The Blitzkrieg saga ended in early December 1941 thanks to the inability of meteorology

When Adolf Hitler attacked Russia on 22 June 1941 (Frontline strength, 3.8 million personnel), he believed that the highly successful Blitzkrieg strategy during the first two war years would also be sufficient to conquer Russia. But just five months later, the concept ended in ice and snow between Warsaw and Moscow. Such a weather situation had not existed for over 150 years and meteorologists had predicted the opposite. The reason: after the two winters in Europe 1939/40 and 1941/42 were extremely cold and snowy, a third

extreme winter in a row was ruled out. This has never happened since there were weather records. The forecast turned out to be catastrophic, but on the other hand revealed incompetence in metrology, which turned out to be a blessing for the course of the war. Hitler and the German Army Hitler and the German Army got their Waterloo and the end of the earlier blitzkrieg successes.

To understand the drama, one only has to look at the weather and temperature maps between Warsaw and Moscow for late November and early December. These are around the freezing point, then as now. That was different in late autumn 1941. On December 9, 1941, the NYT reported: “Nazis give up Idea of Moscow in 1941, as winter has stopped the Germans short of Moscow”, which as spokesman for the High Command explained that “The cold is so terrific that even the oil freezes in motorized vehicles. Soldier and officers trying to take cover simply freeze to the ground “. This unusual weather situation had been brewing since the beginning of November. After a wet autumn, severe frost set in unusually early. It was one of the earliest and severest since observation had been recorded.

The extraordinary situation is reflected by two sources: The German Field Marshal von Bock, commander of Army Group Center, recorded in his war diary on 5 November 1941 that the mercury dipped to -29°C (-20°F), and Albert Seaton reported that around 24 November it was a steady -30°C (-22°F). Even the Russian the Meteorological Service records of the minimum temperatures for the Moscow area in late 1941: October, -8.2°C (about +17°F); November, -17.3°C (+1°F); December, -28.8°C (-20°F). On 30 November the already mentioned Marshall von Bock informed the Chief of Staff of the German Army, that his men face temperatures down to -45°C (-49°F). Exaggerated or not, the winter came much too early and exceeded all expectations. The misery continued to last, enhance by heavy snow and snow drifts. The Blitzkrieg versus Russia ended already in early December 1941, and marked the beginning of the end of Adolf Hitler’s great power aspirations.

It is embarrassing that this turning point can be traced back to incompetent meteorologists, and that even 80 years later, climate science has nothing to say about it and is silent. After all, two extreme war winters had preceded and had the involved meteorologists inquired about their causes, namely the naval war in the North and Baltic Seas and all other European waters, a false prognosis would have been avoidable. The false and incompetent prognosis had a pronounced impact on the length and outcome of World War II, and is to be judged as an unique stroke of luck. However, that the reasons for this failure, has not been explored to this day, means a severe failure in climatology.
This is explained in a previous post.