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Battle of Allenstein by Zach Timmons

Author says: what if the Russian Steamroller delivered on the Eastern Front in September 1914? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

On September 16th, 1914: two Russian armies (1st and 2nd) smashed the German 8th Army at the Battle of Allenstein, thus realizing the worst fears of the German General Staff - a stalemate in the West, and a Slavic steamroller in the East.

Although the French had been pressing the Russians to speed up their mobilization in order to take pressure off of the Allies on the Western Front, the Russians stuck doggedly to their pre-war schedules, with the 1st Army advancing east from Vilnius, and the 2nd Army marching north from Warsaw, with their objective being either to destroy the German army or drive it into the defenses of Königsberg, rendering it useless. The 8th Army had no intention of fighting, however; their orders were to fall back towards the Vistula River, in order to avoid being flanked and wiped out.

After a defeat at the battle of Gumbinnen, the commander of the 8th, General von Prittwitz ordered the retreat; however either through miscommunication or deliberate inaction by their commander, his I Corps never fell back, and was annihilated at the Battle of Insterburg, with the remnants retreating into Königsberg. This, combined with a drive around the German right flank by the 2nd Army, enabled a brilliant pincer move by the Russians at Allenstein, leaving almost the whole of East Prussia defenseless. The German 9th Army raced east as a stopgap; this, combined with reinforcements from the Western Front, allowed the Germans to hold the line of the Vistula.

Along with the decisive victory in the battle of Lemberg, Russian morale soared, and although the Eastern Front would essentially remain on the Vistula-Carpathian line until the war's end in 1917, Russians wholeheartedly supported the conflict. A move by Germany late in the war to foment political unrest in Russia failed badly when their agent, V.I. Ulyanov, received little support and was quickly arrested and executed on arrival. At the Treaty of Krakow in 1918, Germany and Austria-Hungary were forced to cede large sections of their Polish territories, which the Russians used to create an independent Polish buffer state. By war's end, Russia's industrial base was one of the largest in the world, and it only continued to grow; by the time of the outbreak of the second Russo-Japanese War it had surpassed the United States for industrial supremacy.

Author says to view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site for Battle of Allenstein.

Other Stories by Zach Timmons

Balanced Ticket The Kreisau Circle Obituary of President Morrison

Zach Timmons, Guest Historian of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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