Documentary film about the battles for Moscow and its environs, which began in October 1941 and ended with the successful Soviet counterattack in December of that year, which consistently pushed the Germans back on the Center Front until March 1942, when the offensive ran out of steam. The documentary consists of four films (two Soviet and two German), which describe the events in the words and pictures of the two opponents:
October Revolution Day Parade (07 Nov 41): This film memorializes the famous parade in Red Square in November of 1941, when Stalin showed himself to his troops and made it clear that the Soviet leadership -- or some of it, at least -- was not going to run away. After his rousing speech to the defenders of Moscow, the soldiers, tanks and artillery guns marched straight from the Kremlin to the frontlines, a mere 20 miles away. So desperate were the city's defenders for any and all men and materiél that could be scraped up, that many of the tanks which left the parade for the front lines had just come from the factories and weren't even painted yet! (7 mins. In Russian with switchable English subtitles);
The Germans before Moscow (21 Nov 41): As typical for the Deutsche Wochenschau newsreels, many events on the frontline were shown in German theatres quite a while after they took place. Though dated late November 1941, the events shown took place some ten days previously, around 12 November. By the time this brief newsreel was shown, events had changed significantly (5 mins. In German with switchable English subtitles);
The Battle for Moscow (25 Feb 42): This newsreel was significantly delayed in its showing. The Germans refute Molotov's claims, that the Germans trashed Leo Tolstoy's home (which they did) and talk about their advance on Moscow. In actuality, by the time this film was shown, the Germans had long been repulsed from the capital and Tolstoy's home. In fact, by February 1942, the Soviets were just about at the furthest western advances of their counteroffensive (4 mins. In German with switchable English subtitles);
The Defeat of the German Forces before Moscow (1942): This documentary -- re-edited and released in the United States in 1942 as "Moscow Strikes Back" with narration by Edward G. Robinson -- ironically found its origins in November 1941, when Uncle Joe decided to have a documentary made about the battle for Moscow. It was at that point in time that the fate of Moscow was at its grimmest with a Soviet counterattack well off into the future. Apparently, Stalin had better insight than most of his commanders, because the documentary was not intended to serve as a memorial to a lost city. The 66-minute film came out in 1942 at a time when the Germans had been pushed back far enough to allow the city's residents to take a deep breath and unpack their suitcases ... those, that is, who hadn't already fled as far east as possible (66 mins. In Russian with switchable English subtitles).
DVD-R is in German and Russian with switchable English subtitles. TOTAL TIME: 82 mins. Variable quality depending on the film involved; but, for the most part, very good to excellent film quality.
PLEASE NOTE THAT SWITCHABLE (SOFT) SUBTITLES WILL NOT SHOW UP WHEN VIEWING THE SAMPLE BELOW. IF YOU SEE SUBTITLES, THEN THEY ARE HARD-ENCODED (meaning, they cannot be turned off when viewing the film):