Eastern Front (World War I)

  • eastern front
    part of world war i
    eastern front (world war i).jpg
    clockwise from top left: soldiers stationed in the carpathian mountains, 1915; german soldiers in kiev, march 1918; the russian ship slava, october 1917; russian infantry, 1914; romanian infantry
    date
    • 17 august 1914 – 3 march 1918
      (3 years, 6 months and 2 weeks)
    location
    central and eastern europe
    result

    central powers victory

    • collapse of the russian empire leading to the russian revolution
    • treaty of brest-litovsk (ukraine), treaty of brest-litovsk (russia), treaty of bucharest
    • all treaties terminated after central powers' defeat in the western front
    belligerents
    central powers:
     german empire
     austria-hungary

     bulgaria (1916–17)
     ottoman empire (1916–17)
    allied powers:
     russian empire (1914-17)
     russian republic (1917)
     romania (1916–17)
     belgium (1915–17)
     british empire (1916–17)
     france (1916–17)
    soviet russia (1918)
    commanders and leaders
    • paul von hindenburg
    • erich ludendorff
    • leopold of bavaria
    • max hoffmann
    • conrad von hötzendorf
    • a. a. von straußenburg
    • nikola zhekov
    • nicholas ii
    • grand duke nicholas
    • aleksei brusilov
    • lavr kornilov
    • mikhail alekseyev
    • constantin prezan

    nikolai krylenko
    casualties and losses
    1,468,811:[1][2][3]
    173,858 killed
    1,151,153 wounded
    143,818 captured
    4,377,000:[4][5]
    730,000 dead
    2,172,000 wounded
    1,479,000 missing or captured
    45,000:[6][7]
    10,000 captured[8]
    30,250[9][10]
    total:
    5,900,000 casualties
    9,347,000:
    2,254,369 dead
    3,749,000 wounded
    3,343,900 captured[11][nb 1]
    535,700:[13]
    335,706 dead
    120,000 wounded
    80,000 captured
    total:
    ~9,900,000 casualties
    civilian deaths:
    2,000,000+
    russia:
    410,000 died due to military action
    730,000 died of war-related causes[14]
    kingdom of romania:
    130,000 died due to military action
    200,000 died of war-related causes[15]
    austria-hungary:
    120,000 civilians died due to military action
    467,000 civilians died of war-related causes[16]

    the eastern front or eastern theater of world war i (german: ostfront, russian: Восточный фронт, vostochny front) was a theater of operations that encompassed at its greatest extent the entire frontier between the russian empire and romania on one side and the austro-hungarian empire, bulgaria, the ottoman empire and the german empire on the other. it stretched from the baltic sea in the north to the black sea in the south, involved most of eastern europe and stretched deep into central europe as well. the term contrasts with "western front", which was being fought in belgium and france.

    during 1910, russian general yuri danilov developed "plan 19" under which four armies would invade east prussia. this plan was criticised as austria-hungary could be a greater threat than the german empire. so instead of four armies invading east prussia, the russians planned to send two armies to east prussia, and two armies to defend against austro-hungarian forces invading from galicia. in the opening months of the war, the imperial russian army attempted an invasion of eastern prussia in the northwestern theater, only to be beaten back by the germans after some initial success. at the same time, in the south, they successfully invaded galicia, defeating the austro-hungarian forces there.[17] in russian poland, the germans failed to take warsaw. but by 1915, the german and austro-hungarian armies were on the advance, dealing the russians heavy casualties in galicia and in poland, forcing it to retreat. grand duke nicholas was sacked from his position as the commander-in-chief and replaced by the tsar himself.[18] several offensives against the germans in 1916 failed, including lake naroch offensive and the baranovichi offensive. however, general aleksei brusilov oversaw a highly successful operation against austria-hungary that became known as the brusilov offensive, which saw the russian army make large gains.[19][20][21]

    the kingdom of romania entered the war in august 1916. the entente promised the region of transylvania (which was part of austria-hungary) in return for romanian support. the romanian army invaded transylvania and had initial successes, but was forced to stop and was pushed back by the germans and austro-hungarians when bulgaria attacked them in the south. meanwhile, a revolution occurred in russia in february 1917 (one of the several causes being the hardships of the war). tsar nicholas ii was forced to abdicate and a russian provisional government was founded, with georgy lvov as its first leader, who was eventually replaced by alexander kerensky.

    the newly formed russian republic continued to fight the war alongside romania and the rest of the entente until it was overthrown by the bolsheviks in october 1917. kerensky oversaw the july offensive, which was largely a failure and caused a collapse in the russian army. the new government established by the bolsheviks signed the treaty of brest-litovsk with the central powers, taking it out of the war and making large territorial concessions. romania was also forced to surrender and signed a similar treaty, though both of the treaties were nullified with the surrender of the central powers in november 1918.

  • geography
  • propaganda
  • initial situation in belligerent countries
  • russia prior to 1914
  • 1915
  • 1916
  • 1917
  • 1918
  • armistice
  • role of women on the eastern front
  • prisoners of war in russia
  • disease on the eastern front
  • casualties
  • territorial changes
  • see also
  • notes
  • references
  • external links

Eastern Front
Part of World War I
Eastern Front (World War I).jpg
Clockwise from top left: soldiers stationed in the Carpathian Mountains, 1915; German soldiers in Kiev, March 1918; the Russian ship Slava, October 1917; Russian infantry, 1914; Romanian infantry
Date
  • 17 August 1914 – 3 March 1918
    (3 years, 6 months and 2 weeks)
Location
Result

Central Powers victory

Belligerents
Central Powers:
 German Empire
 Austria-Hungary

 Bulgaria (1916–17)
 Ottoman Empire (1916–17)
Allied Powers:
 Russian Empire (1914-17)
 Russian Republic (1917)
 Romania (1916–17)
 Belgium (1915–17)
 British Empire (1916–17)
 France (1916–17)
Soviet Russia (1918)
Commanders and leaders

Nikolai Krylenko
Casualties and losses
1,468,811:[1][2][3]
173,858 killed
1,151,153 wounded
143,818 captured
4,377,000:[4][5]
730,000 dead
2,172,000 wounded
1,479,000 missing or captured
45,000:[6][7]
10,000 captured[8]
30,250[9][10]
Total:
5,900,000 casualties
9,347,000:
2,254,369 dead
3,749,000 wounded
3,343,900 captured[11][nb 1]
535,700:[13]
335,706 dead
120,000 wounded
80,000 captured
Total:
~9,900,000 casualties
Civilian deaths:
2,000,000+
Russia:
410,000 died due to military action
730,000 died of war-related causes[14]
Kingdom of Romania:
130,000 died due to military action
200,000 died of war-related causes[15]
Austria-Hungary:
120,000 civilians died due to military action
467,000 civilians died of war-related causes[16]

The Eastern Front or Eastern Theater of World War I (German: Ostfront, Russian: Восточный фронт, Vostochny front) was a theater of operations that encompassed at its greatest extent the entire frontier between the Russian Empire and Romania on one side and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and the German Empire on the other. It stretched from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south, involved most of Eastern Europe and stretched deep into Central Europe as well. The term contrasts with "Western Front", which was being fought in Belgium and France.

During 1910, Russian General Yuri Danilov developed "Plan 19" under which four armies would invade East Prussia. This plan was criticised as Austria-Hungary could be a greater threat than the German Empire. So instead of four armies invading East Prussia, the Russians planned to send two armies to East Prussia, and two armies to defend against Austro-Hungarian forces invading from Galicia. In the opening months of the war, the Imperial Russian Army attempted an invasion of eastern Prussia in the northwestern theater, only to be beaten back by the Germans after some initial success. At the same time, in the south, they successfully invaded Galicia, defeating the Austro-Hungarian forces there.[17] In Russian Poland, the Germans failed to take Warsaw. But by 1915, the German and Austro-Hungarian armies were on the advance, dealing the Russians heavy casualties in Galicia and in Poland, forcing it to retreat. Grand Duke Nicholas was sacked from his position as the commander-in-chief and replaced by the Tsar himself.[18] Several offensives against the Germans in 1916 failed, including Lake Naroch Offensive and the Baranovichi Offensive. However, General Aleksei Brusilov oversaw a highly successful operation against Austria-Hungary that became known as the Brusilov Offensive, which saw the Russian Army make large gains.[19][20][21]

The Kingdom of Romania entered the war in August 1916. The Entente promised the region of Transylvania (which was part of Austria-Hungary) in return for Romanian support. The Romanian Army invaded Transylvania and had initial successes, but was forced to stop and was pushed back by the Germans and Austro-Hungarians when Bulgaria attacked them in the south. Meanwhile, a revolution occurred in Russia in February 1917 (one of the several causes being the hardships of the war). Tsar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate and a Russian Provisional Government was founded, with Georgy Lvov as its first leader, who was eventually replaced by Alexander Kerensky.

The newly formed Russian Republic continued to fight the war alongside Romania and the rest of the Entente until it was overthrown by the Bolsheviks in October 1917. Kerensky oversaw the July Offensive, which was largely a failure and caused a collapse in the Russian Army. The new government established by the Bolsheviks signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Central Powers, taking it out of the war and making large territorial concessions. Romania was also forced to surrender and signed a similar treaty, though both of the treaties were nullified with the surrender of the Central Powers in November 1918.