I’ve drawn a new table top map for the Battle of Moscow. This time I’ve gone for a square grid with one square per 60 km. This is all part of the agonisingly slow development of my Deep Battle rule set. These rules will be Operational in nature hence the grand scale of the map.
Moscow was one of the primary objectives for Axis forces during Eastern Front Campaign. Operation Typhoon kicked off the Battle of Moscow fought between October 1941 and January 1942. Fighting spanned a 600 km (370 mi) sector of the front as German pincers tried to encircle Soviet armies and Moscow itself. The Germans achieved impressive results quickly but Soviet forces continued to stubbornly defended the three defensive belts in front of the city. Fresh armies to arrive, both newly raised militia and formed from troop redeployed from the far east, helped the defenders halt the German offensive. Then the Soviets counter-attacked and drove the Germans back to the positions around the cities of Oryol, Vyazma and Vitebsk.
Rasputitsa – Quagmire on the Eastern Front
The rasputitsa are severe weather conditions occurring in Eastern Europe, particularly in areas that were part of the Soviet Union during WW2. The rasputitsa occurs twice a year, in the spring and autumn. The spring rasputitsa occurs when the surface level ice and snow starts to melt over ground that is still frozen. The Autumn rasputitsa occurs because of the rainy season. Although the cause is different the effect is the same. The ground, including unpaved roads, dissolve into mud and rivers can become enlarged. The result is transport bogs down, making troop movement and logistics very difficult. The Russian term ‘time without roads’ very aptly describes the conditions.
Generic Building Sectors for Crossfire
Most of my Crossfire buildings are generic 3″x3″ sectors of foam board on a cardboard base. Some are building complexes of more than one sector. And I’ve also done Triangular Blocks to give Diagonal Streets.
Sources for the Battle for Moscow 1941
An annotated bibliography for Moscow 1941.
Order of Battle for the Battle for Moscow 1941
On 16 Sep 1941 von Bock issued his operational directive for the capture of Moscow – codenamed ‘Typhoon’ (Braithwaite, 2006). Third Panzer Group (Hoth) would attack from the north, Fourth Panzer Group would attack in the centre, and Second Panzer Group (Guderian) from the south. The operation kicked off on 30 Sep.
Geography Around Moscow 1941
Moscow is surrounded by a gently undulating sandy plain (Braithwaite, 2006). Largely thick silver birch and black pine cover the area although some was cleared for agriculture. The Moscow River and tributaries wound through the plain. Most buildings in Moscow were made of wood. Even the grand 18th and 19th century buildings were stucco on a wooden frame.
Timeline of the Battle for Moscow 1941
My timeline of the Battle for Moscow 1941.
Braithwaite – Moscow 1941
Braithwaite’s (2006) “Moscow 1941: A city and its people at war” has a lot of information on Moscow during 1941 – World War II obviously – but relatively little of a direct military nature. I’ve extracted a few snippets.
Spaniards in Soviet Service During WW2
Many Spanish Republicans found refuge from the Spanish Civil War in the USSR. The Soviets happily drafted these men when the Germans invaded in 1941. For example Rubén Ruiz Ibarruri, the son of La Pasinaria, commanded a machine gun company of 35th Guards Rifle Division (Beevor, 1999). He was killed south of Kotluban; I think this was in Sep 1942.