Operation Typhoon

From Academic Kids

Missing image
The eastern front at the time of Operation Typhoon.

Operation Typhoon (Unternehmen Taifun) was the German plan for the drive towards and invasion of Moscow, which was being discussed in late August 1941 by Army Group Center. Typhoon was a sub-plan within Operation Barbarossa. Like Barbarossa, Typhoon had been planned long in advance with detailed mapping of troops movements, along with established dates. Operation Barbarossa's original plan was for Moscow to fall to the German army in just 5 weeks following the invasion declaration on June 22, 1941. This meant that German troops would have to have reached the city by early August. It was expected that all of European Russia would collapse just 1 week following Moscow's surrender.

The failure of Typhoon was almost entirely due to its lateness. According to schedule, Moscow would be captured during the early part of the month of August, long before the cold winter could set in. In reality, the German invasion armies had been held back by variables that Hitler and the German General Staff had not anticipated such as supply problems, local resistance, and the bare fact of the Blitzkrieg's inability against a country 40 times larger than that of Britain or France. From the pre-war border to Moscow was over 600 miles along a front that was, at certain points, could reach over 1,000 miles long.

German troops were only beginning to approach Moscow in September; however, resistance in Ukraine caused problems for the southern flank and Hitler delayed an attack on Moscow another month to divert troops south. In October, the race for Moscow was re-initiated. Heavy rain that month caused the dirt roads to form mud. German troops were being bogged down just outside the gates of Moscow. It was clear that by November, the offensive was impossible with the cold setting in. Instead of pulling back, Hitler ordered the German troops to stand their ground. Trenches and holes were dug by German troops to try and keep warm. The German army had not anticipated having to fight in winter. Troops were poorly clothed for the harsh nights. As the German armies froze under the cold, Stalin, who had originally planned to evacuate the capital, decided to stay. He ordered a stance. Civilians trying to escape the capital were arrested or shot. The second part of the Russian stance was a counter-attack. General Zhukov launched thousands of troops at the entrenched German lines on December 5. The German army was quickly broken up and forced to pull back, ending Operation Typhoon without stepping one foot into the city line. Operation Typhoon was abandoned the following year. By 1943, the failure at the Battle of Stalingrad had turned the tide of war and all hopes of ever taking Moscow.ja:タイフーン作戦 nl:Operatie Typhoon


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