Guns of August, Chapters 15-16

Our attention now turns toward the Eastern Front with two chapters on the Russian offensive into East Prussia.  France depended upon her alliance with Russia and a Russian offensive into the strategically and symbolically important region of East Prussia.  German strategy depended upon a quick victory over France before Russia was able to mobilize.  What the Germans did not expect was Russia’s unwillingness to abide by a German schedule, and the “Russian steamroller” was set in motion before expected.  The results would be decisive, not least in the rise of the team that would wield de facto rule over Germany by the end of the war, Paul von Hindenberg and Erich Ludendorff (prior to his less-than-heroic role in the Beer Hall Putsch.)

Chapter 15

Why was Russian participation on the Eastern Front essential to the Allies?

What was the Russian war plan?  What were the weaknesses of the Russian Army going on the offensive?

Chapter 16

What changes took place in the German command on the eastern front, and with what consequences?

What did the outcome of the Battle of Tannenberg signify?


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