Originally Posted by MontyB
Personally I have often wondered how things would have gone had Germany tried a modification of the Schlieffen Plan by reinforcing Army Group South with Army Group Centre and carrying out a sickle cut following Army Group South's planned route with AGC driving up towards Moscow from around Kiev or Kharkov as it seems to me that this would have been far better ground for German operations.
(Basically an inverse of the Lotzen decision with Guderian driving North from Kiev to cut off Moscow instead of South to Kiev).
I don't think that would be a realistic option, for various reasons. For one, it would necessitate a lot of troop and logistical movements to have the forces in the correct places. It's one thing moving 2 Panzer Korps south but the best part of an Army Group? Also, Guderian historically drove northeast from Kiev anyway to link up with the rest of his Army. The city of Tula, which is south of Moscow, was the limit of Guderian's advance on Moscow. In your scenario he would have to drive east and then north, putting even more wear and tear on his forces.
Secondly, it would probably mean crossing the River Don as the country between Voronezh and Tula is quite hilly in places and not suitable for armour. You are basically forced down the corridor past Kharkov as it's open country and great for motorised forces. In order to drive north you need to first cross the Don north of Stalingrad which is a long damn way from Kiev. Then you have a very long drive north to reach Moscow. The only way you could do it would be as part of a 2 season campaign as the distance is too far to do it in one season. Indeed, this is exactly what was supposed to happen in 1942; the Germans would capture Stalingrad and drive north to Moscow.