A brief account is given of Baur's long-range weather forecast prepared in the autumn of 1941 for the 1941–42 winter in Eastern Europe. Baur's forecast called for a ‘normal’ or mild winter but the winter turned out to be one of the most severe winters on record. The cold, the icy winds and blizzards gravely hit the German armies and coincided with the first major Soviet counteroffensive of the war. A Soviet weather forecast for January 1942, also called for a mild month.

A review of the climatological studies prepared for the war indicates that the occurrence of mud periods of considerable intensity in autumn was not considered. The autumn 1941 mud period immobilized most of the German armies for a month and caused the attempted final German assault on Moscow to take place in an early and severe winter.

Hitler would not tolerate the mention of winter and still less the mention of the retreat of Napoleon's Grande Armee from Russia. The support given by Soviet meteorologists and hydrologists to the Red Army is sketched. For the 1941–42 winter the more-important short- to medium-range forecasts included a forecast for 7 November (anniversary of the October Revolution) at Moscow and a forecast for the start of Zhukov's counteroffensive in the Battle of Moscow in December 1941.

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Footnotes

1 Part 1, “The Mongol Invasions of Japan,” was published in the November 1975 Bulletin (56,1167–1171); Part 2, “The Year Leading to the Revolution of 1789 in France,” was published in the February 1977 Bulletin (58, 163–168); Part 3, “The Cold Winter 1657–58: The Swedish Army Crosses Denmark's Frozen Sea Areas,” was published in the November 1978 Bulletin (59, 1432–1437); Part 4, “The Great Famines in Finland and Estonia, 1695–97,” was published in the July 1979 Bulletin (60, 775–787); Part 5, “Some Meteorological Events of the Crimean War and Their Consequences,” was published in the December 1980 Bulletin (61, 1570–1583); and Part 6, “Inundations and the Mild Winter 1672–73 Help Protect Amsterdam from French Conquest,” was published in the July 1983 Bulletin (64, 770–778). Part 7, “Protestant Wind-Popish Wind: The Revolution of 1688 in England,” was published in the June 1985 Bulletin.

2 Emeritus, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. (Now visiting with the Department of Meteorology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.)

3 Emeritus, Meteorological Institute, University of Bonn, Bonn, Federal Republic of Germany.