BATTLE OF RUSSIA: No Birthday Present

Moscow was patient, with the patience of a child awaiting Christmas. For more than a month the people had scanned communiques that were optimistic but vague. There was the daily assurance of gains on all fronts, but localities and specific actions were not mentioned. There was the terse Pravda estimate of Adolf Hitler's staggering losses on the eastern front: 300,000 dead between Dec. 6 and Jan. 15, 6,000,000 casualties in the first five months of war. There was the heartening report of the Red Navy: 81 Axis warships and 276 auxiliary vessels sunk in...

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