I think the issue with the debate about Moscow and Typhoon and all of that is that many people base their knowledge on this issue by reading the memoirs of their favourite generals, such as Manstein or Guderian. The issue with that is that, while those two were both perfectly competent, their job was deal with the military aspects of the war, and even then, on a relatively small section of the front. The result is that they often miss the big economic picture of the war.
Guderian’s endless rant about how Hitler lost the war by not hyperfocusing on Moscow is a prime example:
Hitler made the right call when he ordered Guderian to head South. The Red Army would be sure to fiercely defend Moscow, and even if the Germans managed to take it, it would have been reduced to ruins just like Kiev and Stalingrad where. If the Germans would had captured Moscow, it would be a great symbolic victory to be sure, but strategically, they would just have wasted time they couldn’t afford to waste.
If Hitler had done what Guderian wanted to do, and continued pushing towards Moscow, then the Germans would have lost the war even quicker then they actually did. Because Hitler didn’t listen to Guderian, at least Germany managed to take some Caucasian oil fields and extract some oil from them before they were pushed back.
The Oil from the Caucasus was absolutely necessary to continue the war. If the Caucasus didn’t fall by late 41/ Early 42, then the German war machine would be grounded to a halt and they would lose almost all offensive striking capability.
As the situation stood in 1941, the Caucasus were vital to continue the war effort. Moscow wasn’t.
Hitler personally considered Moscow to be “not very important.” and he was, as much as I hate to admit it, absolutely correct in that assessment. Moscow was a sideshow, symbolically important but strategically nonessential.
"If Germany succeeds in taking Moscow that is obviously a grave disappointment for us, but it by no means disrupts our grand strategy. Germany would gain accommodation, but that alone will not win the war. The only thing that matters is oil. As we remember, Germany kept harping on about her own urgent oil problems
in her economic bargaining with us from 1939 to 1941. So we have to do all we can to make Germany increase her oil consumption, and to keep the German armies out of the Caucasus. - Soviet Field Marshal Semyon Timoshenko
That Caucasus were all that mattered; Moscow, Leningrad, Smolensk, they were just a waste of time and effort. To put it a bit bluntly, the OKH was strategically and economically illiterate. They focused on symbolic nonsense rather than strategic necessities.
The Stavka, unlike the OKH, understood modern war and it’s economic realities. You can kill a hundred million enemy soldiers, eviscerate a hundred enemy armies, and capture four dozen capitals, but to actually win the war, you need resources, you need oil. The OKH didn’t understand that, and as such, they lost the war.