Hanging by a thread in the north: Hoepner and Reinhardt march on Moscow
With the exception of the Second Army’s slow advance in the south, Operation Typhoon resumed its active operations on 15 November, but the contrast with 2 October could not have been more apparent. The staggered offensive timetable meant that on 15 November only the xxvii Army Corps (from the Ninth Army) was able to commence the attack. Bock noted its ‘good progress’, and Halder rejoiced at the news that the enemy was pulling back, to which he observed: ‘That is something new in this campaign.’ The Soviet proclivity to defend every metre of ground had helped to facilitate the large-scale encirclements of the past, and if local commanders were adapting their methods to fixing defences on natural boundaries it was hardly a positive development. Reinhardt in fact described the attack as a punch into thin air (Luftstoß) and claimed that the enemy had already re-established its defences behind the Volga, with only screening troops in the forward positions. Moreover, the bridges that the xxvii Army Corps was supposed to capture had been blown. On the following day (16 November) Schaal’s lvi Panzer Corps joined the attack to the south of Wäger’s corps. Unlike the shock effect of previous offensives, Funck’s 7th Panzer Division, supported by concentrated artillery and rocket fire, made only slow progress. Losses for the division on this first day came to eleven officers and some 120 men. The accompanying 14th Motorised Infantry Division was more successful, seizing two bridgeheads across the Lama River at Gribanowo and Kussowa.