By Rasmus Wiuff
An accompaniment to the article ‘Was Franz Baur’s infamous long-range weather forecast for the winter of 1941/42 on the Eastern Front really wrong?’ Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, January 2023
On 22 June 1941, Hitler began Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union with the aim of ending the campaign before winter. The soldiers therefore had no winter equipment, not even in the depots behind the front. The equipment, including guns, rifles and tanks, was not suitable for heavy frost and snow, in contrast to the Soviets’ equipment. In the first few months, the campaign went as planned for the Germans, but then came autumn with rain and mud, the time of year that the Germans call Schlammperiode (mud period) and the Russians more poetically refer to as rasputiza (slush). The Germans faced poor mobility and were stuck for four weeks.