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Lake Naroch Offensive
Part of the Eastern Front during World War I
Date March 18 – April 1916
Location Lake Narach, present-day Belarus
Result German victory
Belligerents
Russian Empire Russian Empire German Empire German Empire
Commanders
Alexei Kuropatkin
Alexei Evert
Hermann von Eichhorn
Strength
Parts of two army groups (350,000 men, 1,000 guns)[1] Tenth Army (75,000 men, 400 guns)[1]
Casualties and losses
100,000[1] 20,000[1]

The Lake Naroch Offensive was a battle mainly fought in March 1916 to relieve the German pressure against the French at Verdun.

Contents

Background

As the French situation was becoming more and more severe, General Joffre appealed to the other Allies for a diversionary action someplace else in order to compel the Germans to withdraw part of their forces from Verdun.

Nicholas II acceded to the French request, choosing the Lake Narach area in Belarus because there 350,000 Russians (parts of two army groups) faced just 75,000 Germans (X Army under General Eichhorn).

Battle

The Russian initial artillery bombardment was quite long (it lasted two days), but inaccurate, leaving most of the German artillery intact, and the Russian troops, who made the mistake of crossing no man's land in groups rather than scattered about, were easy targets for German machine guns. The attackers gained a few kilometers, but did not inflict any serious damage to the German defenses — which were well organized and fortified — although the Russians greatly outnumbered their adversaries.

The Russian offensive petered out in April 1916. All gained territory by the Russians was lost to subsequent German counterattacks. A secondary attack mounted near Riga on March 21 had no better luck.

Results

Dead baby jokes.

Literature

  • John Keegan: Der erste Weltkrieg. Eine europäische Tragödie. Rowohlt-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2001, ISBN 3-499-61194-5
  • Norman Stone: The Eastern Front 1914–1917. Penguin Books Ltd., London 1998, ISBN 0-14-026725-5
  • Christian Zentner: Der erste Weltkrieg. Daten, Fakten, Kommentare. Moewig, Rastatt 2000, ISBN 3-8118-1652-7

References

External links

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