As the front around MOSCOW collapsed, the landscape filled with large and small groups of Germans retreating to the west. Lacking heavy equipment, knots and pockets of resistance caused just enough delay to the advancing Soviets to keep a semblance of order and a front line, albeit one with rents kilometers wide.
Some resistance was more resolute than others, 12th Infantry Division, in particular, fighting hard to buy enough time for the front to reform. Advancing against them were 38 and 57 Rifle Divisions.
For some of the hard-pressed Landser, it was easier to fight and die in position than to continue trudging through the snow. Iron-hard ground and lack of time to prepare reduced the effectiveness of the German advanced defensive line.
Behind the forward troops, preparations proceeded as fast as the appalling conditions would allow.
Anxious troops, with little time to rest, wearily awaited the Enemy. To their front, the forward defensive line is breached.
Waves of advancing Soviets press forward to the main defensive line.
The Divisional Railhead is a scene of frantic activity as the Enemy draws nearer.
Even a captured Soviet armoured train is pressed into service.
But just as 12th Infantry Division, was at the limit of its endurance, the pressure began to ease. The Soviet advance had outpaced its own supply lines and come to a halt. at the end of this two-hour battle with YesthatPhil taking the Axis, and the Author playing the Soviets as a player-umpire (Plumpire). The Change in the map looked like this:
12 Infantry Division holds the SERPUKHOV to MOSCOW line
The Soviet Winter Offensive Takes the SEPUKHOV to MOSCOW Line Winter 1942/3