Battle For Moscow by Albert Seaton

By Albert Seaton

A German seize of Moscow in 1941 could 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 ecu resources.

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There were very few strategists in the OKW or OKH, and the new school of staff planners tended to be merely the F├╝hrer's executives. Hitler himself was no strategist. There is little contemporary evidence, whatever may have been said after 1945, that any senior general, other than von Bock, raised doubts before Russia was invaded as to the political and strategic aims of the new war, although Halder certainly did so a month after the war began. Von Brauchitsch of course was not really in command and he tended to avoid both accepting responsibility and giving decisions in case his master should countermand them.

Late each night a General Staff delegation, headed by the Chief or Deputy Chief of General Staff, arrived at the Kremlin rooms which Stalin used as an office. There, in the arched-roofed, light-oak-paneled gallery of the ancient fortress, under the massive oil portraits of the Tsarist generals Suvorov and Kutuzov (which, on the outbreak of war, Stalin had hung beside those of Marx and Lenin), the General Staff representatives, having brought their marked maps and more important documents with them, made their reports.

Among the group of cavalry officers so close to Zhukov at this time were Budenny, Timoshenko, Tyulenev, Rokossovsky, Sobennikov, Eremenko, Bagramyan, Kostenko, Cherevichenko, Gorbatov, Muzychenko and Volsky. They were fellow students on the higher cavalry courses and followed each other in succession from appointment to appointment. By 1931, at the age of thirty-five, Zhukov was commanding a division, and by 1937 a corps; two years later he was ordered to the Far East to command the forces engaged in border fighting against the Japanese, and, in May 1940, was nominated to command Kiev Military District.

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