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H. Flohn and R. Penndorf
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H. Flohn and R. Penndorf

A suitable nomenclature for atmospheric strata as well as a clear definition of the boundaries is proposed. The necessity of such a new classification is stressed. The atmosphere is divided into an inner and an outer atmosphere; from the latter particles may escape. The inner atmosphere is divided into three spheres—troposphere, stratosphere, and ionosphere—with each sphere in turn being subdivided into 3 or 4 layers. The new classification is based upon the thermal structure of the atmosphere.' Boundaries of each layer are fixed by a sudden change of lapse rate.

The bottom layer, the ground layer, the advection layer, and the tropopause layer are subdivisions of the troposphere. The advantages gained by defining a separate tropopause layer as part of the troposphere are discussed in detail. Its upper boundary is assumed to be situated at 12 km over temperate latitudes. The stratosphere, consisting of an isothermal layer, a warm layer, and an upper mixing layer, extends from 12 to 80 km. The atmosphere between 80 and 800 km is occupied by the ionosphere, the subdivisions of which are the E-layer, the Flayer and the atomic layer. Above that height the exosphere exists.

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J. Neumann and H. Flohn

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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J. Neumann and H. Flohn

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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