On October 3rd 1941 when Orel fell to the Germans, Stalin's Sercutiy Cheif Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria who had contacts in the west was told by Stalin to make use of them.
In the words of Zhukov who was at the meeting, Stalin instructed Beria " to sound out the possibilities of making a separate peace with Germany given the criticail situation."
A week after Beria was told to see what could be done to come to terms wih Hitler the streets of Moscow exploded in a series of riots that griped the city for days as terrified citizens, including officails and party members, tried to seize whatever they could and flee.
Over the next few weeks Stalin hesitated between surender and resistance, as well as whether to abandon Moscow.
By October 19th the overtures were made for peace to Hitler, but he rejected them at which point Stalin realized that he had no chioce but to keep fighting.
I see the Sudden Death Rule as totally historical, but as only a minor victory for German or even a draw.
The Germans were winning the war of atrition through 41 into 42 as can clearly be seen by Russian losses through early 1943.
Red Army Losses
---------------- Killed+Wounded KIA+Missing
1st Quarter 1942 1,800,000 620,000
2nd Quarter 1942 1,500,000 780,000
3rd Quarter 1942 2,400,000 1,140,000
4th Quarter 1942 1,390,000 456,000
1st Quarter 1943 2,077,000 656,000
RA Tanks losses for the whole 1942: 15,000
RA Aircraft losses for 1942: 12,000
May 1942 Red Army frontlines strength: ~ 6,000,000 (includes wounded)
Wehrmacht+German Allies: 3,600,000
If Moscow had fallen there can be no dought Stalin would have gone "missing" as did close to 20 million Russians by his hands during his reign of terror of his own poeple.
In hind sight Hitler should have at least talked with Stalin and then turned him down or made the deal so hard Stalin would have not taken it.
Then he could have used the info agianst Stalin, but Hitler I am guessing figured he could easly have won the war in 42.
Beta Tester WitW & WitE