The end of the march on Moscow
5th December 1941: Operation Typhoon grinds to a halt in the Russian winter
The 5th December 1941 marked the day that the German thrust towards Moscow, Operation Typhoon, came to a halt. In October they had made remarkable progress, encircling enormous numbers of Red Army troops. Then the weather had turned against them, the roads becoming swampy bogs, halting the advance. Then in the middle of November, as the cold weather arrived - and the roads hardened - they had resumed progress . But the temperature kept falling, lower and lower by the day.
The coldest winter in the Moscow region in the 20th century combined with a sudden resurgence from the Red Army. Only days before Hitler and many in the High Command had convinced themselves that the Soviet forces were finally at an end. Their casualties had been so high - especially the number of prisoners taken - that they must surely have few reserves left.
But the Red Army had millions more in reserve. To make it worse they were Siberian divisions, experienced and equipped to fight in the Russian winter.
Oberst Heinrich Eberbach1, commanding 5 Panzer Brigade, describes the situation as 4. Panzer-Division first halted and then retreated.