The encircled Soviet forces continued to fight, and the Wehrmacht had to employ 28 divisions to eliminate them, using troops which could have supported the offensive towards Moscow.
The remnants of the Soviet Western and Reserve Fronts retreated and manned new defensive lines around Mozhaisk.
Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion plan, called for the capture of Moscow within four months.
On 22 June 1941, Axis forces invaded the Soviet Union, destroyed most of the Soviet Air Force on the ground, and advanced deep into Soviet territory using blitzkrieg tactics to destroy entire Soviet armies.
It was a major setback for the Germans, the end of the idea of a fast German victory in the USSR.
The Second Panzer Group executed an enveloping movement around the city, linking with the advancing 2nd Army and capturing Orel by 3 October and Bryansk by 6 October.German aerial strength, however, had been severely reduced over the summer's campaign; the Luftwaffe had lost 1,603 aircraft destroyed and 1,028 damaged.