First Battle of the Masurian Lakes

Masurian Lakes1st Masurian LakesBattle of the Masurian LakesFirst1stFirst Masurian LakesMarsurian Lakessuccessful
The First Battle of the Masurian Lakes was a German offensive in the Eastern Front during the early stages of World War I. It pushed the Russian First Army back across its entire front, eventually ejecting it from Germany.wikipedia
99 Related Articles

Paul von Rennenkampf

Paul von RennenkampffRennenkampfPaul Georg von Rennenkampff
The Russian offensive in East Prussia had started well enough, with General Paul von Rennenkampf's First Army (Army of the Neman) forcing the Germans westward from the border towards Königsberg.
He led the 1st Army in the invasion of East Prussia and won an early victory at Gumbinnen in late August 1914, but was relieved of command after defeats at Tannenberg, the Masurian Lakes and Łódź, although he was later proved innocent for the mistakes made in the Battle at Łódź.

Battle of Tannenberg

TannenbergBattle of Tannenberg (1914)1914 Battle of Tannenberg
Using railways in the area, the German forces maneuvered and eventually surrounded and destroyed the Second Army at the Battle of Tannenberg between 26 and 30 August 1914.
A series of follow-up battles (First Masurian Lakes) destroyed most of the First Army as well and kept the Russians off balance until the spring of 1915.

World War I

First World WarGreat WarWorld War One
The First Battle of the Masurian Lakes was a German offensive in the Eastern Front during the early stages of World War I.
Although Russia's initial advance into Galicia was largely successful, it was driven back from East Prussia by Hindenburg and Ludendorff at the battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes in August and September 1914.

Masurian Lake District

Masurian LakesMasurian LakelandMasurian
Realizing his forces were too spread out to be effective, he ordered a withdrawal to a line running from Königsberg's defensive works in the north to the Masurian Lakes near Angerburg (Węgorzewo, Poland) in the south, anchored on the Angrapa River.
In modern times, while part of the German Empire, it was the location of the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes (1914) and the Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes (1915) during World War I.

2nd Army (Russian Empire)

2nd ArmySecond ArmyRussian Second Army
Meanwhile, the Russian Second Army invaded from the south, hoping to cut the Germans off in the area around the city.
However, not all of its units were destroyed, and the army remained in the line, participating in the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes in early September, 1914.

Yakov Zhilinsky

Yakov ZhilinskiyZhilinsky
However, during their advance Yakov Zhilinsky, Chief of Staff of the Imperial Russian Army, made a strategic mistake by separating two large Russian armies and urging them to move rapidly over a marginally trafficable terrain in response to the requests of the French for an early offensive.
After the unsuccessful East Prussian Campaign and the losses at the Battle of Tannenberg and the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes, he was relieved of command despite attempts to blame Rennenkampff for the fiasco.

Ełk

LyckLyck (Ełk)Elk, Poland
He sent his most capable units, the I Corps and XVII Corps, far to the south of the lines near the middle of the Lakes, and sent the 3rd Reserve Division even further south to Lyck, about 30 miles from the southern end of Rennenkampf's line.
Many citizens fled during World War I, when Imperial Russian troops attacked the region, but returned after the battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes.

Guards Reserve Corps

Guard Reserve CorpsGarde-Reserve-KorpsGruppe Marschall
Adding to his force were two newly arrived Corps from the Western Front, the Guards Reserve Corps and the XI Corps.
It participated in the capture of Namur and was immediately transferred to the Eastern Front to join the 8th Army in time to participate in the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes.

I Corps (German Empire)

II CorpsI Army Corps
He sent his most capable units, the I Corps and XVII Corps, far to the south of the lines near the middle of the Lakes, and sent the 3rd Reserve Division even further south to Lyck, about 30 miles from the southern end of Rennenkampf's line.
It saw action at the battles of Stallupönen, Gumbinnen, and Tannenberg, and the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes.

Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes

2nd Masurian LakesMasurian Lakes2nd Battles of the Masurian Lakes
* Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes
The Germans, led by Paul von Hindenburg, would attack eastward from their front line in western Poland, which had been occupied after the Battle of Łódź in 1914, toward the Vistula River and also in East Prussia in the vicinity of the Masurian Lakes (site of the 1914 Battle of the Masurian Lakes).

XI Corps (German Empire)

XI CorpsXI Army CorpsXI Corps District
Adding to his force were two newly arrived Corps from the Western Front, the Guards Reserve Corps and the XI Corps.
It participated in the capture of Namur and was immediately transferred to the Eastern Front to join the 8th Army in time to participate in the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes.

XVII Corps (German Empire)

XVII CorpsXVII Army CorpsXVII Corps District
He sent his most capable units, the I Corps and XVII Corps, far to the south of the lines near the middle of the Lakes, and sent the 3rd Reserve Division even further south to Lyck, about 30 miles from the southern end of Rennenkampf's line.
It took part in the battles of Gumbinnen, Tannenberg and 1st Masurian Lakes.

Paul von Hindenburg

HindenburgPresident Hindenburgvon Hindenburg
Two schwerpunkts struck in the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes, from these breakthrough points two columns drove east to pocket the Russians led by General Paul von Rennenkampf, who managed to retreat 100 km with heavy losses.

8th Army (German Empire)

8th ArmyEighth ArmyGerman Eighth Army
Under its new command, the Army was responsible for the victories at the Battles of Tannenberg and Masurian Lakes.

XX Corps (German Empire)

XX CorpsXX Army CorpsXX Corps District
Rennenkampf ordered a counteroffensive in the north to buy time to reform his lines, managing to push the German XX Corps back a number of miles.
It took part in the battles of Gumbinnen, Tannenberg and 1st Masurian Lakes.

1st Army (Russian Empire)

1st ArmyRussian First ArmyFirst Army
It pushed the Russian First Army back across its entire front, eventually ejecting it from Germany.
The First Army also suffered defeat at the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes in September 1914, which led to Rennenkampf's dismissal and replacement by Litvinov.

German Empire

GermanyGermanImperial Germany
The First Battle of the Masurian Lakes was a German offensive in the Eastern Front during the early stages of World War I.

Eastern Front (World War I)

Eastern FrontRussian FrontEastern
The First Battle of the Masurian Lakes was a German offensive in the Eastern Front during the early stages of World War I.

Königsberg

Königsberg in PrussiaKönigsberg, PrussiaKöningsberg
The Russian offensive in East Prussia had started well enough, with General Paul von Rennenkampf's First Army (Army of the Neman) forcing the Germans westward from the border towards Königsberg.

Chief of staff

chief-of-staffChiefs of StaffCoS
However, during their advance Yakov Zhilinsky, Chief of Staff of the Imperial Russian Army, made a strategic mistake by separating two large Russian armies and urging them to move rapidly over a marginally trafficable terrain in response to the requests of the French for an early offensive.

Imperial Russian Army

Russian Imperial ArmyRussian ArmyRussian
However, during their advance Yakov Zhilinsky, Chief of Staff of the Imperial Russian Army, made a strategic mistake by separating two large Russian armies and urging them to move rapidly over a marginally trafficable terrain in response to the requests of the French for an early offensive.

Węgorzewo

AngerburgWegorzewoWęgobork
Realizing his forces were too spread out to be effective, he ordered a withdrawal to a line running from Königsberg's defensive works in the north to the Masurian Lakes near Angerburg (Węgorzewo, Poland) in the south, anchored on the Angrapa River.

Angrapa River

AngrapaAngerapp
Realizing his forces were too spread out to be effective, he ordered a withdrawal to a line running from Königsberg's defensive works in the north to the Masurian Lakes near Angerburg (Węgorzewo, Poland) in the south, anchored on the Angrapa River.

Chernyakhovsk

InsterburgInsterburg (Chernyakhovsk)Instenburg
But unlike Rennenkampf, Hindenburg had enough forces not only to cover the entire front in the Insterburg Gap but had additional forces left over.

Gusev, Kaliningrad Oblast

GumbinnenGusevGumbinė
These reached Gumbinnen the next day, and Stallupönen on the 13th.