World History

Battle of Tannenberg in World War I

One of the first significant conflicts of World War I was the Battle of Tannenberg. Between August 23 and August 30, 1914, it happened. The German army triumphed handily, demonstrating that with the right strategy and preparation, smaller troops could be defeated by larger ones.

The Battle of Tannenberg is known for what, exactly?

However, the winning German command chose to refer to the conflict as the Battle of Tannenberg for propaganda purposes even though it actually took place closer to the city of Allenstein than to Tannenberg. The German Teutonic Knights had been beaten in Tannenberg during the Middle Ages. They believed that by calling this victory after the city, the populace would interpret it as Germany regaining its dominance.

Who fought at the Battle of Tannenberg?

The German Eighth Army and the Russian Second Army engaged in combat at Tannenberg. Around 166,000 German and 206,000 Russian forces were present.

Who were the leaders on each side?

Alexander Samsonov, in charge of the Second Army, and Paul von Rennenkampf, in charge of the First Army, served as the Russian Army’s commanders. When Samsonov realised he had lost the struggle, he committed suicide. Due to Rennenkampf’s failure to coordinate his actions with Samsonov, Samsonov was left to face the Germans on his own, which contributed significantly to the Russian defeat.

Erich Ludendorff, Max Hoffman, and Paul von Hindenburg served as the German Army’s generals. Colonel Max Hoffman was the one who suggested the daring warfare strategies that enabled the Germans to prevail.

Leading up to the Battle

The Russian Army had been successfully occupying eastern Germany before to the fight. While the First Army attacked from the north, the Second Army attacked from the south-east. The German Eighth Army was to be encircled and obliterated. General Rennenkampf’s First Army, on the other hand, made the decision to take a brief break. The Second Army was exposed as a result.

The Battle

The Germans made the decision to attack the Russian Second Army with all of their troops. They were extremely vulnerable to a northward attack as a result, but they chose to take the chance. Trains were used to swiftly move troops throughout the area. German forces gathered in one location and launched a left flank assault on the Russian Second Army. The Russian Second Army quickly began to retreat when the Germans decisively beat the Russians.

The Germans followed and completely defeated the Russian Second Army. About 50,000 of the 206,000 Russian soldiers were killed or injured. 100,000 more people were imprisoned.


German forces were able to expel the Russian First Army from German territory after they routed the Second Army. The Russian Army did not entirely lose the war, but they were never allowed back into German territory.

Interesting details about the Tannenberg War

Unencrypted radio communications had to be used by the Russians for communication. These were simple for the Germans to intercept, allowing them to learn precisely what the Russians were preparing.

The two Russian generals did not get along, and the Germans were fully aware of this.

German troops from the western front were also sent to assist in the fight against the Russians. They failed to conquer France as a result of this, most certainly.

Colonel Hoffmann was the one who came up with the strategy to beat the Russians, but the German media hailed Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff as heroes.

Today, Poland includes the area where the fight was fought. Olsztyn is the name of Allenstein’s capital city.