Military Review

The decisive battle of the First World War. East Prussian operation 1914 of the year. About losses. CH 2. 8 Army

5
Consider the total loss of German troops.
During the first clashes and battles with the troops of the 1 Army, the German cavalry with the support of infantry units 23-29 in July 1914 lost (Verzhbolovo, Shmaleninken-Eidkunen, Marunsken) killed, wounded and captured to 500 people [Rogvold V. Decree. cit. C. 22; Collection of documents. C. 111; Vatsetis I.I. Fighting in East Prussia. C. 25], another 218 man and 2 guns were lost during the Kaushen 2-th Landwehr Brigade, and before 1500 a man lost the 1-i Army Corps in the battle of Stallupenin.


Gumbinnenskoe battle led to the loss of the Germans (mainly - 1 th and 17 th corps) 14607 people (435 officers and 14172 lower rank) [Reichsarchiv. Der Weltkrieg 1914 - 1918. Bd. 2. S. 101] (Most of them belonged to A. von Mackensen’s 17 Army Corps, who lost 200 officers and 8000 lower ranks. S. 93), including - 1500 prisoners, as well as 12 guns and 15 machine guns.

Such was the result of the 1 th victory of the Russian troops and the Entente in the First World War. Eyewitnesses recalled how the regiments of the McKen's corps, formed from the Prussians, went on the offensive as in a parade - not paying attention to the deadly fire of the 27 artillery brigade. And then, in order to support his overbearing infantry, the German artillery made a courageous act - a whole division, helping its infantry during critical moments of the battle, stood in an open position - only 1000 steps away from the Russians. As a result, the German division was destroyed - and its 12 guns became a valuable trophy of the 27 Infantry Division.

The document noted how the German infantry - a column led by officers - went on the offensive, having fallen under the influence of 14 Russian machine guns, which opened fire over the heads of their infantry. The machine gunners and the battery of the 3 division of the mortar battalion exterminated this convoy in 5 minutes, laying down the 1500 man [Radus - Zenkovich L. Decree. cit. C. 63]. Moreover, some German regiments lost all officers and non-commissioned officers and more than two thirds of the rank and file [Collection of documents. C. 212].

The Germans suffered heavy losses while fighting against units of the 2 Army.
During the unsuccessful battle for Orlau with the Germans of the 15 Army Corps, the German 37 Infantry Division, which was on the left flank of the 20 Army Corps, was crushed [Evseev N. Decree. cit. C. 103]. According to N. Yevseyev, the losses of the German units killed and wounded were as follows: the 1 th Jaeger Battalion - 16 officers and 254 privates; 151 Infantry Regiment - 16 officers and 380 soldiers; battalion 146 Infantry Regiment - 34 soldier; The 147 Infantry Regiment suffered the most (some of its companies lost their 150 fighters). According to incomplete information, the 75-I infantry brigade lost more than 300 people. From the 73 Infantry Brigade, Russians buried 587 people on the battlefield. The 29 Infantry Regiment of the Chernigov Regiment buried around 600 German soldiers and officers, picking up more than 800 wounded.

In general, the losses of the Germans (20-th Army Corps and 70-I Land Brigade) 10-11 in August at Orlau-Frankenau were killed at least 1000 people and wounded before 3000 people (most of them fell into Russian hands) [Ibid].

On August 13, in the battle at Bischofsburg, the losses of the 69 brigade amounted to 1000 people, the 6 th landscape brigade - 470 people (of which 38 officers). Total losses of the 17 Army and 1 Reserve Corps, as well as the 6 Land Brigade - 4000 people [Temples F. Decree. cit. C. 38].


Killed Germans.

The onslaught of the central group of the Samsonian army, even according to incomplete information, cost the Germans dearly. For example, on August 13 on the offensive section of the Russian 2 Infantry Division of the 23 AK, the German 41 Infantry Division of the 20 AK lost 1200-1250 fighters [regiments - 18 infantry - 30, 148 infantry - 600, 152 infantry - 73 fighter; 72 Infantry Brigade - 550 fighters. Evseev N. Decree. cit. C. 158. See also Reichsarchiv. Der Weltkrieg 1914 - 1918. Bd. 2. S. 153]. Combat Y. Buchinsky recalled how under the fire of Russian machine-gunners rapidly chained chains of German infantry [Buchinsky Yu. F. Decree. cit. C. 19].

The loss of 15 August units of the same 41 division at Waplitz was great. An eyewitness recalled the terrible action of the Russian artillery fire, after which the mountains of the dead and wounded remained. He counted only wounded Germans at the edge of the 300-400 forest. A convoy of prisoners from 600 to 700 gathered on the highway, the second being already (the first was 800 prisoners). All this testified to the defeat of the German brigade. [Zhelondkovskiy V.E. Memories of Colonel Zhelondkovskiy about participation in the actions of the XV Corps during the operation of the army of General Samsonov // Military Collection. Belgrade. 1926. Prince 7. C. 294].

Total losses of the 41 Division at Waplitz - 2400 soldiers and officers and 13 guns [Reichsarchiv. Der Weltkrieg 1914 - 1918. Bd. 2. S. 187]. A German source described how German troops had to break through a throat wide 2,5 km - suffering heavy losses. The 41 Division lost two thirds of its combat strength - from among those who survived the previous battles, and after Vaplic, the remnants of the division lost any combat significance. The gunners also got it: the 35 and 79 artillery regiments lost 61 people.

On August 15, in the Mühlen area, the Unger division launched several unsuccessful attacks, repelled by the Russian 6 Infantry Division, with heavy casualties for the Germans. [Temples F. Decree. cit. C. 55].

At Vaplitsa and Mühlen the Russians captured many prisoners. [General N. N. Martos referred to the number of officers captured by Waplitz — 18 officers and more than 1000 soldiers. Golovin N.N. Iz stories 1914 campaigns on the Russian front. The beginning of the war and operations in East Prussia. C. 273. In A. Kersnovsky, the number increases to 1400 people - indicating that this is the total number of captives in Vaplitsa and Mühlen. Kersnovsky A. A. Decree. cit. T. 3. C. 340. The 30 Infantry Regiment distinguished itself, seized 11 officers and 380 soldiers (Collection of documents. C. 584) and 5 th Infantry Regiment (only 2 Battalion captivated Mühlen to 250 people, and also captured the battery (1 gun was drowned Lake Muhlen, and 3 taken)) (Yu. F. Buchinsky. Decree. Op. C. 29)]. Many heroes were buried at the scene of the battle: N. Evseev wrote about German and 427 Russian soldiers buried near Vaplitsa 159 [Evseev N. Decree. cit. C. 217]. According to others, 59 officer, 22 noncommissioned officer and 42 rank and file (total losses of this German regiment - 703 officers and 28 of the lower ranks) are among the only ones from the 1500 Infantry Regiment (the total losses of the German regiment are among the last - the regimental commander, Colonel Sontag, who soon died from his wounds). The German 152 Infantry Regiment lost 12 officers and 514 lower ranks under Vaplitsy [Bogdanovich P. N. Invasion of East Prussia in August 1914. Memoirs of General Samsonov, an officer of the general staff of the army. Buenos Aires, 1964. C. 167].


German infantrymen attack under fire.

Thus, even before the onset of the main events of Tannenberg, both (37 and 41) divisions of the 20 corps were so shabby that in the further course of the operation they almost did not participate.

In the battle of Allenstein 2000 was captured by the Germans.
Moreover, freeing their captives later on, the Germans often shot at their compatriots, taking them for Russians [Evseev N. Decree. cit. C. 241]. For example, the 5 hussar regiment did not dare to attack in the Cossack regiment that was just barely escorting the captured Germans. He waited for his infantry and artillery, and only then did the German hussars go on the offensive, capturing the Russian field hospital and 100 wounded German prisoners who were treated in it. Still 400 captured Germans were simply thrown by the Russian escort, and returned to their own, having survived before this intensive shooting from their own comrades. An eyewitness cites the contents of a Russian dispatch sent by a non-commissioned officer from vil. Mühlen: 80 soldiers of various companies gathered around, there are no cartridges and officers, and 300 German prisoners are sitting in the shed [Zhelondkovsky V.E. Decree. cit. C. 290].

Even finishing off the surrounded parts of the central group of the 2 Army, the Germans suffered heavy losses. Thus, in the battle under the Adlershorst 17 in August, units of the German 2 Infantry Division fought heavy battles, which caused great losses to both sides. On the same day, a fierce battle between the German 1 Infantry Division and the Russian units, breaking through from the encirclement, occurred between Wallendorf and Mushaken. The infantry of the German 42 regiment went on the attack on the Russian battery, but was shot. Only after the powerful German artillery was put into action was the Russian battery suppressed and then captured, but the Russian infantry withdrew [Evseev N. Decree. cit. C. 265]. And when in a kilometer southeast of places. Malgaofen units of the brigade of the German 1 Infantry Division made a halt, they were hit by the Russian units, losing more than 200 people, including the brigade commander, General F. Trotta. The erupting Russian part dispersed parts of the German brigade — moreover, the German infantrymen exchanged fire for some time between themselves. In this fight from the German side, apart from the general, the 2 battalion commander was killed, and the losses were very large [Reichsarchiv. Der Weltkrieg 1914 - 1918. Bd 2. Berlin, 1925. S. 229]. When the 1 Battalion of the 21 Infantry Regiment later discovered the movement of the Russian units on Canvizen and went on the attack, it was destroyed. It is in the battles at the places mentioned above. Wahlendorf, the Germans left the largest artillery trophy in the course of the operation, the 13 gun, in the hands of parts of the 22 Army Corps breaking out of the encirclement.

All in all, in battles with the troops of the 2 Army in the period of 13 - 18 of August (that is, in the period of "Tannenberg"), the Germans (37-I and 41-I infantry divisions of the 20-AK (the unit was actually defeated), 2-I 1 Infantry Division AK, 3-I reserve division, Goltz Landver Division, 6-I and 70-Land Brigade under Gross-Bessau, Bischofsburg, Usdau-Soldau, Allenstein, WJ, I is in a row, I is in a row, it is in a row, it is in a row, it is in a row, it is in a row, it is a man, a man, a man, a man, a man, a man, a man, a man, a man, and a man. of the pursuit battles (all 12 divisions liquidating the tannenberg boiler), according to German data, lost 12000 fighters [Reichsarchiv. Der Weltkrieg 1914 - 1918. Bd. 2. S. 346]. To this figure should add 4000 people, lost 10-11 August Orlau-Frankenau.

Finally, in the final stage of the operation, during the First Battle of the Mazury Lakes with the troops of the Russian 1 Army, the 8 Army lost, according to Russian data, before 14000, and in German - 9000 people [Reichsarchiv. Der Weltkrieg 1914 - 1918. Bd. 2. S. 317. Moreover, the source noted the particularly large losses of the 11 and 17 of the army corps].

The decisive battle of the First World War. East Prussian operation 1914 of the year. About losses. CH 2. 8 Army

German machine gunners in the battles of the Masurian Lakes.

Thus, we see that the total losses of the 8 Army in late July – August 1914 in battles with units of the 1 Army were at least 26000 a man (the largest losses were suffered at Gumbinnen - 14607 soldiers and officers, in the course of the First Battle of Mazury Lakes - no less than 9000 people and at Stallupenen - 1500 people), and in battles with the troops of the 2 Army - no less 16000 man (4000 at Orlau-Frankenau and 12000 in the period of August 13-18 - realizing Tannenberg).

Total - at least 42000 people. Reichsarchive confirms the loss of 8 Army in the number of 37000 people [Reichsarchiv. Der Weltkrieg 1914 - 1918. Bd. 2. S. 317]. The difference between this figure and our calculations is that a large number of German soldiers and officers captured in Russian were then released by their troops (as, according to A. Knox, only a part of the 15 corps was in the “boiler” and only in battles 10, 11 and 14 August captured 1300 prisoners. Knox A. Op. cit. P. 81).

In total, the operation under consideration was captured by Russian troops up to 7000 people (100 at Stallupenene, 1500 at Gumbinnen, at least 2000 at Orlau-Frankenau, and at least 3000 in the period of 13 - August 18 - Mühlen-Waplitz, Hohenstein, Gross-Bessau, Allen, Gönstein, Gross-Bessaun, Allen, 2, August - Mühlen-Waplitz, Hohenstein, Gross-Bessau, Allen, Hohenstein, Gross-Bessaun, Allen, XNUMX, August - Mühlen-Waplitz, Hohenstein, Gross-Bessaun, Allen, XNUMX, August - Soldau). Moreover, two thirds of this amount falls on the share of the troops of the XNUMX Army. V.I. Gurko also noted that several thousand prisoners of war were captured by the troops of the latter [Gurko V.I. War and revolution in Russia. Memoirs of the commander of the Western Front 1914 - 1917. M., 2007. C. 84]. But the losses of the Germans in the battles with the 2 army were mitigated by the fact that most of the captured Germans captured by Samson's troops returned to their own after the death of the encircled central corps - and this is at least 5000 people (captured by 2000 people from Orlau - Frankenau, 2000 people - Allenstein and over 1000 people - Vaplitsa).

For the Germans, the most costly were Gumbinnen, "Tannenberg" and the First Battle of the Mazury Lakes. And for the 8 army, which lost 20% of its original composition, the transfer of fresh divisions from France was more than relevant.
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  1. Barcid
    Barcid 11 September 2017 08: 43
    +19
    Yes, the Germans also got
    In the war, the best and most courageous people die on both sides.
    Thank you for a quality article involving a wide range of sources.
  2. Koshnitsa
    Koshnitsa 11 September 2017 08: 52
    +10
    Great article! It was necessary for a hundred years to pass before such articles appeared in the national periodicals.
    Keep it up, Alexey and good luck to you!
  3. linen
    linen 12 September 2017 02: 01
    0
    In general, the last photograph refers to the Vistula
    1. OAV09081974
      12 September 2017 05: 40
      +19
      In general, the last photograph refers to the Vistula

      I try whenever possible to pick up the photo to the site.

      Here is a link to a modern edition.
      http://www.grwar.ru/pictures/pictures.html?id=167

      But the original photo from the German photo album 1915. The whole page is thematically related to the battles in East Prussia and at the Masurian Lakes in the summer - in the winter 1914 of the year.


      Thank you dear Koshnitsa and Barcid for your appreciation.
      I thank Koshnitsa for the wish. hi
      Best regards
      Oleynikov A.
  4. Lieutenant Teterin
    Lieutenant Teterin 12 September 2017 09: 02
    +13
    A wonderful and objective article! The victory in East Prussia was also given to the Germans at a considerable price, which dispels the myths that the 8th Army supposedly with miserable losses repelled the Russian offensive. Thanks to the author for the work done!