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Russian First Army

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Title: Russian First Army  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Battle of Tannenberg, Paul von Rennenkampf, Allies of World War I, Defeat in detail, First Battle of the Masurian Lakes, Battle of Gumbinnen, Russian invasion of East Prussia (1914)
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Russian First Army

The Russian First Army was a World War I Russian field army that fought on the Eastern Front for two years.

The First Army, commanded by General Paul Rennenkampf, invaded East Prussia at the outbreak of war in 1914 along with the Second Army commanded by General Alexander Samsonov. After declaring war on the German Empire, the Russian Empire had been able to mobilize very quickly. All Russian forces were put under the command of Grand Duke Nikolai and his Quartermaster General Yuri Danilov.

The invading forces made a determined and speedy attack on East Prussia. However, the First and Second Armies were stopped by the German Eighth Army, led by Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg and his Chief of Staff, General Erich Ludendorff. The German and Russian armies met at Tannenberg, where the Second Army was encircled and suffered complete destruction. Both the First and Second Armies suffered terrible casualties in one of the most comprehensive German victories of World War I.

The First Army also suffered defeat at the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes in September 1914, which led to Rennenkampf's dismissal and replacement by Litvinov. First Army served under Northwestern front for the remainder of the war. Litvinov was replaced by Sokovnin in April 1917. Vannovski replaced Sokovnin in July and the army's final commander, von Notbek, took over in September 1917.

Order of Battle for the Battle of Tannenburg (1914)

The First Army consisted of the following units:

  • II Corps (transferred from the Second Army, 22 August)
26th Infantry Division
101st «Permskii» Infantry Regiment
102nd «Viatskii» Infantry Regiment
103rd «Petrozavodskii» Infantry Regiment
104th «Ustiuzhskii» Infantry Regiment of General Prince Bagrat
43rd Infantry Division
169th «Novo-Trokskii» Infantry Regiment
170th Infantry Regiment
171st Infantry Regiment
172nd Infantry Regiment
  • III Corps
25th Infantry Division
97th «Lifliandskii» Infantry Regiment of General-Field Marshal Count Sheremetev
98th «Iurevskii» Infantry Regiment
99th Infantry Regiment
100th Regiments)
27th Infantry Division
105th Infantry Regiment
106th «Ufimskii» Infantry Regiment
107th «Troitskii» Infantry Regiment
108th «Saratovskii» Infantry Regiment
  • IV Corps
30th Infantry Division
117th «Iaroslavskii» Infantry Regiment
118th «Shuiskii» Infantry Regiment
119th «Kolomenskii» Infantry Regiment
120th «Serpukhovskii» Infantry Regiment
40th Infantry Division
157th «Imeretinski!» Infantry Regiment
158th «Kutaisskii» Infantry Regiment
159th «Guriiskii» Infantry Regiment
160th «Abkhazskii» Infantry Regiment
  • XX Corps
28th Infantry Division
109th «Volzhskii» Infantry Regiment
110th «Kamskii» Infantry Regiment
111th «Donskoi» Infantry Regiment
112th «Ural'skii» Infantry Regiment
29th Infantry Division
113th «Starorusskii» Infantry Regiment
114th «Novotorzhskii» Infantry Regiment
115th «Viazemskii» Infantry Regiment
116th «Maloiaroslavskii» Infantry Regiment)

Unattached units included:

56th Infantry Division (221st, 222nd, 223rd, and 224th Regiments)
1st Guard Cavalry Division (His Majesty's Cuirassier Guards Regiment (Leib-Gvardii Kirasirskii Ego Velichestva Polk)
Her Majesty's Cuirassier Guards Regiment (Leib-Gvardii Kirasirskii Eia Velichestva Polk)
His Majesty's Cossack Guards Regiment (Leib-Gvardii Kazachii Ego Velichestva Polk)
Ataman Cossack Guards Regiment of H. I. H. the Tsesarevich (Leib-Gvardii Atamanskii Ego Imperatorskago Vysochestva Naslednika TSesarevicha Polk)
2nd Guard Cavalry Division
Horse-Grenadier Guards Regiment (Leib-Gvardii Konno-Grenaderskii Polk)
Her Majesty's Lancer Guards Regiment (Leib-Gvardii Ulanskii Eia Velichestva Gosudaryni Imperatritsy Aleksandry Feodorovny Polk)
Dragoon Guards Regiment (Leib-Gvardii Dragunskii Polk)
His Majesty's Hussar Guards Regiment (Leib-Gvardii Gusarskii Ego Velichestva Polk)
His Majesty's Lancer Guards Regiment (Leib-Gvardii Ulanskii Ego Velichestva Polk)
Grodno Hussar Guards Regiment (Leib-Gvardii Grodnenskii Gusarskii Polk).
1st Cavalry Division
2nd Cavalry Division
3rd Cavalry Division
5th Rifle Brigade
1st Independent Cavalry Brigade
1st Heavy Artillery Brigade

Military Fronts in which the 1st Army participated



  • 19.07.1914—18.11.1914 — General Paul von Rennenkampf (Russian: Павел Карлович фон Ренненкампф)
  • 05.12.1914—02.04.1917 — General Aleksandr Ivanovich Litvinov (Russian: Александр Иванович Литвинов)
  • 12.04.1917—24.04.1917 — Lieutenant General Ilia Odishelidze (Russian: Илья Зурабович Одишелидзе)
  • 22.04.1917—30.07.1917 — Lieutenant General Mikhail Alekseevich Sokovnin (Russian: Михаил Алексеевич Соковнин)
  • 31.07.1917—09.09.1917 — Lieutenant General Gleb Mikhailovich Vannovski (Russian: Глеб Михайлович Ванновский)
  • 09.09.1917—11.1917 — Lieutenant General Vladimir Vladimirovich von Notbek (Russian: Владимир Владимирович фон Нотбек)

See also

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