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"The German SS at Rzhev: Loyal to Their Deaths" Topic

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World War Two on the Land

616 hits since 12 Feb 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Feb 2018 8:17 p.m. PST

"Early in December 1941, Operation Typhoon, the German drive on Moscow, withered in the face of tenacious Soviet resistance and one of the worst Russian winters in living memory. The exhausted German Army was woefully unprepared for the bitter cold, which struck down man, beast, and machine alike. Soldiers froze to death or were crippled by frostbite while their draught horses perished by the thousands. Lubricants and fuel froze, firing pins snapped, tanks refused to start, machine guns fired no more, and aircraft were grounded.

At dawn on December 5 and 6, the fury of a Soviet counteroffensive sent the heretofore unbeaten Wehrmacht reeling back from the threshold of Moscow. At times in panic, at times in good order, the German Army was on the retreat. Behind their rear guard, nothing was to be left to the Red Army. Wilhelm Göbel of the 78th Infantry Division witnessed "the entire horizon glowing red from the fires of burning villages," their hapless inhabitants left to freeze or starve to death. This was particularly tragic since the Russian peasants, who had no love for the Communists, had welcomed the Germans "liberators" into their homes…"
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