Military Review

TVD Second Patriotic. 1915 year. Part of 5

Caucasian theater

In the Caucasian theater, when 17. 01. 1915, the troops of the Caucasian army captured the city of Tabriz, and in February - March they cleared the Chokhoru region from the Turks - the war came to the territory of the Ottoman Empire. In June, before the 8 Russian infantry divisions (133000 bayonets and 356 guns) opposed the Turkish 12 infantry divisions (105000 man, 300 guns), and in December 180000 Russian with 384 guns fought with approximately the same grouping of the enemy [51].

19 schema. Caucasian theater in 1915. Great war 1915 year. Essay main operations. PG.1916.

During the Van, Alashkert and Euphrates operations, the troops of the Caucasian army solved the most important tasks, forming operational and strategic prerequisites for further actions.

Operations in the Caucasian theater of operations took place exclusively under the sign of the activity of the Russian troops, including in order to keep the enemy's 3 army in constant tension, preventing it from weakening, and attracting additional forces from the Dardanelles Turks. The Caucasian theater of operations became a donor for other theaters of the Eastern Front, and the fighting was moved deep into enemy territory. The fighting on theaters were traditionally successful for the Russian weapons - And this campaign is no exception. Although in the course of the latter, the Turkish troops once again tried to seize the strategic initiative (during the Alashkert operation), synchronizing their actions with the Austro-German allies. But the Caucasian army firmly held a strategic initiative.

The 1915 campaign, as well as the previous one, began with the offensive operations of the Russian troops on both flanks of the strategic formation. In addition to the positive operational and strategic factors, there were also negative ones, the main ones being dispersal of forces in divergent areas, human and material losses, costs, and not the accumulation of much-needed resources. In connection with the transition of the enemy to large-scale offensive actions in the spring and summer, the campaign was marked by heavy defensive battles of the Russian troops in Galicia, Poland and the Baltic States.

In the period from May to September, the most strategically important territories and resources were lost, and the heaviest casualties in manpower and armaments were incurred. The main thing in this situation was the withdrawal of troops and the evacuation of material values ​​from the blows of the enemy with the lowest costs. The apogee of this tactic was the timely abandonment of Poland. Another main task was the consolidation of the front in new positions, the struggle for the optimal outline of its line for future operations. The campaign ended again with active operations of the Russian troops on the flanks of the Eastern Front (Vilna, Lutsk, Chortoria operations, the battle of the Siret-Stryp). The successful activity of the Russian troops and the exhaustion of the enemy forces led to the stabilization of the Eastern Front.

Given the landmark role of the German army on the Russian front in the 1915 campaign, its losses increased dramatically.

In this campaign, the German army lost up to 70000, the Austrian - before 800000 and the Turkish - before 30000 people were captured. Only the Battle of Carpathians, the Second Prasnysh operation and the fall of Przemysl gave the Russians up to 300000 prisoners. Successful operations on the Prut and Dniester in March - June (Prut, Khotyn, Zhuravlenskaya, Zadnestrovskaya) - even before 100000 prisoners. Autumn battles in Galicia and Volyn gave Russians up to 150000 prisoners. The losses of the enemy during the Gorlitsky strategic operation were also high.

In the 15 campaign of the year, Russian troops captured up to 550 guns (excluding Peremyshl guns - in this fortress almost 1 thousand guns became Russian trophies). The most significant artillery trophies were taken during the Second Prasnysh operation, the Carpathian battle and in the autumn operations in Galicia (at Lutsk and on the Siret). More than 1,3 thousand machine guns became Russian trophies - the most large-scale trophies were taken in the Battle of Carpathians, the Second Prasnyshskaya and Zhuravlenskaya operations, the battle of Seryet Stryp.

Russian troops also suffered very heavy losses. (about this in a future article on HE).

The Russian army in this campaign took the brunt of the German bloc. But the enemy did not achieve the desired result, having received only a lengthened front line and an increase in the number of theaters of military operations that required a significant number of troops. E. Falkengine lamented that the destruction of the Russian army could not be achieved [52]. And E. Ludendorff stated that the Russians were driven off frontally, and the Austro-Germans never succeeded in accomplishing a single major strategic breakthrough. [54].

The general logic of the actions of the German-Austrian troops on the Eastern Front in 1915 was as follows: first, an attempt to encircle and destroy the Russian army and its units with the help of large and small Cannes, and when this was not possible - frontal displacement of Russian troops to the maximum distance (geographically) and to the most inconvenient (infrastructural) positions - in the forests and swamps of Belarus, western Ukraine and the eastern Baltic.

The expanding Eastern Front of the First World War led to an increase in the number of theaters of military operations. By the end of the 1915 campaign, the new theaters by the end of 1914 were inferior to those established by the end of the XNUMX campaign. If the Polish Balcony consolidated other theater units of the Russian front, Polesye was broken by their connectivity.

From the end of April to 5 in September of 1915 (the fall of Vilna) the maximum value of the rollback of the Russian army in the Austro-German front was up to 500 km. The threat of the impact of Russian troops on Hungary and East Prussia was eliminated. A huge loss was the loss of important regions, the network of strategic railways (regular traffic on a huge scale generally led to a gradual disruption in the railway sector, the load on the remaining roads, coupled with their not entirely successful style, increased, and the possibilities for maneuvering operations decreased), human and material resources.

But the gradually expanding Eastern Front became a reservoir that swallowed up the reserves of the Germans and the Austrians - and Russia's allies gained advantages on their fronts. Under the cover of the Russian army, the Anglo-French almost a year of respite equaled Germany in terms of the material and technical supply of their troops, accumulated large resources, which made it possible in the near future to surpass their formidable enemy.

The best troops of the enemy were drawn to the Russian front, its living force was ground up, material resources were squandered - and the increase in the theater of the Eastern Front of World War played an important role in this. As a result of the 1915 campaign, Russia remained in line with its allies, and a positional war was established on the Eastern Front.


51. E. Maslovsky. The World War on the Caucasus Front 1914-1917. Strategic Essay. Paris, 1933. C. 474-477.
52. Falkengayn E. background. Decree. cit. C. 142.
53. Ludendorff E. background. Decree. cit. C. 169.

Pictures of positional warfare. Russian front in Galicia. Great struggle of nations. B. 6. M., 1916
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  1. Olgovich
    Olgovich 3 November 2017 07: 47 New
    The front line, which was practically established in the fall of 1915, did not change until 1918.
    Victory has been achieved.
    But there was a stab in the back in the form of Brest betrayal.
    1. soldier
      soldier 3 November 2017 09: 48 New
      An interesting parallel is that the Russian army, like the German one, constantly rescued its allies. The Russian army, like the German army, got a knife in the back from the rear - only chronologically earlier
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 3 November 2017 07: 50 New
    So they waited for the Caucasian theater ...
  3. soldier
    soldier 3 November 2017 07: 53 New
    Yes, the German bloc did not achieve the strategic goal.
    Military methods.
    Somewhere departed
    And somewhere (in Galicia and Romania in the spring and autumn of 1916) they significantly won back. In the fall of 16 years, Russian troops again in the Carpathians. Several fronts - write lost for the enemy
    The best troops of the enemy were drawn to the Russian front, grind its manpower, wasted material resources

    And for wars of attrition what else is needed
    The crushing strategy in the years 14-15 failed, and the resource circumstances of the depletion strategy were included. Heralding the IMPOSSIBLE victory of Russia and its allies
  4. XII Legion
    XII Legion 3 November 2017 08: 16 New
    the enemy did not achieve the desired result, having received only an extended front line and an increase in the number of theaters of operations, which required a significant number of troops.

    As they say - for what they fought, they ran into something
    Thank you!
  5. Ostrovsky
    Ostrovsky 3 November 2017 09: 59 New
    Thanks to the author for the series of articles on the little-studied campaign. Traditionally uses a wide range of sources including German and Austrian materials. This gives his work a special value.
  6. Rotmistr
    Rotmistr 3 November 2017 10: 54 New
    the gradually expanding Eastern Front became a reservoir that swallowed the reserves of the Germans and Austrians

    Really their strategists could not count? And that the loss of territories in the Russian version is not so critical?
    Under the cover of the Russian army, the Anglo-French almost a year's respite caught up with Germany in terms of logistics

    That is why in the campaign of 1915 the Russian army became the shield of the Entente. The Allies replenished supplies and recovered over a year of respite.
    Honor and glory to the Russian soldier, officer and general, who saved Europe!
      BRONEVIK 3 November 2017 11: 54 New
      The Allies replenished supplies and recovered over a year of respite.

      Yes, it is not known how the situation would have developed in France and Belgium in the year 15, if the Germans had used all the resources there. The British army was just unfolding (the "Kitchener" army), the French were exhausted after Marne and Run to the sea.
      Honor and glory to the Russian soldier, officer and general, who saved Europe!

      Absolutely so - and not only we should remember this, but also former allies and the enemy
    2. Lieutenant Teterin
      Lieutenant Teterin 3 November 2017 12: 32 New
      Quote: Rotmistr
      Really their strategists could not count? And that the loss of territories in the Russian version is not so critical?

      Dear Rotmister, both the Austrians and Germans, just knew this very well, and were afraid of a further offensive inland. At the end of 1915, Falkengine wrote to the Kaiser that “forces are“ insufficient in every way ”for an attack on Ukraine, the attack on Petrograd“ does not promise a decisive result, ”and the movement to Moscow“ leads us to a vast land. ”That’s why the Austro-Germans and they planned to embrace the Russian armies in the "Polish balcony", but ... German plans, as has happened more than once in Russian military history, were smashed into pieces about the staunchness of the Russian soldier and the literacy of the Russian command. The Germans seem to punch a hole in the front and go to reach. .. and stumble upon stumbling into fierce resistance. They are tightening up reserves, heavy artillery, but time has already been lost and the Russian units are leaving the upcoming boiler. And so time after time, instead of encirclement, they are constantly meeting fights and pushing the Russians to new positions. I so I think that by July of 1915, not one Falkenhayn clutched his head, beginning to understand in which Germans drove a trap ...
      1. Rotmistr
        Rotmistr 3 November 2017 12: 43 New
        You are absolutely right Mr. Poruchik!
        I would even say so - Falkenhayn knew perfectly well that on the French front, until he was SO saturated with equipment, due to the more limited territory, the victorious outcome was more realistic.
        And in the east, he still fought with the Hindenburg-Ludendorf tandem, who advocated a deepening invasion.
        The confrontation and unhealthy competition between the German Headquarters (Falkenhayn) and the command of the Eastern Front (Hindenburg-Ludendorf) also bore fruit.
        The Gorlitsky operation in Galicia was carried out by Falkenhayn's protege Mackensen. He then tried to steal the "Polish balcony" from the south.
        In the Baltic States and Poland, Hindenburg and Ludendorf commanded. They cut down the "balcony" from the north.
        Swan and pike. They didn't even need cancer wink
  7. Kapitan a
    Kapitan a 3 November 2017 11: 53 New
    I rarely write, mostly read. I can’t hold back just a moment - and the author of articles on the 15th year has a lot of respect. Whole info is not enough, so I learned a lot. I wish A. Oleinikov creative successes - to continue the series over the coming years and to consider the unknown or little-known battles of the 15 years mentioned here.
    Thanks in advance
  8. Lieutenant Teterin
    Lieutenant Teterin 3 November 2017 12: 22 New
    A wonderful and informative article. It is noteworthy that the Russian army, even during the difficult year of 1915, was able to take about 900000 prisoners, which was simply impossible without the active actions of the Russian troops and competent command. And, valuable, this is the testimony of the German commanders themselves that the Russian Stavka actually managed to disrupt the Austro-German strategic plan for 1915 and prevent a large-scale encirclement. Instead of strategic Cannes, the Central Bloc had to banally squeeze Russians out of the Polish provinces, and at the cost of considerable losses.
    The author - my sincere gratitude for the work done! hi
  9. fenist82
    fenist82 3 November 2017 18: 44 New
    Good article. At the Caucasian theater of operations, our army was faced with a strong, motivated, ideologically formed enemy. German pan-Germanism had not yet grown into Nazism, Germany and Austria-Hungary had nothing to ideologically offer the peoples of Russia. But the ideology of pan-Turkism and pan-Islamism have already developed and were extremely dangerous. The main enemy for the Young Turks and their followers was (and remains) Russia. In severe climatic conditions, sometimes numerically inferior to the enemy, the Russian won a number of victories, while other allies in the Entente suffered defeat from the Turks in other theater of operations. The Turkish army was really very strong, the defeat and collapse of the Caucasian front in the conditions of 1915 and the difficulties on the Austro-German front could translate into dire consequences that are terrible to imagine. And the latter, it is unfortunate that Kemal AtaTurk in 1915 did not appear on the Caucasian front. It is unlikely that he would have gained the laurels of the winner there and found the eagle of the savior of Istanbul, as it might be possible to know the history of Turkey and Greece, then he would have gone the other way.
    1. OAV09081974
      3 November 2017 19: 02 New
      Yes, you are absolutely right.
      Russia did not have so many contradictions with Germany and Austria-Hungary - as with Turkey.
      Turks since 1903, by the way, worked with the Crimean Tatars. At the beginning of the struggle with Russia, she was declared jihad.
      And the war on the Caucasian front had an important ideological background. The Caucasian army was a liberating army - and the Armenians and Greeks met her with flowers.
      The war was to be the last confrontation between the heir (ideological) of Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire. At one time, by the way, the battles of the Caucasian army marched with the Turks in the Manzikert region.
      The Turks fought beautifully and were ideologically motivated. Suffice it to recall the dervishes who had taken command of army units in the Dardanelles and the meeting of the winners in Istanbul (with lighted round lanterns, as it once was).
      Unfortunately, the age-old dispute was not allowed to be resolved. Failed to recreate Great Armenia and put the Strait under control. The old process of the centuries-old struggle of the Orthodox civilization with the caliphate was interrupted.
      Thanks to all colleagues for flattering reviews.
      Best regards
      1. Karen
        Karen 3 November 2017 19: 24 New
        Alex, thanks!
        If I remember / find where my books “walk” (15 years have passed) Arzumanyan “The Caucasian Front” and R. Sahakyan “Franco-Turkish Relations and Cilicia” - I will definitely send you to read.
        1. OAV09081974
          3 November 2017 19: 35 New
          Thank you Karen! I will be grateful hi
          And I have an international book of G. Karganov. "Participation of Armenians in the World War on the Caucasian Front 1914-1918. M., 2011. Reprinting (total 1 thousand copies) of the work of the former Deputy Chief of Staff of the Caucasian Front (and Honorary Chairman of the Union of Armenian Officers -boys), released in Paris in 1927
          How my hands reach - I will scan and send you also drinks
          1. Karen
            Karen 3 November 2017 19: 55 New
            Dashnaks write that 80t. There were Armenians in the troops on the Caucasus front and as many on the West.
            And there is also a good book by the head of the Dashnak’s Foreign Ministry (briefly and the premiere) “Armenia between the Turkish Hammer and the Bolshevik Anvil,” I sent it to my friends a few years ago, it will be easy to find.
            1. OAV09081974
              3 November 2017 20: 13 New
              About the number
              I know that 13% of the Armenian population was called into the war.
              By the end of October 1914, only the number of 4 squads on the Caucasian front reached 2,5 thousand people (600 is still in reserve).
              And in December 1917, the Armenian Army Corps appeared (2 divisions + volunteer division, cavalry brigade).
              1. OAV09081974
                3 November 2017 20: 14 New
                This is of course not counting those called up to RIA
                1. Karen
                  Karen 3 November 2017 20: 28 New
                  After October, the leadership of the Caucasian Front very much interfered with ours there ... the Georgians were, the surname Odishelidze ... dispersed everyone and all the possibilities ... left everything to the Turks.
                  Apparently, I’ll have to regret having thrown out the book of the Dashnak biographer ... There he writes that at first Trotsky intended to use Armenian soldiers in Turkey, they created a committee in the Lazarevsky building, they allegedly brought the weapons, but then they dispersed everyone ... The author does not write that Trotsky simply collected information, so that later he would put a cross on us.
                  1. OAV09081974
                    3 November 2017 20: 43 New
                    Maybe there is a book
                    A civil war is a terrible thing
                    Undeserved gift for the Turks
  10. Some kind of compote
    Some kind of compote 3 November 2017 22: 45 New
    I liked the series of articles soldier
    Reasoned and understandable
    And the comments are good
  11. Serge72
    Serge72 3 November 2017 23: 01 New
    I carefully read the series about theaters of war for 14-15 years
    Whole picture
    Success to the author with the completion of the cycle
  12. Mamka pula
    Mamka pula 4 November 2017 14: 34 New
    I read online only Military Review
    Everything's there wink
    To the wickedness of the present and past, far and near
    I follow the work of the author - as always pleases love
    I wish you further creative success love love