Hermann Hoth led Germany s 3rd Panzer Group in Army Group Centre in tandem with Guderian s 2nd Group during the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Together those two daring panzer commanders achieved a series of astounding victories, encircling entire Russian armies at Minsk, Smolensk, and Vyazma, all the way up to the very gates of Moscow.
In this work, originally published in German in 1956, Hoth discusses his exact command decisions during Barbarossa still the largest continental offensive ever undertaken to reveal new insights into how Germany could, and in his view should, have succeeded in the campaign.
Hoth analyses the origin, development, and objective of the plan, and presents the situations confronted, the decisions taken, and the mistakes made by the army s leadership, as the new form of mobile warfare startled not only the Soviets but the German leadership itself, which failed to provide support infrastructure for their panzer arm s breakthroughs.
Hoth sheds light on the decisive and ever-escalating struggle between Hitler and his military advisers on the question whether, after the Dnieper and the Dvina had been reached, to adhere to the original idea of capturing Moscow. He then finally considers in detail whether the Germans, after obliterating the remaining Russian armies facing Army Group Centre in Operation Typhoon, could still hope for the occupation of the Russian capital.
Hoth concludes his study with several lessons for the future offensive use of armoured formations. His firsthand analysis is vital reading for every student of World War II.