Battle of Moscow file photo [434]

Battle of Moscow

30 Sep 1941 - 7 Jan 1942


ww2dbaseAs early as Jul 1941, the Russians knew the Germans were going to breach their defenses and threaten Moscow. On 3 Jul, Lenin's body was moved from Moscow to Tumen to prevent German capture or destruction. Little over two weeks later, on 22 Jul, 127 German bombers raided Moscow, even lightly damaging the Kremlin. As a response, Moscow residents were ordered to build mock houses on Kremlin's grounds and paint the distinct roof of the building in order to blend it in with the rest of the city. Streets were also barricaded in preparation of a German attack. Moscow was proud, however, aided by Joseph Stalin's propaganda machine. One such example was the 7 Nov parade in celebration of the anniversary of the October Revolution, where Russian soldiers marched straight through Red Square toward the battlefields to the west.

ww2dbaseAfter a series of attacks and counterattacks from both sides, the German troops were beginning to show signs of fatigue. Replacements came slowly partly due to the unplanned action in the Balkans and Crete, while the brutal Russian winter loomed dangerously near. The Russians, on the other hand, saw relatively fresh reinforcements from the recently arrived Georgi Zhukov and his troops from the Far East; the inability of the Axis powers to negotiate for a joint-attack on Russian had a significant impact on the German ability to quickly bring down Russia, but Adolf Hitler was too egotistical to see.

ww2dbaseAfter a few days of preparations in Moscow's suburbs, on 2 Oct 1941, Fedor von Bock led German troops to assault directly against Moscow. German advances were slower than they had hoped with a rainy fall season and later a cold early winter. As German vehicles become immobilized, the German army continued to advance, however the cold weather was affecting the morale and fighting ability of the troops to a high degree. On 15 Nov, another push for Moscow was launched, and within two weeks the Germans reached the 27km marker to Moscow, with some soldiers claiming the sighting of the towers of Kremlin.

ww2dbaseThe weather also significantly harmed the German ability to supply the Moscow contingent by rail, despite Minister Dorpm├╝ller and the German Reich Railways dramatically expanding its operations during the campaign. The water tanks of the locomotives regularly froze under sub-zero conditions, pushing the number of broken-down locomotives at any given time to the hundreds. Additionally, the Russian railways were of a different gauge, forcing the German engineers to re-bed all the railways before the German locomotives could use them. In Dec 1941, with the transport situation so desperate that a special motor transport organization was formed to alleviate some of the pressure. Despite the superhuman results the Germans had achieved in the arena of logistics, it was just not enough. The German frontlines troops, including the air force, required the equivalent of 120 train loads of supplies daily for normal operations (ie. not counting supplies needed to mount major operations); only about 100 train loads worth of supplies were delivered on a regular day. To make matters even worse, Russian partisans regularly sabotaged railway tracks to slow things further.

ww2dbaseRussians had been launching counteroffensives of various sizes since early Sep to slow the progress of the German army. The counteroffensives were largely planned under the leadership of Zhukov, a man who Stalin feared as a political threat but yet relied on so much to defend his capital. On 5 Dec, Zhukov saw the opportunity to launch a major counteroffensive, while at the same time he knew he could no longer take any chances; the German troops were too close to Moscow for his comfort. He called in his troops of Siberia and the Far East, who had been resting nearby for such a counteroffensive. T-34 tanks and Katyusha rocket launchers led the way for the fresh Russian soldiers, some of whom donned the white winter camouflage that became the subject of nightmares to the freezing retreating German troops. By 7 Jan 1942, the front lines were driven back anywhere between 100km to 250km. German forces would never again threaten Moscow directly for the rest of the war.

ww2dbaseThe final tally tilted amazingly harsh on the Russian side of the battle. Russia suffered over 600,000 casualties, with some estimates going as high as 700,000. Meanwhile, the German troops suffered a smaller 250,000 casualties, though the German momentum was stopped while the Russians built up their own. For the efforts of Moscow residents to defend the capital city, Moscow was honored with the title Hero City in 1965.

ww2dbaseSources: In the Service of the Reich, Wikipedia.

Last Major Update: May 2006

Battle of Moscow Interactive Map


Moscow residents digging anti-tank ditches outside the city, Russia, 1941Soviet policeman on Gorky Street, Moscow, Russia, 1 Aug 1941Soldiers of the Soviet Voroshilov Regiment in training, Moscow, Russia, 30 Aug 1941Soviet soldier teaching civilians how to disarm a un-exploded German incendiary bomb, Sverdlov Square, Moscow, Russia, 1 Sep 1941
See all 46 photographs of Battle of Moscow


Map depicting the German advance on Moscow, Russia, 26 Aug-5 Dec 1941Map depicting the Soviet counter offensive of 6 Dec 1941-7 May 1942

Battle of Moscow Timeline

21 Jul 1941 195 German Luftwaffe bombers, most of which were He 111 bombers, took off from an airfield near Smolensk, Russia to attack the Soviet capital of Moscow in multiple waves during the night; the resulting air alarms were the first to be sounded in the city. Moscow had strong anti-aircraft defences, the city was protected by 170 fighters, and the citizens were able to take shelter in the newly completed underground railway stations, but German air crews reported the presence of very few Soviet fighters after sunset. On the next day the Soviets would report the downing of 22 German bombers, but German records only showed 6 bombers failing to return.
22 Jul 1941 The German News Bureau in Berlin, Germany reported to the public that the Soviet capital of Moscow had been attacked by German bombers for the first time during the previous night; the aircraft were launched from captured airfields within a few hundred miles from the city. Meanwhile, the German High Command announced that the bombing of Moscow was done in retaliation for Soviet bombings on Bucharest, Romania and Helsinki, Finland.
22 Jul 1941 The Soviet Information Bureau reported that Moscow, Russia experienced its first air raid of the war during the previous night by over 200 German bombers. The report claimed that Soviet nightfighters and anti-aircraft weapons forced the bulk of the Germans to turn back before reaching Moscow; those that broke through the defenses destroyed a number of civilian dwellings, missing key military targets. 17 German aircraft were reportedly shot down.
22 Jul 1941 For the second consecutive night, German bombers attacked Moscow, Russia. Of the 115 bombers dispatched, two failed to returned, one of which was a pathfinder aircraft while the other served in the traditional bomber role.
27 Sep 1941 The Soviet GKO issued the Directive to Organize a Strategic Defense, which proved to be disastrous as it led to over 50 divisions of Soviet troops being trapped at Vyazma and Bryansk in Russia shortly after.
30 Sep 1941 The German Operation Typhoon got an unofficial start when Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 attacked two days ahead of the rest of the operation.
2 Oct 1941 The remainder of the German Armeegruppe Mitte launched Operation Typhoon, the attack on Moscow, Russia. Meanwhile, the German Panzergruppe 2 under General Guderian was split into two pincers at Sevsk, Russia; the northern pincer moved toward Bryansk while the northeastern pincer moved toward Orel.
3 Oct 1941 In Russia, Panzergruppe 2 of the German Armeeguppe Mitte captured Orel 220 miles south-southwest of the Soviet capital in Moscow. Elsewhere, German troops attempted to encircle the Soviet Bryansk Front.
4 Oct 1941 German Panzergruppe 3 and Panzergruppe 4 began to surround rear elements of the Soviet Western Front in Russia, capturing Kirov and Spa-Demensk in the process. The German troops continued to advance toward Vyasma to complete the envelopment.
5 Oct 1941 The leading German formations reported that they were only about 100 kilometers from Moscow, Russia. On the same day, Moscow-based Soviet fighters discovered German vehicles as close as 50 kilometers from Moscow; when Moscow Military District's Air Force Fighter Command chief Nikolai Sbytov reported this to his supeiors, he was investigated by the NKVD for disseminating false rumors, but he was lucky that Joseph Stalin believed him. For precaution, Stalin ordered the Soviet Western Front to withdraw to Vyazma to form a new defensive line under a new commanding officer, Georgy Zhukov, replacing Ivan Konev.
6 Oct 1941 Eight Soviet Armies were encircled at Bryansk and Vyazma, Russia by a surprise maneuver conducted by German 17th Panzer Division. In less than two weeks, the Germans have taken nearly 700,000 prisoners and destroyed or captured 1,200 tanks and 5,000 heavy guns.
7 Oct 1941 German 10th Panzer Division captured Vyasma, Russia at 1030 hours, surrounding 5 Soviet Armies. Georgy Zhukov, who had been recalled from Leningrad, Russia and sent to report on the situation on the West Front, arrived at Ivan Konev's headquarters to discover that there was no information concerning the Vyasma encirclement. He was forced to report to Joseph Stalin that there was no longer a continuous front in the west, and the large gaps could not be closed because the command had run out of reserves.
10 Oct 1941 The Soviet 32nd Rifle Division began to arrive at Mozhaysk, west of the Soviet capital of Moscow in Russia, from Siberia. Further west in Gzhatsk in Smolensk Oblast, 40 miles west of Mozhaysk and 32 miles east of Vyasma, Soviet 18th and 19th Tank Brigades halted a German offensive. German 4th Panzer Division reached Mtsensk, Russia in Oryol Oblast, but it would be held there for many days by stubborn Soviet resistance.
11 Oct 1941 Thousands fled Moscow, Russia based on rumors of an imminent German capture of the Soviet capital. To the west, the enveloped Soviet troops at Vyasma suffered a heavy artillery and air bombardment that caused heavy casualties.
12 Oct 1941 German troops captured Bryansk and Kaluga in Russia.
13 Oct 1941 German troops captured Kalinin (now Tver) and Rzhev northwest of Moscow, Russia; the Soviet 30th Army was encircled and wiped out at Rzhev. West of the Soviet capital, Soviet 18th and 19th Tank Brigades fell back from Gzhatsk (now Gagarin) toward Mozhaysk 30 kilometers closer to Moscow where the new main defensive line was being constructed.
14 Oct 1941 The Soviet troops in the Bryansk pocket in Russia were eliminated (50,000 captured), while the Vyazma pocket was within days of the same fate. In Berlin, Germany, Adolf Hitler ordered that the Soviet capital of Moscow was to be enveloped, not attacked directly. Meanwhile, in Moscow, Joseph Stalin briefed 23 senior Soviet military and civilian officials between 1530 and 1815 hours on a plan to evacuate the city in an orderly fashion; he ordered four theater groups (Lenin State Theater, Maxim Gorkiy Artistic Academic Theater, Little Academic Theater, and Vakhtangov Theater) to be evacuated first.
15 Oct 1941 In Russia, German 1st Panzer Division turned northwest, thus away from Moscow, to attack Soviet Northwestern Front from the rear. The Soviet GKO ordered the NKVD, various agencies, and various foreign legations to evacuate from Moscow to Kuibyshev (now Samara).
16 Oct 1941 Tanks of SS Reich Division and 10th Panzer Division attacked the Mozhaysk Line at Borodino, Russia 125 kilometers west of the Soviet capital of Moscow; lacking infantry support, Soviet troops halted the attacks. While thousands of civilians continued to flee the city, the Soviet government and diplomatic corps moved to Kuibyshev 1,500 miles to the east; Joseph Stalin, however, chose to stay.
17 Oct 1941 German SS Reich and 10th Panzer Divisions made slow advances along the Moscow Highway and Minsk Highway toward the Soviet capital of Moscow, Russia. The Soviet 5th Army slowly fell back toward Mozhaysk, Russia.
18 Oct 1941 German SS Reich and 10th Panzer Divisions captured Mozhaysk, Russia. In the evening, a motorcycle battalion of SS Reich Division found the Minsk Highway toward Moscow, Russia, 90 kilometers to the east, undefended.
19 Oct 1941 German troops defeated the Soviet forces within the Vyazma pocket in Russia and captured 670,000 men, 1,000 tanks, and 4,000 artillery pieces. At Volokolamsk, the northwest end of the Mozhaysk defensive line, newly arrived Soviet 316th Rifle Division halted the attack by German 4th Panzer Army. In Moscow, Lavrentiy Beria advised the Soviet GKO to evacuate the capital "or they will strangle us like chickens", but it was rejected by Joseph Stalin; however, Stalin did order the Politburo (less Stalin, Beria, and Georgy Malenkov) to evacuate.
22 Oct 1941 German Panzergruppe 2, resupplied with fuel and ammunition, continued the northeastward advance on Moscow, Russia. German 4th Panzer Division resumed the attack on Mtsensk, Russia.
23 Oct 1941 The 3rd Panzer Division of the German Panzergruppe 2 outflanked Soviet troops at Mtensk, Russia, 100 kilometers south of Moscow.
24 Oct 1941 Elements of the German 4th Panzer Division moved from Mtsensk, Russia northward toward Moscow, reaching Chern 20 kilometers away.
27 Oct 1941 Soviet forces launched multiple counter-attacks around Moscow, Russia, trying to blunt the German advance. German troops were now positioned in the west at Volokolamsk 60 kilometers from Moscow and in the south at Plavsk 110 kilometers from Moscow.
28 Oct 1941 The Soviet Military Collegium evacuated Moscow, Russia for Chkalov (now Orenburg), Russia.
29 Oct 1941 Kampfgruppe Eberbach of German 4th Panzer Division reached Tula, Russia, which was about 110 kilometers south of Moscow. The group dug in near Tula to organize an offensive in the next day.
30 Oct 1941 In Russia, Kampfgruppe Eberbach of German 4th Panzer Division began to advance north from Tula toward Moscow at 0530 hours; it was soon turned back by heavy anti-tank fire. Another attempt was made at 1000 hours, again at 1300 hours, and a final time at 1600 hours, inflicting heavy casualties on the Soviets but failing to break through. During the night, Soviet 32nd Tank Brigade arrived to reinforce Tula, while the German troops began to feel the cold Russian winter.
3 Nov 1941 In Russia, German Panzer Army 2 attacked Tula while other German units captured Kursk 180 miles to the southwest to protect the southern flank of the assault toward Moscow.
6 Nov 1941 Frostbite began to make its appearance among German troops fighting in the Soviet Union.
7 Nov 1941 Joseph Stalin made a speech during the October Revolution anniversary celebration predicting that even though German troops were less than 100 miles from Moscow, they were facing disaster. Meanwhile, in Berlin, the German Army High Command (OKH) was determined to continue the advance on Moscow in spite of up to 80 Soviet Army divisions in front of them.
12 Nov 1941 After sundown, the temperature in the Moscow region of Russia dropped to 5 degrees Fahrenheit or -15 degrees Celsius, which was harsh on the troops on either side, but particularly to the Germans who were less prepared to deal with the weather. The vehicles that had not been frozen, however, were now able to move as the mud hardened, and the 3rd and 4th Panzer Armies prepared to take advantage of the situation for an offensive. Meanwhile, 22 infantry divisions, 14 cavalry divisions, and 11 ski battalions began to arrive to reinforce the Soviet capital.
13 Nov 1941 German troops fighting near Moscow, Russia were fighting temperatures as low as -8┬░ F (-22┬░ C). As the mud freezes, however, the Germans prepared for a new offensive amidst increasing casualties due to weather.
15 Nov 1941 German Panzergruppen 1, 2, and 3, with 2, 4, and 9.Armeen, resumed the attack on Moscow, Russia. Soviet 30th Army was pushed back from the Volga Reservoir and Moscow Sea Reservoir areas 75 miles north of Moscow. Across the Eastern Front, the temperature fell to -20 degrees Celsius, freezing both men and machines; the German offensive was generally slowed to a yard-by-yard advance from this date on.
16 Nov 1941 German 3rd Panzer Party established a crossing over the Lama River 70 miles west of Moscow, Russia.
17 Nov 1941 German troops near Moscow, Russia fought Central Asian troops for the first time (Soviet 44th Cavalry Division) at Musino, Russia, 70 miles west of the capital. German artillery blunted the cavalry charges, with the Germans claiming 2,000 killed.
18 Nov 1941 German 4th Panzer Army launched a 400-tank attack 70 miles west of Moscow, Russia, supported by 3 infantry divisions; Soviet 30th Army fell back northward to Klin, while Soviet 16th Army was pushed south to Istra. 120 miles south of Moscow, German 3rd Panzer Army was held up at Tula, with its latest attempt to surround the Soviet garrison there foiled by the newly-arrived Soviet 413th Rifle Division.
19 Nov 1941 Franz Halder noted in his diary that, in a meeting Adolf Hitler held with his top military leaders on this date, Hitler no longer talked about ending the war in 1941; instead, plans for Soviet targets east of Moscow, Russia were made for spring and summer of 1942. Meanwhile, 70 miles west of Moscow, German 4th Panzer Army attempted to penetrate the gap between the Soviet 30th and 16th Armies which were pushed back on the previous day, but stubborn Soviet resistance slowed the German advance in the area of Istra.
20 Nov 1941 German troops captured Rostov, Russia.
23 Nov 1941 German forces captured Solnechnogorsk, Russia advanced to within 35 miles of the Soviet capital of Moscow.
24 Nov 1941 Elements of German LVI Panzer Corps captured Rogachevo, Russia, north of Moscow. To the south of the Soviet capital, XXIV Panzer Corps captured the road junction at Venyov 30 miles east of Tula.
25 Nov 1941 German 2nd Panzer Division was halted by British-built Matilda tanks of the Soviet 146th Tank Brigade at Peshki, 35 miles northwest of Moscow. 30 miles west of Moscow, German 10th Panzer Division and SS Reich Division attacked Istra, which was being defended by Soviet 78th Rifle Division. Finally, German XXIV Panzer Corps launched a new attack 100 miles south of Moscow, cutting the rail line to Moscow near Tula.
26 Nov 1941 Soviet troops re-opened the Tula-Moscow rail line in Russia.
27 Nov 1941 In Russia, German SS Reich Division captured Istra west of Moscow while 7th Panzer Division advanced to the Moskva-Volga canal at Yakhroma east of Moscow. The forward-most German troops were reported within 19 miles of the Soviet capital, and noted the sighting of the Kremlin.
28 Nov 1941 German 7th Panzer Division crossed the Yakhroma bridge over the Moskva-Volga canal 37 miles north of Moscow, Russia at 0330 hours, but it would be driven back at the end of the day.
29 Nov 1941 German 7th Panzer Division completed the evacuation of the Yakhroma bridgehead near Moscow, Russia; 45 were killed in the unsuccessful attempt to cross the Moskva-Volga canal.
30 Nov 1941 Elements of German 2nd Panzer Division captured the railway station at Lobnya 19 miles north of Moscow, Russia. Meanwhile, Georgy Zhukov was ordered by Joseph Stalin to organize a counterattack.
1 Dec 1941 Three German infantry divisions and one German armored division advanced along the Minsk-Moscow highway, penetrating through the lines of the Soviet 33rd Army, capturing Naro-Fominsk 43 miles southwest of Moscow, Russia.
2 Dec 1941 Motorcycle patrols from the German 2nd Panzer Division at Moscow, Russia reached Khimki and claimed that they were as close as 10 miles northwest from the Kremlin. The 2nd Panzer Division, however, was unable gather enough strength to exploit the weakly defended lines that the reconnaissance troops discovered. To the west, additional Soviet reinforcements reached Naro-Fominsk. To the south of Moscow, another German attack on Tula cut the Tula-Moscow rail line.
3 Dec 1941 German 4th Army was halted at Naro-Fominsk west of Moscow, Russia, thus exposing the flank of the German 2nd Panzer Army, which was assaulting the Tula region south of Moscow.
4 Dec 1941 On the Eastern Front of the European War, temperature dropped to -31 degrees Fahrenheit (-37 degrees Celsius). In this cold weather, G├╝nther von Kluge ordered German Army Group Center to fall to defensive positions.
5 Dec 1941 The Germans canceled Operation Typhoon on this date during which the lowest temperature dropped to -36 degrees Fahrenheit (-38 degrees Celsius). Meanwhile, Soviet General Zhukov launched Konev's Kalinin Front against German forces northwest of Moscow, Russia at 0300 hours, meeting strong resistance. From Germany, Adolf Hitler ordered the transfer of the German 2nd Air Corps from Russia to the Mediterranean Sea region.
6 Dec 1941 Soviet troops launched a counteroffensive in the Moscow region in Russia at 0600 hours. Georg Hans Reinhardt ordered his 3rd Panzer Army to fall back to Klin, while Heinz Guderian's 2nd Panzer Army held the areas near Tula south of Moscow. Field Marshal Fedor von Bock had not yet realized that he was now facing an all-out Soviet counteroffensive.
7 Dec 1941 Soviet 30th Army attacked German 3rd Panzer Army at Klin while Soviet 50th Army attacked German 2nd Panzer Division near Moscow, Russia.
8 Dec 1941 Soviet offensive broke through German Armeegruppe Mitte near Moscow, Russia, cutting the Klin-Kalinin road. German units began making hasty withdrawals to prevent encirclement, abandoning large numbers of immobilized equipment in the process. Adolf Hitler issued F├╝hrer Directive 39 which called for German troops to hold their ground.
9 Dec 1941 Soviet 30th Army attacked north of Moscow, Russia, capturing many trucks and field guns abandoned by the German 3rd Panzer Army. South of Moscow, Soviet troops captured Venev and Yelets. Despite the victories, Soviet logistic situation was extremely poor largely due to the destruction of many vehicles at the hands of the Germans in the past few months; for example, Viktor Abakumov reported on this day that on 25 Nov 1941 Soviet 18th Ski Battalion went without any food.
10 Dec 1941 Soviet troops encircled three German divisions at Livny, south of Moscow, Russia.
11 Dec 1941 North of Moscow, Russia, Soviet 16th Army captured Istra while Soviet 20th Army reached Solnechnogorsk. South of Moscow, Soviet troops captured Stalinogorsk.
13 Dec 1941 General Timoshenko's Southwest Front assaulted German lines at junction of 2.Panzergruppe and 2.Armee. 2.Armee withdrew, leaving 2.Panzergruppe's flank unprotected. Feldmarschall von Bock secretly ordered Armeegruppe Mitte to withdraw to a winter line 90 miles west of current positions, without informing Hitler.
14 Dec 1941 Franz Halder and G├╝nther von Kluge gave permission for a limited withdrawal for troops of the Army Group Center (Armeegruppe Mitte) in the Moscow area to the west of the Oka river, without Hitler's approval.
15 Dec 1941 To the north of Moscow, Russia, Soviet tanks cut the road west of Klin; to prevent encirclement, the German 3rd Panzer Army abandoned Klin at 2130 hours and fled to the southwest, abandoning most of its heavy equipment. On the same day, Soviet state offices moved back to Moscow.
16 Dec 1941 Soviet forces captured Kalinin, Russia. The lowest temperature recorded in this region of Russia on this date was -42 degrees Fahrenheit (-41 degrees Celsius).
18 Dec 1941 In Russia, German 3rd Panzer Army and 4th Panzer Army shook off the persuing Soviet forces and reached Lama River and Ruza River, respectively, on their retreat from the Moscow.
19 Dec 1941 Adolf Hitler, on his first day as the German Army commander-in-chief, issued was the "no retreat" order, condemning thousands of troops to die in position outside of Moscow, Russia, without the chance to maneuver in defense.
19 Dec 1941 The Soviet Military Collegium, having previously evacuated to Chkalov (now Orenburg), Russia, returned to Moscow.
20 Dec 1941 German Armeegruppe Mitte reached a defensive line 100 kilometers to its west, where it was to stand and fight in accordance with Adolf Hitler's order after Hitler countermanded Franz Halder and G├╝nther von Kluge's order to withdraw six days earlier. On the other side of the line, Soviet troops attacked west from Tula, Russia, aiming for the rail and road junction at Kaluga.
21 Dec 1941 Soviet 31st Cavalry Division attacked Kaluga near Moscow, Russia.
26 Dec 1941 Soviet Kalanin Front attacked German 9th Army northwest of Moscow, Russia, aiming to penetrate between German Army Group North and Army Group Center.
30 Dec 1941 Soviet troops captured Kaluga, Russia near Moscow.
4 Jan 1942 Soviet Army took Kaluga near Moscow, Russia.
8 Jan 1942 Adolf Hitler gave G├╝nther von Kluge the permission to fall back in the Moscow, Russia region. On the same day, the Soviet West Front attacked towards Mozhaysk, Russia west of Moscow, which was defended by troops of German 4th Army.
3 Feb 1942 German forces counterattacked toward Vyazma, encircling several Soviet divisions.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
9 May 2005 07:25:36 PM

Great Job! I can see that it must take a long time to write all the infromation on this website, but it would be perfect if only it had a little more infromation on each event.
2. Anonymous says:
18 Sep 2006 08:03:58 AM

Great article! Congrats.
3. Anonymous says:
19 Apr 2007 12:54:00 PM

Ha! Attacking Russia was the worst mistake Hitler made. General rule: You never attack Russia, because they retreat, blowing up oil refineries and leaving no supplies, nothing. They get you deep into the country. Then winter comes. Theyre used to it. They drink vodka and laugh at you as you freeze. Then they counterattack and you go back to where you came from. Hitler didnt think this through. Good for Russia!
4. Anonymous says:
19 Mar 2008 09:09:38 AM

way to go stalin for beating the germans, nice strategy
5. Anonymous says:
13 Dec 2008 12:28:40 PM

6. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
16 Feb 2009 05:01:59 PM

The invasion of Russia was the begining of the end for Nazi Germany. the russians had vast manpower, moved all the factories past the ural mountains, and had the help of the bitter russian winter! on top of all of this the russians put the T-34 Tank into the field. one German General said it was the best tank in the world. not bad for the sub-humans. the german's answered with the Panther, and it was over-enginered. just keep it simple.
7. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
16 Feb 2009 05:10:57 PM

The T-34 this vehicle is still used in armies to this day. not bad for a design over 60 years old. The T-34 led the way, in future tank design. During ww2 the german's built around 1,500 Tiger's the russians built over 50,000 T-34's.not counting all other armored vehicles.
8. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
16 Feb 2009 05:20:30 PM

The T-34 is a good example of the old saying "guantity, has a quality all it's own".
9. Commenter identity confirmed BILL says:
21 Jun 2009 08:13:15 PM

"Moscow will be defended to the last."

-Joseph Stalin, Order of the day, Oct. 1941-

During the battle for Moscow from Oct. 1941
to Jan. 1942, 650,000 Russian soldiers died
this figure is about 50% of the men fighting
on the Eastern Front. The Soviet attacks,
forced the Germans to retreat 175 miles from
Moscow, the city was saved and Hitler did not
try to take the city again.
With almost one million casualties, Germany
would never be as strong as it had been in 1941.
The Axis suffered over 918,000 casualties in
Russia in 1941 alone almost 1/3 of its fighting strength. Despite suffering heavy
losses the German Army, was able to rebuild
its forces for new operations on the Eastern
Front in 1942.
10. Anonymous says:
15 Jan 2010 12:36:32 PM

I will never understand why historians always make Stalingrad out to be the most decisive turning point of the war on the Eastern Front. If Moscow had fallen in the winter of 1941/42, there would have been no Battle of Stalingrad and not much left of the Soviet Union.
11. Anonymous says:
26 Feb 2010 02:38:17 AM

Hitler's greatest mistake, or should we say failure,was he lost the war. In a war on such colossal scale to have luck is important. Such luck would include being able to make correct decisions at the right time.Luck deserted him in the closing stages of the war. This was a war of attrition between the Germans and Russians. And Europe suffered and bled profusely and whole of eastern Europe came under Bolshevic subjugation and tyranny for almost 50 years as Hitler had rightly predicted. And all this while America and Britain did not really suffer much.
12. Anonymous says:
10 Mar 2010 02:42:38 AM

Yes, he was quite unlucky to fight against Russians)) About Stalingrad: they really say it's the most important depending upon its scale.(Even among muscovites most losses were born in that battle) We had already surrendered Moscow once and still came out winning. However,in WW2 Moscow had much more importance...
13. Anonymous says:
10 Mar 2010 02:48:03 AM

And I really had a great laugh, thanks a lot. Even though its sometimes offensive for us, it's true, to some extend
14. Anonymous says:
23 Jun 2010 10:13:49 PM

the three reasons why the nazis werent able to overrun moscow.....1.russia was lacking a modern system of paved roads.2.hitler split the center thrust at the worst possible time when they were already halfway there.3. japan didnt help by attacking in outer mongolia and siberia thus tying down the 100,000 siberian troops that were then transported to the aide of moscow
15. Anonymous says:
27 Oct 2010 06:02:19 AM

the wehrmacht failed
16. Anonymous says:
27 Oct 2010 10:08:34 AM

Hitler could've succeeded if he waited a couple more years to build up he's army. but he got to carried away and stopped listening to his generals and the soldiers of the whermacht hardley had any winter equipment
17. Anonymous says:
17 Dec 2010 10:54:52 PM

it was wasted opportunity
18. Anonymous says:
6 Jan 2011 03:23:06 PM

well i have questions I'm doing a 5 page essay for my English class and I'm required to compare the Vietnam war with any other and Ive chosen how exactly would someone compare a war like this to the Vietnam war?
19. katherine pomeroy says:
1 Feb 2011 07:58:20 AM

thes info facts are amosing
20. Anonymous says:
25 Feb 2011 10:12:50 AM

hitler is an idiot
21. Anonymous says:
6 Apr 2011 11:02:29 AM

Is it correct to say that in order to save Moskow, Stalin had to take the dramatic decision to use the troops at the Russian-Asian borders?
Is it correct to say that he took this decision after being informed from his man in Tokyo that Japan was not going to make an assoult to Russia but concentrating to the USA front instead?
Is it correct to say that at the end the majority of the troops that saved Moskow with Germans just few miles away were mostry Tartrs, Mongolians, Khazaki, Turkomenistani?
Would it be correct then to say that the troops who saved Moskow were mostly of muslim faith?
Thank you
Franco Pavesi
22. Anonymous says:
22 May 2011 09:58:55 AM

so youre saying that russia fighting the nazis at the gates of moscow was a muslim jihad? i dont think so, russia at that time was so huge a land area comprising like 15 nationalities,the muslims were just one of them and the ss had a volunteer muslim division fighting against russia as well so what exactly is your point?
23. Anonymous says:
22 May 2011 02:47:21 PM

answer to reply number 3... they drink vodka and laugh??? you mean the russians didnt get cold ? their equiptment didnt freeze? their main supply factories were beyond the urals which is just as far from moscow as poland and germany is...germany lost because hitler split the main thrust after the battle of smolensk ,they could and should have been in moscow by end of september or the beginning of october,and they would have if hitler had allowed his generals to conduct the army
24. Anonymous says:
26 May 2011 07:53:25 PM

The russian army although huge was not well drilled at all & the russians officer corps purged & devastated by Stalin just before the war. Again & again the German army outmaneuvered the Russians. Stalin had also tried to apeace Hitler with a pact & the selling of strategic raw materials, training grounds for the German air force...
25. Anonymous says:
27 May 2011 07:58:46 PM

no matter what germany or japan or russia or china did, in the end ,the usa would have won, because, we had the atomic bomb first. and in 1946 and 1947 and 1948 we should have taken over all the oil countries,we easily could have ,without a shot being fired,just signatures on documents, because, we had the bomb, then all this kissing the terrorists asses for the last sixty five years would have been avoided,we would be calling the shots ,so why! didnt! we!
26. Anonymous says:
2 Jul 2011 07:58:31 PM

The "Battle of Moscow", was an overrated Soviet victory. The German casualties were much lower than most historians say they were. In fact total German deaths in Dec. 1941 was only just under 15,000. And total missing for the entire 1941 campaign was only less than 29,000. People always use Soviet data, but it is false. Only the meticulous German data can be used. So Soviet deaths and wounds cases will never be known.
27. Anonymous says:
12 Sep 2011 04:42:45 PM

Does anyone have the picture of the Kremlin taken thru Von Bock's field glasses early December 1941 - they could email me please. Hard to find. Thanks.
28. Anonymous says:
19 Sep 2011 06:39:19 PM

if the german generals had their way,without hitlers paranoid interference,the nazis would have taken moscow by early october at least.before the snow and below zero hell hit the eastern front.the nazis had already penetrated half of the way to moscow in only six to eight weeks! then...hitler split the main thrust! and it was all down hill from there.what the hell was he thinking! and who's side was he really on?
29. Anonymous says:
21 Feb 2012 08:35:05 AM

What is the first thing you do when a bear attacks your wife?

Get the bear out of your kitchen.
30. Anonymous says:
30 Apr 2012 03:06:29 PM

No mercy to the KRAUTS!
31. Anonymous says:
18 Jun 2012 01:06:50 PM

Hitlers major failing was not defeating Britain first and securing the middle eastern oil fields
32. Mad dig says:
30 Aug 2012 12:25:51 AM

Is this all made up words panzergruppe 1?
33. Anonymous says:
3 Sep 2012 05:06:14 PM

Try and magine the unimaginable hells that would have been unleashed upon the world if hitler and or stalin had obtained atomic weapons first...
34. Anonymous says:
15 Jan 2013 07:06:59 PM

My great grandfather died during the battle of Moscow. He was in one of the ski battalions who reinforced the city.
35. Man says:
20 Mar 2013 09:46:12 PM

this is a really good data base
36. Anonymous says:
9 Apr 2013 03:35:33 PM

ya'll people are wrong for the negative comments
37. Anonymous says:
14 Apr 2013 01:04:25 PM

who is Lenin?
38. Anonymous says:
24 Oct 2013 05:11:35 PM

what sort of casulties were uinflicted on each side
39. Anonymous says:
25 Oct 2013 08:59:34 AM

the war in Africa and western Europe (fought by the Americans and British Commonwealth) were not proportionally significant in the final defeat of Germany. 80% of the manpower and economic production of Germany was devoted to the eastern front. The Germans lost more than 750,000 soldiers in the first 6 months of the Russian campaign. Although the Russians lost many more, they had space, multiple times the population of Germany and were fighting on 1 front.
40. bill says:
29 May 2014 10:39:20 AM

needs more info
41. Anonymous says:
24 Oct 2014 04:33:59 PM

They forgot to mention the battle of trubeshevsk
42. Shabbir Dadabhai says:
21 Dec 2014 04:48:12 AM

I think even if the German Army had taken Moscow it is not guaranteed that they could have won the battle of Moscow
Take the example of Battle of Stalingrad where the city was captured by Germans but finally battle was won by the Russian using very unorthodox. Medhods of urban warfare and never say die attitude. Futher during the Potsdam conference Truman informed Stalin about the New Powerful Bomb(read Atomic bomb ) What was the purpose of telling Stalin ? It was cleary a veiled threat to Stalin and Nuclear Blackmail to keep off and let the USA continue its hegenomy for World domination thank God the Soviet Union managed to match the USA to produce its own Atomic weapon otherwise we would have seen the Whole world dominated by USA hegenomy far worse than the present situation
43. Anonymous says:
19 Jan 2015 04:01:40 AM

If you look close at Stalin, and Hitler they were pea's in a pod. Stalin killed most of the Russian Generals between 1929 to 1930's. He trusted no one. When Hitler was planing his Soviet invasion he wanted to end it by 6 months. When Stalin was informed by military of the German War coming to Russia, he refused the information. Many military staff were killed. When the war did start, why did Russia's armed forces do nothing?? Poor leadership is as bad as Hitlers agenda. Urban war fair, and poorly equiped soliders defending Russia they still managed to hold back the German forces. It was the will of Russian people to either die or die defending that pushed the scale in favor for Russia. 20 to 25 million people died in this war. May this be a lesson in histroy never to be repeated.
44. Anonymous says:
11 Feb 2015 05:31:20 AM

i love it
45. elvis *** in christ says:
26 Feb 2015 02:37:17 PM

nobody hear mentions the fact that the germans intercepted transmissions from molitov to balkin leaders(most likly tito)saying stalin was going to invade romania europes only oil supplier and the fact that soviet swallowing of finland lands,lithuania,estonia,latvia,besoarabia on romanian border and the new KV-1 tank which was designed to operate in western europe was enough evidence for hitler to attack communist stalin before he attacked western europe beginning with romania europe's oil supply, and the fact that churchill would not make peace with germany despite countless offers of peace by the EVIL hitler shows that british wanted war, hitler had to attack russia the ribbentrop molitov pact was in russia's favor so the western powers would kill each other and stalin could just walk in to western europe, i think hitler was a hero and saved most western europe from stalanist takeover, and in the end the EU is exactly what hitler wanted so......
46. Anonymous says:
13 Mar 2015 03:18:25 PM

What a war...I think hitler failed to take over Moscow simply because the soviets decided to defend the city at all cost. The unity and decision of the ordinary citizen brought great victory to the soviet union.
47. al says:
21 Aug 2015 08:16:54 PM

Great work! It's clear that the germans never had a chance even if Stalin didn't bring back Zhukov and Moscow was lost. Bad luck you say? What would you expect from mentally ill degenerates both Hitler and Stalin? The germans would be nowhere near Moscow in 1941 if the russians had a competent leader. Meticulous german planning you say? What happened to the supply lines, lack of paved roads, cold weather etc.? Communism you say? What about nazziizm and the german superiority crap? The history lesson here is the only way to go is Democracy. A nation will pay dearly for obeying a dictator.
48. Anonymous says:
19 Feb 2016 12:08:08 PM

i need help for this history project the battle of moscow
49. Anonymous says:
9 Oct 2016 08:43:20 PM

good job russains i believe the russains paid dearly the ultimate sacrifice,amonst allof the allies they knew this was it, losing was not a option and it seriously took blood and guts to stop the"invinciple" german warmachine.
50. Anonymous says:
11 Feb 2017 06:40:20 AM

The early and extremely cold winters plus its huge geographical size were always Russia's best defense.

The Russians even abandoned Moscow and let French troop under Napoleon Bonaparte conquer it, but those invaders were ultimately also defeated.
51. Anonymous says:
20 Apr 2018 11:35:41 AM

this cool
52. Anonymous says:
27 May 2019 11:28:12 AM

This is haaam, I learned so much!
53. Anonymous says:
15 Nov 2019 06:24:23 AM

What weapons were used? And was the Air Force used?
54. jenna says:
27 Jan 2020 06:37:29 AM

the words are to small. im wasteing my time
55. Commenter identity confirmed Peter Chen says:
28 Jan 2020 04:57:22 AM

Jenna, thank you for visiting ww2db.

There are icons near the top of the article to enlarge the font of the main text.

Your browser most likely has built-in tools to zoom as well.
56. Connor says:
13 Jan 2022 12:46:00 PM

Did anything else happen after February 3?
57. Johann Weiss says:
16 Oct 2022 02:34:23 AM

To answer your Question Connor after That the heavy fighting got a little bit calmer But it would escalate in Spring as the Battles of Rzhev or the "Rzhev Meatgrinder" as it was called.
During those Battles the Germans and Russians fought in swamps and dense forests, But also in villages and cities around Rzhev.
It was a bloodbath for Both sides, But worst for the Soviets as they suffered brutally high casualties.
Estimates range up too 1.5 million Soviet Deaths.
58. Gwen Starr says:
30 Nov 2022 11:09:10 AM

If we wanna talk about mistakes,Stalin made one invading finland He may have "won" But its siad that russia lost a quarter million men to finlands 20,000 and russia lost hundreds of tanks and other armored veichles and tons of guns

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More on Battle of Moscow
» Bagramyan, Ivan
» Bock, Fedor
» Golikov, Filipp
» Kluge, G├╝nther
» Konev, Ivan
» Kuznetsov, Vasily
» Ludwiger, Hartwig
» Manteuffel, Hasso
» Rokossovsky, Konstantin
» Sbytov, Nikolai
» Vasilevsky, Aleksandr
» Weichs, Maximilian
» Zhukov, Georgy

» Russia

Related Books:
» Atlas of the Eastern Front 1941-45
» The Greatest Battle

Battle of Moscow Photo Gallery
Moscow residents digging anti-tank ditches outside the city, Russia, 1941
See all 46 photographs of Battle of Moscow

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"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935

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