Battle For Moscow , Edition: First Edition by Albert Seaton

By Albert Seaton

A German seize of Moscow in 1941 may have knocked Russia out of the struggle; a riveting narrative of this significant conflict through a British officer with a deep wisdom of the East eu resources.

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The German invasion caught Stalin entirely by surprise because, although he had been well aware of German war preparations and the movement of troops into Rumania, East Prussia and the German-occupied General Gouvemement of Poland, neither he nor Lieutenant-General Golikov, the head of the intelligence directorate of the Soviet General Staff (the GRU) could bring themselves to believe that Hitler would embark on a war on two fronts. Instead Stalin viewed all intelligence suggesting the imminence of attack either as a British provocation or as a part of the nerve war which the communists knew so well, at the worst presaging new German political or economic demands.

Army Group North had passed over the Dvina and had cleared most of the Baltic States, advancing almost as far as Leningrad; it had not, however, taken the city, destroyed North-West Front or joined up with the Finns. Army Group South had probably had the least success since it had only just reached the area of the Dnieper and, in spite of the encirclement at Uman, had not destroyed the SouthWest and South Fronts which were still fighting strongly in fairly good order. The F├╝hrer had next to decide on the second phase of his strategy and the German Army in the East awaited his further orders.

The gentle and dignified Shaposhnikov was much valued by Stalin as a staff officer and planner; and the dictator was loath to lose him. In December 1940 Timoshenko, who was an outstanding trainer of staffs and troops, held a series of presentations and lectures in Moscow, attended by all high-ranking Soviet officers in command and on the staff. This meeting was concluded by two elaborate war games covering a possible invasion of Belorussia and the Ukraine by German troops. 36 THE BATTLE FOR M O S C O W The task of invading the Ukraine was given to General Pavlov, the Commander of the West Front in Belorussia, while General Zhukov, the Commander of Kiev Military District, was responsible for its defense.

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