Still, it was a formidable concentration consisting of 1,250,000 men, 1,000 tanks and 7,600 guns.
The Soviet Air Force (Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily, VVS) had suffered appalling losses of some 7,500 Once Soviet resistance along the Vyazma-Bryansk front was eliminated, German forces were to press east, encircling Moscow by outflanking it from the north and south.
Facing the Wehrmacht were three Soviet fronts forming a defensive line between the cities of Vyazma and Bryansk, which barred the way to Moscow.
The armies comprising these fronts had also been involved in heavy fighting.
It was a major setback for the Germans, the end of the idea of a fast German victory in the USSR.
Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch was excused as commander of OKH, instead Hitler appointed himself as Germany's supreme military commander as well.
German aerial strength, however, had been severely reduced over the summer's campaign; the Luftwaffe had lost 1,603 aircraft destroyed and 1,028 damaged.