34 Personnel losses of 499001 permanent as well as temporary were calculated by

34 personnel losses of 499001 permanent as well as

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[34] Personnel losses of 499,001 (permanent as well as temporary) were calculated by the Soviet command. [35] On 9 October, Otto Dietrich of the German Ministry of Propaganda , quoting Hitler himself, forecast in a press conference the imminent destruction of the armies defending Moscow. As Hitler had never had to lie about a specific and verifiable military fact, Dietrich convinced foreign correspondents that the collapse of all Soviet resistance was perhaps hours away. German civilian morale—low since the start of Barbarossa— significantly improved, with rumors of soldiers home by Christmas and great riches from the future Lebensraum in the east. [36] However, Red Army resistance had slowed the Wehrmacht. When, on 10 October the Germans arrived within sight of the Mozhaisk line west of Moscow, they encountered another defensive barrier manned by new Soviet forces. That same day, Georgy Zhukov, who had been recalled from the Leningrad Front on 6 October, took charge of Moscow's defense and the combined Western and Reserve Fronts , with Colonel General Ivan Konev as his deputy. [37][38] On 12 October, he ordered the concentration of all available forces on a strengthened Mozhaisk line, a move supported by Vasilevsky. [39] The Luftwaffe still controlled the sky wherever it appeared, and Stuka and bomber groups flew 537 sorties, destroying some 440 vehicles and 150 artillery pieces. [40][41] On 15 October, Stalin ordered the evacuation of the Communist Party, the General Staff and various civil government offices from Moscow to Kuibyshev (now Samara ), leaving only a limited number of officials behind. The evacuation caused panic among Muscovites. On 16–17 October, much of the civilian population tried to flee, mobbing the available trains and jamming the roads from the city. Despite all this, Stalin publicly remained in the Soviet capital, somewhat calming the fear and pandemonium. [26] Mozhaisk defense line (13–30 October) [ edit ] By 13 October 1941, the Wehrmacht had reached the Mozhaisk defense line , a hastily constructed double set of fortifications protecting Moscow's western approaches which extended from Kalinin towards Volokolamsk and Kaluga . Despite recent reinforcements, only around 90,000 Soviet soldiers manned this line–far too few to stem the German advance. [42][43] Given the limited resources available, Zhukov decided to concentrate his forces at four critical points: the 16th Army under Lieutenant General Rokossovsky guarded Volokolamsk , Mozhaisk was defended by 5th Army under Major General Govorov , the 43rd Army of Major General Golubev defended Maloyaroslavets , and the 49th Army under Lieutenant General Zakharkin protected Kaluga. [44] The entire Soviet Western Front —nearly destroyed after its encirclement near Vyazma—was being recreated almost from scratch. [45] Moscow itself was also hastily fortified. According to Zhukov, 250,000 women and teenagers worked building trenches and anti-tank moats around Moscow, moving almost three million cubic meters of earth with no mechanical help.
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