Causes of the Conflict
Plans for the recapture of the capital had been made since the start of the year, but Stalin needed to make sure the Soviet Army was well prepared to confront the German military power and then to start pushing them back into Central Europe.
The Battle for Moscow was an enormous military confrontation between the strong garrison of German occupation forces and massive Soviet assault divisions in the summer of 1946. The Soviet high command had managed to pour full effort into rebuilding the Soviet military might after the humiliating defeats of 1945, since then the Soviet Army engaged in guerrilla warfare against Axis forces. The Russian major cities of Moscow, Stalingrad and Leningrad were of vital importance not just to the generals of the Reich but to Hitler, the Führer saw the cities as holding lines between European and Asian Russia, if these cities fell then Stalin would be able to launch attacks into the expanding Third Reich directly. Therefore, Hitler very strongly reinforced these cities and especially Moscow which had a rough estimate of 1.2 million troops strong in defence of the capital city whereas Stalin organised a mass force of over two million with numbers like these on both sides a massive confrontation had already been predicted. German forces knew an attack was imminent since the Soviets had broken the Ural lines.
Ten days of fighting ensued and Germany emerged victorious, the Soviet forces retreated back to the Ural mountains were German troops continued to pursue the rump forces. The German Army had dug in deep for the defence of the city and also had the support of the local populace who believed that if Soviet forces regained Moscow Stalin would kill everyone because of the city's surrender to the Nazis in 1943. The Russians found themselves eventually being attacked from Leningrad who sent a relief force on day five of the battle. The death toll was extremely heavy for both sides, for the Russians 1,740,082 and Germans an overall one billion. The Soviet Army was forced to flee back into the Urals pursued by the vast German Army.