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"General Winter",
the Wehrmacht,
and the Red Army

 

Some people have an idea that the winter of 1941/42 was on the Russian side, that all the troubles of Wehrmacht resulted from the cold weather, not from the Red Army. I would have to strongly disagree with that point of view. Russians also suffered, they also died. That Winter wasn’t a Russian General. It disturbed the Russians as much as the Germans.

Snow wasn't falling on German side only, avoiding Russian trenches, and Soviet troops had to deal with the same difficulties during "mud periods", Red Army's trucks and tanks didn't get special treatment from the elements. Russian soldiers also froze to death, Russian vehicles had trouble starting too, and some other equipment also didn’t function.

Wehrmacht would not be stopped just by General Winter or by any other weather conditions. German soldiers were too good and tough to be stopped by mere cold. They were stopped by Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians, Georgians who fought to a standstill in the outskirts of Moscow.

If Germans were badly prepared (in terms of skis, sleds, sleighs, white capes, etc.) – it’s not to be blamed on "General Winter" or elements. It’s a bad excuse and is rather an embarrassment to Wehrmacht logistics, which is a crucial aspect of waging war. Germany had control over practically all the Europe, except the British islands. All the Western European industries, including textile, were at Hitler’s disposal. Wehrmacht had all chances to be supplied with anything necessary.

Was the winter an unexpected phenomena? No, I think everybody knows that the fall is followed by the winter, accompanied by snow and cold temperatures. Can one blame Russian Winter for the flips of German logistics? Afterall, Nazis weren’t forced to invade Russia with those bad Russian Winters, it was their choice. Foreign tourists, by the way, are always welcome in Russia, invaders – not really.

 

 

spm111@yandex.ru

 

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