Talk:Battle of Moscow

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Pro Nazi / Pro American propaganda and falsifications[edit]

1,280,000 Soviet losses vs 1,250,000 Soviet strength That's heady stuff, 120? % casualty rate is credible as American "history" text books, — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A00:1028:83A2:3D86:454F:5182:6D34:9EAA (talk) 19:26, 17 August 2015 (UTC)


I think it would be a good idea to merge the Operation Typhoon page here and redirect it. There isn't much content on the other page beyond background and after-effects, so it's mostly redundant with this page already. — B.Bryant 04:29, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

A bit too late to oppose (4 years!), IMHO instead of merging Operation Typhoon it should have been expanded. I intend to re-create that wikiarticle with better, comprehensive content and no redundancy, as the topic is notable per se to have a dedicated article. Kind regards, DPdH (talk) 08:33, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

After another six years I totally agree with DPdH. The subject of the battle of Moscow is so emence that there should be multiple main articles behind it, of which typhoone must definatly be one Christwelfwww (talk) 17:25, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Agreed. We'd just need to write the typhoon article. Nicolas Perrault (talk) 17:56, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Winter counteroffensive[edit]

It looks like the counteroffensive involved a lot more then just Moscow, shouldn't there be a separate article for it? Oberiko 20:10, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

The article is due for a major rewrite and restructuring. I think it was a mistake to merge Typhoon into this article because it now represents one German and one Soviet strategic offensives, and one Soviet strategic defensive operations--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 08:53, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Agree. Operation Typhoon is just a part of the Battle of Moscow, so it deserves its own article. IMHO, it's like redirecting Operation Barbarossa to Eastern Front (World War II). Regards, DPdH (talk) 03:26, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

German Planning section[edit]

I believe this section needs to be relooked at, it goes from discussing the plan of attack to summerising what happened and anyalsing the battle; surely that should be left for latter sections. I would attempt to do this myself however i just dont have the time.--EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 22:36, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Moscow encyclopedy[edit]

Moscow encyclopedy is available online [1] and it does not do any casualties estimates. It gives only Soviet and German official numbers of casualties. So I see no purpose for citing Moscow encyclopedy rather than official data from Wehrmacht and Soviet sources (wehrmacht data btw does not include casualties of SS and Germany's allies).--Dojarca (talk) 09:41, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

"Moscow Encyclopedia" seems quite dubious. If you google "Moscow Encyclopedia" the top matches either refer back to Wikipedia or other encyclopedias. Also the reference to "Moscow Encyclopedia" refers to the "Great Russian Encyclopedia 1997", whereas this has been published only since 2004 [[2]]. Anytime you see a disparity in casualties such as "Therefore, total casualties between 30 September 1941, and 7 January 1942, are estimated to be between 174,000 and 248,000 for the Wehrmacht (Wehrmacht reports / Moscow encyclopedia estimate) and between 650,000 and 1,280,000 for the Red Army (Erickson / Moscow encyclopedia estimate)", it beggars belief. This war has been over long ago. JS (talk) 16:06, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

-50 C in early December?[edit]

I quote:

By early December, the temperatures, so far relatively mild by Russian standards,[53] dropped as low as twenty to fifty degrees Celsius below zero, freezing German troops, who still had no winter clothing, and German vehicles, which were not designed for such severe weather.

- I think the -50C number needs a strong reference. Maybe it is the "-30C" misspelled? --CopperKettle 13:11, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

  • I quote from Boris Shaposhnikov's "Battle for Moscow":

    Средняя температура для Московского района: ноябрь – 3°, декабрь – 8°, январь – 11° ниже нуля. Однако зима 1941/42 года была очень суровой, с большим снежным покровом. Средняя температура зимой 1941/42 года была следующей: в ноябре – 5°, в декабре – 12°, в январе – 19° ниже нуля. В отдельные периоды морозы в январе доходили до минус 35 – минус 40°. Толщина снежного покрова достигала 50–65 см.


    The mean temperature in the Moscow Region are for November: -3, for December: -8, for January: -11 C. However, the winter season of 1941/1942 was very harsh, with ample show covering. Mean temperatures for 1941/42 winter were as follows: -5 C in November, -12 C in December, -19 C in January. The temperatures at some time periods fell as low as -35 - -40 C. Snow cover reached 50-65 cm in depth.

  • A book on Rokossovsky gives the -31C number as the lowest point for December 1941. --CopperKettle 13:30, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
  • For example: I lived in Noyabrsk for 10+ years, and January temperatures there fell to -40C and little below that, but I do not remember -50C. --CopperKettle 13:44, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
The European Winter of 1941-1942 was the coldest of the 20th century. The lowest recorded morning temperature in Moscow was of -35.9 C and attained on 3 January 1942.[1] The article should not cite temperatures lower than this unless night time temperatures were recorded, but I would not be surprised if during the nights and with the winds it dipped to -50C. Nicolas Perrault (talk) 18:06, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Death tool[edit]

Although it is difficult but is their any death tool available for both Germans and Russians ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:08, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

What do you mean, a death tool? --CopperKettle 16:14, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Temperature unit[edit]

I am missing a unit in:

"... the temperatures,[54] dropped as low as twenty to fifty below zero."

--Mortense (talk) 13:16, 3 May 2010 (UTC)


Does a battle that spanned hundreds of kilometers in width and depth need coordinates, at all? East of Borschov 15:05, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Astounding claim[edit]

Despite the defeat near Aleksino, the Wehrmacht still possessed an overall superiority in manpower and land forces over the Red Army. The German divisions committed to the final assault on Moscow numbered 1,943,000 men, 1,500 tanks, while Soviet forces were reduced to a shadow of their former selves, with barely 500,000 men, 890 tanks.

The only source given for this is the Russian encyclopedia, which basically rehashes Soviet-era propaganda regarding German strength. The 1,943,000 figure counts every single person in Army Group center, including air force personnel. In addition, it ignores the reinforcements available to the Red Army during the battle.

Soviet postwar accounts treat the strengths of both sides' forces on the eve of the counterattack as a matter of outstanding historical significance. They emphasize that, as of 5 December, German forces outnumbered Soviet in the Moscow sector. However, the figures they employ vary and in the aggregate do not substantiate the existence of an actual Soviet numerical inferiority. The latest, hence presumably most authoritative figures, those given in the History of the Second World War, are 1,708,000 German and 1,100,000 Soviet troops on the approaches to Moscow.73 The numbers used in earlier Soviet works were 800,000 or "more than 800,000" German and between 719,000 and 760,000 Soviet troops.74 The German strength as it appears in the History of the Second World War comprises all personnel assigned to Army Group Center including air force troops.75 The Soviet strength is that of the forces assigned to the counterattack.76 The strengths given in the other works are said to be those of the divisions and brigades in Army Group Center and those of the Soviet fronts, in other words, the combat strengths for the two sides.77 None of the Soviet strengths given include the eight armies still in the Stavka reserve, a total of about eight hundred thousand men.

It is clear that, even without the reserve armies, the Soviet forces opposing Army Group Center were relatively stronger on 5 December than they had been in October when Operation TAIFUN began. While Army Group Center had not been able to replace its losses in troops and equipment, the Soviet armies in the Moscow sector had acquired a third more rifle divisions, five times more cavalry divisions, twice as many artillery regiments, and two-and-a-half times as many tank brigades by 5 December than they had had on 2 October.78 (talk) 02:50, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes thats right, thats a bad comparision. I changed it. StoneProphet (talk) 11:55, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Tank strength[edit]

The number for German tank strenght cant be correct for 1 October. The Germans had ~1,700 on the whole Eastern Front in October 1941, therefore the number of tanks available for Army Group Centre for the Moscow attack must be smaller. StoneProphet (talk) 11:26, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

1,700 was a Soviet estimate, changed it to the correct number. StoneProphet (talk) 16:45, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

German planning section (again)[edit]

The current German planning section is uncited except for 1 reference. It also repeats content covered in later sections. The FA version did not include a section like this. The section seems to have been added in late March 2008. Here's a version just before that. Since this is a Featured article, I suggest removing this section. Maybe move some details to later in the article where references cover it. -Fnlayson (talk) 08:57, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

The fact that a high proportion (and what appears to be the majority) of the article's citations are to the memoirs of the senior generals is also a major problem - these aren't reliable sources for a topic such as this, especially in light of the large number of recent and high-quality secondary sources which cover the battle. This article should probably go to a FAR in light of the extent of the problems with sourcing alone (note I haven't read a word of the article yet). Nick-D (talk) 11:03, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
I have not looked at that aspect. I'll go ahead with my change in a couple days if no one has valid objection. -Fnlayson (talk) 15:47, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
The source for the first paragraph is Alan F. Wilt. Hitler's Late Summer Pause in 1941. Military Affairs, Vol. 45, No. 4 (Dec., 1981), pp. 187-191. I need some time to verify if other paragraphs are supported by good secondary sources. --Paul Siebert (talk) 16:40, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
  • That cited paragraph in the "German planning" [starts with "Katukov concealed his armor.."] is partially repeated later in the "Vyazma and Bryansk pockets" section. If you want move and combine the text, that'd be a good improvement. -Fnlayson (talk) 16:49, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
I'll work on this section in near future. Not now.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:57, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Thanks, no rush. I'll see what I can do this weekend. -Fnlayson (talk) 00:45, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I combined the cited text with similar text later in the article. The paragraph I moved to the top of the Background section should be reworked to fit in better with the rest of the section and article as a whole. The previous version of the article is here if anyone wants to readd some text with references. Good luck. -Fnlayson (talk) 18:38, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Thank you. --Paul Siebert (talk) 19:26, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Also, note related posts on WT:Military history now archived here -Fnlayson (talk) 18:53, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

I think the text starting with "Elsewhere, the German advance was also bogged down..." and ending with "All possible preparations were done...; today starts the last battle of the year..."" can be removed because it essentially reproduces what Wilt says, but it goes into the details that are hardly relevant to this article. In addition, it is based mostly on primary sources.--Paul Siebert (talk) 06:47, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Conflicting Quotes[edit]

Under the section Plans "For Hitler, Moscow was the most important military and political target, as he anticipated that the city's surrender would shortly afterwards lead to the general collapse of the Soviet Union. As Franz Halder, head of the Oberkommando des Heeres (Army General Staff), wrote in 1940, "The best solution would be a direct offensive towards Moscow."

This conflicts with a statement in the article on Barbarossa theat Hitlers objectives were Lennengrad first, then the south then Moscow. My understanding is that this is correct. Hitlers staff mostly wanted to go for Moscow first, but Hitler opposed them. von Rundstadt wanted to do Leningrad first, secure the south and then reassess the situation and start operations on Moscow if the situation permitted it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

I agree; Brauchitsch also, during the planning meetings, voiced his extreme desire to take Moscow, before the Russian Winter, and Hitler reportedly told him, "Only ossified brains could think of such an idea." It's also plainly obvious (practically common sense) that Hitler did not want Moscow, but rather Keiv, the Ukraine, Rostov-on-Don, Ozono Kizi, and Baku, precisely because he diverted Guderians panzers South. It should defiantly be changed. Jonas Vinther (talk) 22:25, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
I have gone ahead and changed it. Jonas Vinther (talk) 15:45, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

FA status failure[edit]

This article clearly no longer meets the FA criteria. It's vital for the article we do some clean up work! Jonas Vinther (talk) 15:17, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Article Needs Some Tidying Up[edit]

First, it's only fair to acknowledge the research of those who authored the current commentary. It makes some good points and presents facts I wasn't aware of.

Nevertheless, some tidying is in order. The piece is too lengthy, with a tendency to digress into details not terribly significant to the Battle of Moscow itself, such as the Battle Of Smolensk, recovering Soviet air strength and fortification-building, etc.

To my understanding, the Battle of Smolensk went smoothly for the Germans, resulting in the pocketing of 250,000 Soviet troops by mid-August, not September 10. It is at this stage (mid-August), citing passages from Alan Clark's "Barbarossa" that a conflict developed between Hitler and his generals over strategy, with Hitler finally deciding to temporarily halt the drive on Moscow in favor of the Ukraine.

Consequently, Army Group Center was, for a short period, stripped of its armor to speed up the attacks on Leningrad and Kiev. The Soviet counteroffensive which later took advantage of this troop reduction did not extend the Battle of Smolensk beyond its mid-August conclusion as Army Group Center had already been ordered to a temporary halt.

Hence it was not Soviet resistance beyond mid-August, but Hitler which delayed the assault on Moscow . The original piece cites some good arguments in favor of that decision. But Soviet resistance at Smolensk does not seem terribly relevant to the Battle of Moscow. I don't see how it affected German plans in the least.

Some mention should be made with regard to the Soviet system's ability to replace shattered divisions and put new ones into battle.

The autumn rain which turned the countryside into a muddy quagmire needs far greater emphasis as it saved the remaining Soviet forces in front of Moscow from certain destruction following Vyazma-Bryansk. By October 11, the Germans were reduced to a crawl and the tempo of their operations did not pick up until November 15 when the ground hardened.

Further emphasis should be made regarding the German armies lack of cold weather clothing. This made the offensive against Moscow a race against time before freezing temperatures became a serious problem. German artillery and machineguns suffered reduced effectiveness. The Luftwaffe would be grounded much of the time.

The Soviets did not raise new armies for the defense of Moscow. Instead, they withdrew the battered 10th, 19th, 26th and 27th into reserve for rebuild. These were joined by other Soviet armies which, hitherto, had been deployed deep in the hinterland. These included 39th, 57th, 59th, 60th, and 61st. The 19th, 26th, 27th and 60th received extra men and equipment and then redesignated as Shock Armies. That the Soviets perpetually slowed the German advance while steadily accumulating a reserve force of 58 divisions underscores their ability to absorb punishment and keep feeding fresh units into battle.

So in summarizing the key events surrounding the Battle of Moscow, one must cite the delay imposed by Hitler's change of strategy in mid-August, stubborn Soviet resistance and their ability to bring in fresh units and establish new lines of defense. The autumn rains and mud which were a pivotal event in slowing the German attack further immediately after the devastating Soviet defeats at Vyazma and Briansk. Finally, the Germans suffered greatly from the Russian winter which they were largely unprepared for and gambled they would not have to deal with. This set the stage for a Soviet counteroffensive in early December which threw the Germans back and made clear the war in Russia would be a long one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

This is a featured article, meaning not that it can't be edited, but that it has been very thoroughly reviewed and worked on by a team of experienced editors for some months. Given the subject's size and complexity, it will take time for any editor to acquire a deep enough knowledge to decide where improvement may be needed. An initial need for any change is not to damage existing, relevant, and cited claims, including not accidentally breaking citations, or seeming to imply that a new piece of text came from an existing citation. That said, the article seems to read quite well, so I doubt it needs "tidying". If it is wrong in any factual detail, that can of course be corrected at once with a suitable citation. Matters of emphasis and focus require more care: in general with a mature article like this one, be very cautious about removing anything and get consensus here on the talk page for any such removal; and take great care not to try to push any particular point of view, but rely on the sources available and cite them carefully in the same style used in the article. General claims like "too lengthy" are not likely to gain consensus: the article is not unduly long. I suggest you begin with small, specific, cited additions on points that have not been suitably covered. Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:30, 22 March 2015 (UTC)


I will respond to your rebuttal. First, are you knowledgeable on the 1941 Battle of Moscow? If not, then how capable are you of evaluating those who write about it?

The original contributor(s) make a substantial error in claiming the Battle of Smolensk had much effect on the German drive toward Moscow. The Soviet forces in that area were surrounded and wiped out in roughly the same time as had been done at Minsk. Most historians agree that it was following the Battle of Smolensk, when Hitler made the decision to halt Army Group Center and divert its tank elements toward Kiev and Leningrad that a fateful delay occurred.

Contrary to the article's assertion, the Soviet counteroffensive against Army Group Center which began after mid-August and raged until September 10, did not halt German progress. Hitler's order had already done that. It is inaccurate to assume otherwise.

The article reads well? According to you, perhaps. In my opinion, much of the usage is clumsy and at times not representative of high academic standards. The organization of ideas is scattered at times, resulting in repetitious passages. Other issues such as the mud, German lack of winter clothing, Soviet mobilization capability and the effects of temperature on German weapons are not as fully discussed as should be. It is not enough to be factually accurate. One must know the essentials and summarize concisely Digression into trivial details such as Luftwaffe bombing statistics and Soviet fort-building add little of value.

And yes, the article is unduly long. The opening stages of Barbarossa and especially the Battle of Smolensk have little to do with Typhoon. I could care less if this view does not gain consensus. It's the truth. If you wish to be stubborn and stick your heads in the sand on these points, then live with the consequence of being second-rate academics.

-Bob Holden — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:30, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't wish to stand on ceremony, but anything you say on a talk page MUST comply with Policy 'No Personal Attacks' and Policy 'Civility'. As already stated, the article's physical length is perfectly acceptable; but you seem to mean that some parts are not relevant, and the example below certainly looks out of place: feel free to edit it. Chiswick Chap (talk) 15:49, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Example of Irrelevant Commentary[edit]

However factual and cited the following may be, it is wholly irrelevant to the 1941 Battle of Moscow:

In his study of the Nazi economy, British economic historian Professor Adam Tooze contends that the very survival of the Red Army as a fighting force indicated that the Germans had lost the conflict in Russia (the same thing happened to Napoleon in Russia), and thus the war, as moving east of Smolensk meant stretching German supply lines beyond their effective limit. He highlights that the colossal loss of materiel on the eastern front – without having won a decisive victory – was bleeding the German economy to death – reaching "a total impasse". He concludes "It was through the achievement of Lebensraum on American scale that the Third Reich hoped to achieve both the standard of affluence and the encompassing reach of global power already attained by Britain and the United States. As events between June and December 1941 made clear, Nazi Germany lacked both the time and the resources to take this first step."

-Bob Holden — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:53, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

I've cut the paragraph: the article should focus on the battle, not the historians. For the same reason I've removed mention of Glantz as too prominent. Chiswick Chap (talk) 10:13, 25 March 2015 (UTC)


I would just like to add why I changed the result to a Strategic victory. The result was not decisive, since the Soviets had such massive losses, and since they only pushed back the enemy to lines that could be easily defended. The Soviets formed a solid strategy which in whole drove the Germans back and changed the direction of the war (in many ways a definition of a strategic victory). Also, the infobox already claimed that the battle was a strategic Soviet victory, so I removed that line as it was clearly redundant. KevinNinja (talk) 12:56, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Hi, I changed it back to "Decisive victory" because I feel it is the fairest description. The word "victory" used alone almost always means "strategic victory". The latter expression should only be used in contrast to a tactical victory, if that's what the opponent won. In this case the Germans were defeated in all senses of the word. (Massive losses are not relevant, Stalin certainly would not have cared if it would win him the war). Because the Germans never resumed the drive on the city, the victory was decisive of the fate of the Soviet capital, and by extension, to some authors, of the outcome of the war (see text for refs). Nicolas Perrault (talk) 17:51, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

"Operation Wotan"[edit]

This topic is not covered in the article, and the operation is red linked and does not provide any context.

  • A separate operational German plan, codenamed Operation Wotan, was included in the final phase of the German offensive.

The only apparent source for this is a book by an author James S. Lucas, pls see Google books search results. K.e.coffman (talk) 01:22, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

The battle was of no importance[edit]

If Moscow had been taken the Soviets would have simply kept moving their government further east. ( (talk) 15:19, 20 May 2016 (UTC))

This is not a forum DMorpheus2 (talk) 16:09, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

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