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It imbued the Russian peopl e with confidence and gave the regime a renewed hold on the population on both sides of the front. It gave the Arm y a fund of experience to exploit in developing viable offensive doctrine. The opportunity was not wasted. Special detachments in the General Staff, th e sta ffs of the service arms, staff and command schools, fronts. j~ 1942, R etreat and R eco very Encouraged by the winter's successes, the Stavka planned to keep the initiative and, after the spring thaw ) attack at Leningrad .

The trucks making the long trip from R ostO\, were burning nearly as much gasoline as they cou ld haul. Spearheads pushed into the Caucasus, but the Russians continued to hold all the passes. Sixth Army and Fourth Panzer Army closed in on Stalingrad from Lhe west and south but had to spread their forces thin to cover their flanks and so lost momentum. Th e M nnpowet Squeeze On 8 September 1942 the Organizational Bran ch, OKH, reported, "All planning must take into account the unalterable fact that the predicted strength of the Army field forces as of 1 November 1942 will be 800,000, or 18 percent, below estaLlished strength rapproximately 3,200,000 l and that it is no longer possible to reduce those numbers.

The strategy was still the same: meet the enemy head-on, wear him down , stop him , and then counterattack. Again it failed. In a week the Germans trapped the greater part o f six armies in pockets at Bryansk and Vyaz'ma. On 10 October the Army Chief of Staff, General Armii Georgi K. " O ctober was a black month for the Soviet Union, th e darkest of the entire war. Leningrad was under tight siege; Moscow was threatened ; Kharkov fell ; and German armies closed in on th e D onets Basin industrial area.

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