History 10/03/20 Fedor von Bock field Marshal Hitler failed to take Moscow
the Commander of the group “Center” Fedor von Bock had sent desperate reports to Hitler’s headquarters: “the Troops are exhausted and reserves lacking, the whole 4th army no serviceable tank.” Receiving a Directive from the commander in chief, could not believe that his reports reach without distortion. He broke through the head of his superiors and received a strong friendship wish “to take sick leave”.
Fedor von Bock – the officer and the man
By the time of the German offensive on Moscow the commander of the group “Center” field Marshal Fedor von Bock turned 61 years old. Coming from a military family, the son of an officer, earned a knighthood on the battlefield, von Bock have dedicated my life to the army.
Fedor von Bock was a man with principles. During the Second world war he kept a diary, pages of which is ironic, observant and devoted to the profession of an officer.
Behind him was the leadership of the occupation forces in Austria; a successful operation in Czechoslovakia, Belgium and Holland, the Polish campaign. Under the command of von Bock, the German army defeated the French troops at Dunkirk.
At the beginning of the great Patriotic war a group of army “Centre” like a knife through butter, went through Belarus and, pausing for a couple of weeks on the fortified “Stalin line”, moved on. In the 20 days of July 1941 the army group “Center” has taken Smolensk.
In Smolensk, von Bock moved his headquarters. “My headquarters is moving to a day nursery on the Western outskirts of Smolensk; in a manger no children, but a lot of cockroaches,” he wrote in the diary. Here was to begin the attack on Moscow.
Von Bock did not perceive the Red Army as a serious opponent. The success of Hitler’s troops in the first months of the war, hundreds of thousands of prisoners, captured equipment gave the impression that the resistance will not follow. This is also the confirmedALOS from personal experience. “The impression from the contemplation of the tens of thousands of Russian prisoners of war, tshivhase almost unguarded in the direction of Smolensk, terrible. These are dead tired and suffering from malnutrition unfortunate people wandered endless columns on the road past my car. Some fell and died right on the highway from the received wounds in battle,” wrote the field Marshal.
My mistake, he admits already near Moscow a week before the opinion in Hitler’s headquarters: “the battle of the last 14 days showed that “the complete destruction” of opposing the us the Russian army is nothing more than a fantasy.”
the Fuhrer banned to enter in Moscow
Hitler’s Plan in terms of capture of Moscow was truly Napoleonic: to officially enter the captured city, though not on a white horse, but on an armored car under the protection of motorized troops of the SS. The Centre group was assigned the role of supporting units: troops Fedor von Bock was to surround the capital of the USSR at a level of about 45 kilometers from the Kremlin and to provide a corridor for the passage of the SS division.
the fact that the Fuhrer was banned from Moscow and ordered to “seal” the capital within the District railway, the field Marshal found only 13 October 1941, when he did not have enough troops.
By this time, the attack on Moscow was actually choked. Army group “Center” has failed to break through to the borders of the city none of the parts of the front. The limit of the German offensive was no more than 30 km, and from these positions the Germans were immediately discarded.
Analyzing the causes of the crisis situation at Moscow, Fedor von Bock puts circumstances in the following way:
1. autumn dirt;
2. the failure with the Railways.
3. underestimation of the enemy.
he believed that the defeat must “not so much striking power of Russian as a complete loss of combat capability of our troops.” The vagaries of the Russian weather bring him out of himself. In the autumn the roads were liquid mud. “The Russians bother us much less than the slime and the mud” – believed von Bock, reporting to the GHQ commander. However, problems with the software, from inability to timely pull technique and fighting vehicles did not meet with understanding in Berlin. Führer “not inclined to believe the reports, and this is not surprising as until you see all that mud and slush with my own eyes, it is hard to imagine what is possible.”
in November and the road stood, began severe frosts with temperatures down to minus 35. Tanks and motorized equipment simply ceased to start. It happened that, while retreating to the Germans was all that was necessary to leave the enemy.
In response, the führer issued an order which demanded to “hold, no retreat no further step.” According to Hitler, since the group of armies “North” and “South” firmly hold the position, then group of armies “Center”, originally have large resources, it is even more capable.
as a result, In the second phase of the attack on Moscow German troops have lost more than 155 thousand in killed and wounded, 800 tanks, 300 guns and mortars.
Crisis of confidence
As a career officer, Fedor von Bock could not help but notice the flaws in the high command. In the diary he constantly points out the problems arising through the fault of management. However, its reports into account are often not accepted. So, when we were talking about the crisis of confidence of Hitler were sent a telephone message that the requirements are not necessary to the leadership, and to the troops who are on the front under their command.
the Stupidity of the authorities restrained the officer were taken out. “For me it’s just shocking news!” he writes in his diary, learned about another slip command.
Staying true to themselves, Von Bock, when the 3rd tank group enquired as to whether it should defend the bridgehead at Yakhroma “at any price” in accordance with the orders of Hitler’s “no retreat” sent response: “no unnecessary casualties!”
On the defeat at Moscow, the military leadership of Germany could not fail to respond. Anticipating the possible actions of a negative character, chaptersmokomasusi land forces Brauchitsch urged Fedor von Bock to take sick leave.
the Physical condition of the field Marshal and was indeed deplorable. “I don’t know how much more time will be able to stay on his feet,” he wrote. However, he was concerned whether it would be perceived this step as desertion. He was assured that everything is in order. Report Hitler signed with a note: “full recovery”.
In Berlin, the führer personally took Fedor von Bock, sincerely talked to him.
However, to enjoy the holiday to the field Marshal had long. 16 January 1942 he was appointed commander of army group “South”, but in July was sent back to the Fuhrer reserve of the rest of the war.
Fedor von God died 4 may 1945 in the bombing of neighborhoods of Berlin. Talented military leader never useful – Hitler admitted to an inner circle that can’t work with people who have their own opinion and ready to defend it under any circumstances.
© Russian Seven
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