Bitva za Moskvu (1985)
Director: Yuri Ozerov
Actors: Yakov Tripolsky, Mikhail Ulyanov, Aleksandr Goloborodko
Runtime: 358 min
Since the preparations for the invasion of the Soviet Union started, the capture of Moscow was one of the key military and political objectives of Germany. The invasion (Operation Barbarossa) began on the 22nd of June 1941, and the second phase was Operation Typhoon, the German offensive on Moscow, which was launched in the first days of October 1941. For this operation the Wehrmacht had concentrated over a million soldiers, 1700 tanks and 14,000 guns and mortars.
The soviet film “Battle for Moscow” was made in 1985, on the occasion of the forty year anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe. The opening sequence points out that the movie involves only historical facts, only real heroes who actually existed, and from the beginning of the movie it’s clear that it is conceived as a history lesson, indeed a film monument to the defenders of Moscow, their amazing efforts and enormous heroism.
The movie raises a very interesting question – about the difference between the tactical and strategic level of analysis and policy-making, the difference between winning a battle and winning the war. It is the fact that the Soviets deliberately sacrificed hundreds of thousands to wear out the German strategic initiative and buy time, the few weeks that they lacked, especially in October and November of 1941. This time, for which they paid with so much blood, was the time needed to prepare the defense, transport fresh troops from the east, evacuate the industry, and it played a very important role in the outcome of the war. However, this movie also presents lots of casualties that could have been avoided as conscious, necessary and inevitable, especially with regard to the disastrous Soviet defeats in the Battle of Kiev in September 1941, or the collapse of huge Red Army forces in Minsk in July 1941. Despite these disappointing rationalizations, the movie is very interesting, informative and educational. Based on actual events.
You can download this film or watch it online.