Russia and the Great War
1914 - The Storm Breaks
This section will focus on a the events of the Great War, as well as the costs in men and equipment. It was the most devastating conflict the world ever engaged in up to that point. The war would sap the strength of the massive Russian military machine, and plunge the nation into revolution.
With few exceptions noted in parenthesis, all dates given below are according to the Gregorian Calendar that was used by most of the world during this period. Additionally, the dates below are color coded depending on where the selected event took place. All dates in Black took place in Europe, while naval actions will be highlighted in Dark Blue, actions that took place in the Caucasus and Asia will be highlighted in Brown.
History and Battles
of the Great War
|Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg are assassinated in Serajevo.|
The secretary of the Legation at Belgrade sends a
message to Vienna suggesting Serbian involvement in the assassination.
Anti-Serbian riots take place throughout Bosnia.
|4 July||Funeral of Archduke Ferdinand at Artstetten.|
|9 July||Emperor of Austria-Hungary receives a report of the assassination investigation|
|10 July||Russian Minister to Serbia, M. Hartwig, dies suddenly at the Austrian Legation in Belgrade.|
|13 July||Reports of projected Serbian attack on the Austro-Hungarian Legation.|
|15 July||In the Hungarian Chamber Count Tisza states that relations with Serbia 'must be cleared up'.|
Reports reach Austria-Hungary that Serbia has called up
70,000 reservists and is preparing for war.
French president Poincare leaves Paris to visit Tsar Nicholas.
|19 July||A press scare concerning the 'Greater Serbia conspiracy' surfaces in Austria-Hungary.|
Tsar Nicholas welcomes President Poincare in Kronstadt.
Austria-Hungary begins preparations on Serbian frontier.
Austria-Hungary holds conferences at Ischl and Budapest
to discuss the Serbian situation.
The great Revolutionary Strike begins in Russia.
|23 July||Austria-Hungary presents Serbia with an ultimatum and demands an answer to it within 48 hours.|
|24 July||Serbia makes an appeal to the Tsar and the Russian Duma meets to discuss the problem.|
Austria-Hungary refuses the Russian request to extend
the deadline of the ultimatum.
Serbia orders a mobilization.
Russia plans to mobilize its 13th Corps along the Austro-Hungarian frontier if that nation moves against Serbia.
Germany does not believe that Russia will fight, but
threatens to mobilize if Russia does not stop its plans to
mobilize. Germany also asks France and Britain to stop Russia's
Austria begins to mobilize its 8th Corps along the Russian frontier.
Russia declares that it will mobilize if Austria crosses the Serbian frontier.
|27 July||Tsar sends message to Belgrade stating that Russia cannot be indifferent to the fate of Serbia. He also proposes to talk with government in Vienna about Serbia.|
Noon - Austria declares war on Serbia. Also
states that they want no mediation attempts but has no quarrel with
Russia states that it will order the full mobilization of its Southern Corps the following day. Also states that it has no aggressive intentions against Germany.
Kaiser William states that he will use his influence with Austria to resolve the situation.
Russia mobilizes its Southern Corps and states that
England must take the lead in diplomacy to resolve the situation.
Russia is informed by Germany that a partial mobilization would most likely lead to a war with Germany. Russia therefore decides on a full mobilization.
Austrians bombard Belgrade that afternoon. Austrians fail to cross the Danube between Belgrade and Gradishte.
At 11:00 that night Tsar Nicholas attempts to stop the Russian mobilization.
At 2:00am Russia proposes to Germany that it will stop
mobilizing if Austria removes conditions of its ultimatum involving
Lokal Anzeiger announces German mobilization, but it is officially contradicted soon after, but only after it has been sent to St. Petersburg.
Russians learn of Austrian mobilization and decide on a full mobilization.
Russians begin the full mobilization.
Austria also announces a full mobilization.
Germany declares imminent danger of war and will mobilize if Russia does not stop all military measures within 12 hours. Also sends a message of her intentions towards Russia to France and demands to know within 18 hours if France will remain neutral.
Turkey begins mobilizing.
Tsar Nicholas receives message from King George of
England that Germany recommended British proposals to Austria on the
30th, but that Russian mobilization plans were reported during the
Austrian cabinet meeting.
Russia does not reply to German ultimatum that expired at noon.
French begin mobilization.
Germany begins mobilization at 5pm, declares war on Russia at 7:10pm falsely claiming that Russians had crossed the frontier and started the war.
Tsar Nicholas wires King George that he had to mobilize because of the Serbian situation, and though he promised not to move troops during the negotiations the Kaiser suddenly declared war.
In Russia Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaevitch is appointed to be supreme
commander of Russian army. STAVKA (supreme headquarters) is
established at Baranovitchi.
German forces invade Poland and occupy Bendzin, Chenstokhov, and Kalish.
Libau bombarded by German light cruiser 'Augsburg'.
Russian forces raid East Prussia near Schwidden
Skirmish between outposts near Libau.|
Tsar Nicholas is proclaimed the Generalissimo of all Russian forces.
Germany declares war on France.
British begin mobilization.
|6 August||Austrian forces attack Obrenovats in Serbia. The attack fails and Austrian forces are forced to retreat, losing many guns in the retreat.|
Russian 1st Army under General Rennenkampf crosses into
East Prussia in force.
Russian 9th Army begins assembling in Warsaw.
Bosnia entered by Serbian forces.
Russian 1st Army reaches Tilsit in East Prussia after
Austrian 1st Army under Dankl begins advance towards Lyublin and Kyeltsi in Poland.
|11 August||German ships 'Goeben' and 'Breslau' enter the Dardanelles after escaping from British ships.|
|13 August||Austrians invade Serbia and force their way across the River Drina.|
2nd Russian Army under General
Ruzsky crosses the frontier in Galicia. Defeats Austrians and captures
Austrians push Serbians back and take Loznitsa.
Russian armies advance through East Prussia.
Austrians capture Shabatz in Serbia, but Serbians halt the Austrian advance.
Russians defeat the Germans at Stalluponen.|
Germans fall back to Gumbinnen.
Russian Southern Army invades Galicia in three columns
following three rail lines converging on Lemberg.|
Russian 3rd Army under General Brusilov moves west through Tarnopol and Sereth valley. This threatens Austrian 2nd army.
Austrian advance into Poland is stopped near Kyeltsi.
Austrian forces in Serbia defeated in Shabats.
Battle of Gumbinnen|
Russian 1st army defeats German 1st Corps and occupy Gumbinnen, Goldap, and Lyck.
Ludendorff and Hindenburg take command of German forces in the region.
Russian 2nd Army under General Samsonov continues its
advance into East Prussia and occupies many cities over the next three
Russian 8th Army crosses into Austria-Hungary.
Russian forces evacuate Kyeltsi in Poland.
Serbian forces recover Shabats and Lornitz. Austrians are defeated at the River Drina.
Battle of Frankenau|
Russian army drives German forces back. Germans evacuate city of Insterburg in East Prussia.
Russian forces take Brody in Galicia.
Russian forces continue to advance into East Prussia.
Austrian army advances beyond Kyeltsi in Poland.
Russians defeated by Austrian 1st Army at Krasnik, then
begins advance towards Lyublin.
Austrian invasion of Serbia ends in total defeat.
Soldau is retaken by German forces in East Prussia.|
Battle of Tannenburg begins.
Operations begin against Lemberg in Galicia.
|27 August||Russian forces capture Halicz and Tarnopol.|
Austrian army is defeated by Russian forces at Lutzow.|
Russian army begins advance on Konigsberg.
|29 August||Battle of Tannenberg ends in the rout of General Samsonov's 2nd army.|
|30-31 August||Germans capture many Russian prisoners (including General Samsonov) after Tannenberg battle. General Rennenkampf is forced to withdraw to the border.|
|31 August||Russians break Austrian line near Halicz.|
Russian forces begin a general withdrawal from East
Prussia and move toward the River Bug.
Battle of Lemberg ends with rout of Austrian forces who lose 130,000 men. Russian 3rd Army takes the city.
|2 September||Russian forces stop the Austrian advance into Poland at Lublin.|
|3 September||Russian Southern Army captures Lemberg, the capital of Galicia.|
|4 September||In Galicia the Russian army begins to organize a government to control the conquered regions.|
|5 September||Austrian armies defeated at Tomashov, Poland by Russians.|
|6 September||Russians break the center of Austrian army under Dankl at Krasnostav.|
|6-12 September||Austrian and Russian forces begin Battle of Grodek in Galicia.|
|7 September||Russian cavalry reaches the Carpathian mountains.|
|8 September||Battle near Rava Russka in Galicia. Also in the region General Brusilov's army takes Mikolajow in the Carpathians.|
|10 September||Austrian Gen. Dankl is defeated in the Battle of Krasnik, while Archduke Joseph is defeated at Opole.|
Battles of Grodek and Rava Russka end with the total
defeat of Austrian forces. Grodek is captured by the Russians.
Austrians attempt to cross the San river in Poland under heavy fire.
|13 September||Russian forces end their retreat and turn and counterattack the Germans pursuing them. They defeat the Germans at Sredniki.|
|14 September||Russians cross the San river in pursuit of Dankl's Austrian army.|
|15 September||Russians occupy Czernowitz in Bukovina and prepare to meet the Germans on the river Niemen.|
|16 September||Russian advance towards Przemysl in Galicia.|
|18 September||Russians take Sandomierz in Poland.|
|20 September||Russians abandon Augustovo on the Prussian frontier, Germans lay siege to Osovyets.|
Germans reach the river Niemen on the Prussian frontier.|
Russian forces take Jaroslau in Galicia.
|22 September||Russian army approaches Przemysl.|
|24 September||Przemysl is occupied by the Russians.|
|25 September||Russian forces are driven across the river Niemen and begin defensive operations there.|
Battle of the Niemen and Seige of Osovyets|
In both cases the Germans are repulsed by Russian defenders.
Russian army occupies Rzeszov in Galicia.
|27 September||Russian army moves toward Krakow and the Carpathian passes.|
|28 September||In Galicia town of Krosno and Dukla Pass are taken by the Russians. Hungary is also raided by Russian cavalry formations.|
|29 September||German forces withdraw from Niemen and Osovyets.|
|30 September||In southwest Poland German forces entrench south of Kyeltsi.|
Battle of Augustovo.|
Russians recover Augustoveo and attack the retreating Germans.
|2 October||Russian army recovers Mariampol along East Prussian frontier.|
First joint Austrian-German operation begins with objective of taking
Warsaw. German forces assume overall command. The attack
makes rapid advances against the Russian center line. The force
eventually pushes the Russians back to the river San.
Russian raiders withdraw from Hungary.
|8 October||Lyck is taken by Russian forces in East Prussia.|
|9-29 October||Austro-German force approaches Ivangorod and begins a three week battle.|
Germans occupy Lodz.
Russians resume calavry raids against Dukla and Uzsok passes in Hungary.
Germans take Sochaczew in Poland.
In Galicia the Russian army is forced to end seige of Przemysl, Austrians also recover Jaroslau.
Russian cruiser 'Pallada' is sunk by German submarine in the Baltic.
|13 October||German army takes Lyck in East Prussia.|
Germans take Mlava.|
In Poland the Germans announce that the country is occupied up to the river Vistula.
First Battle for Warsaw.|
Fighting begins along the river Vistula as Germans advance to within seven miles of the city.
|16 October||Russians prepare to withdraw from Warsaw in the face of heavy assault.|
Russian reinforcements arrive at Warsaw and save the city from capture.
German cruiser 'Friedrich Carl' is sunk by a Russian mine.
|18 October||Austrian forces attempt to cross the river San and fail.|
|19 October||German army crosses the Vistula at Josefov and other locations.|
|20 October||Russian forces in Warsaw region begin to take the offensive as German attacks begin to weaken.|
Germans begin retreat from Warsaw.
Battle of Kasimiryev
Germans abandon the seige of Ivangorod.|
Russian army begin to harrass the German retreat and retake Jaroslau.
|25 October||German army is in full retreat across Poland.|
|27 October||Russians win battles along a line from Petrokov to Radom.|
Russians recover Lodz in Poland and defeat Austria at Sambor.
German warship 'Emden' appears at Penang and destroys Russian shipping including the cruiser 'Zhemchug'.
|29 October||Turkish fleet attacks Odessa, Novorossisk, and Theodosia. Russians lose several ships including a destroyer.|
At Bakalaryevo, Poland the Russian army defeats German forces.
The battle of the Vistula River ends with Russian troops under General Russki pushing General Hindenburg's forces back to their original positions. The battle cost the Germans 42,000 men.
|31 October||Russians occupy Czernowitz in Bukovina.|
|Late October||Russia has raised 82 infantry divisions against the Central Powers, with 16 more defending the Baltic and Black sea coasts.|
|1 November||Germans continue their retreat across Poland.|
|2 November||Russian army re-enters East Prussia.|
Joint Austro-German force is destroyed Kyeltsi, Poland by the Russian
Bayazid in Armenia is occupied by the Russians.
Austrians are defeated by the Russian army at Jaroslau. The
Russians take 19,000 prisoners and 40 guns.
Russians advance from the Caucasus and occupy Diadin in Armenia.
|5 November||German forces in Poland moves their headquarters back to Chenstokhov in face of Russian advance.|
|6 November||Austrians retreat towards Krakow.|
German warship 'Breslau' bombards Russian base at
Russians bombard Turkish ports in the Black Sea.
|8 November||Russians enter Eydtkuhnen and Stalluponen in east Prussia. Thay also advance into the Imperial Forest of Rominten.|
Germans in Poland evacuate Kalish and Chenstokhov. Silesia is
invaded by Russian cavalry. The German rail line is cut at
Battle of Koprukeui in Armenia.
|10 November||Russian army enters Goldap in East Prussia.|
|12 November||Russians occupy Miechow near Krakow, they also enter Przemysl region. Russian army enters Johannisburg in East Prussia.|
|13 November||Russian advance moves towards Thorn. In Galicia the Russian army occupies a line of Dunayets and threatens Krakow.|
|14 November||Germans halt Russian advance into East Prussia. German army launches powerful offensive along the Vistula from Thorn.|
Russians retreat in the face of the German offensive and take up
defensive positions from Gombin to Lodz.
'Breslau' is intercepted by Russian squadron, 'Goeben' moves in to support 'Breslau' and both ships escape Russians in fog.
|16 November||Germans overrun Russian rearguard at Kutno and Vlotslavek.|
Heavy fighting around Plotsk.
Russians begin to recover the Carpathian passes in Galicia.
Russian army defeated at Soldau in East Prussia.|
In Poland the Russians retreat towards Lovich.
Austro-German offensive into Galicia begins from Krakow.
Turkish offensive in Armenia forces Russians to retreat.
Libau on the Baltic is shelled by German ships.
'Goeben' and 'Breslau' are attacked by Russian squadron in the Black Sea. 'Goeben' is damaged.
|19 November||In Poland Gen. Mackensen captures Pointek and moves towards Lodz.|
|20 November||Germans begin attacks along Russian line from Lovich to Skiernievitse.|
|21 November||Germans attack Russian army at Lovich.|
Germans engaged in heavy fighting around Lodz.
Russians take 6,000 Austrian prisoners in Galicia along the Krakow-Chenstokhov line.
Russians take Koprukeui in Armenia.
|23 November||Russian line between Rzgov and Kolyushki is shattered by Germans under General Mackensen.|
|24 November||Arrival of Russian reinforcements helps stabilize the Russian line. Heavy fighting continues around Lodz and Strykov.|
Three German divisions are nearly encircled at Lodz, but escape due to
Russian cavalry again raids Hungary.
|26 November||Austrians in Bukovina again evacuate Czernowitz.|
Russians crush German army near Brzezany in Poland.
Carpathian passes are again secured by Russian army.
|29 November||Germans bombard Lodz.|
|30 November||Battle of Lodz increases in intensity.|
Fighting in suburbs of Lodz becomes intense.
Russians capture Sarai and Bashkai in Armenia.
|2 December||Russians capture Bartfeld in Hungary.|
|4 December||Russian army captures Vieliczka and resumes advance on Krakow.|
|6 December||Lodz is evacuated by Russian forces which pull back towards the Bzura-Ravka lines.|
Second Battle of Warsaw begins as Germans attack.
Russians attack East Prussia and also bombard the fortifications of Krakow.
|9 December||Heavy fighting around Mlava and Petrokov.|
|10 December||Austrians defeated near Krakow. Russian army takes 4,000 prisoners.|
|11 December||Russian army repels German attacks north of Lovich.|
|12 December||Austro-German counter offensive launches from Hungary. It takes the Dukla Pass and threatens Russian army at Krakow.|
|13 December||Battle for Krakow ends because of offensive from Hungary.|
|15 December||Heavy fighting around Sokhachev in Poland.|
|16 December||Russians end their retreat in Poland and prepare to defend a line from Bzura-Ravka-Pilitza some 30 miles southwest of Warsaw.|
German army occupies Petrokov in Poland.
Turks retake Koprukeui and begin to force Russian army back.
|18 December||Austrians recover Lupkow Pass over the Carpathians.|
|19 December||Austrian garrison in Przemysl launches desparate sortie but are repelled by Russians.|
Russians hold the Bzura-Ravka-Pilitza line
despite heavy German assaults.
In Galicia the Russian army begins to counterattack and recover the Carpathian passes.
Turks defeated by Russians near Lake Van.
|21 December||Germans fail to cross the Bzura in Poland.|
|22 December||A second Austrian sortie from Przemysl is repulsed by Russians.|
Germans manage to cross the Bzura at two points.
Russians lift siege of Krakow.
|24 December||Reports of Romanians uprising in Transylvania.|
|25 December||German army is driven back from the river Bzura. Russians defeat Austrians at Tarnow. These two events end the joint Austro-German offensive.|
|26 December||Germans abandon attempt to capture Warsaw by attacking across the river Bzura.|
|27 December||Russian army defeats Germans at Skiernevitse. Russian forces also occupy the Carpathian passes again.|
|28 December||German army in Poland is in retreat, but entrenches west of river Bzura.|
|29 December||Russian armies in Galicia force Austrian army to retreat.|
|30 December||Germans in Poland fight determined rearguard actions at Bolimov and Inovlodz.|
Austro-German forces in retreat in both Poland and Galicia.
Hungary is again raided by Russian cavalry from Carpathian passes.