At the beginning o f January 1942 the Stavka met to discuss plans for a counter-offensive to drive the Wehrmacht away from Leningrad and Moscow and to crush the German forces in the south. Stalin was in an overly optimistic mood, insisting that the Germans, having been defeated at the gates o f Moscow and being ill equipped for winter warfare, were an easy prey. Much to Zhukov’s horror, he therefore called for a general offensive on all fronts. The Red Army lacked the resources, particularly artillery, for such a grandiose operation, which even under optimum conditions would have been a dangerous dissipation o f effort. Zhukov therefore argued in favour o f exploiting the weaknesses o f Arm y Group Centre and insisted that offensives to the north and south would be doomed to failure. None o f this had any effect. Stalin had made up his mind before the Stavka met, and directives had already been sent to the front commanders.