The rejection of the capture of Moscow in August 1941: Hitler's main mistake

History 17/01/20 rejection of the capture of Moscow in August 1941: Hitler’s main mistake

at the end of 1812, Napoleon suffered a crushing defeat in the battle near the town of Borisov (now Belarus), and only narrowly managed to escape from the Russian troops. Through 129 years, when in the same city flew the new “conqueror of Russia” – Adolf Hitler, he, like the French Emperor, had to make a crucial for the entire course of the war decision.

the Strategy of the generals

the City of Borisov, the Fuhrer visited August 4, 1941 – a month after its occupation by the Wehrmacht. Here, surrounded by the generals of army group “Center”, Hitler had decided the issue on the directions of further advance. By the time the Germans controlled the Baltic States, right-Bank part of Ukraine and almost the whole Belarus. In the East, they have captured the Russian Smolensk, Smolensk but the battle was still in full swing.

According to the memoirs of Wilhelm Keitel, the views of Adolf Hitler on the priorities of the campaign were separated from the position of the Supreme army command (OKH) in the person of Walter von Brujita.

“the OKH clearly advocated the concentration of power in the area of army group “Center” and the main attack in the direction of Moscow with the subsequent acquisition of the Valdai hills, cut the main communications of the Russian “Moscow – Leningrad”,” wrote Keitel.

Attending the meeting in Barysau Heinz Guderian was told that the Fuhrer allowed to speak to each General, however, they did not know the points of view of each other. All the generals of army group “Center” unanimously called for a March on Moscow – heart of Russia, as described by Guderian.

“Goth said that his Panzer group could launch an offensive not earlier than August 20. I said that I will be ready by 15 August,” said the General.

the Strategy of Hitler

Contrary to the arguments of the generals, Hitler was in no hurry to immediately master the Russian capital. The Fuhrer was so confident the success of the plan “Barbarossa,” which sought to begin to grab as many territories as possible. For the capture of Donbass, with its factories and the coal industry commander was even ready to weaken the power of the Panzer army group “Center”, bringing the technique to other areas. Also Hitler thought it was important as soon as possible to take the Crimea, where Russian planes carried out raids on the oil fields of Romania. At the same time in the North, the Wehrmacht was supposed to storm Leningrad. The cradle of the revolution posed a danger to Germans primarily as the current base of the Baltic fleet. After the capture of the city on the Neva Fuhrer assumed to be connected to the supply of the army group “North” on the sea neutral until then Sweden.

Hitler was no stranger to conflict with the military. It is no coincidence that he said that demands from generals not understanding the hidden meaning of his orders, but only unconditional submission. What led Germany such blind faith in the genius of the führer, is well known.

Until the end of August the generals still tried to convince the commander to the evils of the decisions taken in the fact that the Moscow direction of the main blow, the only true. But Hitler, whose head was clearly spinning from the military successes of previous years, did not heed the old guard.

on August 18 he gave the order: “the most Important goal before winter is considered not the capture of Moscow and the capture of the Crimea, industrial and coal region of Donbass and deprivation of Russian access to Caucasian oil; in the North the most important objective to consider the blocking of Leningrad and connection with the Finns”.

In the end, the Nazis leveled the front line and reduced the distance between the communications. In their hands was the breadbasket of Europe – Ukraine. But to Moscow, the Germans came only for the winter – in the strategic plan it’s too late. In addition, they were exhausted and not ready for the cold. And therefore was repulsed by the famous “Siberian divisions”. Blitzkrieg failed, and with it the hopes of the Nazis to world domination.

we will Add that already in Borisov were those who understood the seriousness of the obedience to Hitler. Stationed at the headquarters of the officer-nobleman Henning von tresckow intended together with like-minded people to arrest the head of state. But security is not even close to have allowed the conspirators to the car of the Fuehrer.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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