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War in the West

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Martin Horn

Lecture Ten 171011 The Eastern Front 19141917 y The eastern front isnt very well knowny There is a mental image of the Western front poppies barbed wire trenches y The technology of the day was the same as the western front barbed wire machine guns trenchesy Geographic scope of the front is much larger front runs from the Baltic to the Black Sea o The area is far larger o We see more movement on the eastern front by the militariesy Unlike the western front where there is steady fighting there is hard fighting until 1917 but in that year Russia collapses and so there is a peace in the Eastern front an imposed peace by the Germans y Counting on the AH ally to bear the heavier burden of the conflicty The AH for their part were thinking about dealing with Serbia more than Russiay The AH dont declare war on Russia for days after the Germans doy We see two separate campaigns unfolding on the eastern fronto Campaign in the North East Prussia Germany vs RussiaThe Russians invade East Prussia with two armieso Campaign in the South AH vs RussiaWhat Happens in the EastGeneral Rennenkampf and General Samsonovy Command the two Russian armiesy German army cant deal with themy Von Moltke feels this is unacceptable and he cant just give away East Prussia awayy German commander has had second thoughtso Maybe he can deal with the Russianso He develops a plan but von Moltke fires him General Paul von Hindenburgy Chief of Staff General Eric Ludendorff y Military dictators of Imperial Germany in later yearsy Brought in to deal with the situation in East Prussiay They take the plans that were already prepared by the fired German commandero They implement plans that werent their inspirationo They are going to deal with each of the Russian armies independentlyy Russian armies are communicating by radio and the Germans are listening ino They werent using codeso The Russians move independently and Samsonov launches his attack first He doesnt realize that aided by this intelligence he is moving into a trap Cut off by the Germans who attack his army on both sides and his army collapses and Samsonov shoots himselfo The Germans take 100000 prisoners and kill 50000 Russians
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