The introduction of the 16 corps to support the 17 th, rolled to Kozienice, was a timely decision of the commander.
In turn, the October Grenadier Corps 11 was ordered to turn south to Glovachev. By the night of October 11, the grenadiers occupied only a small bridgehead in 5 - 6 km from the river. Only the avant-garde (7-th Grenadier Regiment) and the cavalry moved to contact with the enemy.
The army commander expressed fair dissatisfaction with the lack of energy to move the corps from the river.
By October 12, after a stubborn battle, the grenadiers advanced kilometers on 15, but the counter-attack of the enemy were driven back on 10 kilometers.
This situation led to the request of A.E. Everta to the commander of the right-flank 5 Army (now the North-Western Front) P. A. Pleve about the direction to the area south of r. Pilica (to assist the Grenadier Corps) is not less than a division.
Assistance to the grenadiers was provided by parts of the 5 Army Corps. Four days continued hard heavy fighting in the forest belt of the left bank of the Vistula.
On October 14, the commander of the 4 Army issued directive No. 2547: “By the heroic efforts of the 4 and 9 armies, the enemy’s stubborn resistance west of Kozienice, Ivangorod and Novo-Alexandria has been broken. The enemy retreats to the line Yedlinsk, Radom, Ilzha, Ostrovets. The aim of the next actions of the 4 and 9 armies is to capture Radom and purify Radomsky from the enemy with the closest assistance of the 5 Army of the North-Western Front ... ”.
On October 15, it was prescribed to continue pursuing the enemy and, persistently pushing him with the vanguards, to achieve the main forces: the Grenadier Corps of the Karlubek Stary line, Yedlinsk, and the remaining corps - the Patsynka River.
October 13 P. Hindenburg ordered the retreat of the German 9 Army to Silesia. On the night of October 14, P. Hindenburg and the Austrian 1 Army Commander V. Dunkl began to retreat.
Germanic sources admit that the push to retreat was given by the German-Austrian breakthrough in the Grabov - Glovachev sector 12 - 14 of October - a breakthrough was carried out by the corps of the 4 Army A. A Everta. But do not forget about the efforts of the "weights" that outweighed the balance of military equilibrium - the 7 Infantry Division of the 5 Army 5 Army Corps, which supported the grenadier and energetically joined the battle at Grabov.
What conclusions should be drawn from the results of the considered actions of the 4 Army on the Vistula during the Warsaw-Ivangorod operation?
The success of forcing a water barrier is usually based on either tactical surprise or firepower on the part of the ferruer. Technically, forcing a river requires a lot of engineering preparatory work.
The army headquarters was to take a number of measures to prepare such an operation. Among them: a comprehensive study of the river and the surrounding area; concentration and distribution of technical forces and facilities necessary for forcing; development of a plan of operation with appropriate measures to ensure it; the corresponding regrouping of troops with the adoption of measures to conceal the implementation of shifts and movements.
German and French military practice indicated that the crossing of an entire army through a large river barrier should not be organized on too narrow a front - so that it could be carried out by large forces, at the same time distracting the attention of the enemy. When crossing simultaneously in several points, there was also a high probability of success. But stretching the army front when performing a forcing operation also had its limit - it lay in the plane of the interaction capabilities of neighboring task forces and in the deployment norms of military units when organizing a breakthrough. The French determined the army norm equal to about 20 km; and the Germans in the spring of 1918 showed an example of the 18-km front.
As for the depth of the operational maneuver associated with the capture of the water barrier being overcome by the opposite bank, in 1914 - 1916. On this account, the following views existed. The first frontier was planned in 3-4 km from the river (allowing the enemy to be deprived of the opportunity to conduct artillery surveillance and machine-gun fire, while retaining the possibility of securing the flanks of the crossed forces with artillery fire from his coast and building bridges). Advancement to the next frontier depended on the speed of building bridges for crossing the next echelon — 10 in depth — 30 km from the river (precisely at 30-kilometer distance from the forced Vistula, and connections of the 4 army at the end of the operation began to be fixed). The main thing - to provide bridges from the shelling of the enemy.
The crossing of the Vistula 4 th army in 1914 took place in quite favorable conditions: the enemy did not occupy the entire opposite coast (except for some areas), in the hands of the Russians were bridgehead fortifications of the Ivangorod fortress (before the operation) and a shallow bridgehead on the left bank of Kozienice, held by parts of the 17 and 3 Caucasian corps (in operation). At the same time, the enemy, who had approximately equal forces, was located near the river or on its left bank - and could at any moment prevent the crossings.
Forcing r. The Vistula 4 Army took place: for the first time - at four points (Kozienice, Ivangorod, Novo-Alexandria and Kazimierzh) on the 60-kilometer front, the second time - in two areas (Tarnovsky and Pavlovitsky) on the 35-kilometer front. And it is not by chance that in the first case the disparate actions of the corps of the 4 Army fail, and in the second - although the operation develops not without difficulties, but ultimately successfully.
The operation of the 4 Army included the following steps:
1) deployment on its river bank;
2) the first crossing over the river to meet an approaching enemy, a scattered and unsuccessful head-on collision of buildings scattered across a broad front with the return of most of them to their original position;
3) fight for the Kozienice bridgehead on the left bank and regrouping on the right bank of the Vistula;
4) second crossing over the river and battles on the left bank until the enemy withdraws.
At the 1 stage of the operation, the Ivangorod fortress was not adequately used as a base for the forthcoming deployment. What can be kept on the left bank is proved by 12-day (27 of September - 9 of October) fighting by units of the 3 Caucasian and 17 corps near Kozienice.
The army had enough time to strengthen its avant-gardes on the left bank of the Vistula. Rather contradictory instructions on this matter came from the front command, and the commander was only a performer. The headquarters of the 3-th Caucasian Army Corps in its reports argued the need to deploy the 4-th army on the left and not on the right bank of the Vistula. The report on the importance of the Bogushevka-Helenov lineage by the grenadiers ended as follows: “only under this condition will the 4 army be launched into the offensive”.
The 2 stage, the first offensive, was made on time, but the troops of the 4 army were not properly deployed. A very significant circumstance was the consolidation on the left bank of the avant-garde of the 3 Caucasian Corps, supported by the avant-garde of the 17 corps (although at this moment from another army). Thus, one of the areas of the forthcoming crossing of the 4 Army through the Vistula was chosen and secured. It was necessary to choose another area of the crossing for the strike group of the army, since the Pavlovice area, Kozienice, and the troops that had crossed there were held down by the enemy. The army command made a competent choice - on the far right (northern) flank of the operational association.
It was necessary to organize a ferry and carry out all the necessary training. The success of the boost is best ensured by the creation of a bridgehead on the shore of the enemy. There was such a bridgehead - Ivangorod fortress, but it was not used enough - only in one direction (to the north).
Another condition for the success of the crossing is its technical security and readiness. In this regard, the Russian armed forces in 1914 had pontoon battalions at the rate of one bridge per army. Otherwise, almost everything depended on the energetic assistance of the commandant of the Ivangorod fortress to the 4 Army. Imposing a significant imprint of local resources and opportunities. At each point selected for the crossing, various means were collected, which in general proved to be sufficient, but repeatedly the crossing and supply of the left-bank troops hung in the balance.
At the 3 stage, another bridgehead was created at Kozienice-Ivangorod, first on the initiative of the command of the 3-Caucasian corps, and then by the insistence of the army and front-line commanders. The general lack of firepower forced the left bank bridgehead to be saturated with an excessive amount of manpower (two corps and a part of the Ivangorod garrison). As a result, the shock group was weakened.
Properly conceived by AE Evert, the regrouping in the direction of the right flank after a series of fluctuations was not changed for the better - which brought the strike group from 50% to 25% of army forces. This, in turn, led to protracted and heavy fighting on the left bank.
Under these conditions, the question arose - what would be more correct: to deploy the entire 4 army on the Kozienice bridgehead - Ivangorod or leave one building in it, and hit the other three between the mouths of the r. R. Pilitsa and Radomka?
The bridgehead of Kozienice - Ivangorod reached more than 20 km along the front. This was enough to deploy an army of four corps. In addition, the two corps were already on the left bank, and the question was about the transfer of only two others. Pavlovitsky ferry and three Ivangorod bridges were enough for that. But time was the deciding factor. If it so happened that the corps of the 4 Army occupied a three-fold wider front in the initial position, it was necessary to take into account the time required for regrouping (i.e., changing and moving) in the direction of a successful crossing. The nearest (Grenadier) corps could concentrate under Ivangorod only by October 2, and the 16 corps only by October 6. Of course, it was not necessary to introduce them into the case in parts. And during these 10 days, the Germans managed to create such resistance on the left bank that a strike on this front was no longer expedient. A flanking strike was preferable - and in order to make it strong enough, it was necessary to concentrate two corps, if not three, to the north.
18. On the Vistula. Reflection of the night attack of the German infantry. Chronicles of War 1914 - 15 No. 22. From the author's library.
The 4 stage - the repeated passage through the Vistula of the Grenadier and 16 corps was characterized only by technical difficulties. During this period, the enemy departed from the river bank itself and with its fire did not prevent the crossing (as before).
The correct ideas of the commander A.E. Evert were not always persistently carried out by him, including under the influence of the front command. There was enough of their own mistakes - so, during the first crossing, the commander did not directly lead her, and if the Grenadier Corps failed, they only found a way out in a maneuver of going beyond the river. At the same time, as we noted above, A. E. Evert adopted a number of competent decisions that contributed to the success of the operation. On its specificity left an imprint and special conditions - such as extensive forest space on the left bank and communications (fragile in themselves), which are under the influence of the enemy.
For operational and tactical miscalculations, the troops pay with excessive losses. The total casualties of the 4 Army were about 500 officers and up to 50000 soldiers (Grenadier Corps - 104 officer and 13412 soldiers, 16 Corps - 65 officers and 7079 soldiers, 17 Corps - 197 officers and 16202 soldiers, 3-th Caucasus the corps is about 100 officers and 12000 soldiers, a garrison of the Ivangorod fortress - 19 officers and 1193 soldiers) - or up to a third of the operational force formations.
19. Mass grave in the Kozienice forest. Memorial service for the heroes who fell 1 - October 2 1914. Annals of the 1914 war of the year. No. 13.
The offensive operation of the Russian 4 Army on the middle Vistula during the Warsaw-Ivangorod operation 1914 ended in success and the pursuit of a departing enemy. The army became the main "birthday girl" of this most important strategic victory of the Russian weapons - that, as noted above, admits the enemy.