Fire and Ice: A Barbarossa 1905 TL

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Chapter 8

Colmar Freiherr von der Goltz had almost been right. Almost. When he had confidently predicted that Russia had no more reserves to spare, he had nearly spoken the truth. As a matter of fact, it would have been the truth had it not been for the desperation of the Russian Czar and the decisiveness of General Alexei Brusilov, who had been appointed head of all the forces opposing Operation Typhoon in November, following the collapse of the Northwestern Front.

Brusilov used the rasputitsa well. Gambling correctly that the power of German Army Group North’s attack indicated that Army Group Center must have been weakened substantially, he first ordered the transfer of two of the armies of Russia’s own Western Front to Estonia opposite Kluck’s spear-heads. He then reinforced the battered Northwestern Front as best he could. With these forces he was able to bring Typhoon to a halt in late December, just miles from its objective. It was this success that gave him the credibility to make his next request.

“Your Majesty,” he said “I request the transfer to the European theater of 200,000 troops from the Far East, with which to take the offensive.”

“That,” replied Nicholas II “would mean certain loss in the Far East next year.”

“Regrettable indeed,” the general responded “but as long as the Germans remain as close to Tallinn as they are now, we can be secure. At this moment we have an opportunity we may never have again. The enemy’s advance, so far from his centers of supply, has exhausted him and nullified his greatest advantage, his superiority of artillery, for want of ammunition. But these opportunities are perishable, and diminish the longer we wait. If we strike now, we can perhaps win the victory we need to open the way to a negotiated settlement. But I must have those 200,000, and cannot proceed otherwise. If we let this chance slip, we will not have another.”

It took a moment for the Emperor of Russia to make a up his mind. Finally, with a heavy heart, he nodded, “very well.”

The transfer to European from Asian Russia of the 200,000 troops went largely unnoticed by the intelligence of Japan and the Central Powers. It was not the first time that such a failure had occurred. It would not be the last.

Recognizing that it was the German armies nearer the Baltic Sea that were better supplied, Brusilov, in an unexpected move, decided to commit the main thrust of the counteroffensive not against Army Group North but against the reduced Army Group Center. If Moltke’s force could be compelled to withdraw, he believed, so would Kluck rather than leave his flank open, and it was against the former that the Siberian forces, by now practically the only intact force of the pre-June Russian Army, were committed. Nevertheless, during the Battle of Tallinn, Russia enjoyed no great numerical superiority over Germany. To overcome this, Brusilov massed his attacking divisions at critical points, such as the boundaries between enemy units, gambling correctly that the Germans, at the end of their logistical tether, would be unable to exploit the resulting gaps in his own lines.

By January 5th, all was in readiness. At dawn on the 6th, the Kaiser’s exhausted men awoke to a brief, hour-long, but tellingly accurate bombardment. It consumed ammunition stocks which the STAVKA had been hoarding for months, but it did what it had to. Then five Russian armies went over to the attack. For three days fierce, desperate fighting raged up and down the line in the bitter cold. Brusilov had been right in his belief that the German artillery lacked adequate supplies, and its crucial support was lacking. Late on the third day, Helmuth von Moltke was forced to inform von der Goltz that the breaches in his lines had become unmanageable, and requested permission to withdraw. It was granted. von Kluck attempted stubbornly to hold his position for a few more days, but had to follow suit thereafter as his right became increasingly exposed. The Reichsheer had tasted defeat.
 
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Well for now Russia is on the go. How long can they sustain their attacks? Will Germany be able to withdraw their troops in time or will capture enough to give the Germans a setback?
 
I doubt that we are going to see a Russian invasion of Germany. Yes, Russia defeated the Germans but a victorious battle is not the same thing that a victorious war. Russia is incredible weakned by its initial war with Japan and now with the German invasion.

The real question is what the Germans are going to do now. The best they can do is lending aid to Army Group North to ensure they still control the Baltics, which could help in lauching a siege upon Saint Petersburg.
 
The Wehrmacht had tasted defeat.

iWKad22.jpg
 
Wehrmacht is indeed not correct. Afaik the term was used when the nazis took over.

Brusilov himself said that he hopes for a negotiated peace after he got his victory. A victory in this war is impossible for the russians. They can only hope to evade complete defeat. Even with this victory, they will loose quite a lot. Definitely poland and maybe lithuania and parts of Ukraine as well. If the war goes on, it is only a matter of time until russia brakes down completely.
 
And before the author asks us why we are so aggressive in nitpicking over one word, my reason, and I suspect the reason of some others, is that "Wehrmacht" describes a Nazi German military force, and when you use the name for a Nazi German military force to name or describe an Imperial German military force, people (Imperial Germanophiles in particular) start to believe that you are drawing parallels between or even equating Imperial Germany with Nazi Germany, which will stick in people's cares for obvious reasons.
 
I don't know about anyone else, but I myself am rooting for the competitively tolerant, semi meritocratic constitutional monarchy over the xenophobic, chauvinistic absolute monarchy. Hiel I'm der siegerkranz!
 
I never meant to imply Russia would invade Germany. Just maybe capture German troops, supplies, and trains.
 
I don't know about anyone else, but I myself am rooting for the competitively tolerant, semi meritocratic constitutional monarchy over the xenophobic, chauvinistic absolute monarchy. Hiel I'm der siegerkranz!

So the UK conquers the world and frees it from the Yoke of Russia, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottomans? :p
 
*Evilly laughs as all of his predictions come true...*

MWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! MAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!:D


Ok now that's out of my system...:p

The Germans are reeling back firm their defeat, but yeah, they won't invade Germany:(...yet!;)

The AGN is now retreating back along with AGC, but how will AGS deal with having to retreat and give up all of their hard-won gains? Especially since the AHs will probably not follow the Germans as quickly, so some might get lapeft behind.


Oohhhhh what if the Russian offensive slams into the flank of the Austrian-Hungarians as they're withdrawing, routing them?

Hehehehehehehehehehehe!!!!!!:cool:


GO MOTHER RUSSIA GOGOGOGOGOGOGOGOGO!!!!!!
 
I doubt that we are going to see a Russian invasion of Germany. Yes, Russia defeated the Germans but a victorious battle is not the same thing that a victorious war. Russia is incredible weakned by its initial war with Japan and now with the German invasion.

Honestly I doubt Russia can even throw the Germans back over the Divna, much less invade any part of Germany. At least not in the era when it barely survived a near collapse of central authority.

The real question is what the Germans are going to do now. The best they can do is lending aid to Army Group North to ensure they still control the Baltics, which could help in lauching a siege upon Saint Petersburg.

Crush the Russians on all other fronts. Brusilov can't be everywhere.
 

BooNZ

Banned
What are the Ottomans doing while this is going on? After all, was not Wilhelm II a self professed defender of the Muslim faith?

Also, if Germany took the effort of keeping Japan in the fray (apparently fighting against empty trenches and sandbags), then discretely working with Sweden to advance Finland independence would be a cheap trick with a significant payback.
 
Fun fact: while the Wehrmacht as the official name of the German armed forces wasn't common until the 30s, the German laws of 1870 and later refer to the armed forces of Germany already as the German Wehrmacht, literally meaning defensive force.
 
OK, this has gone on long enough. I have changed 'Wehrmacht' to 'Reichsheer.'

@BooNZ The Ottomans are watching very carefully. If it looks like Russia is going to get defeated, they will certainly consider jumping in. The Germans are trying to advance Finnish independence, with more enthusiasm than for other groups, as they have no ambitions to rule Finland itself.

@machine3589 Indeed, the Germans are not going to pushed back farther than the Typhoon start line, as was the case with Zhukov's counteroffensive OTL.

@CommandoHowiezter I hope I haven't given the wrong impression here. AGS was never part of Operation Typhoon, and was not targeted by Brusilov's counterattack. As such, it has not advanced, not will it have to retreat.

@zert The fighting will continue for a bit, but the important thing is that the Germans have been thrown back from the approaches to Tallinn.

@norlag You are right that Russia has lost a lot of territory. As I said, the Germans have not been pushed back farther than where Typhoon began.

@tuxer As for what the Germans' next move will be... stay tuned.
 

BooNZ

Banned
Brusilov has made a significant strategic blunder. Rather than use those few remaining front line troops to organise the second and third tier formations, he has thrown them away in a largely symbolic counter offensive. After wintering with conveniently shorter supply lines, the Heer will return in Spring to face a poorly armed and organised/ led [at a unit level] second tier Russian formations with little (if any) artillery support. Brusilov may have been a brilliant General, but in this ATL there is little in the way of experienced heads between himself and a newly minted peasant army. OTL one of the significant advantages enjoyed by the Heer was the number and quality of their NCOs.

@BooNZ The Ottomans are watching very carefully. If it looks like Russia is going to get defeated, they will certainly consider jumping in.

How dead does that corpse need to be?

@machine3589 Indeed, the Germans are not going to pushed back farther than the Typhoon start line, as was the case with Zhukov's counteroffensive OTL.

That came decades later after vast increases in industrial capacity and dramatic improvements in literacy among the masses...
 
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