The Eastern Front in 1914-1915

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13. September 1915

In the beginning if the war, Russian forces invaded Eastern-Prussia, but under the leadership of Paul von Hindenburg, the II Russian Army was practically destroyed in the Battle of Tannenberg, on August 13-18, 1914. 90,000 men were surrounded, majority of them imprisoned.

German troops pushed the Russians back behind the borders. In the beginning of 1915, the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary) rallied more than half of their forces to the Eastern Front and launched a swift assault.

In February, Russian forces were destroyed in Augustów woods, in Masuria, and most of Lithuania was captured by the end of March.

By May, German troops had reached Courland, capturing the towns of Liepaja and Ventspili.

In August, the capital of Courland, Jelgava, fell, and the front in the Baltic became stable in September 1915. The war had reached Estonia. Part of the offices of the Governorate of Livonia were evacuated to Southern Estonia, mainly to Valka and Tartu.

Sources: Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005
Õie Elango, Ants Ruusmann ja Karl Siilivask. Eesti maast ja rahvast: Maailmasõjast maailmasõjani. Tallinn: Olion, 1998
Eesti ajalugu: kronoloogia. Tallinn: Olion, 2007
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006.                                                                                                     Image sources:

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