7 memories of the Germans about the battle for Moscow
On December 5, 1941, a Soviet counteroffensive began near Moscow. Hitler's dreams of a successful blitzkrieg crumbled to dust. Soviet troops attacked, severe frosts began, the Germans increasingly commemorated Napoleon ...
The memory of Napoleon’s Great Army haunted us like a ghost. The book of memoirs of Napoleon's General Kolenkur, always lying on the table of Field Marshal von Kluge, became his bible. There were more and more coincidences with the events of 1812. But these elusive omens pale in comparison with the mud period or, as they call it in Russia, mudslides, which now haunted us like a plague.
Now it was important for the political leaders of Germany to understand that the days of blitzkrieg are gone. We were opposed by the army, which in its fighting qualities was far superior to all the other armies we had ever encountered on the battlefield.
Nazi generals could not understand why Russians,despite the frankly tyrannical regime and the catastrophic consequences of the first German strikes, they survived, did not suffer a complete collapse, like the French and many other nations and states, which fell apart from the blows of less powerful ones.
Hans Ulrich Rudel
It is December and the thermometer has dropped below 40-50 degrees below zero. Clouds float low, anti-aircraft guns rage. We have reached the limit of our ability to fight. There is no essential. Machines are, transport does not work, there is no fuel and ammunition. The only mode of transport is sleigh. The tragic scenes of retreat happen more often. We have very few aircraft left. At low temperatures, the engines do not live long. If earlier, owning the initiative, we flew to the support of our ground forces, now we are fighting to hold back the advancing Soviet troops.
Bok Fedor background
The Russians managed to restore the combat effectiveness of the divisions almost completely defeated by us in a surprisingly short time, brought up new divisions from Siberia, Iran and the Caucasus and replaced the artillery lost at the early stage of the war with numerous missile launchers.Today, the army group is opposed by 24 divisions - mostly of its full complement - more than it was on November 15th. The losses among the officers and non-commissioned officers are simply shocking. In percentage terms, they are much higher than the losses among the rank and file
On December 5th, strong air strikes began on rear communications and starting areas, where until now it was possible to feel safe. The Red Army launched a general offensive on a broad front, as a result of which the German troops were rejected in places up to 400 kilometers. Several dozen of the most battle-worthy German divisions were defeated. On both sides of the highway lay dead and frozen. It was a prologue to Stalingrad; blitzkrieg finally failed.
A wolf's howling made us sad and foreboding. But even he was better than the howl of “Stalin’s organ”. So we called the secret weapon of the Russians, which they themselves called “Katyushas”. The shells fired by these weapons were more like rockets. The incredible roar of explosions, flames - all this terribly frightened our fighters. When the Katyushas were firing at us, the equipment burned, people died.However, fortunately, the Russians had few such installations and shells for them. Therefore, the damage done by these weapons was not too noticeable. Its use gave a rather psychological effect.
Speaking about the psychological impact on us, one can not but say about the Soviet propaganda. From time to time we heard the sounds of popular German songs amplified by loudspeakers, which aroused in us longing for home comfort. This was followed by propaganda appeals in German. They played on the fact that we are exhausted, hungry, and some of us managed to despair. The Russians called us: “Surrender to the victorious Red Army, then you will return home immediately after the end of the war”, “Surrender! We have women waiting for comfort and a lot of food! "
As a rule, these appeals caused us only bitterness. But there were those few who had faintheartedly and on a dark night switched to the Russian side. I do not know their further fate, but judging by what was happening in Germany after our defeat, I think hardly any of the defectors received the promised benefits.
The strategy of the war at the Reich was better, our generals had a stronger imagination.However, starting from the ordinary soldier and up to the commander of the company, the Russians were equal to us - courageous, resourceful, gifted maskers. They fiercely resisted and were always ready to sacrifice their lives ... The Russian officers, from the division commander and below, were younger and more determined than ours. From October 9 to December 5, the Reich division, the 10th Panzer Division and other units of the 16th Panzer Corps lost 40 percent of their regular staff. Six days later, when our positions were attacked by newly arrived Siberian divisions, our losses exceeded 75 percent.