World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF RUSSIA: Death to the Invaders

"Whatever happens at Orel happens just as much everywhere in Germany at the same time. . . . Orel has already be come a symbol of internal strength, a symbol in which one will always see a test of German soldiers far beyond all successes achieved hitherto."

When these words were published in the German press five weeks ago, the long-awaited, ill-fated German summer offensive of 1943 had not yet spent its strength. Last week, after a relentless, inch-by-inch, 24-day counterdrive, the powerful Red Army seized Orel and drove on. For nearly two years Orel had been a key bastion of...