With the Volokolamsk Highway firmly blocked by Its fanatic defenders, the Germans tried another route to the northeast of Moscow. Once again Soviet troops fought fanatically to defend the capital. With fresh reserves committed to the battle, the Soviets began a series of counter attacks. Soon the Germans found themselves fighting desperately to escape the Soviet trap.

The Germans probably had only the slimmest of chances to actually capture Moscow In late 1941. Political decisions diverted the panzers south for several key weeks during the autumn. By the time they returned to the drive on Moscow, It was already too late. Even an early attack on the Soviet capital had no guarantee of success, since the fanatical defense at Volokolamsk and Klin would surely have been repeated In the streets of Moscow Itself.

There was also no guarantee that the capture of Moscow would have driven the Russians out of the war. Napoleon certainly learned that lesson In 1812. The loss of Moscow would have crippled the Soviet railroad system and cost the Soviets many Important factories. It would not have crushed the will of their people to resist the Germans.

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