April 26th, 2015
The Battle of Moscow is in some respects the most colossal and deadly campaign in all human history. Millions of soldiers and civilians fought a desperate and savage battle under the most dire climatic conditions and bleak terrain. At stake was the extinction of the Soviet state and the fulfillment of the Nazi dictator's fantasy of conquest. In October 1941, the German Wehrmacht had yet to be defeated and had mauled the Red Army in the opening months of the war in Operation Barbarossa. Suffering sometimes catastrophic losses in that campaign, Operation Typhoon, as the final push to Moscow was styled by the Germans, began with yet more devastating mistakes by the Soviet high command until Josef Stalin appointed his favorite, Georgy Zhukov, to command the defense of the capital. This is the story of Russia's reversal of fortune that halted the seemingly invincible Wehrmacht in the suburbs of Moscow itself, only a few miles from the Kremlin walls.