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Second or Winter Battle of the Masurian Lakes

Winter on the Masurian Lakes of East Prussia. German forces launched the Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes in a blinding snowstorm.
Text:
Oestl. Kriegsschauplatz: Zur Masurenschlacht: An einem masurischen See
Eastern Theater of war: At the Masurian battle: On a Masurian Lake
Serie 1/4
Photogr. R. Sennecke
Reverse:
Ausgabe des Kriegsfürsorgeamtes Wien IX.
Kriegshilfe München N.-W. 19.
Zum Gloria-Viktoria Album
Sammel. u. Nachschlagewerk des Völkerkrieges
War Office Assistance Edition, Vienna IX
For Gloria Viktoria Album
Collection. and reference work of international war
War Fund Munich 11, N. W. 11

Winter on the Masurian Lakes of East Prussia. German forces launched the Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes in a blinding snowstorm.

Image text

Oestl. Kriegsschauplatz: Zur Masurenschlacht: An einem masurischen See

Eastern Theater of war: At the Masurian battle: On a Masurian Lake

Serie 1/4

Photogr. R. Sennecke



Reverse:

Ausgabe des Kriegsfürsorgeamtes Wien IX.

Kriegshilfe München N.-W. 19.

Zum Gloria-Viktoria Album

Sammel. u. Nachschlagewerk des Völkerkrieges



War Office Assistance Edition, Vienna IX

For Gloria Viktoria Album

Collection. and reference work of international war

War Fund Munich 11, N. W. 11

Other views: Larger

After defeat in the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes, the Russians had again advanced into East Prussia with the Tenth Army. The Second, or Winter, Battle of the Masurian Lakes was an attempt by Hindenburg and Ludendorff to sever the lines of communications between Vilna and Warsaw, and envelop the Russian Tenth Army using the German Eighth Army and the new Tenth Army.

The offensive began with a diversionary attack at Bolimov, west of Warsaw, on January 31 in which the German Ninth Army under Mackensen first used poison gas. Due to the cold the gas - 18,000 shells of xylyl bromide - had limited effect. The Russians did not report the use of gas to their Allies who would face it in Ypres in April. The Russian Second Army lost 40,000 men, many in a counterattack.

The Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes itself began on February 7. Attacking from the west in a blinding snowstorm, the German Eighth Army surprised the Russian Twelfth Army under Plehve and advanced. Russian artillery, more interested in saving their guns than infantrymen, fled, as they had done before and would again. The next day, on February 8, the new German Tenth Army attacked from the north, further surprising the Russians who had not known the Army existed.

In the following days, the Germans drove the Russians out of East Prussia, and by February 18, into the Forest of Augustow, threatening them with envelopment.

The Russian XX Corps prevented the encirclement of the Russian Tenth Army, allowing the three other corps to escape. The XX Corps surrendered on February 21. A Russian counterattack finally stopped the German advance on February 22.

In the battle, the Russians suffered 200,000 casualties, including 92,000 prisoners. Many of the German casualties were due to exposure.

1915-02-07

1915-02-22