On the 2nd October the Germans had launched Operation Typhoon, intended to be the final knockout blow against Moscow. Over a million men from Army Group Center launched a a new blitzkrieg assault – the ‘final battle of the year’.
On the the 3rd at a Nazi Party rally Hitler spoke to a feverish audience at the Berlin Sports Palace boasting about the victories that they had already achieved:
According to the British version we have for three months suffered one defeat after another, yet we are 1,000 kilometers beyond our frontier. We are east of Smolensk, we are before Leningrad and are on the Black Sea. We are before the Crimea and the Russians are not on the Rhine.
If, therefore, the Russians have been continuously victorious they did not make use of their victories. Indeed, after every victory they marched back 100 or 200 kilometers, evidently to lure us deep into the area.
The magnitude of this battle is shown by the following figures. There are many among you who have experienced the World War and they know what it means to take prisoners and to advance hundreds of kilometers.
The number of prisoners has now risen to roughly 2,500,000 Russians. The number of captured or destroyed guns in our hands is, in round figures, 22,000. The number of captured or destroyed tanks in our hands amounts to over 18,000. The number of destroyed and shot-down planes is over 14,500.
Behind our front line is a Russian area twice as large as the German Reich when I took over leadership in 1933, or four times as large as England. The beeline covered by the German soldiers is from over 800 to 1,000 kilometers. The marching distance of this is often one and a half times or twice as great.
They are fighting on a front of gigantic length, and against an enemy who, I must say, does not consist of human beings but of animals or beasts. We have seen now what Bolshevism can make of human beings.
We cannot bring to the people at home the pictures we have at our disposal. They are the most sinister that human brains can imagine The enemy is fighting with a bestial lust of blood on the one hand and out of cowardice and fear of his commissars on the other hand.
German newsreel featuring Hitler speaking to a wildly excitable audience at the Sports Palace on the 3rd October, and footage from the Eastern front: