Military Review

World War I. Prasnyshskaya operation

World War I. Prasnyshskaya operation
In connection with the transition to a positional war on the western front and the lack of prospects for a quick defeat of the enemy on this front, the German high command, after some internal struggle, finally chose the eastern front as the main theater of the war on 1915 year.

After the departure of the Russian troops, in the middle of December 1914, on the eastern front, the following situation was created. Before the fortified positions of the Germans on the river. The 10-I Russian Army, which had infantry 15, stopped at the Anerapu and Mazury Lakes. divisions against the German 8. On the left bank of the river. After persistent battles of the 1-I, 2-I and 5-I Russian armies (33 infantry divisions) took positions for pp. Bzoura and Rawkoy. Against this section of the Russian front was the 9-I German army (25 of the infantry. Divisions). South, between pp. Pilot and Vistula, the 4 and 9 Russian armies (17 infantry divisions) were located, having the 4 Austrian army (17 divisions) in front of them. The 4 Army secured the left flank of the northwestern front. Russian armies in Galicia (3-I, 8-I and 11-I) after repelling the offensive of the Austrians consolidated their positions, against which there was 31 fighters. enemy division. Thus, against the 103 Russian divisions on the entire front (including the reserve of the high command) the Germans had 83 divisions (including the Austrian). "The experience of Tannenberg and the battles in the Masurian Lakes showed," says Ludendorf in his memoirs, "that a major and immediate success can be achieved only if the enemy is attacked from two sides." “Now there was an opportunity,” he continues, “to concentrate a strong group of three army corps between Neman and Insterburg, Gumbinen and strike, covering in the direction of Tilsit, Vladislav and Calvary. The other group, which included the 11-i reserve corps The 2 infantry and 4 cavalry were attached to the Spierding lakes and the border through Byala to Raygorod, to Augustów and south ... Both attack groups were supposed to surround the enemy (i.e., 10 of the Russian army), and the environment would come earlier s, so it would be better for us ... The premise is a strong hold of the front of a long line Vlotslavsk, Mlawa, Ioganisburg, Osowiec "{1}. At the same time, the German command also planned a strike from the south, in the Carpathians. “We are planning a new strike in East Prussia. If peacetime were better built in peacetime in Hungary, such a blow would have been strategically desirable in the Carpathians” {2}.

To strike from East Prussia with the aim of covering both flanks of the 10 of the Russian army, the German command transferred large forces from the left bank of the r. Wisla (1 scheme).

1 schema. The position of the parties to 15 February 1915 g

The Russian commanders, under pressure from the Entente, once again set before the troops the task of seizing East Prussia. The main attack was planned to be inflicted from the front by Pultusk and Ostrolenka in the direction of Soldau, Ortelsburg, i.e., on the flank of the 10 of the German army. For this purpose, a new, 12-I army of General Plehve was formed. The beginning of the operation was supposed after the complete concentration of the 12 Army, around February 28. The purpose of this operation is: “to cause a regrouping of German forces in East Prussia, in the hope that with such a grouping it will be possible to detect the desire of the Germans in certain areas where our efforts can be directed to break through the enemy’s disposition and further development, in this direction "{3}.

The Russian high command, having accepted the plan for attacking East Prussia, assigned subordinate significance to the operations of the southwestern front. But the commander-in-chief of this front, General Ivanov, having influenced the Headquarters, achieved a decision to strike simultaneously in the direction of Hungary. Consequently, in February 1915, the supreme commander of the Russian army outlined two plans - an attack in East Prussia and Hungary, - which were to be conducted in parallel. This led to the theme that the efforts of Russian apmii aimed in two directions, which caused dispersion of forces along divergent operational lines.

The German command was aware of the plan for the Russian Headquarters. Taking advantage of the speed of rearrangements, it decided to warn its adversary and outlined a counterattack with the aim of deeply covering the Russian front from both flanks - from the north and from the Carpathians - and seizing the initiative in its own hands.

In February 1915, the Germans launched an offensive operation against the 10 of the Russian army, as a result of which not only did the strike against East Prussia prepared by the Russian command, but pushed the 10 army back from this area, surrounding 20 in the August forests. Russian corps and capturing its remnants.

In connection with the current situation, the Prasnysh operation, which developed on the Mlavsk direction, takes on special significance, immediately following the February operation in East Prussia.

The purpose of the Prasnysh operation on the part of the Germans was to firmly hold the Wlotslavsk, Mlawa, Johannisburg, Osovets lines. "As soon as the deployment of the army group is completed, it will be necessary to start moving the flank of the army group to the Skrva river, in order to be against the flank of the possible attack of the Russian army and to be able to adjoin the left flank of the 9 army at the mouth R. Bzura "{4}," said the directive to General Galvits, who led the actions in the Mlavsk direction. General Halwitz believed that only an offensive, starting with the southeast of the left flank of his group, could have prevented the Russians from transferring forces to support the 10 Army in the Masurian Lakes. Proceeding from this, he decides to continue the offensive that had begun even earlier on his right flank in the direction of Drobin, Rationzh and after the arrival of the 1 res. corps (from the 9 Army) strike in the direction of Prasnysh and east. Thus, the Germans set the task by active actions to firmly hold the line to Wloclavsk and Johannisburg, attracting considerable Russian forces to prevent the transfer of forces to support the 10 Army. The Russian command set itself the task of concentrating on the line of Lomza, Prasnysh, Plock 12 and 1 army and to advance on Solda and further to the north-west. But, as we already know, the idea of ​​a deep invasion of East Prussia conceived by the Russian command was thwarted by the German offensive from East Prussia and the defeat of the 10 of the Russian army.

The Russian command in the person of the commander of the 1 army, General Litvinov, sets a more limited task - to cover the approaches to Warsaw from the side of Vilhenberg and Thorn with an offensive in the north-west direction, without waiting for the final concentration of the 12 army. February 15 General Litvinov gives a directive, according to which the main attack is applied on the left flank of the army, where he draws considerable forces. In the area of ​​Prasnysh and to the west, there remain the weak parts of the 1 of the Turkestan Corps and the cavalry of General Himets.

By the beginning of the Prasnysh operation, the Germans had the following forces: General Halwitz's army group consisting of the corps of generals Tsastrov, Dikhgut, 1 of the res. Corps, 1-th guard. division, parts 20 th arm. enclosures, landsturm and 2 cavalry divisions, i.e. total 4 enclosures and 2 cavalry divisions. Army group Galvitsa had a strong heavy artillery. On the Russian side, the troops of the 1 Army took part in the initial stage of the Prasnysh operation: the 1 of the Turkestan, the 27 and the 19 of the Armenian army. the corps, the cavalry corps of General Oranovsky, the equestrian group of General Erdely and other cavalry units — the entire 3 corps and the 9½ cavalry division. Thus, at the beginning of the operation, the Germans had superiority in the infantry. If we take into account that the Russian armies had a large shortage of personnel, they experienced “shell hunger” and had few artillery, then the Germans were clearly on the side.

Directly on the Mlavsky (Prasnyshsky) direction were the 2 German corps (the corps of Tsastrov and the 1 of the rez corps), parts of the 20 of the corpus and landscape chassis, or the entire 2½ of the corps; Russians also have the Turkestan Corps and the 63. division (from the 27 th Armenian. Corps), ie, the Germans had a double superiority.

At the end of the operation, the 1 and 2 Siberian corps took part on the Russian side (the latter belonged to the 12 army), which changed the balance of forces on the Prasnysh direction and gave some superiority to the Russian army (5 army corps against German 4) .
The action area is a hilly plain, sloping from north to south. It is cut by tributaries of the Vistula and Narew rivers. The valleys of these rivers are 1-3 km wide and swamped in places. Of the rivers is noteworthy p. Orzhits with a swampy valley up to 1 km wide; from Horzhele, the width of the valley reaches 5-6 km: the river is broken up into sleeves and represents a serious obstacle to the crossing. Tributary Orzhitsa, r. Hungarian, flows through Prasnysh. Left tributary of Hungary, p. Muravka, crossed the positions of both sides. Both rivers have a valley width of 1-2 km. The remaining rivers are insignificant; they all flow from north to south, i.e., almost parallel to the paths of advance of the parties.

The hills are low, their slopes are mostly sloping, the peaks can often serve as good observation points. The soil in the area of ​​action is loam mixed with podzol. Such a soil during a muddy road quickly turns into dirt, which adheres to the legs and wheels and makes movement extremely difficult. The area is rich in paths, but all country dirt roads were in poor condition. Consequently, the area was convenient for the actions of all the armed forces. However, by the time of the fighting there was a thaw, which significantly influenced the course of the battle.

2 schema. Fights from 18 to 25 February 1915 g


The prasnysh operation can be divided into three stages:
The first stage (from 15 to 21 February) - fighting in the rationing area. Drobin (on the left flank of the 1 of the Russian army).
The second stage (from 17 to 24 February) - the capture by the Germans of Prasnysh.
The third stage (from February 25 to March 3) is the reverse capture by the Russians of the city of Prasnysh.
The first and second stages coincide in time, but they occurred on different, extreme, flanks of the 1 of the Russian army.

Already since February 10 the German corps of General Dihgut and 1-I guard. res. division attacked in the direction of Drobin, Rationzh. The Erdeli cavalry on the Russian left flank and the 1 th cavalry corps moved to the r. Skrve to the southeast. Besides the 1 th Turkestan Corps, the 27 th and 19 th arm were sent here. enclosures.

February 17 General Litvinov gives a directive that instructed: the 1 Turkestan Corps to continue with the previous task, i.e. restrain the enemy on the Mlavskom direction; 19 Army and 1 Horse Corps - to continue the offensive on the front Glinojeck, Rationzh; parts of 27 arm. Corps-to promote this offensive. Thus, the private attack of the Germans attracted almost all the forces of the 1 of the Russian army, weakening the Prasnyshsky direction, where the 17 of the German army corps began to attack February (2 cut. Corps and Corps of General Tsastrov).

On this front, battles were fought with varying success: the Russian troops partially pressed the Germans, then the latter forced General Erdely’s cavalry to withdraw, and in the end the battles took a protracted character.

February 17 began the offensive of the left flank of the group General Galvitsa. 1 res. the corps, having advanced forward detachments, concentrated under Horjele. To his right acted corps of General Tsastrov.

17 and 18 February, the Germans have slightly moved forward on this flank. Their roundabout group under the command of General Staabs reached the river. Orzhits, however, could not seize the crossing east of the Unicorn, defended by the Russians. February 18 General Halwitz decided to hit 1-go res. corps to the west of Prasnysh and crush the flank of the 1 of the Turkestan corps, located in Ciechanow. However, the commander-in-chief of the German Eastern Front considered the strike east of Prasnysh more valid for his capture and gave a directive to go on the offensive to bypass Prasnysh.

In compliance with this directive, General Halvitz 18 February ordered 1-th cut. the next day the main body will advance east of Prasnysh so that 20 in February attack the 1 of the Turkestan Russian corps in the right flank and rear. At the time of the operation 1-th res. corps was subordinate to the right-flank division of the corps of General Tsastrov (division of General Wernitz); it was supposed to bypass Prasnysh from the west (with 2).

At this time, the thaw began, the roads became impassable. As a result, 1-I res. the division reached Schlya by advanced units, and the 36-I cut. division - only to Edorozhets.

20 February 1 Res. Corps bypassed Prasnysh from the east and southeast, and without encountering significant resistance from the Russian troops, built a front to the west.

To parry the detour, the commander of the 1 of the Turkestan Corps sent 2 battalions to the Pikes, Xolyans to the 5 battalions and 2 militias in the Makow region. However, the commander of the 1 Army, General Litvinov, still believed that the main direction was his left flank, and he did not take decisive measures to eliminate the German attack on the Prasnyshsky direction. Meanwhile, the concentration of troops of the 12 of the Russian army continued, and by February 20, the 2 of the Siberian corps, having completed the transfer by rail, gathered in the Ostrov region. 1 th Siberian corps by this time was on the march to Serock.

On 21 February 1-th Germanic res. the corps was tasked with taking the city of Prasnysh in order to then strike the rear of the 1 Turkestan corps in the direction of Tsekhanov. 1 Res. the division attacked the fortified position east and southeast of Prasnysh.

As a result of the battle, the Russian units were thrown from the leading positions. 36 Res. the division, which went around to the south of Prasnysh, met with strong resistance from the Russian troops and only in the evening was able to reject the right flank of the 63 infantry. division, defending the city Prasnysh. As a result, with the onset of darkness, about 1 infantry regiments were transferred to the Star of All (2 km south of Prasnysh) from the left flank of the 25 of the Turkestan Corps to intercept the roads leading from Prasnysh.

February 21 General Litvinov received the following telegram from the front-line commander General Ruzsky: "The 1 Army was tasked to hold the Vyshegrod, Plonsk, Tsekhanov, Prasnysh line. The most important direction from the location of the Germans to this line, in terms of the overall task the front of the 1 Army is the Mlavskoe direction. The task assigned to the first army can be accomplished defensively or offensively. With the defensive method of action, the fortifications prepared on this line should be taken and the main one, i.e., on the Mlavskoe direction, should be a strong army reserve.If the solution of the current task is the offensive, it is obvious that the attack should take place on the main direction, i.e., on Mlavskom. Meanwhile, from reports received from you, that on the main, Mlavskiy direction, the Turkestan corps is held defensively, and on the secondary direction, the rationing, the Drobin 19 and 27 cases are ordered to attack.The offensive in this direction is impractical because it does not correspond to the main task of the front and the joint actions of the 1 Army with the 12 Army ... In view of the foregoing, I propose to regroup the forces of the 1 Army in accordance with the main tasks of the front and the First Army that have just been expressed ... and finish the regrouping as soon as possible "{5} .

Thus, only when Prasnysh was already bypassed and, in essence, surrounded, when the offensive of the German troops reached full development, General Litvinov had to give up (and then under pressure from above) his plan and act in accordance with the situation.
The situation for February 22 was as follows: the division of General Wernica entered the Mlawa, Prasnysh highway near Grudeusk and east of it; 36 Res. By the end of the day, the division occupied Volya Verzhbovska and thus cut off the Russian part of the retreat to Tsekhanov defending in Prasnysh. Then the commander of 1 of the Turkestan Corps decided temporarily to cover the routes from Tsekhanov to bend the right flank of his positions south of Volya Verzhbovsk.

The next day, February 23, the division of General Wernica advanced its left flank and came into contact with the 1-m rez. case at Volya Berzhbovska. The ring around Prasnysh closed. On the same day, the Germans attacked Prasnysh and captured the southern outskirts of the city and the barracks in the eastern part. Garrison Prasnysha - 63-I infantry. division - stubbornly defended. However, due to the superiority of the forces on the side of the Germans in the morning of February 24, Prasnysh was taken.

One of the participants in the Prasnysh battles describes this moment as follows: "The 24 of February, around 10 hours, ended the drama of the Prasnysh garrison. Having lost more than half of the squadron from the fire, he could not withstand the fresh forces of Gulvits ..." {6}. Meanwhile, to the battlefield, to Prasnysh, they hurried 2 Russian corps: 2-s Siberian from the east and 1-s Siberian from the south. Corps for 20 February ended the transfer by rail and concentrated in the area of ​​Ostrov and Serock. However, the actions of these buildings were not coordinated. This was a result of the fact that the 2 Siberian Corps was subordinated to the commander of the 12 Army, and the 1 Siberian Corps to the commander of the 1 Army. The February 2 Siberian Corps 21 marched from Ostrova to Ostrolenka, while the 1 Siberian Corps was stationed for the night in 6-8 km south-west of Serock. The next day, the 2 th Siberian corps reached the area in 6-8 km west of Ostrolenka, and the 1 th Siberian corps - Pultusk district. Here they spent the night. February 23 The 2 Siberian Corps approached Krasnoseltsi, and the 1 Siberian Corps approached Makov and entered into contact with the troops of the Turkestan 1 Corps. When forcing the river. Orzhits, representing a significant obstacle as a result of the thaw, parts of the 2 of the Siberian Corps met with resistance from the enemy. The 1 th Siberian corps, slowly and carefully advancing to the north, for February 23 advanced only 6-8 km with very little resistance from the Germans. By the end of the day, parts of the 1 and 2 Siberian corps were located approximately 18 km from Prasnysh.

In 22 hours of February 23, the commander of the 2 Siberian Corps received a directive from the commander of the 12 Army, General Plehve, which stated: "after crossing your corps across the Orzhits river, the action should not be the city of Prasnysh, but the enemy troops that are needed to attack the flank and rear. " At the same time, it was stated: "it is necessary to capture the messages of the enemy moving north and northeast" {7}.

3 schema. Fights from 25 to 28 February 1915 g

In accordance with this directive, the commander of the 2 of the Siberian Corps sets the task of the right-flank 5 of the Siberian division to advance on the front of Shlya, Bartniki with the aim of getting out of the way of communication of the enemy. The 4-th Siberian division was ordered to advance in the general direction of Bartniki and Prasnysh, crossing the Podosye, to attack the enemy in the eastern and southern directions, with the aim of covering the enemy with the 1-Siberian corps, cutting off his ways of retreat. The 1 th Siberian Corps, advancing from Makov on Prasnysh, received no specific task.

Until recently, the commander of the 1 army kept his main forces (27 and 19 army, 1 corps) on his left flank. And only 24 in February, General Litvinov wrote in his directive: “I demand that tomorrow, February 25, the 1 Sib. Corps occupy Prasnysh, and the 1 Turk V Corps - the Choynovo district”. February 25 General Litvinov gives a new directive, according to which 3-th Kav. the corps is withdrawn from the battle on the left flank of the army and focuses on the Mlavskoe direction. The next day, he withdraws from the battle on the left flank and 19-th arm. case.

Thus, under the influence of the enemy, General Litvinov was forced to change his original grouping. But it was too late. 1 th kav. Corps until the end of the battle could not take part in the hostilities on the Prasnyshsky direction.

General Galvits, having intelligence information about the approach of the 1-th and 2-th Siberian corps. February 25 decided to go on the defensive. The defense of Prasnysh was built as follows (3 scheme): 36-I defended from the south. division, adjacent to the division of General Wernitz; from the east - 9-I landv. brigade and half 3 infantry. divisions; in reserve was 1-I res. division.

On February 25, units of the 1 and 2 Siberian corps launched an offensive. Under the pressure of the 1 of the Siberian Corps 36-I res. German division began to withdraw. During the day, the hull advanced 6 km and reached the line 8 km south of Prasnysz. The 1 th Turkestan Corps advanced its right flank to the Zelena, Volya Verzhbovska line.

The 2 th Siberian corpus broke the resistance of the 9 th by a night attack. Brigade and went to the front B. Grzybki, Frankovo, Karvach, ie, approached Prasnysh to 5 km.

The next day, the commander of the 2 Siberian Corps received a directive from General Plehwe to "beat the enemy, pursue him in the most persistent, merciless way, if you can, do not let him out, but take or destroy, show extreme energy at all ... trying not to let the retreating from Prasnysha part of the enemy and seize the path of his retreat from Prasnysha to the northeast and north "{8}. All this day, parts of the 2 of the Siberian Corps were engaged in a stubborn battle with 9. Brigade to the 15 watch, took the line of the Dembina, Karvach, Fiyalkovo. In 16 hour. 30 min. The commander of the 2 Siberian Corps received a new directive, which stated that "in view of the information about the German withdrawal to the north of Prasnysh, it is desirable to give your columns a more northern direction to produce deeper coverage" {9}. It was only after such an order that the commander of the 2 Corps decided to nominate an 17 pp. Regiment under the command of Colonel Tarakanov to the Edorozhets. By the end of February 26, parts of the 2 Siberian Corps reached the Kuskovo, Bartniki, Zavadki line, i.e., hung on the flank and threatened the rear of the 1 res. enclosures. However, this advantageous position was not used due to the lack of initiative of the command, starting with the corps commander and ending with the commander of the 17 st. Regiment colonel Tarakanov.

On the same day, the 1 th Siberian Corps captured the night attack Dobrzhankovo ​​(in 6 km southeast of Prasnysh), capturing a large number of prisoners (about 2000 people) and 20 guns. 1-st Turkestan Corps attacked the 36-st rez. the division and the divisions of General Wernitz on the Zelen, Laguna sector and advanced to the western approaches of Prasnysh, having come out in the evening to the front of Golyany and Dzilin.

On February 27, the commander of the 2 Siberian Corps received instructions from the army commander to develop vigorous pursuit. The corps commander gave the order, according to which the colonel Tarakanov ordered to leave 2 battalion with artillery in Edinrozhets to prevent the enemy in his attempts to retreat along the road Prasnysh, Gmina Jednorożec and other forces immediately pushed through Charzhaste to Gmina Łanięta on Horzhelevskom highway where and prevent the escape routes of the enemy .

Since the 15 February watch was followed by a directive from the army headquarters on the attack of Prasnysh, the commander of the 27 Siberian Corps issued an additional order, which the 2 pp. Regiment was tasked to also attack from Lantay on Olshevets, and all other parts to attack on Prasnysh .

Attack Prasnysha began at different times. In 15 hour. 30 min. units of the 1 Siberian Division (1 of the Siberian Corps) broke into the eastern edge of Prasnysh and captured many prisoners. In 10 hours 4-Siberian Division (2 of the Siberian Corps.) Attack from the north, east and south broke into Prasnysh and also captured prisoners and trophies (1 500 people and 6 machine guns). By 19 watch 27 February Prasnysh was cleared from the enemy.

The next day, February 28, General Litvinov issues a directive on the energetic pursuit of a defeated enemy. However, persecution, in the true sense of the word, was not organized. Equestrian groups attached to the Siberian corps did not receive specific tasks and in fact remained in the second echelon. This allowed the enemy to break away from the Russian troops and organize a planned departure in the north-western direction.
February 28 The 2 Siberian Corps slowly moved past the retreating 1. the corps of the Germans, the 1 of the Siberian corps advanced along the positions of the 1 of the Turkestan corps, and in some points this resulted in a mixture of parts. The Russian cavalry, the squadron of Himets and other units were inactive and were in the rear. 1 th kav. the corps arrived late and did not take part in the persecution.

Further events developed here as follows. The German troops, having managed to break away from the pursuing Russian units, retreated to Horzhele to the fortified positions, where they stopped. The Russian troops, approaching these positions, tried to attack them, but without success. There was no reconnaissance of enemy positions, there was no artillery preparation, the troops went on the attack unprepared - all this predetermined its failure.

The Germans 7 in March, again launched an offensive against parts of the 2 of the Siberian Corps from Horzhele to Edinoruzhec, Prasnysh and pushed the Russian troops almost to Prasnysh. To counter this attack was sent 23 th arm. the corps, which crushed the left flank of the group of General Galvitsa and restored the position. The German units again went to Mlava and Horjele. The fights on this front gradually began to take a protracted nature and by half of March completely subsided.

* * *

The Prasnysh operation ended in that the Germans, having occupied Prasnysh, were forced to give it back two days later, losing more than 6 000 prisoners and leaving 58 guns. The plans of the German command failed, he failed to defeat the Russian armies, focusing on the Mlavskom direction (1 th and 12 th Russian armies), but, on the contrary, had to withdraw its troops to the fortified positions to the state border.

The Prasnysh operation undoubtedly had a significant impact on the entire course of military operations on the Russian north-western front. After the withdrawal of the 10 th Russian army from East Prussia and the death of the 20 th army. Corps in the Augustous Forests Russian victory at Prasnysh to some extent contributed to strengthening the position of the Russian armies on this front, and March 2 10-I, 12-I and 1-I Russian armies launched a general offensive in order to push the Germans from the line of the Bebra and Narev rivers within East Prussia. If we recall that Ludendorff’s striving to firmly hold the Wlotslavsk front during the 1915 spring campaign, Mlawa was the main reason for his ambitious plan for encircling the Russian armies in Poland, the significance of the Prasnysh operation becomes clearer, since after the defeat of Prasnysh’s position this line could no longer be called durable. Thus, the success of the Russian troops in this operation, along with other factors, upset the German plan for the spring campaign 1915.

Evaluating the actions of the parties, it should be noted that Russian troops fought bravely, steadfastly, despite the extremely difficult supply conditions. Parts acted in conditions of spring thaw. Zayonchkovsky rightly notes that "... one positive fact may be noted in the actions of the western group of Russian troops - it is more and more rooted in the habit of private chiefs to respond to a counter-strike. The Prasnysh operation is a positive example in this regard" {10}.

However, the high command of the Russian troops did a poor job. The focus was on the left flank, while the situation demanded an offensive on the right flank. When deciding to advance on the left flank, the commander of the 1 of the Russian army did not secure his right flank, as a result of which Prasnysh was captured by the enemy. There was no proper interaction between the commanders of 1 and 12 in Russian armies, nor was there between the 1 and 2 Siberian corps: they maintained an ulnar relationship between them, which was not necessary in this situation. We should also note the poor intelligence from the Russians. As a result, the adversary's strike on Prasnysh was unexpected. But intelligence was especially poorly organized when the 2 and 1 Siberian corps approached Prasnysh. Despite the fact that there were a lot of cavalry in the Russian troops, both corps marched without cavalry reconnaissance.

The pursuit of the retreating enemy was extremely poorly organized. Russian cavalry, as a rule, was inactive.

The commander of the 2 Siberian Corps, who received instructions from the army commander to pursue the enemy and reach him from the north, sent around only one regiment, which in this situation was not enough. The commander of this regiment, Colonel Tarakanov, instead of deeper and faster bypassing the enemy’s retreating columns, waited for February 27 all day in the city of Vulka (1 km north of Charjast) when the enemy was already knocked out of Prasnysh and retreated, which contributed to the separation of the German forces from the Russian parts.

As for the German troops, there should be noted the inadequate control of the operation, especially in the dynamics of the battlefield. Acting on the pre-emption of the enemy, the Germans at the same time undertook the Prasnysh operation with insufficient forces. Well aware of the approach to Prasnysh of the 1 and 2 of the Siberian corps, they hoped to preempt the Russians by circumventing the right flank of the 1 of the Turkestan corps, but they were mistaken in their calculations.

{1} Ludendorff, My Memories of the War 1914-1918, Vol. I, p. 98.
{2} There same, p. 94.
{3} Kolenkovsky. Winter operation in East Prussia in 1915, ed. 1927
{4} Reihsarchiv "Der Weltkrieg 1914-1918". Berlin, 1931, v. 7, s. 248.
{5} CVIA, f. 2152, op. 2, d. No. 186, ll. 35-39.
{6} War and Revolution, 1929, Book 1, page 106.
{7} CVIA, f. 2279, op. 1, d. No. 203, la. 227-228.
{8} CVIA, f. 2279, op. 1. e. No. 203, ll. 257-258.
{9} ibid., L. 258.
{10} Zayonchkovsky. Agile period of war 1914-1915 years, p. 270.

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  1. 8 company
    8 company 3 October 2012 09: 46
    "The Russian cavalry was inactive"

    So after all, the era of machine guns, dear author! Back in the 18th century, during an attack by enemy cavalry, one of the generals of the Civil War in the United States grinned and said: "Again these fools are jumping with sabers!" And gave the order to get ready to fire a volley fire. The cavalry could be used only in the absence of a solid front line and fortified positions, for quick movements.
    It could also be noted in the article that the Germans received most of the information about Russian troops from radio intercepts. Like this: invented the radio, but did not know how to use.
    1. Smirnov Vadim
      3 October 2012 09: 53
      Too late to contact the author, Col. A. Borisov 1915 year
      1. 8 company
        8 company 3 October 2012 10: 14
        Quote: Smirnov Vadim
        Too late to contact the author, Col. A. Borisov 1915 year

        Guilty, did not pay attention. Then just: thanks for the interesting article.
  2. Sasha 19871987
    Sasha 19871987 3 October 2012 10: 22
    Thanks to the author for interesting material. I really do not know anything about World War I, except for the Brusilovsky breakthrough ...
  3. btsypulin
    btsypulin 3 October 2012 10: 48
    For that we know the main thing about the 1st World War, that Russia fucked her up because of the "revolutionaries" who sold themselves to the Germans!
    1. leha 2012
      leha 2012 3 October 2012 13: 47
      Only not the Germans, but the British. By the way, they created a revolution in Germany.
  4. Albaros
    Albaros 3 October 2012 14: 48
    Most importantly, the Prasnysh operation is the victory of the Russian army.
  5. Brother Sarych
    Brother Sarych 3 October 2012 15: 04
    Something not to understand, not that it was written in the year 15, not much much later! The bibliography mentions 31 years, not to mention Ludendorff's memoirs ...
  6. btsypulin
    btsypulin 3 October 2012 22: 34
    What does the British have to do with it? The meaning of his allies in a bloody war to lose?
    1. Trapperxnumx
      Trapperxnumx 3 October 2012 23: 54
      Hmm. "Allies". It's better without friends at all than with such "allies". We Russians cannot understand this behavior. So Nicholas 2 could not believe in the betrayal of the allies. They did not need Russia, let alone a strong one. For them, Russia is only a means of depleting Germany.