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By Quincy Wright

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44 The lessons for the Russians were clear but increasingly painful. 45 Significant ammunition deficiencies emerged in the first battles, and these legendary shortages would grow much worse before they got better in late 1915. The story for soldiers in the first year of war was of increasing concern. They spent too many days being shelled without seeing enough shells going the other way. They had too many rifles without bullets and men without rifles. The army overcame some of these problems when battling the Austro-Hungarian army, but the combination of shortage and poor leadership proved bitter very early on for those in East Prussia.

Arriving on the scene, Hindenburg and Ludendorff discovered that the Russian army was rather less formidable in the staff room than it was in the field. Coordination between the First and Second Armies had broken down, with the First Army refusing to follow up its victory at Gumbinnen by chasing the Germans and the Second Army bulging dangerously deep in the center of the line. The opportunity presented by these failures of command was too clear and too tempting to pass up. Moving forces quickly from Gumbinnen to the southwest, the Eighth Army attacked the exposed flank of the Russian Second Army, encircled it, and took most of its soldiers prisoners on 16/29 August.

48 J. Y.

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A study of war, vol.1 by Quincy Wright


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