Short- to medium-range weather forecasts were prepared by Soviet meteorologists for the Battle of Stalingrad. These included forecasts for days suitable for massing troops and equipment and for starting the Soviet offensive in November 1942 that resulted in the encirclement of the German 6th Army. Another forecast was connected with the operation of artificial thickening of the ice cover of the Volga River in the Stalingrad area that made it possible to drive tanks from the east bank to the west bank of the river (width: about 1 km).

In January 1943 a German Panzer army had to be withdrawn from the Caucasus. To accelerate the retreat, light elements of that army crossed some 42 km of the ice cover of the Gulf of Taganrog (Sea of Azov). The crossing was authorized after a meteorologist proved his estimate of the ice-cover thickness by landing in a light plane on the ice.

In January 1945 weather forecasts played an important role in the major Soviet (2 200 000 troops and 5 000 warplanes) Oder-Vistula offensive. Marshal Konev writes with appreciation of the correct weather forecasts.

In the Appendix, considerations that led German meteorologists to formulate a forecast for a minimum of five days of fog or low clouds from the Ardennes to southern England are reviewed. This forecast was used by the German High Command for the start of the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.

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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); 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 (66, 634–644); and Part 8, Ch. I, “Germany's War on the Soviet Union, 1941–45: Long-range Weather Forecasts for 1941–42 and Climatological Studies,” was published in June 1987 Bulletin (68, 620–630).

2 Emeritus, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. (First draft prepared in 1986 while visiting the Department of Meteorology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; final draft in 1987 at the Department of Meteorology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Both drafts are joint with H. Flohn).

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