Battle of Tannenberg, 1914

Discussions on all aspects of the First World War not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8809
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Battle of Tannenberg, 1914

Post by tigre » 23 Nov 2015 05:05

Hello to all :D; something more......................

PROTECTION OF THE REAR OF THE GERMAN EIGHTH ARMY, DURING THE BATTLE OF TANNENBERG.

I.-WHAT HAPPENED IN REAR OF THE GERMAN EIGHTH ARMY FROM 20 TO 31 AUGUST 1914.

On 25 August the I Reserve Corps and the XVII Corps were moving from the area: Schippenbeil-Friedland to the south. The 1st Cavalry Division advanced to Gerdauen, with reconnaissance detachments in contact with the enemy. On the north it had a few guard units along the Alle River, south of Wehlau. The Russian cavalry was held up in part along the Deime River, but the mass of the cavalry was moving westward, searching for the German Eighth Army. German security forces were able to delay the advance of the Russians primarily along the railroad lines, and local barricades forced them to avoid the towns.

At noon, 25 August, army orders designated one division of the XVII Corps and the 1st Cavalry Division to furnish protection against the Russian First Army, but by afternoon this order was amended to include the 1st Cavalry Division alone for this mission.

The 6th Landwehr Brigade, located at Lötzen, had been ordered as early as 23 August to move close to the I Reserve Corps. Therefore the 1st Cavalry Division was the only regular army unit to cover a gap of approximately 35 miles from the Masurian Lakes to Königsberg. On 25 August it found it impossible to reach Gerdauen. The roads were blocked by fugitives.

On 26 August it withdrew before superior Russian cavalry to Schippenbeil. The Russian II Corps, advancing north of the Masurian Lakes, reached the vicinity of Drengfurth. Late, that afternoon the 1st Cavalry Division received orders to delay further advance of this hostile unit on Rastenburg-Korschen. The Russian 4th Cavalry Division of the Second Army was already at Sensburg. The mission of the 1st Cavalry Division was to prevent the Russian II Corps from participating in the battle near Gr. Bossau, where the I Reserve Corps and the XVII Corps defeated the Russian VI Corps. On that day Army headquarters were under the impression, that there was a strong Russian advance under way. It directed the fortress commander of Königsberg to draw as many Russian troops as possible in his direction.

On 27 August the 1st Cavalry Division moved via Gr. Schwansfeld to Langheim. Strong Russian forces appeared at Rössel and Korschen. The division thereupon withdrew to Bischofstein. The Russian cavalry was threatening the rear of the XVII Corps, which sent for the protection against them a detachment under Lieut. Colonel von SteinkeIIer northeast of Gr. KeIlen. With the same mission the I Reserve Corps sent the infantry of the 6th Landwehr Brigade back to Lautern. The communications of the XVII Corps had to be shifted towards the west. However, it was soon determined that the Russian cavalry moved to the north from RösseI. The detachment Steinkeller was therefore recalled. The commander of the fortress Königsberg was unable to stop the Russians on the line of the Alle River. The Guard units sent there arrived too late, and the Russian cavalry had already seized the crossings at Friedland and Allenburg. Detachments advanced even as far as Heilsberg and Prussian Eylau.

Source: PROTECTION OF THE REAR OF THE GERMAN EIGHTH ARMY, DURING THE BATTLE OF TANNENBERG. ["Die Rückendeckung der 8. Armee wahrend der Schlacht bei Tannenberg." By Captain Meier-WeIcker. Militär-Wochenblat, 25 July 1936.] Abstracted by Major E.F. Koenig, Infantry. RML, March 1937.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8809
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Battle of Tannenberg, 1914

Post by tigre » 27 Nov 2015 12:33

Hello to all :D; something more......................

PROTECTION OF THE REAR OF THE GERMAN EIGHTH ARMY, DURING THE BATTLE OF TANNENBERG.

I.-WHAT HAPPENED IN REAR OF THE GERMAN EIGHTH ARMY FROM 20 TO 31 AUGUST 1914.

On 28 August the 1st Cavalry Division advanced to Lautern and then northeast of RosseI. When Russian cavalry appeared from Langheim and advanced on Santoppen, this cavalry merely sited its artillery and the Russians then moved northward. Late that afternoon the Army ordered that one brigade of the division was to be sent to Lotzen "to reconnoiter the terrain east of the lakes, and to determine the location of the Russian II Corps," which unit had been reporting as withdrawing on Grajewo. This order was not executed, for during the night the Army ordered one brigade to Ortelsburg to take part in the pursuit. The remainder of the division was to continue on its present mission.

On the morning of 29 August the 1st Cavalry Brigade started for the south. The remainder of the 1st Cavalry Division remained for the present at Rossel, then moved to Voigtsdorf, where it gained contact with the 6th Landwehr Brigade. At Lautern the division took time out for a rest. It was completely exhausted. A phone call to Army headquarters that afternoon reported as follows: "No distant reconnaissance against the Russian First Army. Horses can barely trot. Close-in reconnaissance." This condition of affairs was particularly serious as the Russian threat towards Allenstein was being felt. In spite of all difficulties the 1st Cavalry Division was able to prevent the Russian 1st Cavalry Division from reaching their march objective: Seeburg-Bischofsburg. It only advanced as far as the area east of Bischofstein.

On the morning of 30 August the 1st Cavalry Division received radio orders from army headquarters as follows: "Everything depends upon your holding up the enemy reported at Rossel, regardless." On this day the bulk of the division moved to Rothfliess.

During the night of 30-31 August the Russian 1st Cavalry Division made a thrust in the direction of Allenstein, which was the only far-reaching and large scale operation of the cavalry of the Russian First Army during the battle of Tannenberg. But it was too late. On the morning of 31 August there was a skirmish between them and the units of the 6th Landwehr Brigade and the 1st Reserve Hussars. The Russians were easily brushed aside. That afternoon the 1st Cavalry Division received orders to move to the north and to cut off the hostile cavalry division. ''Relentless Pursuit" was ordered. The 1st Cavalry Division then advanced to Lautern. On 1 September it struck hostile cavalry near Kiwitten. After a brief fire fight the Russians withdrew to the north. The cutting off of the Russian cavalry did not succeed. The German cavalry pursued as far as Gr. Schwahsfeld, mostly with artillery fire.

On the front of the Russian First Army the few Landwehr and railroad and bridge guards were unable to offer delay to the advancing Russians. In some cases the Landwehr withdrew with astounding celerity. One, Landwehr Battalion withdrew 42 miles in 24 hours. Such troops as were sent out from the cities along the Vistula, such as Danzig, were placed under the command of Lieut. General von Heuduck and were deployed along the Passarge River. On 31 August parts of the Russian 2d and 3d Cavalry Divisions approached the Passarge, and were met by a mixed detachment, which went to Wormditt and held them up in a fire fight lasting several hours. When a small German detachment on bicycles and in automobiles appeared from Braunsberg on the north flank of the Russians, the latter withdrew towards the east during the early evening hours.

The fortress Königsberg had been engaged in an artillery duel since 28 August. As the Russians were pressing from the east, the commandant could not spare enough forces to attack towards the south and threaten the flank of the Russian First Army. Strong Russian forces were contained just the same by the fortress early evening hours.

II.-DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS.

Three factors furnished the protection to the rear of the German Eighth Army: The fortresses Königsberg and Lotzen; the 1st Cavalry Division; and the Landwehr and guard units, detailed to impede the advance of the Russians.

Had the Russian First Army intervened, the German Eighth Army could not have defeated the Russian Army decisively.

Source: PROTECTION OF THE REAR OF THE GERMAN EIGHTH ARMY, DURING THE BATTLE OF TANNENBERG. ["Die Rückendeckung der 8. Armee wahrend der Schlacht bei Tannenberg." By Captain Meier-WeIcker. Militär-Wochenblat, 25 July 1936.] Abstracted by Major E.F. Koenig, Infantry. RML, March 1937.

It's all folks. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8809
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Battle of Tannenberg, 1914

Post by tigre » 12 May 2020 16:29

Hello to all :D; something more......................

The Cavalry at Tannenberg.

The plans of the belligerents in East Prussia were as follows: Germany planned defensive maneuvers and entrusted them to the Eighth Army which was concentrated to the west of the Masurian Lakes; Russia planned offensive action, having as its aim the invasion of Eastern Prussia from two concentric directions, one (First Army) from the zone of the Njemen River towards the west and the other (Second Army) from the zone of the Narew River towards the north.

The terrain of Eastern Prussia, flat and sprinkled with woods and marshes near the frontier, is densely cultivated and irrigated in the area west and northwest of the Masurian Lakes. The rivers Angerapp, Alle, and Pregel constitute obstacles of considerable difficulty. The road net is bad.

Forces opposed to each other in Eastern Prussia:

German
Eighth Army (von Prittwitz and later Hindenburg)
Army Corps, I, XVII, XX, and I Reserve
1st Cavalry Division
3d Reserve Division
Division of Landwehr Landwehr and fortress troops.
Total: 170 battalions, 82 squadrons, and 794 guns.

A German cavalry division consisted of: 3 brigades of two regiments of four squadrons 1 group of three horse batteries, each of four guns 1 battalion of cyclists 1 machine-gun troop (six guns) Engineers and service troops. Army cavalry consisted of one battalion of four squadrons to each infantry division.

Russian
Group of Armies of the Northwest Front (General Jilinski)

First Army (Rennenkampf)
Army Corps, II, III, IV, XX
56th Reserve Division
4th Brigade of Fusiliers
Cavalry Corps (1st and 2d Guard Divisions;
1st, 2d, and 3d Cavalry Divisions, and one independent cavalry brigade)

Second Army (Samsonov)
Army Corps I, VI, VIII, XV, XXIII
2 infantry divisions
1 infantry reserve division
1 brigade of fusiliers
4th, 6th, and 15th Cavalry Divisions. Total: 430 battalions, 331 squadrons, 1620 guns.

A Russian Cavalry Division consisted of: 2 brigades of two regiments of six squadrons 1 group of horse artiIl€ry' of two batteries, each of six guns 1 machine-gun troop of eight guns Engineers and service troops. Army corps cavalry consisted of one regiment of SIX squadrons with each army corps.

Source: THE CAVALRY AT TANNENBERG By Captain James C. Short, Cavalry. Abstracted from: "La cavalleria a Tannenberg." By "Mario Marazzani. Military Review Sep 1934.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8809
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Battle of Tannenberg, 1914

Post by tigre » 19 May 2020 18:08

Hello to all :D; something more......................

The Cavalry at Tannenberg.

The Germans were inferior in cavalry - about eighty squadrons against more than three hundred. In training, armament, material, mounts, etc., the cavalry of both forces were considered equal. However, the German cavalry was to prove itself much superior to the Russian.

During the concentration of the German Eighth Army between Gumbinnen and Deutsch Eylau, the screening was entrusted to the Frontier Corps and the cavalry which cooperated in scouting, maintaining liaison, and fighting. For example: the 10th Chasseurs, on 11 August, attacked near Goldap and drove back strong Russian forces across the frontier. The German 1st Cavalry Division (General Brecht) was sent out to the extreme left of the Eighth Army to Pillkallen (northeast of Gumbinnen).

The Russians entrusted the screening to Cavalry Divisions (*) and to a force of the combined arms. The interval between the two armies, more than 100 kilometers, was covered by weak detachments of cavalry.

Initial Operations.

Two hours after the declaration of war, Russian cavalry forces crossed the border at several points to harass the German mobilization. The 6th Cavalry Division marched on Soldau but was driven back with great loss on 5 August. The 4th Cavalry Division met the same fate on 9 August southwest of Lyck. The 1st Cavalry Division (General Gurko) was more fortunate. From Suwalki it reached Marggrabowa 10-11 August, where it destroyed important works and captured much correspondence, the source of valuable information. However, the Russian cavalry, which one would think "should have come down like a cloud of grasshoppers," did not take advantage of the great chance that the situation offered. For instance, a raid in force by the cavalry of the First Army on Insterburg and on the Tilsit-Insterburg-Allenstein railroad would have been invaluable.

The German cavalry, due to its small numbers and the task of screening entrusted to it, was not able to accomplish any other important action. The 1st Cavalry Division attempted a thrust at Kovno, 4 August, but did not accomplish much.

On 16 and 21 August, respectively, the Russian First and Second Armies started the advance, the First Army to the west, and the Second Army to the northwest. The great force of cavalry was disposed a little in advance on the flanks of the two armies. The First Army had the Cavalry Corps, less the 1st Cavalry Division on its right, and the 1st Cavalry Division on its left; the Second Army had the 4th Cavalry Division on its right and the 6th and 15th Cavalry Divisions on its left.

The cavalry detached scouting parties (10 troopers to a squad) having as their principal mission the security of the Army. This simple close-in reconnaissance was the task of the service of security; distant reconnaissance did not exist, and we shall soon see that the 'lack of it resulted in grave consequences. The 1st and 4th Cavalry Divisions were also ordered to maintain liaison between the two armies, a distance of 80 to 100 kilometers. A few independent squadrons and patrols were charged with this service, such that these elements marched 100 kilometers a day. Nevertheless, there were no known cases where information was not transmitted with the maximum dispatch.

(*) Two cavalry divisions for the First Army assembled in the Njemen zone from Kovno towards the south, and for the Second Army three cavalry divisions assembled in the Narew zone from Lomja towards the southwest.

Source: THE CAVALRY AT TANNENBERG By Captain James C. Short, Cavalry. Abstracted from: "La cavalleria a Tannenberg." By "Mario Marazzani. Military Review Sep 1934.
https://lh4.ggpht.com/30lXF9_Ehqjuz21Q_ ... zwAe=s1200

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
dgfred
Member
Posts: 204
Joined: 31 Jan 2008 16:56
Location: N.C., USA

Re: Battle of Tannenberg, 1914

Post by dgfred » 19 May 2020 19:18

Thanks for the map.

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8809
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Battle of Tannenberg, 1914

Post by tigre » 21 May 2020 21:29

You're welcome :wink:. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8809
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Battle of Tannenberg, 1914

Post by tigre » 26 May 2020 20:01

Hello to all :D; more......................

The Cavalry at Tannenberg.

Stalluponen (17 August).

According to the orders of the commander of the German Eighth Army, the I Corps, upon the completion of its concentration, should have remained at Gumbinnen. Instead, on the initiative of its commander (von Francois) it pushed on to Stalluponen. On 17 August, it became engaged with two corps of the Russian First Army. It pushed them back but was compelled to withdraw its own left, covered by the 1st Cavalry Division, which had on its front the greatly superior force of the Russian Cavalry Corps.

The Russian Cavalry Corps advanced very slowly and did not take advantage of its superior strength and of the favorable situation to defeat the German 1st Cavalry Division, and then act against the flank and rear of the German I Corps. This was not all. It did not even maintain contact with the enemy, who retired on Gumbinnen.

Gumbinnen (19-20 August).

The commander of the German Eighth Army advanced the XVIII Corps and the I Reserve Corps from Angerapp toward Gumbinnen against the Russian First Army. This army, renewing its advance on 19 August, struck the German I Corps east of Gumbinnen. The 2d Landwehr Brigade, ordered by von Francois to move from Kraupisken to turn the Russian right, ran into the Cavalry Corps (Kahn Hussein), and, exhausting its ammunition, was compelled to retire.

Hastening to its aid upon the orders of von Francois, the German 1st Cavalry Division, in a surprise attack towards evening, struck the Russian Cavalry Corps and drove it back to the east with great loss. On 20 August, the 1st Cavalry Division was in position to help in a turning movement launched from the left of the I Corps.

Observing the retreat of the Russian front from the menace of such a maneuver, the 1st Cavalry Division followed them, reaching Pillkallen, 12 kilometers behind the Russian lines, at 3:00 PM. From there it, turned south and defeated strong Russian columns, capturing two machine-gun companies, the colors of the 110th Infantry Regiment, and the commander of the 3d Infantry Regiment.

After marching 50 kilometers, the division returned to Pillkallen, where it spent the night of 21 August. This was, without doubt: a brilliant cavalry action. The German 1st Cavalry Division in one-half day had marched more than 100 kilometers, had fought many combats, and had penetrated deeply in the enemy's rear, causing serious disturbance. One must-remember that the division did not have at its disposal either infantry or cyclists.

The corps cavalry of the German Army Corps also took part in the battles, performed reconnoitering and screening missions, and maintained liaison. Deficient, however, was the action of the cavalry of the German I Reserve Corps (on the German right flank), which was surprised on 20 August, by Russian troops coming from Goldap.

Source: THE CAVALRY AT TANNENBERG By Captain James C. Short, Cavalry. Abstracted from: "La cavalleria a Tannenberg." By "Mario Marazzani. Military Review Sep 1934.
https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batalla_d ... eckzug.jpg

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8809
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Battle of Tannenberg, 1914

Post by tigre » 02 Jun 2020 18:41

Hello to all :D; more......................

The Cavalry at Tannenberg.

Gumbinnen (19-20 August).

The actions of the Russian cavalry were very different from those of the German 1st Cavalry Division. The Cavalry Corps and the 1st Independent Brigade remained inactive all 20 August, a short distance from the field of action of the German 1st Cavalry Division; the 1st Guard Brigade, due to the great loss on 19 August, was taken back to Kovno for reorganization. This inaction by some was attributed to a shortage of ammuniton, by others to the sudden blow inflicted on 19 August, and by others to the fact that the Independent Cavalry had the ability to maneuver widely and freely, not only on the field of battle, but also outside of it away from its own main forces.

The cavalry of the First Army, using this principle of the regulations, after the repulse of 19 August, should have used the interval of time to rest, and should have been able to reenter the fight at the proper moment. This does not justify the inaction of 20 August; the great superiority of force and the rest it had during the night of 20 August, were sufficient to overcome the crisis that had overtaken it on 19 August. The Russian cavalry should have taken part in the battle on 20 August and should have stopped the German 1st Cavalry Division, which was much inferior in strength.

Furthermore, it should have supported the action of the Army Corps, exploiting the success of the center: or helping restore the situation on the right. On the left of the First Army, after advancing a short distance to the west of Goldap, 20 August, the cavalry remained inactive. It should have been able to support the action of the IV Corps on the right flank of the German I Reserve Corps.

Source: THE CAVALRY AT TANNENBERG By Captain James C. Short, Cavalry. Abstracted from: "La cavalleria a Tannenberg." By "Mario Marazzani. Military Review Sep 1934.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8809
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Battle of Tannenberg, 1914

Post by tigre » 09 Jun 2020 15:42

Hello to all :D; more......................

The Cavalry at Tannenberg.

From 21 to 23 August.

On the evening of 20 August, the commander of the German Eighth Army ordered the retirement to the west. Notwithstanding the close contact with the enemy and the fatigue of the troops, the retirement was effected in perfect order. WhiIe the I Corps was entrained at Insterburg and Königsburg, the two Corps (I Reserve and XVII) retired by marching on Allenburg and Nordenburg, covered by the 1st Cavalry Division.

The division was very weary. Its commander wrote to the Eighth Army Commander: "During three weeks not one day of rest; at the last, three days of constant fighting and marching; water is too scarce; we are without rations; 'horseshoes worn out; horses very tired; only half of the command is fit for further combat. It is necessary to be transported by rail to obtain one day of rest." The request was highly, justified but the situation did not permit inaction, and the division was ordered to continue without rest and without sparing itself.

The commander of the Russian First Army perceived the German retirement only on the morning of 21 August. Then he did not think to pursue and regain contact, even though he had at his disposal five divisions of cavalry. The consequences of this lack of employment of the Cavalry were very grave. The First Army Commander remained in the dark as to the movements of the enemy and his retirement on Angerapp and, then on Königsburg from the evening of 20 August. He did not even imagine the danger that menaced the Russian Second Army. The inaction of the Cavalry was certainly one of the principal reasons for the neglect of the First Army to intervene in favor of the Second, and as a consequence of this neglect, the destruction of the latter.

If, instead, the Cavalry had been promptly employed on 21 August, it certainly would have regained contact, disturbing, the movements of the German Army Corps and with the information obtained should have caused the First Army to go, to the aid of the Second. The knowledge of the deployment of the German forces to the south should have caused it to act in the same direction, obliging the enemy to face it and thus, instead of the encircling of the Russian Second Army, the German Eighth Army would have found itself encircled or would at least have had to retire towards the west to avoid pressure from the two Russian armies.

The Russian Cavalry should not have found a serious' obstacle in the German 1st Cavalry Division, worn out and distributed over a large front. The raid which General Gurko made on Allenstein on 30-31 August, although too late, proves this.

Danilof writes: "Rennenkampf did not understand and did not know how to exploit the favorable situation; certainly he did not know how to employ cavalry with great damage to the success of subsequent operations."

Source: THE CAVALRY AT TANNENBERG By Captain James C. Short, Cavalry. Abstracted from: "La cavalleria a Tannenberg." By "Mario Marazzani. Military Review Sep 1934.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8809
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Battle of Tannenberg, 1914

Post by tigre » 16 Jun 2020 20:17

Hello to all :D; more......................

The Cavalry at Tannenberg.

Tannenberg (23-31 August).

Von Prittwitz was relieved for having ordered and insisted on the retirement to the west, and on 23 August, Hindenburg with Ludendorff as his Chief of Staff took command of the German Eighth Army. The situation on 23 August, can be summarized as follows: The German Eighth Army was divided into two groups, the southwest group (XX Corps, 1st and 3d Reserve Divisions) in the zone Gilgenburg-Orlau, facing the Russian Second, Army, which was marching on Allenstein-Seeburg from the zone: Soldau-Ortelsburg; the east group (I Reserve Corps and the XVII Corps) on the march from the zone of Insterburg to that of Nordenburg. The Russian First Army, halted on the field of Gumbinnen on 19 August, 'began on 23 August to advance sloyvly toward -the west.

Hindenburg, in consequence of this situation, decided to attack the Russian Second Army with his main force and to hold the Russian First Army with the mobile reserves of Konigsburg disposed on the rivers Pregel and Deime, and the troops of Lotzen; between these two the 1st Cavalry Division screened the movement of the east group to the south. The 1st Cavalry Division thus took over the task of screening on a front of about sixty kilometers.

As has already been stated, it should have been easy for the superior force of Russian cavalry to break this thin screen and uncover the plans of its adversaries. Instead, the Cavalry Corps was held on the right flank of the Russian First Army and the Russian 1st Cavalry Division on the left; on 23 August, the Russian cavalry on the north crossed beyond the Inster, and on the south reached the Angerapp near Angerburg. Having found these two lines free of the enemy forces, they did not think to push forward rapidly to the south or southwest, nor to the west. The negative information thus obtained should have induced the Russian commander to try to regain' contact in the right direction.

For the Russian Second Army, the 4th Cavalry Diyision covered the right. ' The 6th and 15th Cavalry Divisions covered the left and also the concentration of the Russian Ninth Army in the Warsaw zone.

The commanders of the northwest front and the Russian Second Army were preoccupied by the fear of a non-existent menace from Thorn. They made dispositions to parry this threat - dispositions injurious to the success of the contest - and, without trying to obtain information of this supposed menace by using the large cavalry forces at their disposal. At one moment they considered uniting the 6th and 15th Cavalry Divisions to form a Cavalry Corps to launch towards the northwest, in order to cut across the way of the German Army engaged with their First Army, and to raid in rear of the German west group. They considered their First Army in retreat to the Vistula. They did nothing.

The two cavalry divisions remained on the left of the Army and not until 26-27 August, was contact gained with the enemy on the front: Strasburg-Lautenburg, in which action they were driven back. The projected action, had it accomplished nothing else, would certainly have retarded the operations of unloading and concentrating the German forces arriving in the zone: D. Eylau-Allenstein.

No distant reconnaissance was made in front of the Russian Second Army; which on 22-23 August, halted its flanks (I Corps at Soldau, VI Corps at Ortelsburg) and advanced the center (XIII, XV, and half of the XXIII Corps) toward Allenstein-Seeburg. It happened in consequence that the Russian center unexpectedly encountered the German XX Corps, on 23 August, along the front: Lahna - Orlau.

Source: THE CAVALRY AT TANNENBERG By Captain James C. Short, Cavalry. Abstracted from: "La cavalleria a Tannenberg." By "Mario Marazzani. Military Review Sep 1934.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8809
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Battle of Tannenberg, 1914

Post by tigre » 23 Jun 2020 20:01

Hello to all :D; more......................

The Cavalry at Tannenberg.

Tannenberg (23-31 August).

After two days' fighting (24-25 August) it was able to advance toward the front: Allenstein-Osterode. The left (I Corps) was halted at Usdau and the right (VI Corps) was ordered from Ortelsburg toward Gr. Bossau through fear of German attack from Lotzen-another non-existent menace not discovered by the use of the cavalry available on this flank (4th Division). The VI Corps used the 4th Cavalry Division on reconnaissance toward Sensburg and Rastenburg.

The patrols signalled movement of strong enemy forces toward the southwest in the zone of Rastenburg, but they stopped to entertain themselves with units of the II Russian Corps and did not check up on this news by extending their reconnaissance more to the northwest. Because of this, the VI Corps remained in ignorance of the approach of the German east group. Meanwhile, Hindenburg, following the moves of the enemy on 24 August, ordered the I Reserve Corps and the XVII Corps to attack the Russian VI Corps. The German 1st Cavalry Division, which had again without avail asked for a day of rest, continued to cover the shoulders of these two Army Corps.

On 26 August, at Gr. Bossau, the VI Russian Corps was surprised and routed. The Russian 4th Cavalry Division not only failed to prevent the surprise attack, but, according to the German report, took no part in the battle. It was ordered to cover the retreat of the Russian VI Corps on Ortelsburg, but became occupied with small forces of the German 1st Cavalry Division covering the left of the east group, and retired without hindering the small forces which pursued the VI Corps, and without hindering the stronger force which proceeded south to attack the center of the Russian Second Army on its flank.

On 27 August, the German east group thrust forward toward the southwest and subsequently toward the west (Allenstein). This new direction was ordered by Hindenburg because of information furnished by a patrol of the 5th Dragoons, of the arrival at Allenstein from the south of the Russian XIII Corps. At 10:30 hours, however, a patrol of the 1st Hussars (I Reserve Corps) brought in the information that there was only a small enemy force at Allenstein. From this information the commander of the German I Reserve Corps deduced that the Russian XIII Corps would attempt a retreat to the southeast.

He decided to cut across the road to the south, southeast of Allenstein, and asked the XVII Corps to do the same. The plan was approved by the Army Commander and the two corps struck the left of the Russian XIII Corps in retreat, causing it to deploy toward the southeast, and thus to fall within the circle which even now was closing on the Russian center from the south. There is no need of additional words to bring out the importance of the information furnished by the German Corps Cavalry in the development of this maneuver.

On 26 August, while the Russian right was being defeated at Gr. Bossa, the left was attacked by the German west group; the German I Corps took Seeben on 26 August, Usdau on the 27th, and on the 28th, Soldau, Neidenburg, and Muschaken, and made a thrust at Willenberg. On 27 August the '3d Reserve Division and the left of the XX Corps were forced back by the Russian center, which reached Raichenau and Allenstein. On 28 August, the right of the XX Corps was forced back. The Russians, beyond sending forward one brigade of cavalry from the 64th Division, did not profit from this situation.

The cavalry of the German Army Corps took an active part in the battle. The 8th Uhlans (I Corps) and two squadrons from the XX Corps maintained liaison between the attacking units during the period 26-28 August and, near Soldau, pursued the retreating enemy. On 28 August, the 8th Uhlans with one battery attached were the first to arrive in Neidenburg from the south, while the 10th Chasseurs (I Corps) were the first to arrive from the west. Numerous Russialtroops were thus encircled and captured.

Source: THE CAVALRY AT TANNENBERG By Captain James C. Short, Cavalry. Abstracted from: "La cavalleria a Tannenberg." By "Mario Marazzani. Military Review Sep 1934.

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 8809
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Battle of Tannenberg, 1914

Post by tigre » 30 Jun 2020 18:38

Hello to all :D; more......................

The Cavalry at Tannenberg.

Tannenberg (23-31 August).

We shall see now what happened on the front of the Russian 'First Army, which recommenced its' slow march to the west on 23 August. Slightly preceding the flank of the Army, the Cavalry gained contact with the German 1st Cavalry Division on 25 August. This Division was compelled to retire on Bischofstein on 26 August and, because of fatigue, could not execute the orders which it received that day to reconnoiter toward Rastenburg and Lotzen, to observe the movements of the Russian II Corps, and to delay its eventual advance on Rastenburg; Since tbe Reserves of Konigsberg had retired behind the Deime on 26 August, the way between this river and Bischofstein was open to the Russian First Army, which on that date had reached the 'front: DeimeFriedland-Rastenburg.

Patrols of the Russian Cavalry, on the same day (26 August), reached P. Eylau and Heilsberg. The commander of the Russian First Army did not perceive the void he had in his front. He did not take advantage of his superior cavalry force. This force should, have been able to clear up the situation in time for the First Army to go to the aid of the Second. Certainly it could have caused great damage to the German rear and considerable trouble to the commander of the German Eighth Army. Instead, the commander of the Russian First Army, seeing that his cavalry could not reach the enemy forces "such was their speed," definitely gave up the attempt to regain contact and planned to invest Konigsberg.

On 28 August, however, the commander of the northwest front finally perceived the critical situation of the Russian Second Army and ordered the First Army to its aid, saying "Advance your right wing as much as possible against Bartenstein and your cavalry toward Bischofsburg." It can be seen that the order was not of. an energetic character, and the commander of the Russian First Army resented it. On 28 August, the Cavalry Corps reached Domnau and Schippenbeil, and the 1st Cavalry Division reached Korschen. Behind the cavalry two corps followed on Konigsberg and two were directed on Bischofstein and Seeburg.

On 29 August, the Russian First Army reached the Deime and went" beyond the AIle to Bartenstein, while the Cavalry Corps went beyond Heilsberg toward Wormditt. To the south the 1st Cavalry Division advanced with difficulty beyond Bischofstein and Rossel until halted by the German 1st Cavalry Division, which retired slowly on Lautern. The commander of the German Eighth Army, while arranging to concentrate troops at Allenstein to oppose the Russian First Army, ordered' the German 1st Cavalry Division to retire, in case of necessity, on Ortelsburg. Already one brigade of the Division had been put in this locality in pursuance of an order received on the night of 29 August, to cooperate in the encircling of the Russian Second Army. The German Army Commander wrote "the cavalry must not give up"-a phrase which appears superfluous in an order to a division which never had given up, even to save itself.

Source: THE CAVALRY AT TANNENBERG By Captain James C. Short, Cavalry. Abstracted from: "La cavalleria a Tannenberg." By "Mario Marazzani. Military Review Sep 1934.
https://battlesofww1.weebly.com/uploads ... 55.jpg?882

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Return to “First World War”