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  • #31
    Originally posted by ShAA View Post


    This is the first time on the forums I see 3 (tree) posters getting their facts entirely wrong. You could at least call Captain Wiki.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brusilov_Offensive



    And Dashy, it was exactly the innovative tactics that made the operation so successful. Territory gains-wise, this was the most successful operation of the war. As for the transfer of troops, this is quite absurd, I'll quite the same wiki article again (can't quickly find the original sources where I've read the same thing)


    I'm rather curious where you're read such interpretation of the battle?
    Brusilov's offensive started out well and he made excellent territorial gains against the Austrians and inflicted over 1 million casualties (while suffering at least as many, if not twice as many in his own army group). Some (much) of the success should be attributed to Brusilov's planning and tactics. Some should also be attributed to poor Austrian command and control, as well as Conrad's decision to transfer of a significant number of veteran formations to attack Tirol before Brusilov's offensive kicked off. The Russians realized this was happening, passed on the intel to the Italians and thus the Austrians were doubly frustrated as the Italians were prepared for the Austrian attack and the Russians knew they were attacking a depleted force.

    Brusilov's problems, at least according to Timothy Dowling's The Brusilov Offensive (a good short summary of the campaign IMO - only 200 or so pages) were:
    1. there was a poor performance by Evert. Dashy, Brusilov was counting on Evert to attack and pin the Germans in the North to prevent them from sending reinforcements to support the Austrians. Evert did, in fact, attack on 2 July (with over 1000 guns each provided with over 1000 shells). However, this was essentially too late. Evert had promised to attack in June. As a result of the delay, the attack, which was probably a tactical draw, turned into a strategic failure, since it failed to draw any Austrian forces away from Brusilov's offensive and it failed to prevent the Germans from shifting forces to the south.
    2. Alekseev took too much time to send reinforcements. Had they been shifted from the Northern and Western Fronts sooner,

      Letschitski and Scherbatschev might have been able to carry the war into Hungary and deal the Habsburgs a decisive blow. As it was, at the critical moment when the Austrians were reeling and the Germans had not yet come to their aid, Brusilov found himself with only a single cavalry division in reserve - hardly enough to exploit the situation. (page 175)
    3. Brusilov abandoned the tactics that led to his success by reverting to massed infantry assaults;
    4. Brusilov reinforced areas of limited success (like at Kovel), instead of reinforcing areas of marked success (like in Bukovina); and
    5. nearly 30 divisions were taken from (or denied to) Brusilov in September and October since they were sent to support the collapsing Rumanians.


    In summary, Dowling writes:

    Yet, as Norman Stone writes, "In this case, failure to exploit the break through was almost a direct consequence of breaking through in the first place." Neither Brusilov nor Stavka had ever intended the advance on the Southwestern Front to be anything more than an auxiliary attack, and the method he chose, dispersing his forces along a broad front - mitigated against decisive penetration. (page 175)

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    • #32
      Some Thoughts

      You would think that once Russia was defeated that Germany ideally would have helped to create and strongly support a free and independent Ukraine.

      Germany could have taken west Poland and Lithuania, and created a puppet regime that included White Russia, Latvia, and East Poland.

      Finland would have been set free and given all the lands in Karelia. St. Petersburg would become a free city, and Estonia could have independence.

      Russia itself would have eventually lost lands in Asia to China, and Japan. Russia has an empire would have disappeared into the annals of history - same as the Roman Empire.

      The Caucases could have had their future dictated by the Ottomans - who likely would have taken Baku and absorbed the entire region.

      France would fail in any campaign in the West without Brittish Support. I think also the Germans should have set up strict defensive lines in the West, and only feigned mobilization along the Belgian border.

      "All Too Easy" Darth Vader

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      • #33
        being the culprit for starting the Brusilov thing,I only would add this :notwithstanding what some people were thinking (that the Russian army was finished at the end of 1916),Russia was still capable in 1917,of launching a big offensive .

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by SteinOfOrange View Post
          You would think that once Russia was defeated that Germany ideally would have helped to create and strongly support a free and independent Ukraine.

          Germany could have taken west Poland and Lithuania, and created a puppet regime that included White Russia, Latvia, and East Poland.

          Finland would have been set free and given all the lands in Karelia. St. Petersburg would become a free city, and Estonia could have independence.

          Russia itself would have eventually lost lands in Asia to China, and Japan. Russia has an empire would have disappeared into the annals of history - same as the Roman Empire.

          The Caucases could have had their future dictated by the Ottomans - who likely would have taken Baku and absorbed the entire region.

          France would fail in any campaign in the West without Brittish Support. I think also the Germans should have set up strict defensive lines in the West, and only feigned mobilization along the Belgian border.

          "All Too Easy" Darth Vader
          better would be :you would think that IF Russia was defeated

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
            Brusilov's offensive started out well and he made excellent territorial gains against the Austrians and inflicted over 1 million casualties (while suffering at least as many, if not twice as many in his own army group). Some (much) of the success should be attributed to Brusilov's planning and tactics. Some should also be attributed to poor Austrian command and control, as well as Conrad's decision to transfer of a significant number of veteran formations to attack Tirol before Brusilov's offensive kicked off. The Russians realized this was happening, passed on the intel to the Italians and thus the Austrians were doubly frustrated as the Italians were prepared for the Austrian attack and the Russians knew they were attacking a depleted force.

            Brusilov's problems, at least according to Timothy Dowling's The Brusilov Offensive (a good short summary of the campaign IMO - only 200 or so pages) were:
            1. there was a poor performance by Evert. Dashy, Brusilov was counting on Evert to attack and pin the Germans in the North to prevent them from sending reinforcements to support the Austrians. Evert did, in fact, attack on 2 July (with over 1000 guns each provided with over 1000 shells). However, this was essentially too late. Evert had promised to attack in June. As a result of the delay, the attack, which was probably a tactical draw, turned into a strategic failure, since it failed to draw any Austrian forces away from Brusilov's offensive and it failed to prevent the Germans from shifting forces to the south.
            2. Alekseev took too much time to send reinforcements. Had they been shifted from the Northern and Western Fronts sooner,


            3. Brusilov abandoned the tactics that led to his success by reverting to massed infantry assaults;
            4. Brusilov reinforced areas of limited success (like at Kovel), instead of reinforcing areas of marked success (like in Bukovina); and
            5. nearly 30 divisions were taken from (or denied to) Brusilov in September and October since they were sent to support the collapsing Rumanians.


            In summary, Dowling writes:
            Yes, this quite matches what I've been taught and what I've read about it. I've heard somewhere that Evert's procrastination was caused by his unwillingness to play the second fiddle - he once openly declared he didn't want to work for "Brusilov's laurels". Don't know whether it's apocryphal or not though.

            Brusilov's abandonment of his rapid artillery barrage method might've been caused by the fact he had no time to prepare the offensive as thoroughly as he did it initially and maybe he thought that without specially prepared trenches coming very close to the enemy lines such method wouldn't have been successful, so he decided to act "traditionally". But this is just an assumption.
            www.histours.ru

            Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by ShAA View Post
              Yes, this quite matches what I've been taught and what I've read about it. I've heard somewhere that Evert's procrastination was caused by his unwillingness to play the second fiddle - he once openly declared he didn't want to work for "Brusilov's laurels". Don't know whether it's apocryphal or not though.

              Brusilov's abandonment of his rapid artillery barrage method might've been caused by the fact he had no time to prepare the offensive as thoroughly as he did it initially and maybe he thought that without specially prepared trenches coming very close to the enemy lines such method wouldn't have been successful, so he decided to act "traditionally". But this is just an assumption.
              Your first point re Evert is my understanding as well. As for the second, Dowling posits a big reason was the heavy casualties in the initial assault wave depleted Brusilov's "stormtroopers" and the replacements and newly assigned formations weren't trained sufficiently to carry out the new fangled form of attack. Plus what you said.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                Yes, this quite matches what I've been taught and what I've read about it. I've heard somewhere that Evert's procrastination was caused by his unwillingness to play the second fiddle - he once openly declared he didn't want to work for "Brusilov's laurels". Don't know whether it's apocryphal or not though.

                Brusilov's abandonment of his rapid artillery barrage method might've been caused by the fact he had no time to prepare the offensive as thoroughly as he did it initially and maybe he thought that without specially prepared trenches coming very close to the enemy lines such method wouldn't have been successful, so he decided to act "traditionally". But this is just an assumption.
                Your first point re Evert is my understanding as well. As for the second, Dowling posits a big reason was the heavy casualties in the initial assault wave depleted Brusilov's "stormtroops" and the replacements and newly assigned formations weren't trained sufficiently to carry out the new fangled form of attack. Plus what you said.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Did not Luttendorf (spelling ) Actually make a number of spoiling attacks against the Russians in 14 and 15 that if he had proper troops he could of continued the attack cutting off the Russians. But if I remeber correctly the Russian at least twice stuck there heads into the noose but because of lack of manpower the Germans were unable to capitalize completely. The extra troops gained from not attacking west may of allowed the Germans to pull off these attack in a more decisive way which still causes the large troop and material loss for the the Russian causing the Revolt.

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                  • #39
                    In order not to multiply forum topic essences without necessity: what if the East Prussia offensive was properly coordinated and a******s like Rennenkampf didn't scew things up? This is not even the issue of "having N times more troops to score a Epic victory for the Germans", this is the issue of having generals in the Russian army who wouldn't act like pre-school boys.
                    www.histours.ru

                    Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                      In order not to multiply forum topic essences without necessity: what if the East Prussia offensive was properly coordinated and a******s like Rennenkampf didn't scew things up? This is not even the issue of "having N times more troops to score a Epic victory for the Germans", this is the issue of having generals in the Russian army who wouldn't act like pre-school boys.
                      Well for one thing: had the Russians avoided the catastrophe at Tannenberg, Moltke's decision to transfer 2 corps to the east during the implementation of the Moltke/Schlieffen Plan wouldn't have been so pilloried by the Second Empire's lost causers.

                      Edit - it might have been 3 corps. I seem to recall the XI and Guard Reserve were ordered to the east, but there may have been another, and I might have the two corps I'm thinking of mixed up.
                      Last edited by The Ibis; 29 Sep 10, 13:59.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                        In order not to multiply forum topic essences without necessity: what if the East Prussia offensive was properly coordinated and a******s like Rennenkampf didn't scew things up? This is not even the issue of "having N times more troops to score a Epic victory for the Germans", this is the issue of having generals in the Russian army who wouldn't act like pre-school boys.
                        It would have made no difference. Tannenburg would have been a German victory, but Russia and Austria would still have the problems of food supply and the irreplaceable officer corps. With less officers and men lost in a partial German victory, mos of the rest would have been lost inthe Polish campaign though 1915, although the Russians would make the Germans pay more for it.

                        But the causes of the February Revolution are still there with or without the officers, and with or without the supposed food train sabotages. Eventualy Russia would break, and only bowing out early could stop that.
                        How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                        275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                          In order not to multiply forum topic essences without necessity: what if the East Prussia offensive was properly coordinated and a******s like Rennenkampf didn't scew things up? This is not even the issue of "having N times more troops to score a Epic victory for the Germans", this is the issue of having generals in the Russian army who wouldn't act like pre-school boys.
                          could you elaborate. I am missing your point. Why is the fact that the German having more troops to capitalize on oppurtunities not a factor.

                          I was just looking at the fact that if the war followed the same parameters as it did without the attack to the west by the Germans what may of happened. Is that not the overall topic of the thread.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
                            Well for one thing: had the Russians avoided the catastrophe at Tannenberg, Moltke's decision to transfer 2 corps to the east during the implementation of the Moltke/Schlieffen Plan wouldn't have been so pilloried by the Second Empire's lost causers.
                            One thing I can't deny about Germany is its "What If Charisma" - no other country's military history has ever been so thoroughly discussed in regard to historical alternatives, from "what if they had laser guns" to "what if all others were the fools they were and they made only genious moves".
                            www.histours.ru

                            Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Wolery View Post
                              It would have made no difference. Tannenburg would have been a German victory, but Russia and Austria would still have the problems of food supply and the irreplaceable officer corps. With less officers and men lost in a partial German victory, mos of the rest would have been lost inthe Polish campaign though 1915, although the Russians would make the Germans pay more for it.

                              But the causes of the February Revolution are still there with or without the officers, and with or without the supposed food train sabotages. Eventualy Russia would break, and only bowing out early could stop that.
                              Why would it have been a German victory? This is considering the Russian Army invaded according to a certain pre-war plan, which was not the case in August 1914.
                              www.histours.ru

                              Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Wolery View Post
                                It would have made no difference. Tannenburg would have been a German victory, but Russia and Austria would still have the problems of food supply and the irreplaceable officer corps. With less officers and men lost in a partial German victory, mos of the rest would have been lost inthe Polish campaign though 1915, although the Russians would make the Germans pay more for it.

                                But the causes of the February Revolution are still there with or without the officers, and with or without the supposed food train sabotages. Eventualy Russia would break, and only bowing out early could stop that.
                                My understanding was that Tannenberg was a much closer run thing than the popular accounts - and the propaganda - provide for. The Germans took a huge gamble by leaving only a single division between Rennenkampf and the Vistula. Had Rennenkampf followed up on the victory at Gumbinnen and moved swiftly, he could have caught German 8th Army in a vice.

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