7172 They were primarily meant to break the ice and prevent troops and heavy

7172 they were primarily meant to break the ice and

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[71][72] They were primarily meant to break the ice and prevent troops and heavy military equipment from crossing the Volga river and Ivankovo Reservoir . [73] This began with the blowing up of the Istra ( ru ) waterworks reservoir dam on 24 November 1941. On 28 November 1941, the water was drained into the Yakhroma and Sestra Rivers from six reservoirs ( Khimki ( ru ) , Iksha ( ru ) , Pyalovskoye ( ru ) , Pestovskoye ( ru ) , Pirogovskoye ( ru ) , and Klyazma ( ru ) reservoirs), as well as from Ivankovo
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The Soviet winter counter-offensive, 5 December 1941 – 7 May 1942 A Soviet machine gunner covers attacking infantry near Tula, in November 1941. Reservoir using dams near Dubna . [71] This caused some 30-40 villages to become partially submerged even in the severe winter weather conditions of the time. [71][74] Both were results of Soviet General Headquarters' Order 0428 dated 17 November 1941. Artificial floods were also used as unconventional weapon of direct impact. [75] Soviet counteroffensive [ edit ] Although the Wehrmacht's offensive had been stopped, German intelligence estimated that Soviet forces had no more reserves left and thus would be unable to stage a counteroffensive. This estimate proved wrong, as Stalin transferred over 18 divisions, 1,700 tanks, and over 1,500 aircraft from Siberia and the Far East. [76] The Red Army had accumulated a 58-division reserve by early December, [42] when the offensive proposed by Zhukov and Vasilevsky was finally approved by Stalin. [77] Even with these new reserves, Soviet forces committed to the operation numbered only 1,100,000 men, [67] only slightly outnumbering the Wehrmacht . Nevertheless, with careful troop deployment, a ratio of two-to-one was reached at some critical points. [42] On 5 December 1941, the counteroffensive for "removing the immediate threat to Moscow" started on the Kalinin Front. The South-Western Front and Western Fronts began their offensives the next day. After several days of little progress, Soviet armies retook Solnechnogorsk on 12 December and Klin on 15 December. Guderian's army "beat a hasty retreat towards Venev" and then Sukhinichi. "The threat overhanging Tula was removed." [38] :44–46,48–51 On 8 December, Hitler had signed his directive No.39 , ordering the Wehrmacht to assume a defensive stance on the whole front. German troops were unable to organize a solid defense at their present locations and were forced to pull back to consolidate their lines. Guderian wrote that discussions with Hans Schmidt and Wolfram von Richthofen took place the same day, and both commanders agreed that the current front line could not be held. [78] On 14 December, Franz Halder and Günther von Kluge finally gave permission for a limited withdrawal to the west of the Oka river , without Hitler's approval. [79] On 20 December, during a meeting with German senior officers, Hitler cancelled the withdrawal and ordered his soldiers to defend every patch of ground, "digging trenches with howitzer shells if needed." [80] Guderian protested, pointing out that losses from cold were actually greater than combat losses and that winter equipment was held by traffic ties in Poland.
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