Winning Battles and Losing the War- Operations of German Group Center, June-December 1941
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI
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The most significant fault with Operation Barbarossa, the German plan for the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, was Hitlers failure to identify Moscow as the enemys strategic center of gravity. The absence of a well defined center of gravity precluded operational commanders from focusing their efforts toward an attainable and decisive strategic objective. As such, the ability of these commanders to masterfully apply the key elements of operational warfare could not overcome the inherent problems related to the initial absence of this objective. Those problems included indecisiveness, delay, and the expenditure of resources on important, yet secondary operational objectives. This ultimately caused Army Group Center to reach culmination before Moscow could be captured. In effect, elements of Army Group Center had been highly successful at winning major battles at Minsk, Smolensk, Kiev, Bryansk, and Vyazma- but had been drained of the requisite combat power to win the battle that would have won the war. An alternative proposal for the operation is suggested by the author.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics