Orscha situated near the river Dnjepr was an important strategic target for the german army group center. The attack on the surroundings of Orscha started in late summer 1943. But several events diffuculted the succses. The temperatures in early autumn where extremly low. The first snow fell when some trees had not even lost all their leaves. All troughout the winter, heavy battles demanded extemly high cassulties especially on the Red Armys side. Their losses were over 10 times higher than from the Wehrmacht. Over 500.000 soldiers died in the freezing cold and muddy terrain near Orscha.