The significance of Brusil's breakthrough during the First World War
The First World War, which began in 1914,covered the fire of battles and battles the territory of almost the whole of Europe. In this war, more than thirty states with a population of more than one billion people participated. The war has become the most grandiose in the destruction and human sacrifice in the entire previous history of mankind. Before the war, Europe was divided into two opposing camps: Entente in the face of Russia, France, the British Empire and the smaller countries of Europe and the Triple Alliance in the face of Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Italy, which in 1915 moved to the Entente side, and also smaller European countries. The material superiority was on the side of the Entente countries, but the German army was the best in terms of organization and weapons.
In such conditions the war began. It was the first one, which can be called positional. Opponents, possessing powerful artillery, rapid-fire small arms and defense in depth, did not rush to attack, which foreshadowed the huge losses to the advancing side. Nevertheless, fighting with varying success without a strategic advantage occurred in both major theaters of operations. The First World War, the Brusilov breakthrough in particular, played a significant role in the transition of the initiative to the Entente bloc. And for Russia these events had rather unfavorable consequences. During the Brusilov breakthrough, all the reserves of the Russian Empire were mobilized. General Brusilov was appointed commander of the South-Western Front and had at his disposal 534 thousand soldiers and officers, about 2 thousand guns. The opposing Austro-German forces had 448,000 soldiers and officers and about 1800 guns.
The main reason for the Brusilov breakthrough was thethe request of the Italian command to draw Austrian and German units to avoid the complete defeat of the Italian army. The commanders of the Northern and Western Russian fronts, generals Evert and Kuropatkin, refused to launch the offensive, considering it completely unsuccessful. Only General Brusilov saw the possibility of a positional strike. May 15, 1916, the Italians suffered a severe defeat and were forced to request a speedier attack.
June 4 begins the famous Brusilov breakthrough1916, Russian artillery fired ceaselessly on enemy positions for 45 hours in separate sectors, then it was laid the rule of artillery preparation before the offensive. After the artillery strike, the infantry entered the breakthrough, the Austrians and Germans did not manage to get out of cover and were captured by the masses. As a result of the Brusilov breakthrough, Russian troops wedged themselves into the enemy's defense for 200-400 km. The 4th Austrian and German 7th armies were completely destroyed. Austria-Hungary was on the verge of total defeat. However, without waiting for the help of the Northern and Western fronts, whose commanders missed the tactical moment of advantage, the offensive soon stopped. Nevertheless, the result of Brusil's breakthrough was the salvation from the defeat of Italy, the preservation of Verdun for the French and the consolidation of the British on the Somme.