Yet General Alexsei Brusilov launched one of the most successful offensives of the First Plan of the Brusilov Offensive June-October They argued heatedly until the Czar agreed to give the go ahead for Brusilov’s Offensive. Brusilov had advised an attack on all fronts in light of Germany’s. The Brusilov Offensive took place in The offensive started in June and ended in August of the same year. The Brusilov Offensive.
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Known also as the Brusilov breakthrough, the Brusilov offensive was one of the most successful ground offensive operations in World War I.
Undertaken primarily by the Russian Southwestern Brusi,ov between 4 June and 13 Augustthis offensive accomplished simultaneous penetrations to depths of 60 to kilometers 35 to 95 miles across kilometers miles of frontage, while shattering major elements of the Austro-Hungarian army. In accordance with Allied negotiations at Chantilly in Februarythe Russian high command promised summer offensives against the Central Powers to divert attention from northern Italy and to relieve pressure on the hard-pressed western front in France.
Although the Russians had suffered severe losses during the withdrawals ofthe eastern front was now stabilized, with approximately 1.
These fronts faced about 1. Russian troop units were largely at strength, but supporting heavy artillery remained inadequate, and shortages persisted in personnel replacements, rifles, and artillery shells. As Stavka, the headquarters of the Russian Supreme Command, began preparations for the summer, the Germans attacked at Verdun on 21 February, throwing the entire allied timetable into disarray.
Known as the Naroch offensive, this gambit began on 18 March, but soon stalled because of inadequate artillery support, the early onset of the spring thaw, and the piecemeal commitment of reserves.
Still, unexpected pressure in the east temporarily halted German operations against Verdun.
Against this backdrop, General Mikhail Alexeyev, the Russian chief of staff, continued to press for a summer offensive, in part to support the allies, and in part to preempt any German shift to the east. Although critics later charged that Stavka “advised much and ordered little,” by 14 April it had produced a concept that called for a main offensive effort in the summer by the Western Front, supported on the flanks by its Northern and Southwestern counterparts.
In response to Austro-Hungarian pressure against the Italians in the Trentino, Stavka advanced the Southwestern Front’s offensive to 4 June, a week before anticipated mutually supporting Russian offensives in the north. General Alexei Brusilov, commander of the Southwestern Front, insisted on careful preparation for the impending offensive.
WWI Centennial: Russians Resume Brusilov Offensive | Mental Floss
In contrast with conventional tactical practice, which emphasized massive firepower preparation and the accumulation of large reserves in a few sectors, he stressed surprise and the careful selection of numerous breakthrough sectors. He conducted a thorough reconnaissance, rehearsed, drove many saps trench extensions closer to the enemy lines, concentrated his reserves well forward, and limited his artillery to counterbattery fire to protect the assaulting infantry.
Initially, he committed more offensivr a half million troops and seventeen hundred guns against Austro-Hungarian forces numbering half his own. As a result, the Brusilov offensive enjoyed major success before finally stalling from lack of support in the face of stiffening German-reinforced resistance. During the breakthrough phase 4—15 Junefour Russian armies penetrated to varying depths, until on 14 June General Alexei Kaledin’s 8th Army encountered fierce German counterattacks west of Lutsk.
Meanwhile, other Russian armies reached Tarnopol and the Carpathians. General Evert’s Western Front, however, lent ineffectual support, with the result that Brusilov’s momentum dropped off, even brusillv he continued to develop the breakthrough during his offensive’s second phase, 16 June to 8 July. During the third phase, 9 July to 13 August, Brusjlov belatedly shifted forces to the ofgensive to support Brusilov’s success, but too little came too late, and the offensive literally died out in a series of slugging matches along the Stokhod River.
At the cost of half a million casualties, the Russians had succeeded, with assistance from near-simultaneous allied offensives on the Somme in France, in forcing the Germans to assume the overall strategic defensive.
To meet the Russian challenge, they shifted more than twenty-four divisions to the east. Despite varying offensiv of tactical and operational success, the Brusilov offensive failed to produce victory or decisive strategic consequences.
Russians Resume Brusilov Offensive
True, the Italians won a breathing space, and the Russians had relieved pressure on the western front. Romania now belatedly joined the Allied cause, but soon required reinforcement that further drained Russian resources. Ultimately, the price of Brusilov’s offensive came high, in terms of both immediate casualties and the longer-term erosion in morale, manpower, and materiel brusllov probably hastened the disintegration of the Russian army in In the end, much of the blame lay with Stavka’s failure to effectively control multifront operations and to lffensive sufficient reserves to support success.
Nevertheless, the Brusilov offensive did manage to break the combat effectiveness of the Austro-Hungarian army, a circumstance from which that army never recovered. See also World War I. A Soldier’s Note-Book, — Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. Encyclopedia of the Age of War and Reconstruction. Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia.
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