Tannenberg

First World War 1914-1918 from the German perspective.

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John W. Howard
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Tannenberg

Post by John W. Howard » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:44 pm

Hello Gents:
I am trying to find a more detailed OOB for the Russian troops at Tannenberg in 1914. The best source I have found so far has been Solzhenitsyn's August 1914. Does anyone have a solid Russian OOB, which includes the Russian Regiments?? Any help appreciated. Best wishes.
John W. Howard

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tigre
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Re: Tannenberg

Post by tigre » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:24 am

Hello to all :D; not an OoB but an interesting article instead.................

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 the evening of 23 August the army commander decided to move the I Reserve Corps and the XVII Corps to the vicinity of Allenstein against the Russian Second Army. This left the fortress reserve Konigsberg, and the 2d Landwehr Brigade, a total of one and one-half infantry divisions, the 1st Cavalry Division, and local guards for the protection of the Eighth Army against the Russian First Army (Rennenkampf).

The 1st Cavalry Division had had a strenuous time. It had been used for protection of the border, employed on reconnaissance missions, and had taken part in the battle of Gumbinnen. During this battle the division had covered approximately 120 miles, and was located on 20 August in rear of the Russian line, out of touch With the Eighth Army. For that reason this unit did not receive a copy of the withdrawal order.

Not until 8:00 PM, 21 August, did the 1st Cavalry (reinforced by the 2d Battalion of Jagers) regain contact with its Army, and that was after the latter had broken contact with the enemy. On 22 August it reached Insterburg over roads choked with fugitives. The Russians had at last discovered the withdrawal of the Germans, but expected renewed resistance along the Angerapp. The most dangerous unit as far as the 1st Cavalry Division was concerned was the Russian Cavalry Corps under Khan Hussein, which was resting in the area: Spullen-Kussen.

On 22 August the 1st Cavalry Division received orders from army headquarters to screen and cover the move of the XVII Corps and the I Reserve Corps on the line: Darkehmen-Insterburg, and to locate the Russian First Army by reconnoitering towards the line: Possessern-Goldap-Stalluponen-Mallwischken.

In accordance with these orders, the 1st Cavalry Division moved to JodIauken on 23 August. The condition of the division is best illustrated by its telephonic message to army head-quarters on noon that day: "The 1st Cavalry Division has been without Jägers since yesterday. Has had no rest in three weeks. Finally, it went through an attack and a three-day march. Shortage of water, no rations, no forage, horseshoes all consumed, horses exhausted. Only half normal combat effectiveness. Supplies essential, and several days of rest." On that day Rennenkampf advanced. His Cavalry Corps reached Grünheide, after crossing the lnster River. On the south, the Russian 1st Cavalry Division occupied Angerburg. Meanwhile the Reserve Konigsberg was covering the entrainment of the German I Corps at Norkitten.

On 24 August the 1st Cavalry Division started its withdrawal on Allenburg, contrary to army orders.

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).
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Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Tannenberg

Post by tigre » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:16 pm

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).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Tannenberg

Post by tigre » Fri Nov 27, 2015 4:33 am

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).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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