Military Review

TVD Second Patriotic. 1916 year. Part of 2

Galician theater

Central to the 1916 campaign was the offensive of the Southwestern Front, which began on May 22. Traditionally, the Galician theater of war was the main theater of operations of the Eastern Front of the First World War.

The timing of the attack was shifted because of the need to provide urgent assistance to an ally - Italy.

The experience of a positional war recognized it necessary to break through the enemy front in one direction - concentrating for this a maximum of troops and artillery. This made it possible to better operate with available reserves and technical resources. But the tragedy of the “meat grinders” of the positional period of the world war stemmed from the fact that the enemy had guessed about the place of the breakthrough — the artillery preparation region and the tightened reserves. The effect of surprise was lost, and the enemy, in turn, pulled up reserves in a threatened area. Having breached the enemy defenses, the attacker was forced to pull up his reserves, ammunition and move around in a “lunar landscape” of the terrain plowed by artillery, which sharply reduced the mobility of the troops that had broken through (even more so if there was no army mechanization). At the same time, defending from the depth of his defense (that is, with an intact infrastructure), he transferred (more quickly) his strength and resources - eventually closing the breakthrough. There was a hopeless race for the attack: he was trying to push reserves through the throat of a breakthrough, while the defender was pulling reserves on untouched roads. Of course, the forces of the parties soon balanced and the offensive faded. Such was the essence of the positional impasse.

The commander-in-chief of the cavalry, A. A. Brusilov, from the South-Western Front ordered the enemy positions to be broken through on the 4 (army) sectors - this made it possible to disperse the attention and forces of the enemy, depriving the latter of the opportunity to fully maneuver reserves. Artillery preparation in 4 points did not allow to establish the direction of the main attack. Moreover, in each army there were several shock corps sites.

Cavalry General A. A. Brusilov

The enemy troops had 475000 bayonets and sabers, 1845 guns (of which 545 were heavy). The southwestern front had 633000 bayonets and sabers, 1938 guns (of which 168 were heavy) (including 596 light and 74 heavy guns were in the 8 Army, which delivered the main attack [10]). The South-Western Front had 27% infantry, 32% cavalry divisions and up to 29% guns of the army [11]. The advantage of 3: 1 in favor of the attacker, as required by military theory, was absent. The Russians had no advantage in heavy artillery - the success of the operation was based on the thoroughness of the preparation and application of new breakthrough techniques.

5 schema. Galician theater of war at the time of the offensive of the South-Western Front. Collection of documents. The offensive of the Southwestern Front in May — June X. NUMX M., 1916

The 22 May artillery roar of the Southwestern Front marked the beginning of the Brusilovsky breakthrough. At the 1 stage of the offensive, the front delivered 4 main and 7 auxiliary strikes. The armies carried out the Yazlovetsk, Lutsk, Sopanov, Dobronoutsk operations. Before the 8 of June, the main line of attack of the 2 Army was Lvov, but actions were also developed in the direction of Kovel - to interact with the Western Front (the beginning of the offensive was postponed).

From 3 June, 11-I and 8-I armies repelled the enemy’s counterstrike. By the tenth of June, the 9-I army forced the river. Prut, having mastered Chernivtsi, continuing the pursuit of the enemy. 6 June its connections came to the p. Gray

11 June The 3 army was transferred to the front, and the commander ordered the 3 and 8 armies to capture the Gorodok-Manevichi area. The armies broke through the enemy defenses, inflicting defeat on the enemy, and on June 24 was given the task of seizing Covel. Although their offensive was then suspended, the 3 and 8 armies inflicted a series of defeats on the German forces.

June 11 left-flank armies of the front (7-I and 9-I) were ordered to continue the attack on Stanislavov and Galich, and the central (11-I army) was to hold positions. 17 - June 20 The Germans launched a counterstrike on the 8 and 9 armies, but with heavy losses were repulsed.

TVD Second Patriotic. 1916 year. Part of 2
Commander 8 A cavalry general A. M. Kaledin

Commander 11 A. Cavalry General V. V. Sakharov

The second stage of the Offensive began on June 22. The command of the enemy was very alarmed. E. von Ludendorff noted the Russian attack east of Lutsk, in the bend of Styry - it was a complete success. The Austrian front was broken through at several points. The German troops who came to help also found themselves in a grave situation - and moved away from Stokhod. This was one of the strongest crises on the Eastern Front. [12]. Russian 7-I army attacked Brzezana - Monasterzhisk.

7 Commander A General of Infantry D. G. Shcherbachev

9 Commander A General of Infantry P. Lechitsky

From June 26, delivering the main attack is already the task of the Southwestern Front: in the Kovel direction with the prospect of moving to Brest - Pruzhany. The third stage of the Offensive began. A. A. Brusilov received troops from the Strategic Reserve Reserve - the Guards Detachment and the 4 SibAK (from the Northern Front - also the 3 AK). The formed group of the cavalry general VM Bezobrav (Special Army) occupied the area between the 3 and 8 armies. The enemy was shot down from positions in the areas of Tristen and Selets, but failed to reach Kovel. Opponent, providing fierce resistance, pulled large reserves.

Cavalry General V. M. Bezobraz

8 of the army should have captured Vladimir-Volynsky, 7 and 9 - Stanislavov-Galich frontier, and 11 - to attack Lviv and Brody.

Meanwhile, the German command, bringing up to the Offensive of the South-Western Front to the 20 divisions (from other sectors of the Russian Front, from France and Macedonia), began to form a strike group in the Kovel region. Embarked on the transfer of troops sent to the Italian front, and the Austrians.

Active actions took place on the theater and in July. The 7 Army in late July dealt a heavy blow to the South German Army near Zbarazh. July 30, the Special and 3 armies operating on the Kovel direction were transferred to the Western Front.

On August 18, the armies of the front launched a new offensive: the 8 in the direction of Vladimir-Volynsky, the 11 in the Brzezany, the 7 in supported the neighbors, and the 9 in the offensive on Galich and Marmarosh Sighet. With large losses, the August operation did not bring the desired results. But the 9-I army overcame the Wooded Carpathians, and the 7-I army defeated the South German army on p. Golden Linden and Rotten Linden. Russian troops liberated the cities of Galich, Brody and Stanislav.

In August, battles were fought with varying success on the r. Stokhod. M. Hoffman recorded in the diary the fact of heavy fighting and the concern of the German command, trying to "scrape together" the reserves in an environment of constantly changing situation. [13]. A. A. Brusilov, who considered the Kovel line to be more important and responded to the strategic goals of the entire campaign (by the combined efforts of the South-Western (8 Army) and Western (3 Army) fronts crushed significant enemy forces in a strategically important area) Lutsk.

6 schema. Galician TVD in the summer of 1916. Strategic sketch of the 1914-1918 war. CH 6. M., 1923

In September-October, combat activity on the north and south fronts of the theater began to fade, and the front stabilized along the r. Stokhod - Zolochev - Galich - Stanislavov - Vorokhta. Despite the fact that the Stavka shifted the brunt of the main strike to the South-West lane, the moment was missed and protracted bloody battles began.

The offensive was the largest achievement of Russian military art - opening a new form of positional breakthrough, the most successful for its time, indicated a way out of the positional impasse. The direction of the main attack - on Lutsk - led to the most painful consequences for Austro-Hungarians. It led to a major defeat of the Austro-German troops in Galicia and Bukovina, and the defeat of the Austrian 4 and 7 armies forced the enemy command to suspend the attack in Trentino and affected the situation near Verdun [14].

The offensive on a huge front from Lutsk to the Dniester almost led to the collapse of the Austro-German front and saved the Italians from imminent catastrophe [15].

Galician theater was central during the campaign. It was milled main mass of the compounds of the Austro-Hungarian army, pulled German reserves. The offensive of the South-Western Front marked the final transition of the strategic initiative to the Entente countries.

Romanian theater

After Romania’s not very successful entry into the war, Russia had to bail out a new ally. Already during the 1916 Offensive. The 9 Army served the interests of the new operational direction. Romania urgently needed the support of Russian troops - by mid-November the position of the Romanian army was disastrous.

E. von Ludendorff, speaking of the victories of the Germanic weapons during this period, he noted that victory in Romania became possible only due to the absence of Russian troops [16]. This led to the formation of a new theater. Initially, the left flank of the South-Western Front was extended - along the Romanian-Transylvanian border. Replacing the Romanian troops in this area by the Russians allowed the ally’s command to free up additional forces [17]. But the Romanian government also asked for direct assistance from the troops - in particular, to send several corps for the defense of Bucharest [18]. Help was provided.

Russian formations (originally - F. A. Keller's equestrian group and the 47 th army corps, and then the 4 th and 4 th Siberian army corps and several divisions), restraining the pressure of troops A. von Mackensen, covered the withdrawal of the Romanian troops. The Russian 4 Army (3 Army and Cavalry Corps) appeared - an opponent of the German 9 (first 7 infantry divisions), Danube and Austrian 1 (8 infantry and 3 cavalry divisions) The enemy pumped the theater of troops with troops - for example, the German 9 Army was reinforced by the 3 infantry and cavalry divisions.

24. 11. 1916 was created by the Romanian Front, which originally included the Russian 4-I (3 army corps and 3 cavalry divisions), 6-I (3 army and 2 cavalry corps) army (army corps and division - in the front reserve). The emergence of a new front led to a gradual concentration on the theater of operations (including the Russian 9 Army) 15 army (35 divisions) and 3 cavalry (13 divisions) corps - almost 25% of the Russian Active Army.

7 schema. Romanian theater of operations by January 1917 - the strength of the Russian army in the field. Strategic essay. Romanian front. M., 1922

By the beginning of 1917, three Russian (4, 6, 9) and Romanian (2) armies opposed the Austrian 1, German 9, F. von Gerok and Danube, as well as the Bulgarian 3 armies

The Russian troops in the new theater were reanimated by the Romanian front, rescued the Allied army, and even though the new theater was holding off a quarter of the Russian army, he pulled back the considerable forces of all 4 powers of the German bloc.


10. Strategic essay. CH 5. C. 40.
11. Bazarevsky A. Offensive operation of the 9 of the Russian army. C. 5.
12. Ludendorff E. My memories. C. 224.
13. Hoffman M. Notes and diaries. C. 214.
14. Vetoshnikov L.V. Brusilovsky Breakthrough. Operational and strategic essay. C. 3.
15. Danilov Yu. N. Decree. cit.
16. Ludendorff E. Decree. cit. C. 297.
17. Gurko V.I. Decree. cit. C. 234.
18. Ibid. S. 236.

Strategic leadership of the Russian army in the 1916 campaign: Supreme Commander, Emperor Nicholas II and Chief of Staff of the Headquarters Adjutant-General M. V. Alekseev.

To be continued
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  1. soldier
    soldier 10 November 2017 07: 35
    Yes, Russian troops not only actively acted on all theater
    They completed the most important strategic tasks.
    The Russian troops in the new theater were reanimated by the Romanian front, rescued the Allied army, and even though the new theater was holding off a quarter of the Russian army, he pulled back the considerable forces of all 4 powers of the German bloc.

    The most important contribution to the all-Union affair
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 10 November 2017 07: 44
    V.V. Sakharov-After the February Revolution, Sakharov was removed from command of the front on April 2, 1917, and remained only a member of the Alexander Committee on the Wounded. He lived in Romania, in the Crimea. Shot by the "green" near Karasubazar in the Crimea.V. M. BezobrazovAfter the February Revolution he emigrated to France. Died in nice
  3. XII Legion
    XII Legion 10 November 2017 07: 58
    The offensive was the largest achievement of Russian military art - opening a new form of breakthrough of the positional front

    Yes, the Galician theater has always been key (the rest are auxiliary)
    Thank you
  4. Olgovich
    Olgovich 10 November 2017 08: 12
    The original name of the breakthrough is Lutsk breakthrough.
    The true developer of the Lutsk breakthrough plan was an outstanding Russian general, the hero of the White Movement, Khanzhin Mikhail Vasilievich.
    a brilliant artilleryman, he ensured the break-in and destruction by a massive shaft of fire (moving it gradually deeper into) the position of the Avsrians in several directions.
    Brusilov, on the other hand, was a developer and conductor of the Russian Verdun meat grinder, sending the best Russian troops to the slaughter every time.
    Failing to comply with the instructions of the Headquarters and the Emperor to stop fruitless attacks and move on, for which he was not awarded the Imperial George Cross
    Also not mentioned is another hero of the Lutsk breakthrough, General A.I. Denikin ..
    1. soldier
      soldier 10 November 2017 08: 37
      The original name of the breakthrough is Lutsk breakthrough.

      Dear Olgovich - Lutsk breakthrough is a breakthrough of the 8th army (so to speak - Kaledinsko-Khanzhinsky), advancing on Lutsk.
      In addition to him, 3 other armies of the front (7th, 9th and 11th) made their breakthroughs - Yazlovetsky, Sopanovsky, Dobronoutsky.
      And all 4 army breakthroughs are a common breakthrough (front-line operation) of the South-Western Front, named after the commander of the front "Brusilovsky". I do not know if the latter is appropriate, because operations are called on the basis of geographical factors. But it so happened hi
      1. Olgovich
        Olgovich 10 November 2017 10: 17
        Quote: soldier
        Dear Olgovich - Lutsk breakthrough is a breakthrough of the 8th army (so to speak - Kaledinsko-Khanzhinsky), advancing on Lutsk.

        Dear CSKA, contemporaries they knew him exactly as LUTSK breakthrough, later called Brusiolovsky.
        Lutsky because it was there main strike direction and there the main forces of the front were concentrated. The remaining directions are auxiliary, moreover, the 9th and 11th army were soon stopped by the enemy.
        General Khanzhin served in the headquarters of Brusilov, and he offered a strike in several directions.
        Brusilov supported him. More precisely: the idea was the fruit of the collective work of the front headquarters. hi
        1. soldier
          soldier 10 November 2017 10: 46
          Dear army man, contemporaries knew him precisely as LUTSK breakthrough, later called Brusilovsky.

          It also occurs.
          But the whole operation of the South-Western Front is also called the Brusilovsky breakthrough. It’s more logical to agree - after all, Brusilov commanded the entire front and not the 8th Army. Soviet science most correctly calls this offensive - the offensive of the Southwestern Front on May 22 - October 31 (and Lutsky, Yazlovetsky and other breakthroughs are only its first stage).

          The 8th Army was commanded by Kaledin, and Khanzhin was the artillery inspector of the 8th Army.
          By the way, the big mistake of the front command and Brusilov personally was that he slowed down the offensive near Lutsk in favor of the Kovel direction - considering it more promising, including for interaction with the Western Front, which was supposed to deliver the main blow (the South Front was only charged June 26).

          About the auxiliary directions.
          It was decided that the greatest effort would go where the greatest success was achieved. By the way, the 7th Army managed to achieve the greatest success (including territorial). And the 9th Army conquered Bukovina and even entered the Carpathians at the final stage. No wonder in the fall this direction was considered the most promising.

          The idea of ​​course is the fruit of the collective work of the headquarters. You are absolutely right
          hi good drinks
  5. soldier
    soldier 10 November 2017 08: 26
    A breakthrough of the 9th army was provided by another brilliant artilleryman - General V.F. Kirey, the real "Russian Bruhmüller."
    In the battles of summer and autumn of 1916, a galaxy of Russian military commanders, adherents of active operations, was forged. Undoubtedly, this is A. A. Brusilov himself, who carefully prepared and energetically conducted the operation. So, the British noted: “in the hands of the Russian commander there were no such resources as the Germans had, and he could not solve the problem of breaking through the enemy’s front according to the Mackensen method - concentrating a huge number of guns in one area to break through the enemy’s defense, paving the way for his infantry with this artillery fist on a broad front ... Russian artillery did not replace the infantry attack, but facilitated and simplified it ... A breakthrough in several sections of the front was at the same time the exact opposite of the German scheme ... But Brusilov’s technique owes its success to the full coordination of the actions of all armies and the carefully planned interaction of all services. "
    The commanders of the Southwestern Front (V.V. Sakharov, D. G. Shcherbachev and others) showed themselves excellently in the majority, proving that they were able to beat Germans and Austrians alike.
    There are many heroes - Khanzhin, Kirei, Denikin, only a drop in the bucket.
    And perhaps the author will focus on them in the future ...?
    On the names of representatives of a forgotten or half-forgotten general? And it is generally accepted that mediocrity, satraps, etc.
    It would be very interesting
  6. Rotmistr
    Rotmistr 10 November 2017 09: 05
    The offensive of the South-Western Front by a turning point in the capture of the strategic initiative by the Entente, an event that saved Italy and led Romania to the anti-German bloc.
    Having failed to deliver the main blow to the Western Front after Naroch and having transformed the campaign plan, Russia in any case achieved the most important strategic results.
      BRONEVIK 10 November 2017 09: 58
      Incidentally, the remarkable role of Russia in capturing the Entente’s strategic initiative is that the constant requests of the Allies for help (France in February, Italy in May) if not completely destroyed, then, in any case, significantly transformed the whole Russian plan of the 1916 campaign. Northern and The Western fronts were battered even before the start of the main offensive operation, and the South-Western Front received much less time and reserves for training than was necessary.
      In addition, with the simultaneous allied offensive (on the Somme), the German bloc was waiting for defeat by the end of 1916 - the beginning of 1917.
  7. kalibr
    kalibr 10 November 2017 12: 22
    Indeed, it is interesting to read about what has been hidden for years ...
  8. kalibr
    kalibr 10 November 2017 12: 22
    Quote: soldier
    And perhaps the author will focus on them in the future ...?
    On the names of representatives of a forgotten or half-forgotten general? And it is generally accepted that mediocrity, satraps, etc.

    I fully join!
    1. OAV09081974
      10 November 2017 14: 20
      Thank you dear Vyacheslav Olegovich to you and other colleagues. hi
      I will surely take into account these wishes and in the short term I will take care of personalities.
      1. Mikado
        Mikado 10 November 2017 20: 40
        you have good cycles. Grateful. Moreover, note that not every author agrees to participate in the discussion on the forum, which only adds to your respect. With respect, Nicholaihi
        1. OAV09081974
          10 November 2017 22: 59
          Many thanks Nikolay

          Best regards
          Oleynikov Alexey
          1. Mikado
            Mikado 10 November 2017 23: 17
            humor appreciated! good and nowhere without it! request write, we will read! hi
            1. OAV09081974
              10 November 2017 23: 40
              Really very nice)
              A high mark from your side, from the side of colleagues and experienced participants of the forum is worth a lot.
              Thanks again!
              I will try hi drinks
              1. Mikado
                Mikado 10 November 2017 23: 59
                The site is full of smart people. Moreover, they have completely different views. But they are smart, and each of them has something to learn, or something to pay attention to. So, slowly, you learn from everyone. You have the knowledge and skills, this can be seen; the articles do not constitute a thoughtless compilation or frenzied opinion; they are pleasant, informative, and come out in cycles. The base is there, it’s worked out, honed, it remains .. to write and experiment, because any creativity involves an experiment on himself and his achievements! hi every time, with each new article-product-action, a person jumps another centimeter higher! yes idealist thoughts, but I think this is true request
  9. Some kind of compote
    Some kind of compote 10 November 2017 15: 36
    Interesting and reasoned
    We look forward to continuing good