The winter campaign was of course dominated by THE ANOMALY and the massive Soviet counterattacks. We still have no explanation for THE ANOMALY. This is what we understand today.
Between November 28 and December 5, the Axis forces in the east suffered a sudden, unexpected and rapid decline in combat effectiveness. A number of explanations have been advanced for THE ANOMALY, but none of them stand-up under close examination.
One potential explanation for THE ANOMALY is that severe weather is responsible. While the Winter of 1941-42 was severe, this notion fails when one considers the fact that the effect was completely uniform across a front stretching over 900 miles and several climate zones. If THE ANOMALY were due to the weather, one would expect some differences in the nature of the impact between Riga and Oddessa. There was none.
Another potential explanation is that our troops simply did not know what to expect this far East in the winter. This notion fails when one realizes that many of our senior leaders operated over the same terrain impacted by the THE ANOMALY through the winter of 1917 and 1918. While the combat was much less intense in the prior conflict, we generally were familiar with the terrain and what to expect from the weather.
Another potential explanation is that the winter was so cold that our weapons simply did not work. While adjustments were required for the extreme conditions, they are not an explanation for the full impact of THE ANOMALY. Indeed, since our mountain troops using virtually the same weapons were not impacted by the THE ANOMALY, this notion fails as well.
Finally, logistics has been advanced as a cause of THE ANOMALY. This notion also fails because the impact of THE ANOMALY was uniform from the well rested, well dug in and well supplied troops in AGN to the overextended troops in front of Stalino.
Finally THE ANOMALY persisted throughout the winter ending with the onset of the Spring rains.
One other odd effect associated with THE ANOMALY is the remarkable mobility of the enemy troops in these severe weather conditions. There is no explanation for why an infantry or a cavalry unit can maneuver through hostile but undefended territory more effectively in blizzard conditions than in snow.
We have no idea what caused THE ANOMALY so we do not know if it would have re-occurred next Winter. We were wise to accept terms in the East and end that cursed campaign.