In the Baluev group, the development of events turned out to be fundamentally different. Here massing artillery was not used. The artillery preparation sprayed on the front began on 05.03.1916 in the 7 hours. If the divisions of the Pleshkov group attacked earlier than the scheduled time, then the Baluev group, on the contrary, had an 3 hour delay - due to the unavailability of the part of the 68 division and the desire to carry out a simultaneous attack. Waiting lowered offensive rush of troops.
The signal to attack is given in 15 hours. The 7 and 10 infantry divisions of the 5 Army Corps rushed to the west - along the southern shore of Lake Naroch. They were met by unbroken enemy fortifications and by the artillery and rifle fire of the latter. Affected and delays in the transfer of fire Russian artillery. Temporarily captured der. Zanaroch. As a result, the offensive stopped, and by the end of the day, the 5 corps had retired to its original lines, having lost 80 officers and 4000 soldiers on that day.
South along the northeast coast of the lake. Vishnevskoye was advancing to the west of the 25 Infantry Division and the 269 Infantry Regiment of Novorzhevsky Regiment of the 68 Division of the 36 Army Corps. The troops successfully moved along the gradually lowering terrain to a wide swamp — because of the latter from the north, the Germans discovered strong artillery fire. The attackers lay down, requesting the support of their own artillery and the 3 of the Siberian corps. But from the previous firing positions, the targets were beyond the reach of the guns — the positions of the batteries had to be changed. The rush of the advancing ran out of breath - they managed to reach only on some sections of the enemy wire barriers. Managed to master der. Ostrovlyany. 05. 03. 36 Corps lost 19 officers and 2030 soldiers.
In the Cirelius 5 group of March, only an artillery fire exchange was noted. Losses 5 March - 2 officer and 60 soldiers, 6 and 7 March - 2 officer and 252 soldiers. The Germans sent units from the group site against the attacking parts of Pleshkov and Baluev. And in the future part of Cirelius did nothing.
All in all, on the first day of the operation, the troops of the 2 Army lost an 183 officer and 15139 soldiers killed and wounded.
In the area of the 14 Army Corps 1 Army of the Western Front Russian 05. 03. conducted artillery training, and 06. 03. parts of the corps from the battle occupied the line of Mintsyuny, Ivanishki, Velikoye Selo (in 8 km south of Vidzy). The offensive of the 5 Army of the Northern Front was postponed until 07. 03. (due to the non-arrival of heavy artillery), and the attack of the 12 Army, which did not complete rearmament with Japanese rifles, General Headquarters decided to cancel.
05 evening. 03. In the 2 Army's location, it began to rain all night. The snow was loose, the trenches filled with water. The ice on the streams began to crack, the polynyas increased. The artillery of the Pleshkov group is instructed to continue training at night, in the morning of 04. 03. to conduct a concentrated fire on these targets, strengthening it by noon and bringing to the degree of a hurricane to 14 watches 06. 03. About 13. 30. 06. 03. The attack assigned to 14 hours has been rescheduled for night time. The transfer was requested by the command of the 22 Infantry Division, while the chief of the 1 Siberian Division opposed, considering it more advantageous to attack in the afternoon.
In the 22 Infantry Division, two groups were formed: the strike force of Colonel A.N. Shubersky from his 85-th Vyborgsky, and 87-th Nashlotsky and attached 235-th Belebeyevsky infantry regiments and auxiliary general Shishkin from 86-6th Wilmanstrandsk branch of the Infantry Regiment and auxiliary general Shishkin from 88-6th Wilmanstransky Army regiment. Petrovsky Infantry Regiments. To support them, 18 heavy guns and 8 shells are allocated in 60 hours. In the 21 hour, the Shubersky group, having the lead fresh 235 regiment, followed by the 87 and 85, moved into the attack. The regiment battalions marched in reserve columns, having at the head open companies. The rank of ranks on 100 meters, and between the shelves - to 250. Met by fire, the company began to bear heavy losses and, before reaching the wire barriers, lay down. At the same time, communication was lost with the neighbor to the left, the 3 of the Siberian rifle regiment. Attempts by Shishkin’s group to attack in the area of Vileyta and to the south were also unsuccessful. At 2 in the morning on 07. 03. it became known that the left-handed 1-I Siberian Rifle Division captured the German trenches from Buchelishki to the Lapinsky forest. In order to build on the success of the neighbors, in 4 hours, Shubersky was ordered to take extreme measures: he formed the remaining companies of the three regiments of the 5 consolidated company and went on the attack with them - he reached the obstacles, but could not overcome them. In the coverage of their left flank, the Germans led a counterattack to the junction of the Russian divisions. K 07. 20., Despite the approach to the assistance of the head units of the 1 th brigade of the 76 th infantry division, the remnants of the Shubersky group that melted under fire were relegated to their original positions. In 8 hours, the group is disbanded, and its shelves are almost completely knocked out. The 22 Infantry Division suffered huge (over 50%) losses and needed to be replaced.
A. N. Shubersky.
The 1, 2 and 3 Siberian infantry regiments of the 1 Siberian division also attacked 21 in the 06 hour. 03. The Germans met them with fierce artillery fire, but the Siberian arrows stubbornly moved forward. Night time, enemy fire led to a mix of units. However, in 1. 20 07. 03. The 3 th company of the 1 Siberian Regiment broke into the 1 line of the German trenches, and at 1. 45. it was followed by the 2 Company and the 3 Battalion. 3 th Siberian regiment led all night long battle for the village. Buchelishki and by dawn captured the trenches to the south of this point. In total, up to 700 trenches were occupied. The success came at the cost of large losses, the attacking units literally melted, and there were no reserves near the front line. On the left, the 2-I Siberian division advanced slowly, failed to overcome unbroken obstacles, and by morning, due to enemy fire, rolled back from the line captured at night, revealing the right flank of the 1-Siberian. The departure of Shubersky's group opened the left flank. To the threat from the flanks was added the fire of the German artillery, which had been precisely shot in advance in their trenches and inflicted great losses on the Siberians who had occupied them. The sighting of the Russian artillery was made difficult by thick fog. By the morning of the 1-I Siberian division also retreated to its original position. Pleshkov's group for 6-7 March lost 61 officer and 3905 soldier.
In the Baluev group, at dawn of March 6, the Germans launched an artillery bombardment of the positions of the 25 Infantry Division with shells of asphyxiated gases. In response, the head of the division, Lieutenant-General N. G. Filimonov, decided to attack the enemy in order to get out of the poisoned zone (expecting to use fog). The calculation turned out to be erroneous - those who reached the wire were met by strong enemy fire. At first, the 99 Infantry Ivangorod Regiment departed without warning its neighbors (its commander Colonel Tomilin was removed from command for the withdrawal), which resulted in the withdrawal of 98-th Yuryevsky and 100-th Ostrovsky infantry regiments. Losses - 20 officers and 1731 soldiers. The general attack of the group is scheduled for March 4 8 hours.
7 in March Evert ordered Ragoza to demand from the commanders of the teams and commander Corps to establish proper command and control of the troops, to show the necessary energy and activity in order to drop the enemy before the start of the thaw.
At midnight, from 7 to 8 in March, the 22 Infantry Division, reinforced by the 59 Infantry Division Brigade (total 5560 fighters), prepared for the third time to attack — in order to master the enemy’s positions at Vileyta, Mikulushki. Before dawn on 5 in the morning of March 8, Russian units launched an offensive and, despite heavy fire and casualties, in 05. 30. broke into the Germanic trenches at Mikulishki, capturing the 2 machine gun and several soldiers of the German 107 Infantry Division. K 6. 20. the Germans were driven out of the entire first line of trenches, which turned out to be filled with water. Departing, the enemy destroyed the device for removal of melt water. General Shishkin sent all units to the battle line, where they were forced to be positioned openly and suffered serious losses. In 13 hours they were knocked out from a part of the captured line, and to 20. 15. completely relegated to their original positions (where the surviving fighters gathered 1050).
To the left came the 301 th Bobruisk and the 302 th Surazhsky infantry regiments of the 27 corps - they took the German guard post from Buchelishek, but could not advance further, and in the morning 8 of March were knocked to the starting position.
2-i Siberian division attacked in 4 hours of 8 March. The 5 Siberian Regiment after the hand-to-hand combat captured the 6 line of German trenches by the 1 watch. Going further, the regiment reached the forest north of Lovishku. At first the Germans began to surrender, and then suddenly they opened machine-gun fire. The regiment retreated to the 40 prisoners. Division losses for March 8 - 55 officers and more 5000 soldiers.
1-i Siberian division attacked in 5. 30. 8 March. The intensity of the Russian artillery support decreased. For half an hour, the attackers passed up to 250 meters and began to overcome the wire obstacles. At dawn on 7. 05. The 1, 2 and 3 Siberian infantry regiments nevertheless broke into the enemy's trenches, and then the last two German counterattacks were knocked out, retreated and lay at the village. Forest Moulara. It was planned to send to the aid of the 4 th Siberian regiment, but it turned out that the heavy artillery had run out of shells. On the night of March 9, the 1 th Siberian regiment was relegated to its original. Considering the losses and fatigue from the four-day battles, the new attack of the Pleshkov group, scheduled for the night of 9 March, was canceled.
In the Baluev group on the 1 hour of March 8, the artillery began artillery preparation, alternating the usual shells with the chemical ones. In 3. 30. moved into the attack 5-th Army Corps: 7-Infantry Division attacked along the lake Naroch and to 4 watches its 25-th, and behind him 28-th and 27-th infantry regiments broke into the 1-th line of the German trenches. Building on the success, the shelves captured several more lines, occupied the villages of Zanaroche and Blizniki, the master's yard of Avgustovo, advancing to 3 km. 17 officers were taken prisoner and about 1000 enemy soldiers. To the left, the 37, 38 and 40 infantry regiments of the 10 infantry division were successfully advancing. The latter seized the master's court, Stakhovtsy, and the 37 th regiment, having broken through from Kolodino, promptly seized the 1 and 2 line of the German trenches. Surpassing him on the right and increasing the blow, the 38 th regiment captured the 3 line. The Germans offered little resistance, since their fighters were mostly either destroyed or captured. Only bringing up reserves, the Germans managed to take the last trenches along the road Avgustovo-Mokritsy, stopping the advance of the 5 Army Corps. At about 17 hours a German counterattack repulsed along Lake Naroch. Exhausted enemy did not fix barriers.
From 4 hours to 17. 30. 8 March 25-I and 68-I infantry divisions of the 36-Corps tried to advance along the lake. Vishnevskoe, but lay down and could not overcome the enemy barricades.
The German command evaluated the position of their 10 Army 5 - 8 March 1916 as critical. By Lake Naroch, according to the Germans, on March 8, Russian troops achieved success in the lake gorge, and their attacks to the west of the Postavy were only barely repulsed. 07. 03. The 86 reserve division over the ice of Lake Svir was advanced to the front of the Baluyev troops, the 80 reserve division was directed against the Pleshkov group (but 08. 03. And it was withdrawn for fighting with parts of the southern group of Russians). For the period from 9 to 17 in March, the Germans stopped their offensive operations near Verdun, waiting for developments on the Eastern Front. Reinforcements from among the German troops that had previously operated south of Polesye were additionally pulled up to the area of Lake Naroch. Additionally, the 85 Infantry Division arrived.
March 8 The 14 Army Corps advanced 1-2 km, and 09. 03. reached the line of the village. Krumpel-folvark Horonzhishki. For the next three nights, the corps led the attacks, and advanced, but in the daytime it was pushed to the indicated line by German counterattacks. 12. 03. Alekseev recommended that Evert support the offensive by two divisions from passive sectors of the front. 14. 03. Russians are driven out of the Great Village - and there is a lull. Losses of the 14 Corps were estimated at 12000 people.
March 8 launched an offensive on the Northern Front.
In the 12 Army, the 13 Siberian Rifle Division of the 6 Siberian Army Corps attacked Kurenthoff and the Franz estate, captured three lines of trenches, but, swept from the flanks, withdrew. In the 5 Army for the offensive in the Yakobstadt area created two groups: Lieutenant-General IK Gandurina and General from Infantry V. A. Slyusarenko. The first consisted of 9 regiments of the 5 th Siberian rifle, 60 and 79 th (one) infantry divisions, the second 3 and 1 th Caucasian rifle divisions. In the center is the Slusarenko 08 group. 03. advanced 3 km towards Bushhoff, but 09. 03. was repulsed to its original position. Also participated in the attacks 73-I Infantry Division: 11. 03. taking over, and 12. 03. leaving the 1 line of the German trenches. Gandurin Group Happy 12. 03. captured the village of Epukn and the height of the village of Pundan, but in the evening was forced to retreat. Further attacks by parts of the 2 Siberian Army Corps also failed. 17. 03. the troops of the Northern Front turned defensive, losing in battles to 50000 people.
V. A. Slyusarenko.
On the Western Front, with the 7 hours of 9 in March, the Baluev group resumed artillery preparation, and in the 13 hours, the 7 and 10 divisions launched an offensive. The Germans responded with a counterattack at their junctions, pushing the 26 Infantry Mogilev Regiment back. The position was restored by the 26 th Siberian rifle regiment that was advancing. The 32 th Siberian regiment captured the height of 92. On the front of the group was a fierce battle with the Germans, reinforced by two divisions. The offensive progressed weakly, and in 19 hours it was suspended - on 8 hours. Happy 09. 03. it was raining, and a frost hit at night - and frostbite appeared. In 03. 30. March 10 launched an offensive all 3 corps of the Baluev group. They were met by strong fire, and moved slowly. K 06. 35. parts of the 3 Siberian Army Corps occupied the Long Forest. 09. 03. In the 2 Army's location, a thaw came and the roads in the marshy areas became impassable. It was almost impossible to advance, but it was necessary to support the efforts of the troops of the Northern Front.
Pleshkov Group with 10 10 watches. 03. resumed artillery preparation. In the preceding attacks, the 22 Infantry Division already lost 8900 people (in the 2500 formation), 1-I Siberian - 7612 people, 2-I Siberian - 5152 people, having lost combat capability. And Pleshkov introduced a group reserve at the junction between the 1 and the 1 of the Siberian army corps - the 27 of the army corps from Infantry General D.V. Balanin. The attack was appointed and canceled several times, but the Russian artillery conducted continuous fire for 3 days - until March 13. He provided the infantry with some tactical success. The Germanic “Visors are broken, the trenches and passages of the message are inundated with corpses .... the infantry coped with the wire easily.” After attacking the 4 March in 13 hours, the fresh regiments of the 76 Infantry Division in half an hour occupied the 2 lines of the German trenches "without any special resistance from the enemy, suppressed by powerful artillery fire." However, having received no support from the neighboring 1 Siberian Division, the infantrymen mixed up and began to withdraw. The 45 Infantry Division was sent by Balanin to the battle with a delay - only in 11 hours. Pleshkov's group finally exhausted, and its further attacks by order of Ragoza stopped.
Baluev's group from 2 hours 11 March led artillery shelling of the last line of the German defense of Augustus-Mokritsa. In 3 hours, the Russian infantry went on the attack. In the 4 hours on the left flank, the 55 Infantry Division occupied the 1 line of German positions in the vil. Baltaguza. But on the right flank, on the southern shore of the lake. Naroch 3 th Siberian Corps moved very slowly, reaching the 6 clock only to the enemy barriers. They could not overcome them. The soldiers fell into the melted ground, and the guns during the shots went into the mud. In addition, shells were running out - which forced them to postpone the continuation of attacks overnight on 12. 03., Then on 13. 03. and 14. 03. The Germans had already prevented the latter, in 4 hours attacking the positions of the 30 and 32 of the Siberian infantry regiments in the Long Forest, and towards 10. 30 knocking out their units from the southern part of the forest to a height of 92. In the counterattack thrown: from the north-east 26 th Siberian regiment, from the south - 31 th Siberian. In a fierce battle, despite the pouring rain, the Siberian arrows 14. 03. re-occupied the forest, capturing more than 50 Germans 80-th reserve and 86-th infantry divisions and 2 machine gun.
Attacks on the height of the “Ferdinand nose” (on the German maps “the hill of Frimel”), which is 15 in the morning. 03. the units of the 7 and 10 infantry divisions led, and in the morning 18. 03. The 7 of the Siberian rifle division did not succeed. 16 - 17. 03. on the front of the Baluev group a rare fire. The 3 Siberian Corps lost 129 officers and 9115 soldiers for the operation - 21% of the personnel.
16. 03. Alekseev ordered to temporarily suspend the operation until climatic conditions improve. In turn, Evert 17. 03. ordered the troops 2-th army to gain a foothold on the captured (Baluev group) boundaries. 18. 03. the Pleshkov group was disbanded, the 1 and 1 of the Siberian Army Corps were relegated to the rear. The rest of the corps were ordered to keep the enemy under threat of attack, watching his regroupings. On the night of 21. 03. The 3 Siberian Corps was relegated to the rear, having surrendered to the 35 Army Corps.
The reasons for the failure of Evert called the introduction of troops into battle in parts with the inaction of neighbors and the constant lag in reserves, noting the weak leadership of the units. Attacks of the infantry were not coordinated with the actions of insufficiently powerful and numerous artillery, which was experiencing a shortage of ammunition.
The advancing six army corps of the Western Front lost from a quarter to half of the personnel. The total loss of the 2 army amounted to 1018 officers and 77427 soldiers killed and wounded, or a third of the army. 5000 fallen managed to remove from the German obstacles and bury only 15. 04.
Total German losses - up to 40000 people (including up to 1500 prisoners - 20 officers and 1435 lower ranks). The Russians captured 18 machine guns, a howitzer and 36 mortars. The offensive of the 2 Army forced the German command to redeploy 30000 fighters with 323 guns and more 200 machine guns from other sectors of the Eastern Front. The probable transfer of individual divisions to France became impossible, and the attacks near Verdun from 9 to 17 in March were suspended.
Captured Germans. Baltic-Belarusian theater. 1916 Winter
In the March battles of 1916, the Russian 2 Army took up 10 square meters. km territory. However already 15. 04. The German 10 Army, with the support of artillery, returned these lost 8 positions in March between the Naroch and Vishnevskoye lakes. As a result of the Naroch operation, the personnel of the Russian Western Front, especially its command, began to assess their capabilities in the attack of the German positions with pessimism, which was reflected in the 1916 summer campaign.
Podorozhny N. E. Naroch operation in March 1916, M., 1938.
Sources and literature:
RGVIA. F. 2280. Op. 1. D. 354.
Polivanov A.A. Nine months at the head of the Ministry of War. Chapter 10. February 1916 // Questions stories. 1994. No. 10. C. 135-158.
Barsukov E.Z. Russian artillery in world war. T. 2. M., 1940.
Podorozhny N. E. Naroch operation in March 1916 on the Russian front of world war. M., 1938.
Malyshev G. Naroch echo of Verdun. Minsk, 2006.
Strategic sketch of the 1914-1918 war. CH 5. The period from October 1915 g. To September 1916 g. M. 1920.