939-40)"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 MH-14: Germany Arrested

2 2 WWII: Germany Arrested: Strategic Overview Germans restored tactical mobility with Blitzkrieg –Poland, Norway, France ( ) German tactical improvements impressive: –Applied WWI Lessons Learned effectively –1918 Weapons technology & tactics refinements Made & adapted Developed effective doctrine for mobile warfare: –Integrated: Infantry, artillery, aircraft, & tanks Effective combined arms tactics –Innovative tactics & clear common doctrine to all: Speed, exploitation, decentralized C2; Aggressive independent leadership from the front; Initiative with full knowledge of commander’s intent

3 3 The Problem Downside was also evident –(But apparently not to Hitler) Crossbred & mismatched military organization: –80% of German Army built on WWI equipment Horse drawn guns, supplies, & baggage –Serious potential supply & logistics problems German poor logistics systems remained weak link –Striking victories hid ever looming logistics problems Instead of correcting this problem, what did Germany do?

4 4 Limits of German Expansion Germany tested the limits of its expansion: –Flush w/victory over France, it appeared unbeatable –Everything now seemed possible for the 3rd Reich: From strictly tactical & operational perspective => –Hitler may have had some bragging rights => –But his hubris was setting him up for a fall- why? From Political & strategic perspective => –Trouble was just over the horizon –Initial signs should have alerted Hitler & his generals: (Dunkirk evacuation & Churchill’s firm resolve) –Conclusion to be drawn: ?______ ______ war likely ahead => and… Germany had better get ready for it - soon

5 5 Hitler’s Slow Reaction Germany should have recognized the signs & their implications: –Should have concluded: time was essential=> –Need to start preparations now: Exploit industrial resources of West/Central Europe Address its glaring industrial & logistic shortfalls Consolidate Germany’s position in Europe Unfortunately for Germany => Hitler slow to react: –After Battle of Britain failed (w/high costs): => (Pilots, 1200 A/C, & expended limited industrial assets) –What did Hitler do instead?

6 6 ?_____ Front War- again! Hitler turned German Army East to start a new front! –Operation Barbarossa: –Strategic blunder of the first order - (why?) (Remember WW1?) Compounded this mistake by wasted men & material => –Propping up ?_____________and his 3rd rate army: Italian troops were poorly trained & led worse! Tend to retreat or surrender after sharp engagement The only worst mistake that could be made... he made! –What major strategic blunder was even worse than launching Operation ?________________? –He declared war on the ?_____ ______following Pearl Harbor

7 7 Early Success vs. Long Term Weakness NTL: German tactics & Operational Art proved superior early on: –But Germany was weak in key areas where it counted – Particularly unprepared for a prolonged war – why? German strategy and logistics - seriously flawed In contrast theses areas were a key US strength vs. – Significant weakness for German Army Several of Hitler’s & his army’s miscalculations about enemy’s resolve were demonstrated in: –Battle of Britain: “The Blitz,” Churchill, and the “ Never so few…”

8 8 Battle of Britain- lead up Churchill’s role: –Transform Britain from… ? –To Churchill’s determined & inspiring warrior spirit Royal Navy’s role: –Command of the ?___________ British resolve –Demonstrated by destruction of French Fleet under Vichy control Chamberlain’s ?__________

9 9 Hitler’s response Hitler’s response to British resolve: –2 related but separate plans: –Luftwaffe’s Air Offensive to be followed by Sea Lion Assessment Germany’s invasion plan? –?_____________________________________________

10 10 Initial Target Priorities Luftwaffe ‘s initial target priorities: –1. Establish Air ?________________ –2. Attack Ground support & Britain’s ?_________ industry –3. Attack RAF in general –4. Conduct ?___________ bombing (cities), and... –5. Protect Sea Lion ?___________ landings Goering was convinced Luftwaffe could do it all without need of other service –German Navy thus expected no realistic air support from the Luftwaffe –Worse: treated Channel crossing like a simple river crossing- only a little bigger

11 11 German Order of Battle Luftflotte 2nd & 3rd deploy to Calais in northern France –FM Kesselring commands 2600 A/C –Soon assigned more –Comprised main portion of German air striking force Luftflotte 5 to Norway –(300 A/C) –Long range constrains strikes & makes them vulnerable to Fighters due to tactical shortfalls

12 12 Tactical Shortfalls Key tactical weakness of German Operational strategy: –BF109 – very limited range –BF110 - inferior to British Spitfire As a result any Luftwaffe missions conducted beyond London had be conducted at night – why? –In order to avoid being intercepted by superior ?___________

13 13 British Air Defense system Status of British Air Defense system? –Effective tactical execution of Brit Air Defense Key role played by Air Marshall ?___________ –Designed, programmed, developed and trained all components of the system All hardware & human components integrated effectively into full system –In contrast to his German counterpart- Goering (noted more for unsupported assertions & bluster)

14 14 Operational Strategy & Tactics German Operational Objective –During Luftwaffe strikes July – Aug 1940 –Objective: RAF industrial Base Operational strategy & tactics: –Strike RAF Fighter Command & protect Luftwaffe’s bombers When raids attract fighters => BF109s were to attack them German Campaign operational priorities: –1. Fighter command aircraft & bases –2. Bomber command –3. Imported (US) logistics stockpiles –4. British population centers (cities)

15 15 “Aldlertag” & The Blitz On “Eagle Day” Germans attack British Radar sites: –Heavy losses both sides (148 Brits vs. 286 for Germans) –Decide (erroneously) not worth it Germans shift to strategic bombing (London & other cities) –Impact? –Desired effect on British population? ?___________________________ RAF aggressively attacks Poor German ?____________ contributes to failure Contributing to successful British outcome: –German Intel failure (British Air Defense Ops) –Gross underestimates of RAF fighters’ capabilities in Northern region –Goering’s poor leadership & tactical errors –British Defense System: effective & flexible –Churchill’s & Dowding’s leadership & British resolve

16 16 Strategic Bombing Lessons Learned Impact on Hitler’s Strategic objectives? –Target priorities: all fall short & in the end failure –Germany lacked adequate A/C strength, capability (range) & capacity Day light strikes: could not protect bombers from Spitfires What were the major Lessons Learned of “Blitz”? Blitz (strategic bombing) Lessons Learned: –Modern economies very ?___________ Modern economies absorb great punishment & don’t give up –Strategic bombing is ?___________ Accuracy & sustained operations extremely difficult –Costly: A/C. crews, industrial resources

17 17 War in the Med ( ) British Strategic Motivation: –Protect Suez & Gibraltar=> key to India & Far East Mussolini’s role: (Mare Nostra) –Reclaim past glory of Roman Empire –Force Brits to go around Cape of Good Hope Instills incentive for Brits to re-open Med (Suez canal access) –Mussolini concerned Hitler may have strategic aims in Med (Hitler in reality is focused where?) To the ?___________________! Italian Army’s role: wrt planning, preparation, leadership –Virtually non existent=> incompetent leadership –Untrained & undisciplined army Only effective against unarmed 3rd class (mostly defenseless) enemy Italian Navy versus British Navy –Italian Navy aware of its limitations=> avoids Royal Navy

18 18 Mediterranean Theater of Operations

19 19 Hitler’s Actions & Mussolini’s Reaction Hitler’s action to protect Germany’s access to Oil: –Sends “advisors” to Romania to stabilize situation –Reality: panzer division, motorized inf. Div, etc. Mussolini response to Germany’s deployment: –Nov 1940: launched Offensive into Greece (Overconfident but insecure opportunist & a bully) –Italian’s Army & Air Force performance? ?_______________________________ No preparation or logistic support & poor cmdrs & leadership

20 20 Italy vs. Britain in North Africa Result: Italy’s invasion upset balance of power in Balkans: –Worse for Axis: it opened the door for British & Soviet attacks –Therefore presented obvious potential Brit threat to Romanian Oil=> impact Delay – Hitler forced to protect southern flank first What soon ensues for Italy & its incompetent Army? –Series of ?_______ ________befall Italian Army & Navy –Taranto: British CV Torpedo A/C attack Italian Fleet Italian battleship fleet lost half its strength in one night –Sidi dl Barrani: Gen Wavell’s 7th Amour routed Italian defenders & sent them fleeing West

21 21 Germany to the Rescue Germany to the rescue: –Hitler then sends in “1st string” under command of whom? Hitler’s motivation & strategic aim? –1. Motive: Stabilize situation & restore status quo –2. Prevent ?______’s collapse & secure ?____________ flank –3. Protect German South Flank during ?____________

22 22 Afrika Corps & the “Desert Fox” Rommel: considered by many to be best armored general of war –(Patton might disagree) Rommel’s philosophy of war: –Operational & tactical offense –Flexibility & initiative –And… he doesn’t always follow orders Many times to his benefit ( Ultra* intercepts) Soon chased Brits out of Libya => –Back to their starting point

23 23 Enigma & Ultra British captured U-Boat & its onboard Enigma –Enigma was used to encrypt message traffic from & to higher headquarters –Impact: Brits were able to read enemy’s plans Bletchley Park’s & the puzzle solvers: –Advantage afforded to Allies by decrypted operational directives –Decrypted product (SIGNINT) was called: Ultra

24 24 Germany in the Balkans Serb officers overthrew Yugoslav gov’t: –Hitler ordered a punitive Operation Punish Germany’s Balkan Campaign: –2 separate operations: Yugoslavia & Greece: –1 st Luftwaffe bombed Belgrade & 17K die: Yugoslavia failed to mobilize Attempted to defend everything= > nothing Collapsed in five days –OKH quickly re-deployed for Barbarossa- impact? –Tito’s guerillas continued to fight as ?____________ A similar situation then ensued in Greece: –XXXX Panzer Corps outflanked Greeks & Allies –Key support provided by Luftwaffe –Greek Army collapsed & Allies retreated to South: Brits withdrew by sea under heavy fire from Luftwaffe –Germany soon occupied Athens & other cities Greek resistance then commenced guerilla warfare

25 25 Fall of Crete Crete offered a key strategic position in the Med (Map): –RAF posed a threat to Balkans & Romanian oil for the Germans –Germany finally realized strategic significance of Crete –Decided to act to preclude Brit potential threat to its oil Plan’s Concept of Operations: –German Airborne Assault: Gen Student’s 7th ABN division –7 th ABN was tasked to take key operational objectives & hold (Map): Then await relief by 5th Mountain Division deployed by air & sea: –Transported by JU-52 to secured airhead Any problem with plan?

26 26 Friction Obstacles complicating German attack: –Bad intelligence on allied situation in Crete –Brit intercept & Ultra’s decryption of Enigma forewarns British –Royal Navy able to lay in wait for German transports –Hostile local population –But Friction is an equal opportunity phenomenon… British problems: –Commander’s focus on attack from the sea: (few defenders concentrated at airfields) –Defenders on Crete recently retreated from Balkans Defeated British, Australian, & New Zealand troops (morale) –Luftwaffe controls air in the MED & is ready to attack Royal Navy

27 27 Battle of Crete - Execution Murphy’s law runs amuck on both sides –7th Airborne Div. Commander’s glider toll rope snaps –German paratroops land directly on enemy positions & taken under fire –No C3 between ABN troops at Meleme & their support in Greece –Reinforcements await word in Greece (Student’s HQ) Time lost by Allies during fragile early phase of airborne assault: –Timely counter-attack would have precluded German foothold –Allies do manage to evade & escape Results: very high casualties –(Critical moments- Map legend): –German Operational victory at very high costs –Hitler now down on risky airborne ops –But Allies very impressed (Normandy)

28 28 German Successes: Libya & Egypt ( ) Rommel’s mission was accomplished: –Libya situation restored as directed Balkan’s now also stabilized & Crete captured: –Royal Navy driven out of Med by Luftwaffe Long-term Downside: –Greek & Yugoslavian resistance continue to war’s end –Germans unable to exploit their success in Med Italian liability: –Hitler determined to keep Italy in war- Why? Protect Germany’s ?____________ flank

29 29 Rommel Continues to Prevail Rommel is left to fend for himself: –Long, tenuous & vulnerable LOCs across Med –Fought & won against larger British numbers RAF provides superior combat air support –Ultra alerts allies of tactical ops & re-supply efforts: (but Rommel often ignored orders=> and confused the Brits) –Rommel able to take prevail over superior numbers Rommel defeats a series of British Cmdrs pitted against him British are forced to retreat back to Egypt: –Defeats Gen Wavell who is too cautious & inflexible –Outflanks Brits attempt to relieve Tobruk in Operation Battleaxe Wavell essentially defeated and lose 91tanks to Rommel’s 12) FM Auchinleck appointed to replace Wavell –Auchinleck builds up his supply & equipment –While Germans unable to get much thru to Rommel

30 30 Operation Crusader (11 Nov’41) Auchinleck attempted to flank Rommel –But he splits his force & begins his execution too slow –XXX Corps is isolated by Rommel’s anti-tank guns: –Auchinleck also commits his armor in piecemeal fashion –This allows Rommel to defeat XXX Corps in detail NTL Brit superior #s & Rommel’s lack of supplies=> –Tip balance & force Rommel’s retreat to El Agheila Line

31 31 Recurring Theme- Dynamics of LOCs As Rommel falls back on LOC - what happens? –Afrika Corps strength versus British strength Jan’42: Rommel attacks the 1st Armored Div (just arrived ) –Employed superior tactics (leapfrog) w/Panzers & anti-tank 88s –Destroyed 3 green British cavalry Regiments in detail; –Pushed Brits back to Gazala Line & Rommel occupies Benghazi

32 32 British Retreat to El Alamein By Spring’42: Churchill was very unhappy => –Pushes his commanders for counter-attack: –Ultra intelligence indicated huge Brit numerical lead (What doesn’t Ultra tell Churchill on the match-up?) Gazala Line, 8th Army, & Rommel’s readiness to ?________ ____: –26 May’42: Despite inferior OB, Rommel attacks British left flank –Led attack off by a diversion to Brit center - what happened? Brits retreat 30 miles East of ?_____ Line & soon surrender Tobruk –Rommel continues to press & forces Brits back to El Alamein (Brits will hold)

33 33 Superior Tactic & Leadership Defeats Numbers Rommel wins despite superior Brit numbers & new tanks Major reasons why Brits lose? –Lack of aggressive ?____________________ (Auchinleck tentative & too cautious) –No Common Doctrine among disparate allied forces –Inferior Tactics & execution Rommel forced Brits to retreat back to Egypt: –But his attempt to drive Auchinleck out of Egypt failed –Brits established Defense line at El Alamein & held it Churchill concluded it was time for a change again: –He would replace FM Auchinleck with yet another commander –Next time => an inspired choice takes command of 8th Army Meanwhile => Eastern Front heats up…

34 34 Operation Barbarossa Hitler’s Strategic & ideological aims: –As laid out in Mein Kampf –Conquer & enslave Soviet Union –reasons why? Raw materials & perceived need for ?____________ Destroy “hated” Bolsheviks & Jews Enslave “inferior” Slavs –Role of German SS? ?____________ Hitler’s ideological campaign in wake of German Army What was Hitler’s strategy & the German plan? –Short campaign w/attack focused near ?____________ (Germany’s logistics & re-supply considerations) –Why? (Prevent Russia from trading what for what?) ?____________ for ?____________! (Hint: look at a map of Russia)

35 35 Conflicting Operational Objectives Germans pursued conflicting Operational objectives: –OKH: take Moscow –OKW: secure flanks- (clear Baltic& occupy Ukraine) –Who else favored what operational objective? – and as a result… Operational Plan- OKH avoided clearly defined objectives –Army Group North (von Leeb)=> aims to clear Baltic states –Army Group Center (von Bock)=> moves to Smolensk –Army Group South (Rundstedt)=> heads to Kiev - then Dnieper –11th Army => sent to secure Romania & Germany’s oil needs Leningrad, Ukraine, & Moscow were all potential objects –Problem w/ no clearly defined operational objectives? No clear ?____________ – opened to conflicting appraisals: Each cmdr could follow his own preference (…and they did)

36 36 German Army Weaknesses Generally, German Army well trained, tested & led –NTL => it did have certain serious weaknesses –What were the Army’s major weaknesses?* German Army in Russia major weaknesses included: –Equipment ?____________ –Logistic & supply ?____________ –Russia’s vast geographic distances=> Stretched out German Army’s LOCs –Faulty intelligence =>especially on enemy capabilities Usually grossly underestimated enemy capabilities & intent

37 37 Soviet Army Weaknesses Soviet Army weaknesses: –Too many ineffectual leaders & officer corps Stalin’s purges eliminated most competent officers Soviet Army unprepared & out of date –No defense preparations made in defense against a potential invasion (and all preparations were forbidden by Stalin) –Soviets even continued to provide Germany with raw materials on the very day of invasion

38 38 Operation Barbarossa- Execution 22 June 1941: Germans launch offensive on broad front: –Russian forces surprised, overwhelmed & routed –Resistant pockets surrounded & bypassed (as per tactical doctrine) Germans press on toward Operational objectives: –Army Group North (von Leeb) clear Baltic states –Army Group Center (von Bock) move to Smolensk –Army Group South (Rundstedt)=> Kiev - then Dnieper –11th Army => to secure Romania & Germany’s oil needs –All would gain initial tactical & operational objectives

39 39 Problems Emerge But as German advance proceeds, problems emerge: –1. Logistics strained as LOCs stretched as advance moved fwd –2. Group Cmdrs become unclear of next priority => Advance IAW their own tactical considerations –3. Russians refuse to surrender & instead trade space for time –4. Then Germans overextend LOCs & reveal stress of logistics shortfalls+ –5. Intel underestimates of Soviet OOB=> (USSR still has 5.3 Million man strategic reserve) Soviets make fierce (but disjointed) counterattacks –Force Germans to halt advance– casualties mount Equipment & all ammo/supplies consumed daily

40 40 Stalin Interferes Stalin interferes at tactical level– no failure (or initiative): –NKVD shoots slackers (no good deed goes unpunished); –All requests for tactical withdrawal (from cities) denied –Stalin orders: “hold to the last” (and pays the price); NTL: Germans suffer heavy casualties (440K of 3.78M): –By 1 Sept 1941, Germans short of 200K replacements –Army Group Center halts just outside Moscow: Debate rages over operational objectives argued again: –OKH: Moscow vs. Hitler: Leningrad & Ukraine: Accordingly=>Army complies w/limited success Hitler then concluded that USSR about to collapse: –AG North had almost entirely encircled Leningrad & start siege –AG South had destroyed 4 Soviet Armies in Kiev pocket –So Hitler finally approved the advance on Moscow (now believed Soviet’s center of gravity)

41 41 Battle of Moscow (late Sept 1941) Operation Typhoon – Army Group Center: –Mission: destroy remainder of Red Army + Capture Moscow: –Strategic Objective: fall of Soviet Gov. But Warning signs of trouble for Germans emerge: –Winter rapidly approaching –German Army => “hand to mouth” supplies consumption evident No margin for unexpected or additional tasking Von Bock (Army Group Center) orders attack on Moscow to begin in late Sept –By Dec 4: Germans at Moscow suburbs But also too exhausted to fight further & now are stalled

42 42 Soviet Counter-Attack Then Zhukov takes command of Moscow’s defense: –Establishes forward defense: –Builds growing Reserve from vast manpower –Awaits opportunity to attack; –German intelligence analysis of changing situation: (oblivious) 6 Dec: Zhukov counter-attacks Von Bock as temp. falls -25F: –Plans limited offense against Army to Moscow’s front –Stalin orders general offensive on broad front –German Army appears desperate

43 43 Luck Runs Out Elsewhere other Army Group commanders order withdrawal: –Hitler countermands his generals & fires most of them –Names himself as CINC Takes over operational command & control: –Orders everyone to hold every inch gained at great costs Precluded orderly withdrawal (and high casualties result) Situation rapidly deteriorated for Germans: –NTL Hitler remained firm: hold every inch taken –(And Hitler was probably right to prevent panic=> rout)

44 44 Situation Stabilizes Gradually German’s situation slowly stabilized: –Stalin’s broad offensive was too ambitious to begin with –Offensive soon became overextended: NTL: saved Moscow & frustrated German Objective Inflicted huge casualties – Germans Unable to recover Germans now suspend operations & await spring thaw: – Must invest another year trying to conquer Russia –Germans prepare for upcoming Battles of 1942 –Battle of Stalingrad is next…

45 45 Assessment Germany failed to immediately exploit victory over France: –Instead of exploiting Europe’s industrial potential=> By immediately preparing for pro-longed war => Hitler focused Wehrmacht on invading Britain –With no realistic chance of success Op Sea Lion lacked required doctrine & train for ALCON: –German Navy had no viable Amphibious capability (ships) –Luftwaffe overestimated its capability to support it –Intelligence collection and analysis total failure Brits w/RAF defended themselves well=> –German air offensive operationally & strategically ineffective –Germans not able to solve emerging problems of Battle of Britain –Gross Intel failure with regard to strategic impact of Air Lesson that should have already been learned during Spanish Civil War

46 46 Assessment- 2 Italian incompetence created more drain on Ger resources: – Even with Ger assistance limited to mere prop-up Mussolini –Aim: protect German Southern Flank (Barbarossa & Balkans) German major Political & strategic mistakes of 1941: –1. Failure to consolidate & mobilize Europe for long haul –2. Invasion of Russia (open another Front- stretch army) –3. Declare war on US! (major industrial power added to fight) In contrast, situation for Allies was very different in 1941: –Only need to hang on & defend until mobilized & industrial resources kick in => –Reverse German success & the current tactical & operational course of war

47 47 Assessment- 3 Germany’s major weakness was Allied key strength: –i.e. (long term strategy & logistics/industrial resources) Germany fights Operations & tactical battles well=> –but => extremely vulnerable as war’s grows longer in duration: –With time => more strain on its limited resources & logistics For WWII => ultimate victory would depend more on=> –Nation’s economic and industrial capacity for long term –(Much like it did in WW1!) Bottom line: –Germans learned tactical & operational lessons of WWI –But failed to learned strategic & logistical lessons

48 Back-up Slides 48

49 49 Faulty Intelligence Major problem: faulty intelligence about comparative aircraft capabilities & Brit defenses: –Spitfire & Hurricanes estimated to be inferior to BF-109 & BF-110 Messerschmitts –German Intel also failed to appreciate effect of Radar & British Ground control system – impact? Unrealistic operational Intelligence estimates: –Poor German Intelligence analysis: –Only 4 day strikes required defeat Brit fighter command –Only 4 weeks required to destroy rest of RAF & A/C industry

50 50 “Aldlertag” - 13 August 1940 On Eagle Day Germans attack British Radar sites: –Heavy losses both sides (148 vs. 286 for Germans) –Decide (erroneously) not worth it Goering’s role mostly negative: –Lack of leadership, focus & direction=> Conducts piecemeal attacks –Tactical errors: tie BF109s to Stukas (no flexibility afforded to fighter pilots) British air defense flexibility: –Adjust strategy as required => Focus on bombers –Still suffer significant attrition – Desperately need break

51 51 Germany in the Balkans Serbia: following political confusion –Serbian officers’ overthrow of Yugoslavia government: –Hitler orders punitive action: Operation Punish Germany’s Balkan Campaign: –Two separate operations: Yugoslavia & Greece: –Luftwaffe bombs Belgrade, Yugoslavia (17K die): Yugoslavia fails to mobilize & attempt to defend all (Defense too thin to matter) => Collapse in five days follows OKH quickly re-deploy forces for Barbarossa- impact? –Tito’s guerillas continue to fight in the hills as insurgency

52 52 Greece A similar situation then ensues: –XXXX Panzer Corps outflanks Greeks & its Allies –Key support provided by Luftwaffe –Greek Army collapse & Allies retreat South: Brits withdraw by sea while under heavy attack by Luftwaffe Royal Navy able to withdraw 51K of 62K troops –Large majority evacuate to Crete Soon Germany occupies Athens & other major cities –Greek resistance commences guerilla warfare campaign

53 53 Operation Typhoon- Execution Von Bock (Army Group Center) orders attack on Moscow to begin in late Sept –General Hoepner (4 th Panzer Grp) leads attack –Germans encircle & capture 2 huge Army Groups: 600K Russian POWs => Moscow citizens in panic Then Russia’s historic ally comes to rescue – who? –Rains => mud=> impassable roads => –Germans literally stuck in mud & advance stalls –Severe strain on German logistics escalates w/each mile forward: –No rations, re-supply, or winter uniforms By Dec 4: Germans at Moscow suburbs –But troops too exhausted to continue fight


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