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The Russians win the Battle of Tannenberg

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  • The Russians win the Battle of Tannenberg

    What if, the Imperial Russian Army managed to defeat the Germans at Tannenberg? Would it clear the way to Berlin? Would the Austro-Hungarians come to Germany's aid?
    "Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever."- Napoleon.

    "A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood"- George S. Patton.

    "I will let you see that I was a grenadier before I was a marshal and still am one"- Jean Lannes, Siege of Ratisbon

  • #2
    With reinforcements already on the way, I expect the Germans would fall back on their original plan and temporarily abandon East Prussia and reform their defensive line around Marienburg and Graudenz. However, such a crisis might precipitate the stripping of more Corps from the West. Berlin would not be in any immediate danger.

    Further South, with there no longer being a need to replace an entire missing army, the Russians could put even more pressure on Austro-Hungary, perhaps necessitating the sending of even more Germans to stabilise the front. The Russian armies in Galicia would also have no need to withdraw. Unless something radical is done, there exists a real possibility of Austro-Hungary collapsing in 1915.

    Domestically, the Tsarist regime would finish 1914 much stronger than historically.

    In the Balkans, Bulgaria would be far less inclined to join the Central Powers with such major reverses (perhaps even swinging towards the Entente), Romania would be more inclined to pitch in earlier and Serbia would be under far less pressure than before.
    Diadochi Rising Wargame:
    King Pairisades I of the Bosporan Kingdom

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    • #3
      Russian troops marching all over Prussia would cause a huge panic in Germany on all levels. I can see a lot of forces shifting east to stop them.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Axis of Evil View Post
        Russian troops marching all over Prussia would cause a huge panic in Germany on all levels. I can see a lot of forces shifting east to stop them.
        The original plan had been to abandon East Prussia entirely, so the Germans evidently didn't think the effect on morale would be an insurmountable problem.

        With two Corps already en route from the West, even major losses at Tannenburg would leave the Germans with 4-5 Corps dug in behind the Vistula. Russian supply troubles were already manifesting, so they probably wouldn't be in any position to launch a determined river crossing against such opposition for at least a month, if not longer.

        With such a situation, I think Moltke would likely continue with the attack in France, hoping to knock them out by the end of the year and gambling that supply troubles, poor coordination and the need to reduce Konigsberg would be sufficient to keep the Russians at bay for a month or two.

        However, after the Marne and with this new threat in the East, it's possible that the Germans would be less aggressive in the Race to the Sea (due to a need to send formations East) and so more of Belgium and France ends the year in Entente hands.
        Diadochi Rising Wargame:
        King Pairisades I of the Bosporan Kingdom

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        • #5
          Hindenberg & Ludendorf are less the darling boys of the Imperial Army?

          There is the possibility some other devastating counter blow occurs later in the autum. Aside from the supply problems refered to earlier here the other Russian armies and corps staff were having their own operating problems & did not well vs the Germans as 1914 played out.

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          • #6
            Interesting...
            The Russians could have gone all the way to Konigsberg, or even Dantzig, maybe?

            I think it depends on HOW they won it. Was half or more of 8th Army destroyed in the process? Did 1st Army got east before swinging north? Did 2nd army move forward more aggressively?

            Either way, gonna be a lot of Slavs stomping around in Junker country.

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