By December 1941 the German advance had stalled at the gates of Moscow (advanced German reconaissance units were supposed to have been close enough to Moscow to see the spires of the Kremlin in their field-glasses). Much German effort and resources were expended in 1941-1942 in subduing the Crimean peninsula and Black Sea area. Mostly i think it was solely for geographic reasons - Hitler was determined to keep the Russians out of bomber range of the vital oil fields at Ploesti, in Rumania. In 1942, Manstein led German forces in operation "Bustard Hunt" in a massive, and succesful, campaign to drive the Russians out of the Crimean peninsula, including the huge fortress at Sevastapol. Immediately thereafter Hitler made the (bad) decision to split his forces, sending half rumbling toward Stalingrad, and the others toward the Caucases oil fields - the farthest east Hitler would ever get. My question is, do you think it would be feasible, advantageous, or military practical, for Hitler to have avoided being bogged down in the Crimea in 1941-42 by moving east far enough, fast enough, to simply cut off the Crimea and deny the Black sea area to the Russians, and allow it to "whither on the vine", in the same way they did at Leningrad? Is this a good idea, bad idea, impossible, or possible? If a good or bad idea, why or why not? Could Rommel in North Africa have done anything differently to help (even if that includes not being sent there in the first place)?