Collision of Empires: The War on the Eastern Front in 1914.pdf
Prit Buttar studied medicine in Oxford and London before joining the British Army as a doctor. After leaving the army, he has worked as a GP (General Practitioner), first near Bristol and now in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. He is extensively involved in medical politics, both at the local and national level, and serves on the GP's Committee of the British Medical Association. He appears from time to time on local and national TV and radio, speaking on a variety of medical issues. He contributes regularly to the medical press. An expert on the Eastern Front during both world wars, he previously wrote the critically acclaimed Battleground Prussia: The Assault on Germany's Eastern Front 1944-45 (Osprey 2010). The author lives in Oxford, England.
Introduction Part 1: Preparing for war The German War Machine The development of the German Army, and the Schlieffen Plan; the advent of Moltke the Younger, and his modifications of the plan; the impact of political and strategic concerns (such as the development of the High Seas Fleet) on preparation for a land war The Russian Steamroller The impact of the Russo-Japanese War; the modernisation of the Russian Army; conflict between reformers and conservatives; faction-fighting within the Russian Army; Russian plans for a war against the Central Powers The Austro-Hungarian Empire: The Other Sick Man of Europe The creation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; the resulting tensions between Vienna and Budapest; the political wrangles that led to the failure to develop the army adequately prior to the First World War; confusion about war aims, with conflicting requirements for possible war in the Balkans and against Russia; the Redl spy scandal; the central role of Conrad von Hotzendorf Part 2: The War Begins Over the brink Mobilisation, and the key part that it played in shaping the campaigns that followed Dreams of a quick victory The Russian advance into East Prussia and the fighting around Gumbinnen; tensions between Samsonov and Rennenkampf; the advent of Hindenburg and Ludendorff; Tannenberg; the Russian-Austrian clashes in Galicia; the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes Lost opportunities The failure to capitalise on the German successes in East Prussia; the rapid collapse of Austrian forces in Galicia; the German attack towards Warsaw, and its defeat; initial Russian advance to the Carpathians and across the Polish plain No peace by Christmas The Russian advance to the west and southwest, and the reasons for its failure; the German counterattack at Lodz
Imperial Germany, Hapsburg Austria-Hungary, and Tsarist Russia clashed on a scale greater than the Western Front campaign to the Marne and the Race to the Sea in 1914.
Drawing on first-hand accounts and detailed archival research, this is a dramatic retelling of the the tumultuous events of the first year of World War I on the Eastern Front, with the battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes in East Prussia, followed by the Russo-Austrian clashes in Galicia and the failed German advance towards Warsaw.
With the centenary of the start of World War I in 2014, Collision of Empires is a timely re-discovery of the bitter fighting on this forgotten front. The fighting that raged from East Prussia, through occupied Poland, to Galicia and the Carpathian Mountains was every bit as bloody as comparable battles in Flanders and France, but - with the exception of Tannenberg - remains relatively unknown. As was the case in the West, generals struggled to reconcile their pre-war views on the conduct of operations and how to execute their intricate strategic plans with the reality of war. Lessons were learned slowly while the core of trained personnel, particularly officers and NCOs, in the armies of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia suffered catastrophic losses throughout 1914. Inadequacies in supply and support arrangements, together with a failure to plan for a long war, left all three powers struggling to keep up with events. In addition, the Central Powers had to come to terms with the dreaded reality of a war on two fronts: a war that was initially seen by all three powers as a welcome opportunity to address both internal and external issues, would ultimately bring about the downfall of them all. Prit Buttar, author of Battleground Prussia, provides a magisterial account of the chaos and destruction that reigned when three powerful empires collided.