Hi all, This thread is really going to demonstrate my ignorance, but, as I tell my students, the only cure to ignorance is asking questions. Here we go. I know a little about the Korsun pocket. Were there other encirclements along the same lines in the numbers of German troops involved and the amount of materiel captured/destroyed/lost on the Eastern front? The main thing I am interested in knowing is this theoretical: If Hitler had given his field commanders more control, including the option to retreat when it was called for, how much difference would that have made in the course of the war. I know there was also the Falaise pocket on the Western Front, but didn't the Wehrmacht have permission to pull back there? Suppose the German troops were never told to "Defend this pile of logs to the last man!"? I realize this is a VERY wide open question calling for a LOT of theoretical thinking and assessment, and I am sorry, but there just isn't a way I can think to make it less so. If someone who reads this can narrow the topic down a bit, I would be grateful. I hope I was clear in what I asked, and, if you don't understand it, please let me know, and I will try to rephrase it. Thanks.