The LVI corps already suffered a large number of casualties and was the farther corps from its supply base in horrible terrain. So even the distance was not great on paper it was still a multiple of what other corps in the South faced and many times more difficult than Western Europe.BDV wrote:
The 56th (without Totenkopf!) was ordered to get all the way to Velikiye Novgorod. That is not too great to cover?!?
Totenkopf spent the few quiet days following the bloody assault on Opochka building bridges around Porkhov. The Soviets were blowing bridges whichever way Germans advanced.
However the 19th Panzer made it all the way to V.Luki and had to withdraw only when no help was forthcoming. Also, I was unaware of either 56th Panzer Corps and 16th army having anything to do (even indirectly) with the Smolensk pocket (its formation and/or liquidation). Care to clarify?
Also, the decision was not to withdraw but to pursue a different objective, namely the acquisition of jump-off points for the storming of Leningrad.
BTW, if Soviet maps are to be believed, elements of 3rd (mot) were within 10 miles of Novorzhev on the evening of July 9th, i.e. in excellent position to cut off Soviet forces in the Pushkinskiye Gory area.
Its order to go the V. Luki was rescinded before it went because Corps, Army and AG command knew better. The Red army controlled the supply routes from the east and was present in large numbers behind the 19th Panzer. Only miscommunication between Soviet Armies in addition to the fact that it had two corps encircled prevented the 19th from being destroyed.
You would get more Soviet resistance anyway, the problem was the deeper you went towards Moscow the closer the Red army was to its supply and manufacturing base and the more access to a descent road/rail network. Something the Germans would have less of if they went deeper. Going to Leningrad while would cause a lot of damage at least ensured that a large number of troops were tied there and isolated a major industrial base from the rest of the country.BDV wrote:
I disagree, separating infantry from armor, when they were in as good as possible position to help each other was a major blunder, most likely explained by the AGN generals being blinded by a most shiny object(ive), Leningrad. A blunder that, while not causing, facilitated Soviet successful resistance north of Riga Moscow line. That, more than anything guaranteed more Soviet resistance and casualties.