Military Review

Blitzkrieg 1914. Samsonov's lost triumph

24
The tragic fate of the 2 Army known. It is widely believed that the attack of East Prussia was hasty, unprepared and simply suicidal. But is it? Was Samsonov really a mediocre general? Did Rennenkampf really out of personal hostility towards Samsonov not render him help at a decisive moment? Was the East Prussian operation doomed to failure?


Blitzkrieg 1914. Samsonov's lost triumph


Chronicle of events


The East Prussian operation began on August 17 with a successful battle for the 8 German army at Stallupenen. And on the 20 of August, the Gumbinen-Goldap battle took place, which in our historiography is interpreted as victorious. Indeed, the German army suffered greater losses than the Russian, but if the 8 Army retreated, it was not at all because Pritvits considered himself defeated.

The Russian historian S. L. Nelipovich thus sums up the results of the Battle of Gumbinnen:
By 20 hours the battle was over. 8-I German army could not defeat the Russian troops with one blow. Her 17 Army Corps was defeated. But the flank corps occupied an advantageous encompassing position. True, their flanks, in turn, could have been threatened with circumvention by the Russian cavalry: the right flank of the 1-th reserve corps was completely open, and the 1-th cavalry division (left flank) would not present a serious difficulty for the four cavalry divisions of Khan Nakhichevan. The losses of the Germans during 20 of August reached 1250 killed, 6414 wounded and 6943 missing (from the number of the latter, according to Russian estimates, up to 4 thousand people were killed). True, more than 9,5 thousand prisoners, 40 machine guns and 12 guns were captured from the Russians. (The figures are controversial. - Approx. Aut.)


These circumstances made it possible for the German military council, assembled on the night of August 21, to speak out for resuming the attack from 3 hours.

However, a powerful radio station in Königsberg at night intercepted an order to the troops of the 2-th Russian army to cross the German border for operations in the rear of the Pritvice army. The headquarters of the 8 Army resolutely supported a retreat beyond the Vistula River, as was stipulated by the defensive action plan. The opinion of the corps commanders was not taken into account:
Due to the onset of large enemy forces from Warsaw, Pultusk and Lomza, I cannot use the situation on my front and begin to retreat beyond the Vistula. Transportation, if possible, by rail ",

- ordered Pritvits.

The 1 Army Corps was ordered to go to Königsberg, and from there go by train to Graudenz, the 17 Army to leave via the Allenstein to the Wisla, the 3 Marine Division to Angerburg, the 1 Military Corps, the XNUMX Military Corps, Landwehr and cavalry - departure at the turn of the river Angerapp. This decision became fatal for M. Pritvice von Gafron. On the same night, the infantry general Francois complained to the Main Apartment that the army commander was leaving East Prussia to the Russians.

Pritvits, if you understand it well, did nothing wrong. According to pre-war plans, he attacked the weakest of the two Russian armies in the hope of victory. Victory did not work, and he ordered a departure for the Vistula. But according to Max Hoffman, even before he was removed from his post, the commander began to work out a plan for the transfer of all forces to the south, as Hindenburg subsequently did. The Hindenburg maneuver was not at all his personal ingenious find. The maneuver was worked out by the Germans at the command post exercises 1894, 1901, 1903, 1905. Naturally, in Russia they knew about its existence. But not all. The commander of the 15 AK Martos knew. Whether Zhilinsky and Samsonov knew is unknown. But Samsonov, just in case, kept 1 AK at Uzdau. Let me remind you that it was there that soon hit the 1 AK Francois.

Rennenkampf quite soberly assessed the result of the battle and at that moment he still did not consider himself a winner. Therefore, he stopped the troops to put in order for a day and naturally expected to continue.

Pritvits took advantage of this and came off. Numerous linear cavalry did not reveal a withdrawal, for they could not conduct deep reconnaissance, and Cossack units were not at hand of Khan Nakhichevan.

Not waiting for a new battle, Rennenkampf decided that the enemy turned out to be active and dug in on the Angerrap River. When he did not show up, and after a couple of days, Rennenkampf, together with Zhilinsky, finally became convinced of the retreat of the 8 Army. I think it is very likely that Russian intelligence learned about Pritvits’s order to withdraw and about the beginning of the movement of the corps. Probably the information came from the German General Staff. Hence the iron confidence of Zhilinsky who looked at the moment when the movement from the withdrawal turned into a maneuver. As a result, Rennenkampf received an order to besiege Königsberg, which he did.



Actions of the 2 Army


23 August. The 2 Army stumbled upon the German corps covering the northern direction of the 20. As a result, a series of battles took place in the Orlau area. The battle ended in a draw. Both sides suffered losses, but as a result of 37 the infantry division retreated in disarray. The result was the same as under Gumbinen: the enemy retreated, which testified to the local success of the North-Western Front, but on the whole it meant nothing.

24 August. 15 AK Martos continued the pursuit of the enemy. It is noteworthy that the 20 corps did not retreat to the north, as might be supposed, but to the west, substituting the right 1 fang for the corps of Artamonov, who still did not know that the 1 German corps Francois was moving towards him.

25 August. Following a two-day battle, Zhilinsky orders Samsonov to force the march and Samsonov fulfills the order. However, far-sightedly does not touch the 1 AK and even strengthens it with a division of 23 AK. As a result, the gap that arose between 1 and 15 AK at that time was not a serious threat.

Fulfilling the order of Zhilinsky, Rennenkampf and Samsonov give orders intercepted by the Germans.

To the commander of the 13 corps.
After the battle at the front of the 15-th building 11 (24) Aug. the enemy retreated in the general direction on Osterode; The 1 Army continues to pursue the enemy, retreating to Koenigsberg and Rastenburg.
2-th Army - attack on the front of Allenstein, Osterode. 12 Aug Corps take lines:
13-mu - Gimendorf, Kurken; 15-mu - Nadrau, Paulsgut; 23-mu Mikhalken, Gross-Gardinen.
The stripes are delimited: 13 and 15 by the line Mushaken, Schwedrich, Visually; 15-th and 23-th line of Neidenburg, Vitigwalde, lake Shilling.
The 1 corps is to remain in the occupied area, providing the left flank of the army.
6 Corps - move to the Bishofsburg, Rotflis area to secure the right flank of the army from Rastenburg.
The 4 cd subordinate to the commander of the 6 corps is to remain Sensburg, scouting the strip between the lines of Rastenburg, Bartenstein and Sensburg, Heilsberg. 6-I and 15-I cd continue the task of the directive №4.
Ostroleka.
Samsonov.


General Aliyev. The army will continue the offensive. 12 (25) Aug. she should go to the line of Virbeln, Zaal, Norquitten, Klein-Potauren, Nordenburg; 13 (26) Aug. - Damerau, Petersdorf, Velau, Allendorf, Gerdauen. The areas of the 20 and 3 buildings are delimited by the river. Pregel. The areas of the 3 and 4 corps are delimited by the Schwirbeln, Klein-Potauern, Allenburg roads, and the entire road is included in the area of ​​the 3 corps. Khan Nakhichevan moves forward in the direction of Allenburg in front of the army front in the area between the river. Pregel and line Darken, Gerdauen, Bartenstein; north of it is Rauch with his division, south of it is Gurko. Crossing the Pregel is the task of the 20 Corps.
Rennenkampf.


Now, knowing the exact location of 2A troops and knowing that 1A was far away, Hindenburg could confidently begin the operation.

The actual situation as of August 26 was as follows.



But from the point of view of Samsonov, everything looked different:
- There is no enemy in front of 6AK.
- There is no enemy in the north. The occupation of the 13-m Allenstein building blocks the path to the evacuation of the 6-th Landver Brigade from Letzen Fortress.
- The battered German 20 corps is deployed east-front. Before him also suffered the loss of 15 AK Martos, but also the fresh 2-th PD from 23 AK. And from its right flank is a fresh 1 AK Artamonov.



That is, the situation seems very promising.

Further events raced swiftly.

26 August. The 17th Mackensen Corps and the 1th Belov Reserve Corps with the Landver Brigade were moving towards Allenstein. The right-flank 6 corps advanced here. The German corps commander of the 4 infantry division was mistaken for fleeing from Rennenkampf and immediately attacked. As a result, a counter battle took place near the village of Gross-Bessau, during which the 6 AK lost more than 5 thousand people and left the cover, retreating. At the same time, General Blagoveshchensky threw troops and fled to the rear. But Samsonov did not receive information about this and on August 27 ordered the army to carry out the previously assigned task.

At the same time, Rennenkampf, fulfilling the order of Zilinsky, took Koenigsberg into the ring. The army cut the railway to Memel and reached the Baltic Sea. But the trains from the 1 AK have already proceeded south.

27 August. 1 AK Francois attacked 1 AK Artamonov, but was repelled. Among the Germans there was even a panic. Artamonov reported on success, but an hour later he ordered the retreat. However, Samsonov did not know about this either. On the other hand, François did not believe the Russians were leaving and ordered them to dig in quickly, waiting for a counterattack. He remained in place until the next day.

At the same time, 15 AK forces of one division pressed 20 AK and occupied Muhlen. The development of the offensive required reserves, but even this limited Russian success gave rise to doubts in Hindenburg about the possibility of encirclement.

Zilinsky is seeing and orders Rennenkampfu to move to join the 2 Army.

Samsonov, having received a message from Artamonov about repelling the attack, understood the situation and planned countermeasures. Since, as he believed, the two opposing first corps are holding each other back, he has a great opportunity to turn the 13 corps west with the 2,5 corps with a flank blow to defeat the 20 and then the 1 German corps.

In my opinion, a very real task. In order to organize a counterattack, the commander left for Nadrau that evening. There he ordered 1 AK to maintain positions north of Soldau, units of the 3 Guards and 2 Divisions at Frankenau. 6-th AK (not knowing that he had receded the day before) ordered to go to Passenheim. The 13 and 15 corps under the general command of Martos were given the task of advancing through Mühlen to Gilgenburg-Lautenburg with the aim of attacking the enemy. The corps was to go to the flank and rear of the German troops, who attacked the 2 division and the 1 corps. That is, success was planned at 28 number, designed to decide the fate of the entire battle in East Prussia.

28 August. The 13 AK advanced to join the 15, leaving a weak barrier in Allenstein. The reconnaissance discovered troops suitable from the east, but the corps commander considered this to be the Blagoveshchensky corps going to help and continued to move southwest.

Around 10 in the morning, Samsonov arrived at the headquarters of the 15 corps in Nadrau to coordinate the planned defeat of the 20 German corps. He did not receive Zhilinsky’s order of departure. By his arrival Martos defeated the 41-th German division at Vaplitz, taking 13 guns and more than a thousand prisoners. And then the information arrived about the 17 and 1-m reserve buildings heading to Allenstein.

By evening, Samsonov ordered the retreat.

29 August. 13, 15 and part of the 23 AK began to leave through the forest, full of ravines and lakes, which caused linear parts and carts to congregate on rare and narrow roads, interfering with each other. The German troops moving along the Neudenburg – Wallenberg road quickly cut off the retreat, and the 1 Reserve Corps hung on the shoulders of the 13 AK. The flank corps were removed by one and a half to two transitions, and the cavalry of the 1 Army at 80-100 km could not support the retreat.



30 August. 1 and 6 AK tried to help the encircled corps, but were repulsed.

On this battle ended. Part of the troops was able to break through those already such a dense ring of encirclement, but most were demoralized, ran out of ammunition and preferred to surrender. On the night of the 30, General Samsonov shot himself.

31 August. The cavalry of Khan Nakhichevan was already in Allenstein. Rennenkampf was late for one day. But this event completely erases all allegations of betrayal or criminal inaction of the commander of the 1 Army.

This is the end of the battle. Despite a series of defeats, in general, the Germans were able to win, and the capture of the two corps more than covered the losses they suffered.

Causes of defeat


Well-known reasons such as poor communication, poor intelligence, as a result of which erroneous decisions were made.

The 2 army corps seized from Samsonov did not participate in the battle of the 1 army or the 2 army, but stomped before Letzen. That is, it was just turned off. Remain in the 2A, and together with the 6 AK and 4 CD near Gross-Bessau, the troops could well repel the attacks of the 2,5 German corps, giving Samsonov time to solve problems on the left flank.

This is a key miscalculation of the command of the North-Western Front, to which I cannot find a clear explanation, nullified all the previous successes of both armies.

But even without 2 AK Samsonov had a chance.

If Zhilinsky, who was in victorious euphoria, came to his senses a day earlier, then the 13 AK would move not to Allenstein, but to Hohenstein. A much smaller force could cut the railway, for example, the 2 battalion as in real stories. In this case, a joint attack through Mühlen in the direction of Gilgenburg on 27 of August would have been more successful, would not have allowed Francois’s corps to pursue Artamonov’s corps and close the encirclement.

1 AK Artamonov should not have retreated. Artamonov, although he showed personal courage, but as a commander, the battle profiled. The Annunciation of 6 AK just scared, but in front of him, at least, was 2,5 corps. And in front of Artamonov alone, and that battered Rennenkampf. As a result, the decision on counterattack made by Samsonov should not be considered a mistake. He proceeded from incorrect data and still had a good chance of success.

When planning the retreat, Samsonov did not take into account that his troops would go through the forest, but Francois’s corps blocking him from the border along the road. That is, the Germans will always be ahead. This is Samsonov’s personal mistake. He had to either break through the 1 and 20 corps, connecting them with a fight, or take up a circular defense. But again, the decision was made without knowledge of the general strategic situation. There was no certainty that Khan's cavalry would succeed.

Thus, even in the conditions of Hindenburg's secretive maneuver, the situation could go according to three quite probable scenarios:

1. There is no mistake with the 2 AK, it covers the right flank along with the 6 AK. If the outcome of the battle was unfavorable, even retreating the corps would stop the threat of covering the right flank. In the center, the chances of our 2,5 corps against one battered 20 are greater than the chances of the Germans at Gross-Bessau. That is, 20 AK is guaranteed to leave the game and against Francois Samsonov would have had 1,5's against 4 corps, not counting the cavalry. And that would be a complete victory.

A second option to use the 2 AK would be his participation in the Battle of Gumbinnen. If he had been on the left flank of the 1-th army, and the fate of the German 1-th reserve corps would be sad. Even breaking away from the persecution, he would have been so weakened that the 6AK could have resisted, not allowing it to close the encirclement ring around the central corps of the 2 Army. Yes, and 2AK could well have time to help, for he would be the closest.

2. In the real history of the 2 AK, there is no second army on the right flank. But if Artamonov does not misinform Samsonov with a message about the success in repelling the attack of the Francois corps, then Samsonov takes the central corps back in advance, gathers him in a fist and, not allowing the environment, holds positions on the Uzdau - Ortelsburg line for 3 days. Really? I guess more than that. And on the 4 day, Rennenkampf appears on the horizon. That is, it was Artamonov who made a key oversight, predetermining the general failure of the army.

3. Samsonov does not retreat, and even, having on his shoulders the 1-th reserve corps, he consistently attacks the German 20-th and 1-th corps. Without a doubt, the losses will be huge, but no more than what happened in real history, given the captured. But after all, the losses of the Germans will be similar. Indeed, in the battles of East Prussia, the Germans and Russians suffered equal losses. Our 13 and 15 corps will prove to be ineffective, but the Germans will lose the 20 and 1. The environment will not happen, and within the 3 days Rennenkampf's cavalry appears in Allenstein. As a result, Hindenburg will simply have nothing to drive out Rennenkampf and he will have to retreat behind the Vistula.

The result of all the options is the capture of East Prussia and the siege of Koenigsberg.

And although the story went according to the fourth, the most unsuccessful scenario for us, the above considerations indicate that there was no foregone defeat. Moreover, Hindenburg initially had small chances and rightly feared an unfavorable outcome. Even Samsonov’s mistake caused the lack of reliable information at the time of the decision, and not at all the initially hopeless state of affairs.

The results of the consideration of the myth № 3


1. Rennenkampf's accusations of betrayal are a lie. He did everything he could, and he did not have enough days. Another day, and he would become a national hero.
2. Samsonov’s mistakes were caused by false information received from the front headquarters. He is blamed for the loss of army control due to a trip to Nadrau. But if he learned about the real state of affairs only on the 28 number, it does not matter from which place the order for retreat was given. This could not change anything. Unless I’d stay alive.
3. The forces of the 1 Army were quite enough to withstand the attacks of Pritz. 2 was strong enough to repel the attacks of Hindenburg. That is, the cause of the defeat is in a combination of circumstances, and not in principle impossibility.

That is, there was a chance to win the battle in East Prussia. Missed, yes. But he was.

But what would happen if we went the story according to any of the first three scenarios and justified our pre-war strategic plan?

This will already be a pure alternative, the purpose of which is to substantiate the assertion that the world could well do without a four-year massacre and little blood. True, it would be a completely different world.

Read about it in the 3 part.

To be continued ...
Author:
Photos used:
favera.ru
Articles from this series:
Blitzkrieg 1914. Myths about the First World War
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  1. Albatroz
    Albatroz 1 October 2019 07: 26
    +8
    The operation in full detail was reconstructed long before the Russian candidate Nelipovich.
    In Soviet times, exhaustive monographs were published, and there is a collection of published documents on malware.
    The missed opportunities of the 1st and 2nd armies, having achieved a number of impressive victories, are indicated.
    And even in the VO there were cycles, remember, analyzing this battle - with the identification of causes and consequences. And the main reason for the operational failure of the Russians is the lack of proper management by the front command, which failed to link the disparate actions (usually quite successful) of their armies into a single front-line operation.
    So yes, while we burst open the door.
    As for the findings.
    Indeed, the
    Rennenkampf's accusations of betrayal - a lie
    , It's right.
    Samsonov’s mistakes were caused by false information received from the front headquarters.
    - not only, the fact is that A. V. Samsonov actually implemented his own modification of the front-line plan.
    The forces of the 1st Army were quite enough to withstand the attacks of Pritz. The 2nd forces were enough to repel the attacks of Hindenburg.

    But this is not true. The German 8th Army was superior to the Russian 1st and 2nd armies taken separately (why the interaction between them was the key to a possible victory).
    Therefore, Pritvits (later Hindenburg) was stronger than a single Rennenkampf or a single Samsonov. For example, under the same Gumbinen, the beaten Germans had a very tangible superiority over the Russians.
    And when Hindenburg threw the core of the 8th army against Samsonov, leaving only the corps against Rennenkampf, his superiority over the 2nd army (given the fact that one more corps from the 2nd army was transferred to the 1st) became overwhelming. The Germans quickly worked on domestic operational lines.
    But what would happen if we went the story according to any of the first three scenarios and justified our pre-war strategic plan?
    This will already be a pure alternative, the purpose of which is to substantiate the assertion that the world could well do without a four-year massacre and little blood.

    But this is already original. We are waiting with interest wink
    1. Hunghuz
      Hunghuz 1 October 2019 07: 57
      +4
      The Germans converted objective laws.
      Well, simply put, they just embodied the pre-war template worked out at staff games in the field
    2. Pereira
      1 October 2019 21: 41
      +3
      Operating lines - yes. But this is not enough.
      The results of direct collisions indicate equality of forces and equality of losses. That is, we see the battle of the 8 Army with the weaker 1 Army. The result is a draw. In the oncoming battle near Orlau, the 15 corps against the 20 is a draw. On the left flank of the 1 corps against the 1 corps - there would also be a draw if it were not for Artamonov. The fight near Mühlen is a draw, but the Germans' knees trembled.
      Thus, the oncoming battle between the 5 German corps (counting the landver divisions and brigades) against the 5 Russians was to become at least equal. And then there's the 1 Army in the rear of the 8 Army.
      The main purpose of the article is not at all an alternative story. AI will be in the third part.
      The goal is to substantiate the claim that the defeat was not initially predetermined. And if not for everyone's known miscalculations and failures, Hindenburg would still have to retreat beyond the Vistula.
      And this, in turn, suggests that the campaign plan was at least as accurate as Schlieffen’s plan in its thoroughness.
      Please evaluate the article in this vein.
      1. Albatroz
        Albatroz 1 October 2019 22: 18
        +2
        And Gumbinen, and Orlau, and Vaplits - Russian victories.
        I repeat once again that the 8th Army was stronger than each of the Russians individually.
        What is visible in individual battles conducted by these armies. Thus, under Gumbinen, 74400 bayonets and 452 guns (of which 44 heavy) were fought by the Germans against 63800 bayonets and 408 guns by the Russians.
        And under Tannenberg, 13 German divisions surrounded 5 Russians.
        And with that
        defeat was not initially predetermined. And if not for everyone's known miscalculations and failures, Hindenburg would still have to retreat beyond the Vistula. And this, in turn, suggests that the campaign plan was at least as accurate as Schlieffen’s plan in its thoroughness.

        I do not argue. This is the place to be.
  2. Cartalon
    Cartalon 1 October 2019 09: 17
    +2
    I got the opposite conclusion from the article, there are too many incompetent commanders among the Russians, if Samsonov and Renekampf are justified, then Zhilinsky, Blagoveshchensky, Artamonov, Khan Nakhichevan, disgusting intelligence or any connection, this is a system and not an accident.
    1. alebor
      alebor 1 October 2019 11: 16
      +1
      And after all, similar problems were in the Russo-Japanese war: the higher the command link, the weaker it is.
    2. Pilat2009
      Pilat2009 1 October 2019 13: 55
      +1
      Quote: Cartalon
      Too many incompetent Russian commanders

      Do you know how commanders were appointed? The same Samsonov was the governor before the war, those are practically in reserve. And others are no exception
      1. Cartalon
        Cartalon 1 October 2019 14: 21
        +1
        He was the Turkestan Governor General and Commander of the Turkestan Military District, and there was no smell there
        1. novel66
          novel66 1 October 2019 14: 51
          +2
          and what kind of military knowledge and experience did he get there?
          1. Cartalon
            Cartalon 1 October 2019 15: 09
            +1
            Forgive me personally, I’m not familiar with General Samsonov, I don’t know what kind of knowledge he gained while managing a huge border region
            1. novel66
              novel66 1 October 2019 15: 16
              +3
              hopeful enough. to control troops in a war
              1. Cartalon
                Cartalon 1 October 2019 15: 19
                +2
                So then he had experience in managing troops in a war
                1. Pilat2009
                  Pilat2009 1 October 2019 19: 19
                  -2
                  Quote: Cartalon
                  experience in command and control of troops in war

                  In Russian-Japanese. And how much time has passed?
                  1. Cartalon
                    Cartalon 1 October 2019 19: 45
                    +4
                    9 years, the German officers suddenly had no combat experience at all.
    3. Albatroz
      Albatroz 1 October 2019 22: 21
      +4
      Too many incompetents?
      If so, then on both sides. The Germans also splashed a number of opportunities. And often there were bits.
      Here is what N. Evseev wrote: “... the Russian and some German corps commanders did not have the necessary operational outlook and acted to the detriment of the general course of the operation. The exceptions were for the Germans, François and Belov, and for the Russians, gen. Martos ".
      1. Cartalon
        Cartalon 2 October 2019 06: 20
        0
        And did they run away from the troops or did they leave positions there without deigning to inform the authorities about this insignificant fact?
  3. Karabut
    Karabut 1 October 2019 23: 26
    -1
    The result is logical, the one who wanted more and did more for her won.
    The Germans fought for their land, against the invaders, they deserved a victory.
    1. Pereira
      1 October 2019 23: 39
      +4
      I wrote about this in a previous article. The Germans called themselves a victim back in 14. Kind, sweet, God-fearing people who have earned the appreciation and ardent love of their neighbors.
      In Russia, as it turns out, there is someone to sob with them.
      1. Karabut
        Karabut 1 October 2019 23: 45
        -4
        You really don’t like it? I just wrote the truth.
        Do you think that these are Russians - "Kind, dear, God-fearing people who deserve the gratitude and ardent love of their neighbors?"
  4. Pilat2009
    Pilat2009 2 October 2019 09: 26
    -1
    Quote: Cartalon
    German officers suddenly had no combat experience at all

    Yeah, and suddenly the Russian armies began to surround. How many Japanese armies were surrounded during the REV?
  5. Sasha_rulevoy
    Sasha_rulevoy 3 October 2019 19: 03
    0
    Zilinsky is seeing and orders Rennenkampfu to move to join the 2 Army.

    Samsonov, having received a message from Artamonov about repelling the attack, understood the situation and planned countermeasures. Since, as he believed, the two opposing first corps are holding each other back, he has a great opportunity to turn the 13 corps west with the 2,5 corps with a flank blow to defeat the 20 and then the 1 German corps.


    Just blatant incompetence. If your comrade breaks through to you with a fight, then you should leave all current affairs and projects and start a breakthrough towards him in order to ease the situation both for yourself and him. At worst, if you do not attack, then at least forge the battle those enemy forces that lie between you and your neighbor, so that he had to fight back in two directions. If Samsonov had moved the 13 corps to the northeast, then two German corps would have been surrounded, not two Russians.

    In addition, Samsonov not only went the wrong way, but also went illiterate, without specifying the situation on the flanks, not knowing anything about the enemy, not leaving anything at all in reserve, not protecting communications. In general, a complete set of all possible errors.

    To defend in the environment was also an opportunity. It was necessary to get cartridges and products from the carts, which stood abandoned right there in the forest. And on the narrow paths it was easy to restrain the Germans.

    because of what linear parts and carts were crowded on rare and narrow roads interfering with each other ...


    The army was demoralized by the alarmism of the commander and corps commanders. It was necessary to leave, but not to all at once, throwing carts, but only to a few of the most combat-ready divisions in order to restore communications. The rest defend themselves, and then connect with Rennekampf.

    Samsonov is the main culprit of the defeat, not Zhilinsky.
    1. Pereira
      3 October 2019 20: 16
      0
      Just blatant incompetence. If your comrade breaks through to you with a fight, then you should leave all current affairs and projects and start a breakthrough towards him in order to ease the situation both for yourself and him. At worst, if you do not attack, then at least forge the battle those enemy forces that lie between you and your neighbor, so that he had to fight back in two directions. If Samsonov had moved the 13 corps to the northeast, then two German corps would have been surrounded, not two Russians.


      1. Zhilinsky did not break through to Samsonov in battle. The cavalry met the screeners, that was. But there were no buildings in front of Rennenkampf. They were all already in the south.
      2. He bound the forces that were before Samsonov, namely, the 1 and 20 corps.
      3. If Samsonov had moved the 13 corps to the northeast (Why? Where? And where, from Allenstein?), Then the 17 and 1 Reserve Corps that had already defeated Blagoveshchensky would have been defeated by Klyuev. And what would change? The chance to defeat the 20-1 and the 1-th German corps was more real.

      Your option is worse than Samsonovsky.
      1. Sasha_rulevoy
        Sasha_rulevoy 4 October 2019 16: 55
        0


        To the best of his abilities, he was skinny. In an abstract situation, which option is correct for reds, a or b? Option a is called a dispersal of forces, for it is a deuce in tactics.

        Another mistake was that the strength of the Russian corps should not be considered equal to the German one. It was correct to introduce a correction factor, one German corps is equal to two Russians. Rennenkampf took this into account, so he was not eager to advance immediately after Gumbinen. Let the Germans attack me again. He proceeded from the fact that in front of him are superior enemy forces that are capable of attacking him. Hence - allegedly "indecision". Samsonov did not take this amendment into account.
        1. Pereira
          4 October 2019 18: 34
          +1
          Your point is clear.
          That's just me giving the chronology for a reason.
          When Samsonov was about to smash the 20 and then the 1 corps, he did not know that the 17 and 1 backup were moving from the north. And he did not know that Zhilinsky ordered Rennenkampfu to move south.
          But Zhilinsky did not know whom he would meet on the way. After all, he was sure that the whole 8 army was pulled to Koenigsberg.
          You drew in the light of afterglow. And painted wrong. They forgot to draw the arrow of Francois’s strike to the rear of Samsonov’s army with cutting communications.
          Given the information that was at the disposal of both commanders, I do not see fatal errors in their actions.
          Even Zilinsky gave Rennenkampf the order on time, as soon as he found out about the defeat of the Blagoveshchensky corps. That's just before that, he stumbled, believing in an easy victory.
          The coefficient is also erroneous. For warriors of the 2 line, yes. But in the summer and autumn of 14, they fought on a par. Warsaw-Ivangorod and Lodz operations testify to this.