Questions on the Eastern Front in the Great War

Discussions on all aspects of the First World War not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
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Lawrence
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Questions on the Eastern Front in the Great War

Post by Lawrence » 08 Nov 2002 16:25

Hello, I was wondering if anyone could help me with a few questions on the Eastern Front.

1) What was the relationship between the German and Russian soldiers? I don't think it was nearly as hostile as it was in the second war. Did they respect eachother or still consider them the enemy?

2) Was chorline gas ever used on the Eastern Front? I know mustard gas was tested in the east in September 1917, but what about before then?

3) How was the war fought exactly? I know they didn't rely on trenches the way they did in the west, but was it more fluid?

If anyone can at least answer one of these questions, I'll be extremely grateful. Regards! 8)

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Tim Smith
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Post by Tim Smith » 11 Nov 2002 18:56

1) The ideological Nazi-Communist antipathy of WWII did not exist in the Great War - the Germans didn't hate the Russians any more than they hated the French. It was still a brutal war because of the bloody nature of WWI battles, but not as brutal as the Eastern Front in WWII.

Both armies were Christian and I believe there was an brief unofficial truce between German and Russian troops on Christmas Day, 1914, just as there was in the west.

2) Gas was first used by the Germans on the Eastern Front in 1915 - but at first it was only a tear gas. In 1916 they used chlorine in the east as well as the west.

3) There were trenches in the east as well as the west, but they were not as well constructed and not so permanent as those in the west. There was a lot more movement of the lines, as neither side had enough men to fill up the whole front as was the case in the west. Attacks were certainly easier in the east than in the west, as there were less defenders per mile of front. However the war was never as mobile as it was in WWII.

Gwynn Compton
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Post by Gwynn Compton » 12 Nov 2002 00:15

If I recall correctly, the first use of any gas on the Eastern front resulted in the gas freezing at ground level as it was too cold.

Gwynn

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Lawrence
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Just one more...

Post by Lawrence » 25 Nov 2002 01:27

Thank you two for responding to my questions. I was wondering, if on the Eastern Front there was any house to house fighting or fighting done in large cities as was the case sometimes on the Western Front. And if so, how often was it? Regards!

Durand
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Post by Durand » 30 Dec 2002 14:42

Hallo Kingsley,

I ran across a piece titled "Chemical Warfare in World War I" at

http://cgsc.leavenworth.army.mil/carl/r ... HELLER.asp

It provides some more details to that already provided above and also includes information about the use of gas during the German attack on Riga.

Regards,

Durand

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Zachary
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Post by Zachary » 01 Jan 2003 02:12

While on the subject on the eastenr front in WWI, may I ask how far the Germans advanced into Russia? I know the treaty of Brest-Livotks, to me anyway, looked like the advance had gone pretty far. Had they gone that far?
Regards,
Zachary

Gwynn Compton
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Post by Gwynn Compton » 02 Jan 2003 08:38

As far as I'm aware, following the treaty, the German soldiers stationed in the acquired territories did get involved elsewhere in Russia during the civil war.

I would have scanned a map, but I can't get it to scan nicely :(

If anyone has a hard back copy of John Keegan's "The First World War" there's a nice map of it in there that would be helpful (it's the map I've just been looking at.

Gwynn

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Oleg Grigoryev
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Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 06 Jan 2003 10:15

During the First World War we closely encountered the Russian Tsarist Army. I'll provide a little known, but significant, fact: our losses on the Eastern Front were significantly higher than losses suffered by us on the Western Front from 1914 to 1918.
General Gunther Blumentrit
8O

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sylvieK4
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Post by sylvieK4 » 06 Jan 2003 17:00

This site has several maps of the Eastern Front from 1914-1918.

http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/dhisto ... WW1ToC.htm

Thumbnails expand to large detailed maps. It is worth a look.

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