History of World War I: The Eastern Front on Apple Books
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- The Eastern Front – From Tannenberg to the Russo-Polish War by Michael S. Neiberg.
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History Of The Great War
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Chi ama i libri sceglie Kobo e inMondadori. Choose Store. Or, get it for Kobo Super Points! From the Falkland Islands to the lakes of Africa, across the Eastern and Western Fronts, to the former German colonies in the Pacific, the World War I series provides a six-volume history of the battles and campaigns that raged on land, at sea and in the air. In , the autocratic Russian Empire was allied to the democracies of France and Great Britain — and the small Kingdom of Serbia — through a series of treaties concluded in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and designed to counter the threat of the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary.
With the outbreak of war in August, the Russian forces mobilized and moved into the attack. Despite being outnumbered, the German commander, Paul von Hindenburg, destroyed one Russian army at the Battle of Tannenberg in August , before defeating another at the Battle of the Masurian Lakes the following month. The Russians fared better against the Austro-Hungarian forces further south in Galicia, before reluctant German intervention to help their allies stabilized the situation. The year saw the German High Command switch their main effort to the Eastern Front, resulting in the decisive German victory at Gorlice-Tarnow, and the subsequent capture of Warsaw and hundreds of square miles of formerly Russian-controlled territory.
The Russian Brusilov Offensive in the summer of and the Romanian entry into the war on the Allied side saw the latter's fortunes revive, but the success proved to be only temporary. Brusilov's attack stalled, while Romania was effectively knocked out of the war by a joint Central Powers offensive led by Germany and Bulgaria. Increasing unrest in Russia culminated in the first revolution of and the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II. The offensives of the Russian Provisional Government failed, and a second revolution in November saw Lenin's Bolsheviks seize power.
Having made peace with the Central Powers, the Bolsheviks fought the anti-Bolshevik 'White' Russian forces in the Civil War that followed, while a number of Allied powers sent forces to help the Whites. The subsequent reforms and rebuilding were far from complete, but as workers and land-hungry peasants rallied to the Russian flag and marched off to fight against the Central Powers, the initial auguries for both war and national unity were not bad.
The Eastern Front, 1914-1920: From Tannenberg to the Russo-Polish War
National unity, however, could only be built on victory and, in that regard, Russia's hopes were dashed early in the Great War. This failed Russian advance into East Prussia did disrupt Germany's Schlieffen Plan and thus probably prevented the fall of Paris, but it also signalled the beginning of an unrelenting Russian retreat on the northern sector of the Eastern Front.
By the middle of all of Russian Poland and Lithuania, and most of Latvia, were overrun by the German army. Many factors - including the militarisation of industry and crises in food supply - threatened disaster on the home front. Fortunately for the Russians, they did better in The supply of rifles and artillery shells to the Eastern Front was vastly improved, and in the Brusilov Offensive of June , Russia achieved significant victories over the Austrians - capturing Galicia and the Bukovina - and she was also more than holding her own in Transcaucasia, against Turkey.
However, the country's political and economic problems were greatly exacerbated by the war. Added to this cocktail were rumours that the tsarina, Alexandra, and her favourite, the infamous Rasputin, were German spies. The rumours were unfounded, but by November influential critics of the regime were asking whether Russia's misfortunes - including 1,, military dead and 5,, wounded - were a consequence of 'stupidity or treason'. This was a rabble-rousing exaggeration, but certainly the outdated strategies of Russia's General Staff had cost hundreds of thousands of lives, while the regime seemed careless of such appalling losses.
A Provisional Government led by liberals and moderate socialists was proclaimed, and its leaders hoped now to pursue the war more effectively.