• The Survival of Auftragstaktik during the Soviet Counterattack in the Battle for Moscow, December 1941 to January 1942

      Lockenour, Jay, 1966-; Urwin, Gregory J. W., 1955- (Temple University. Libraries, 2015)
      On 16 December 1941, Adolf Hitler issued his controversial Haltbefehl (halt order). As Germany’s Army Group Center reeled under the Soviet counterattack during the battle for Moscow, the Haltbefehl forbade the army to retreat. Scholars have argued that this order ended the Prussian-German method of command called Auftragstaktik. Under this concept, German field commanders enjoyed wide command discretion within the intent of their superiors. This thesis argues that Auftragstaktik did survive at and below the German Army’s divisional level during its defensive struggles in the battle for Moscow. The case studies illustrate that field commanders kept their command independence and withdrew their units against Hitler’s halt order.