Depleted as they were from the previous Summer’s Drive on MOSCOW, 7 Panzer and 20 Motorised Infantry Divisions still managed to blunt the breakthrough by 1st Shock Army on the city’s southern flank. No less dangerous though, was the northern flank breach.
The initial bridgehead was widened until it burst through the reserve line and soon, long columns of Soviet infantry could be seen trudging through the snow on their way west.
Dislodged from their prepared defences on the canal line, all the disorganised infantry defenders could do was fall back to the east or south into MOSCOW.
Attempts by 20 Motorised Infantry to halt the Soviet advance lacked vigour as they had yet to recover from halting 2 Guards Mechanised Corps. 7 Panzer Division was in no shape to assist, having had its own battle with 1 Guards Tank Corps, so retired west to refuel and reorganise. As part of its reorganisation, 20 Motorised Infantry was redesignated 20 Panzer Grenadier Division.
The defenders in MOSCOW were in crisis, with continued enemy infantry attacks from the east and south, and the rail line of communication to the west in Soviet hands. LittleHitler formally declared MOSCOW to be a fortress even as a relief by 3 Panzer Korps was prepared.