The German war machine ran smoothly in Russia in 1941. Till the winter came.
WHY GERMANY LOST IN RUSSIA?The Germans were ill-prepared for the Russian winter. The Russians lived there so it was just another winter for them. For the Germans it was a nightmare. They were ill-clothed.
The invading Germans were welcomed by many Russians. They hated Stalin, and had Hitler played his cards right many of these soldiers would have joined in the attack on Moscow. As it was the top German generals advised bypassing these surrounded Russian soldiers and marching on Moscow but Hitler insisted on smashing them than send in the SS. This delayed the attack on Moscow and put the Germans up against Russia's best weapon: mother winter. As it was they still could have taken Moscow but Hitler decided to take Leningrad at the same time and took vital divisions from the Moscow front.
Stalingrad was all Hitler's fault: sending Panzer divisions into a city was madness and what about Kurst? The Russians put everything thing they had into the battle after Stalingrad. Field Marshall Von Meinstein had the newly upgraded SS Panzer Divisions, he crushed the Russians. Stalin wrote that they were never closer to defeat, the only thing that stopped the Germans was the rain but the battle could have continued a few months later when the ground froze. Instead Hitler decided to wait till summer so the new Panther tank could be used. Von Mainstien called this military suicide.
Motivation took the Germans till a point.
The Russians after the initial battering, were rallying.
Nothing showed this better than in Kursk. Russian peasants digging defensive holes. The Germans lost the Battle of Kursk and their last chance to win the war. After that it was all downhill.
The fact that the war went on for three more years shows the grit of the German soldiers.
The horrible Russian winter. Snow and rain made slush out of mud and the German war machines struggled to move
The Russians attacked hard
A German dispatch rider bathed in mud.
Some of the best German troops were sent to Russia by Hitler.
The Russians move in the snow
The Russian factories were churning out tanks.