18/3/1916 Lake Naroch: Russia attacks Germany

The Germans are inflicting heavy casualties on the French at Verdun. In an effort to relieve this pressure the French have appealed to their allies to launch their own attacks on Germany and Austria-Hungary. After Italy’s recent failed Isonzo offensive it is now Russia’s turn. After a two day long artillery bombardment (the Eastern Front’s heaviest thus far), the Russians attack the Germans near Lake Naroch in Byelorussia. They have a numerical advantage in this sector of more than four to one.

The Russian attack makes some initial progress but soon bogs down. It turns out that the artillery bombardment, though heavy, has been wildly inaccurate, leaving many German positions intact. Their machine guns exact a heavy toll on the Russians. March is also revealed to be a bad time for military action in this part of the world, as the spring thaw has turned the ground into an immobilising quagmire. It does not look like the Russians will be making any major gains.

image source:

Russian soldiers attack (My States History)

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