The German army advanced to within 50 miles of Moscow, while heavy fighting continued on the whole of the Eastern Front. On 10 October, General Georgi Zhukov took control of the front responsible for defending the city. Women and children began to be evacuated to the east.
The Russian soldiers were poorly trained but (as Churchill was fond of saying) ‘they could always take one with them.’ The Russians also had the advantage of being well-clothed. A lack of warm clothing would eventually cost the Germans dearly.
The first snow fell on the night of 6/7 October. The cold weather set in unusually early. There was no anti-freeze for trucks or tanks. No chains were available for the wheeled vehicles, many of which were soon immobilized. It was still snowing on 12 October.