Battle of Moscow (film)

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Battle of Moscow
Moscow 1985.jpg
A poster of the film.
Directed by Yuri Ozerov
Produced byAnatoly Raskazov
Screenplay byYuri Ozerov
Starring Mikhail Ulyanov
Narrated by Vyacheslav Tikhonov
Music by Aleksandra Pakhmutova
CinematographyIgor Chernykh, Vladimir Gusev
Edited bySvetlana Metelitsa
Release date
1 November 1985
Running time
358 minutes (combined)
Film I(1): 91 minutes
Film I(2): 88 minutes
Film II(1): 90 minutes
Film II(2): 89 minutes
CountrySoviet Union
East Germany
LanguageRussian, German.

The Battle of Moscow (Russian: Битва за Москву, Bitva za Moskvu) is a 1985 Soviet two-part war film, presenting a dramatized account of the 1941 Battle of Moscow and the events preceding it. The films were a Soviet-East German-Czechoslovak-Vietnamese co-production directed by Yuri Ozerov who also wrote the script. [1] It was made in time for the 40th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany and the 20th anniversary of the proclamation of the Victory Day holiday and Moscow's declaration as a Hero City.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 30 December 1922 to 26 December 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

War film film genre depicting wars

War film is a film genre concerned with warfare, typically about naval, air, or land battles, with combat scenes central to the drama. It has been strongly associated with the 20th century. The fateful nature of battle scenes means that war films often end with them. Themes explored include combat, survival and escape, camaraderie between soldiers, sacrifice, the futility and inhumanity of battle, the effects of war on society, and the moral and human issues raised by war. War films are often categorized by their milieu, such as the Korean War; the most popular subject is the Second World War. The stories told may be fiction, historical drama, or biographical. Critics have noted similarities between the Western and the war film.

Battle of Moscow periods of strategically significant fighting on a 600 km (370 mi) sector of the Eastern Front during World War II

The Battle of Moscow was a military campaign that consisted of two periods of strategically significant fighting on a 600 km (370 mi) sector of the Eastern Front during World War II. It took place between October 1941 and January 1942. The Soviet defensive effort frustrated Hitler's attack on Moscow, the capital and largest city of the Soviet Union. Moscow was one of the primary military and political objectives for Axis forces in their invasion of the Soviet Union.



Film I: Aggression

Part 1

In the aftermath of the victory in France, Hitler decides to attack the Soviet Union and selects Marshal von Bock in charge of leading Army Group Center of the Wehrmacht into Russia. Ilse Stöbe, Rudolf von Scheliha and Richard Sorge inform of the danger, but the Soviet intelligence dismisses their warnings. Zhukov is concerned that the army is ill-prepared; Pavlov decries him as a fear-monger. The Red Army officers are convinced that in the event of an invasion, they would immediately counter-attack. On 22 June 1941 Germany launches Operation Barbarossa, overwhelming the Soviets.

Adolf Hitler Leader of Germany from 1934 to 1945

Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

Operation Barbarossa 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union during the Second World War

Operation Barbarossa was the code name for the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, which started on Sunday, 22 June 1941, during World War II. The operation stemmed from Nazi Germany's ideological aims to conquer the western Soviet Union so that it could be repopulated by Germans (Lebensraum), to use Slavs as an slave labour force for the Axis war effort, and to seize the oil reserves of the Caucasus and the agricultural resources of Soviet territories.

Fedor von Bock German field marshal

Moritz Albrecht Franz Friedrich Fedor von Bock was a German field marshal who served in the German army during the Second World War. Bock served as the commander of Army Group North during the Invasion of Poland in 1939, commander of Army Group B during the Invasion of France in 1940, and later as the commander of Army Group Center during the attack on the Soviet Union in 1941; his final command was that of Army Group South in 1942.

Part 2

The Red Army tries to counter the assault with a string of hasty operations, while the Brest Fortress is desperately defended. The Soviets manages to recapture Yelnya but having Lieutenant General L.G. Petrovsky killed in action. Stalin insists on defending Kiev, and his forces suffer immense losses.

Brest Fortress 19th century Russian fortress

Brest Fortress, formerly known as Brest-Litovsk Fortress, is a 19th-century Russian fortress in Brest, Belarus. In 1965, the title Hero Fortress was given to the Fortress to commemorate the defence of the frontier stronghold during the first week of the German-Soviet War, when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, with the launch of World War II's Operation Barbarossa. The title Hero Fortress corresponds to the title Hero City, that was awarded to an eventual total of twelve Soviet cities.

Yelnya Offensive military offensive

The Yelnya Offensive was a military operation by the Soviet Army during the Battle of Smolensk during Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, which began the German-Soviet War. The offensive was an attack against the semi-circular Yelnya salient which the German 4th Army had extended 50 kilometres (31 mi) south-east of Smolensk, forming a staging area for an offensive towards Vyazma and eventually Moscow. Under heavy pressure on its flanks, the German army (Heer) evacuated the salient by 8 September 1941, leaving behind a devastated and depopulated region. As the first reverse that the Heer suffered during Barbarossa and the first recapture of the Soviet territory by the Red Army, the battle was covered by Nazi and Soviet propaganda and served as a morale boost to the Soviet population.

Leonid Grigorevich Petrovsky was a Soviet lieutenant general. He was the oldest son of Grigory Petrovsky. He was born in what is now Donetsk Oblast in Ukraine. He was promoted to Komkor from Komdiv in 1937. While in command of forces in Central Asia, he was removed from command and expelled from the army. He was not executed like many of his colleagues. In 1940, he was reinstated in the army. He was a recipient of the Order of the Red Banner, the Order of the Red Star and the Order of the Patriotic War. Less than a month after his death, his younger brother, Peter was executed on September 11, despite a request from his father for his release.

Film II: Typhoon

Part 1

The Wehrmacht enacts to attack Moscow in which Hitler decides to call it Operation Typhoon. Richard Sorge finds out that Japan won't attack the USSR in 1941. The Germans approach the Soviet capital, winning the Battle at Borodino Field and breaching the Mozhaisk line. Stalin decides to remain in Moscow.

Empire of Japan Empire in the Asia-Pacific region between 1868–1947

The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.

The Battle at Borodino Field was a part of the Battle of Moscow, on the Eastern Front of World War II. While referring to the battle in Russian, the Borodino Field is actually more commonly applied rather than just Borodino, cf. Georgy Zhukov.

Part 2

The enemy is at the outskirts of the city, yet the traditional 7 November parade takes place as always. Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya is captured and executed, and Panfilov's men fight to the last. Rokossovsky begs Zhukov to allow retreat but is refused. After all seems lost, the Germans grind to a halt since because of the harsh winter. On 6 December, the Soviets launch a successful counter-offensive by using the air force, the cavalry, tanks, and ski troops. Forcing the Germans to retreat, causing Hitler to blame his generals.

Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya Soviet resistance member of World War II and Heroine of the Soviet Union

Zoya Anatolyevna Kosmodemyanskaya was a Soviet partisan, and recipient of the Hero of the Soviet Union. She was one of the most revered heroines of the Soviet Union.

Ivan Panfilov Soviet general

Ivan Vasilyevich Panfilov was a Soviet general and a posthumous Hero of the Soviet Union, known for his command of the 316th Rifle Division during the defense of Moscow at the Second World War.

Panfilovs Twenty-Eight Guardsmen Group of soldiers

Not to be confused with the Panfilovtsy in general.


Battle of Moscow was director Ozerov's third film dealing with the Second World War, after the five-part Liberation and the TV mini-series Soldiers of Freedom . Ozerov was not allowed to deal with the early, dark chapters of the war in Liberation due to political pressure, and Soldiers of Freedom revolved around the battles outside the Soviet Union. For the 40th year to the victory over Germany, Ozerov intended to create a film about the first stages on the war, from the beginning of the invasion on 22 June 1941 until the Wehrmacht's defeat near Moscow. [2]

<i>Liberation</i> (film series) war film series about the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany

Liberation is a film series released in 1970 and 1971, directed by Yuri Ozerov and shot in wide-format NIKFI process (70 mm). The script was written by Yuri Bondarev and Oscar Kurganov. The series was a Soviet-Polish-East German-Italian-Yugoslav co-production.

<i>Soldiers of Freedom</i> 1977 film by Yuri Ozerov

Soldiers of Freedom is a four-part 1977 film epic directed by Yuri Ozerov and starring Mikhail Ulyanov, Yevgeny Matveyev, Vasily Lanovoy. It is a World War II historical drama and the sequel to Liberation.

Unlike Liberation, Ozerov's most acclaimed work, Battle of Moscow was a purely historical film, with no fictional characters included in the plot. The actors selected to portray the main roles were mostly ones who already appeared as such in the director's earlier works, especially Mikhail Ulyanov who depicted Zhukov in all of Ozerov's films. Eventually, the production involved a crew of some six thousand people. [3]

The German-speaking actors were contacted through DEFA, while the scenes involving Richard Sorge were shot in Vietnam with the assistance of the Fafim studio. [4] Marshal Sergei Rudenko served as the chief military consultant of the movie; the battle scenes involved troops from the Red Army as extras. The filming of the open-door battle scenes took place in Czechoslovakia, but the urban combat was shot Moscow itself: buildings in the wrecked parts of the city were demolished with explosives to simulate bomber attacks. [5]

The film premiered in the Moscow Film Festival. [6]


Yuri Ozerov won the Grand Prize in the 1986 Alma Ata All-Union Film Festival for his work on the film, as well as the Alexander Dovzhenko Golden Medal. [7]

Russian film critic Alexander Fedorov called the movie "a large-scale war production typical to Yuri Ozerov" which presents Stalin as a wise leader, and depicts Zhukov as a brilliant general. Fedorov also commented on the battle scenes, describing them as "impressive... involving tanks, airplanes and artillery." [8]



Aleksandra Pakhmutova made the music and the movie soundtrack. The movie's theme song "You're my hope, you're my joy" was composed by her and Nikolai Dobronranov, and was sung by Lev Leshchenko.

See also

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  1. "Юрий Николаевич Озеров. Биографическая справка | РИА Новости - события в России и мире: темы дня, фото, видео, инфографика, радио". 2011-01-26. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  2. "Блог Николая Семенова. Как избавиться от импотенции за 5 дней". 2016-02-15. Archived from the original on 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  3. "Boj o Moskvu - Agrese". Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  4. "Boj o Moskvu (1985) - Bitva za Moskvu - Agressija, Tajfun". Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  5. "Энциклопедия отечественного кино". Archived from the original on 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  6. "аХРБЮ ГЮ лНЯЙБС (1985) - Boj o Moskvu - Schlacht um Moskau - ТХКЭЛ - НАЯСФДЕМХЕ - ЯНБЕРЯЙХЕ ТХКЭЛШ - йХМН-рЕЮРП.пс". Retrieved 2017-01-03.