Smolensk was the first place where soviets tried to put a defensive line because that region is the only place where no important rivers serve as natural barriers in the east-west direction.
Daugava (western Dvina) and Dnieper rivers turn east in that zone. Russia needs to defend that place in order to prevent direct advance to Moscow. So, you're right, ...
TL;DR: Terrain does not win battles, soldiers win battles.
Your question is explained by the chosen german objectives and where soviet decided to defend those objectives.
In a operational area so huge as the Caucasus is, one first has to take into account the following:
You won't have a continous front, instead you'll have small areas where armies ...
Is this indeed a discrepancy, or am I misunderstanding the article?
You are misunderstanding the situation, since the article is mixing multiple laws that changed over time.
Currency restrictions (Devisenbewirtschaftung)
1931-08-01: RM 3.000
1934-09-11: RM 50
1934-09-29: RM 10
Reich Flight Tax (Reichsfluchtsteuer)
1931-12-08: for sums over RM 20.000 [§2]...
The book, "The Book Smugglers - Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis - The True Story of the Paper Brigade of Vilna" by David E. Fishman, deals extensively with Pohl as he was the Nazi in charge of looting Jewish treasures and sending them to Germany for "scholarly" study.
In case you are interested in primary sources, here is one, from "Alexander N. Yakovlev's Archives", here.
Документ № 172. "Беседа председателя Совнаркома, наркома иностранных дел СССР В.М. Молотова с рейхсканцлером Германии А. Гитлером в Берлине." 12.11.1940.
... Гитлер отвечает, что тройственный пакт предусматривает руководящую роль в ...
You are confusing the dates and two separate German-Soviet negotiations.
The German-Soviet "Non-aggression pact" (Also called the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact) was signed in Moscow on 23 August 1939. This pact had a secret protocol,
dividing the "spheres of influence". The result was a partition of Poland, and
Soviet conquests of the Baltic ...
We could identify four main objectives for Army Group B during summer/autumn 1942. Let's examine them separately :
Eliminate Stalingrad as industrial center. Arguably, this was already achieved with huge Luftwaffe raids in late August, with further destruction by aerial and artillery strikes latter in the battle. For this, of course, it was not ...
Was everyone expected to carry identification on their person at all times in Germany after 1938 or only the Jews?
No, all together only 3 groups of persons were required to have a Kennkarte.
The conditions under which they were required to present the Kennkarte were different.
For all 3 groups there to was no requirement to carry identification on their ...
Leaving the Soviets in possession of part of the west bank of the Volga within the city would mean that the Germans would not have a secure front. The Soviets would have been capable of supplying and reinforcing their troops via small boats at night. That would allow them to keep the front within the city active, soaking up German manpower and supplies.