Cavalry Spies and Cossacks I THE GREAT WAR Week 47


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This Week The War Seemed Almost Like A

romantic novel of war instead of an actual one, with spies, Cossacks, cavalry charges, and aerial bombardments, but Dont kid yourself, for the reality was the ending of two great battles that cost hundreds of thousands of lives and saw over a million men in action. I m Indy Neidell; welcome to the Great War. Last Week a British pilot blew up a zeppelin and became a national hero, the French made some gains in the west, the Italians in the South, and on the eastern front, theNK] forces pushed the Russians back beyond the Dniester River, but would lose a huge number of prisoners.

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s what came next. There was some big news on the Western Front this week, as the Second Battle of Artois came to an end. . This was a French offensive that had been ongoing since MAy 8th.


8th. That s right, six weeks. But that

S What Battles Were Becoming In This War-Endless Campaigns

in a war of attrition.. On. The 18th, after severe hand-to-hand combat, small advances, and equally small retreats, and 18,000 casualties, French General Ferdinand Foch called off the offensive, though it wouldn t be formally suspended till the 25th by General Joseph Joffre.


The 18th, the French had been again fighting against German troops positioned on reverse slopes that were invisible to ground observation, as well as uncut barbed wire, and most of all Alert defenders. See, a Big French assault had actually gone into action two days before. On the 16th. IT was preceded by a six-day, wide ranging artillery barrage that tried to conceal the upcoming assault by changing targets.


It was intense but just never was enough, and even though an intense barrage could damage or even destroy the German. could never fool the Germans into not knowing where the next Hammer was going to fall, and when the assault finally went through the French casualties were tremendous. For. The six weeks of the Second Battle of Artois, the French casualties were over 100,000.

The British Had Suffered Just Over

25,000 during this same time at their battles at Festubert and Aubers Ridge,, while the total German losses were just under 75,000. France took over 100,000 casualties. . It was bleeding dry,, but the failures of the spring offensives still did not convince Joffre that the general situation of the war had changed. .

He Believed That They Had To Keep Pounding

the Germans on the west to help Russia in the east, and that Gallipoli was a wasteful and costly distraction.. He was determined that France would not let Russia down. And that might have been good news to Russia, because if you were Russia At this point,, you would seriously want someone to distract the Germans. .

German And Uk Forces Had Been Hammering

the Russians back, back, back in the ongoing UK Offensive for seven weeks now, even longer than the Battle of Artois, and Im not kidding, we re talking forces and losses here of over a million men on all sides combined. On. The 15th, actually, Russia released a report that claimed to have taken 40,000 UK prisoners in just the past 18 days and inflicted casualties on the Empire of up to 150,000 men.

In That Period.

That s only one part of this massive operation. And. The Russians weren

T Even The Ones Winning.

This week on the Eastern Front saw the Battle of Lubaczovka as German General August Von Mackensen s irresistible Phalanx, with over 2,000 big guns plowed. into the Russians. The battle lasted for a week, as half a million men were brought up and thrown at the Russians as the pounding German artillery slowly wore them down.

Finally, Outnumbered 3-1 And Physically Exhausted, The

Russian infantry broke on June 13th. Mackensen s Phalanx drove right through them. But if you think the Russian spirit was broken by this, then you are very much mistaken. Here


A story of UK Just as the Russian infantry broke, Russian General Polodchenko rode out with three cavalry regiments-the Don Cossacks, the Kimburn Dragoons, and the Chernigov Hussars. The German infantry lines were triumphantly advancing until these three regiments just dove into them, sabres flashing, and put thousands of Germans on the run. Then they charged through into the German rear and hacked their way through the reserves, capturing several machine guns, and hacked their way out again. .


s the UK. that whole charge, in and out, They only suffered 200 casualties, but shook up the Germans so much that Mackensen called the attack off and the Russians could withdraw to the hills nearNK] The. Russians now prepared to defend Lemberg, capital of Galicia, which they had held since last September. This week seems to have all the classical elements of an old war.

Nk] Cossacks, Cavalry, Charges, And Even Spy Rings.

The Germans had established a spy ring of seven agents in British Ports, but on June 15th Colonel Francois Cartier, the head of French military cryptography gave British intelligence intercepted German wireless messages that identified these agents. They were all arrested and several were executed in the Tower of London. By. London.

By This Time, German Espionage Was

at a dead end, and most of it was being carried out by citizens of neutral nations,, for example, a Peruvian and a Norwegian were executed after being captured as German Spies. There were other scattered notes from the fronts. This week. On, the 15th, French Airmen bombed Karlsre and actually the French Army gained ground this week north of Arras and in the Vosges, The week was fairly quiet at Gallipoli, and on the newest front, the Italian one, the Italians captured the heights on the left bank of the Isonzo River on the 17th, and the following day Austrian warships raid the Italian Adriatic coast. You can see that that front is starting to heat up.

And In Eastern Anatolia, The Ottoman

crackdown on Armenians continued. What had now become the Armenian. Genocide had been condemned worldwide,, but still it continued. . This week saw the Kemakh massacre, which lasted several days beginning June 10th, and saw up to 25,000 people killed.

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That Figure Was, According To The Daily

MAil newspaper. Also, on June 13th, the Ottoman Ministry of War ordered the seizure of all domestic animals belonging to Armenians. And now we reach the end of the week. , with gigantic battles being fought and finished on both the eastern and western fronts, with minor action on the Italian one and in Eastern France. Think of the numbers.

The French Lost 100,000 Men Over The Course

of a few weeks., and for what Physically, just about nothing. The Trench lines changed a bit, but not that much. But Joffre believed he had to keep attacking the Germans to prevent them from sending more troops to the east to fight the Russians. .

He May Well Have Been Right.

And Mackensen attacking with half. a million troops-half a million! And still not getting the big breakthrough, as the Russians are saved at the last minute by a cavalry charge that could have come straight out of Hollywood. And. The Russians, fighting unbelievably well given their circumstances.

Heck, Other Than Mackensen They Were

more than holding their own. UK Austrians were limping by now, Archduke Joseph Ferdinand s troops weren t faring much better, but Mackensen s Goliath kept saving their Bacon, but at a huge cost in young men

S Lives.

And think of the Russian soldiers, many of whom couldn t get a rifle until someone died and they could take it. . Imagine that, being basically unarmed against 500,000 German soldiers.

That Guy

s a hero right there, but these romantic Hollywood stories of cavalry charges and spy rings exposed are just what all movies UK fantasy. And And the reality of millions of men in the field, with machine guns and heavy artillery is that for every romantic hero s death recorded and celebrated, There were 100,000 more deaths, nameless, faceless, and above all, tragic.

This Was Modern War.

Another story of modern war which has been told and romanticized throughout history is that of the Lusitania which sank of the coast of Ireland hit by a German UK while Mackensen was starting his surprise offensive in the East. Check out how that went right here. Our Patreon supporter of the week-and probably commenter of the month-is UK If you want to see more special episodes on more exotic topics, help us reach our next milestone on Patreon.

For More Cool Historical Pictures, You Can Follow

us on Instagram. See you next week. .


The Second Battle of Artois came to an end this week . The French offensive had been ongoing since MAy 8th&.&. 8th . After severe hand-to-hand combat, small advances, and . small retreats, and 18,000 casualties, French General Ferdinand Foch called off the offensive . General Joseph Joffre formally suspended the offensive on the 25th by General Foch . The battle was the end of a six-week French offensive that saw over a million men in action and cost hundreds of thousands of lives and saw more than a million in action . Indy Neidell; welcome to the Great War. This week the war seemed almost like a romantic novel of war instead of an actual one, with spies, Cossacks, cavalry charges, and aerial bombardments, but Don&t kid yourself, for the reality was the ending of two great battles that cost more than £100,000 of a million lives and cost over a ….. Click here to read more and watch the full video