- Lake Naroch Offensive
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict = Lake Naroch Offensive
partof = the Eastern Front during
World War I
March 18– April 1916
Lake Narach, present-day Belarus
result = German victory
combatant1 = flagicon|Russian Empire|size=25px
combatant2 = flagicon|German Empire|size=25px
Alexei Kuropatkin Alexei Evert
Hermann von Eichhorn
strength1 = Parts of two army groups (350,000 men, 1,000 guns)
strength2 = Tenth Army (75,000 men, 400 guns)
casualties1 = 100,000
casualties2 = 20,000
As the French situation there was becoming more and more severe, General Joffre appealed to the other Allies for a diversionary action someplace else in order to compel the Germans to withdraw part of their forces from Verdun.
Nicholas IIacceded to the French request, choosing the Lake Naracharea in Belarusbecause there 350,000 Russians (parts of two army groups) faced just 75,000 Germans (X Army under General Eichhorn).
The Russian initial artillery bombardment was quite long (it lasted two days), but inaccurate, leaving most of the Geman artillry intact, and the Russian troops, who made the mistake of crossing no man's land in groups rather than scattered about, were easy targets for German machine guns. The attackers gained a few kilometers, but did not inflict any serious damage to the German defenses — which were well organized and fortified — although the Russians greatly outnumbered their adversaries.
The Russian offensive petered out in April 1916. All gained territory by the Russians was lost to subsequent German counterattacks.A secondary attack mounted near
Rigaon March 21had no better luck.
The whole operation was an utter failure, as it abated the Russians' morale without providing any help to the French.
* [http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/lakenaroch.htm The Battle of Lake Naroch, 1916]
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