1915_0207_01s: The Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes - FWWC 02 East Prussia '14
1915_0207_01s: The Second Battle of the Masurian LakesBy Ed Williams
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|First Side:||Central Powers|
|Second Side:||Allied Powers|
East Prussia, 7th February 1915: After the Austro-Hungarian defeat in Galicia, and the failed counter attack in the Carpathians, von Hindenburg and Ludendorff expected that the decisive victory on the Eastern Front must occur in East Prussia. Their goal was to repeat the actions of the Battle of Tannenberg and cut off and destroy an entire Russian army, while at the same time expelling the Russians from their last remaining toe hold in Prussia. Both men set their sights on the Russian 10th Army, which was holding the extreme northern flank and was exposed, and they also had an overall goal of severing the Vilna-Warsaw rail line. The vulnerability of the Russian 10th Army was not lost on the Russians themselves; the army's commander, General Sievers, expressed concern to STAVKA that there was nothing preventing the destruction of his army should the Germans conduct a heavy offensive against him. These concerns were dismissed under the false assumptions that an attack was not imminent and that the newly forming Russian 12th Army was going to solve the problem by taking up 10th Army's vulnerable flank. However, the Germans planned to attack the Russian 10th Army in a massive double envelopment before the Russian 12th Army was fully formed. On February 7th, in a blinding snow storm, the Germans launched a surprise attack on both flanks of the Russian 10th Army. The attack was carried out by 8.Armee, and the newly formed 10.Armee, which the Russians were totally unaware of its existence. In this Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes, the Germans fought the harsh winter weather as much as the enemy, and in the end although they destroyed a large portion of the Russian 10th Army and permanently expelled the Russians from East Prussia, they would not get the decisive strategic victory they had hoped for. [Size: huge] *See the notes document for information on scenario design decisions and historical notes.