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Current time:0:00Total duration:11:47

Video transcript

in early August 1914 we know that Germany declares war on Russia just as Russia's mobilizing troops to get into a war with the Austria Austria Hungarian Empire because the austro-hungarians have declared war on Serbia and the Russians apparently or ostensibly or or use or use protection of Serbia as a pretext for getting into war with the Austrians the Germans have an alliance with the Austrian so they feel the need to fight the Russians and then because the Russians have an alliance with the French to fight the French as well the first actual combat on the Eastern Front actually happens with Russia on the offensive and you actually have two Russian armies the Russian 1st army in the Russian Second Army attacking the Germans up here in Eastern Prussia and they were going against one one German army the German 8th army and in theory it should have been a rout of the German 8th army they had him outnumbered you had two Russian armies coming from different directions but because of a really bad coordination and one could even argue bad leadership and other tactical problems it was actually a rout the other way so the war World War 1 on the Eastern Front starts very badly with the for the Russians you actually have a huge rout of them at the Battle of Tannenberg Tannenberg and Tannenberg xin teresting because it actually did not even happen in Tannenberg Tannenberg is right around here was it far from the point of the battle but there was other cities that would have been more the battle could have been named for but since the Germans won the battle they named at Tannenberg because there was an ancient battle in medieval times in the 1400s where the Slavic some Slavic people's were able to rout German Teutonic Knights we're talking about medieval battles with Knights and in order to redeem that they labeled this other war where was Germans against Slavic people they said oh this is our second battle for Tannenberg so it helped it helped bring out more I guess bit German patriotism but this was a major major major route for the Russians the Second Army in particular got completely decimated the second army the Russian second army went into the battle I've seen estimates of 150,000 to 180,000 troops roughly half were killed roughly half were killed and only about 10,000 escaped the Battle of Tannenberg and was so such a humiliating defeat for the Russian Second Army but that the general of the Russian second army general General Samsonov and I'm sure once again I'm mispronouncing everything General Samsonov actually shot himself he committed suicide he was so humiliated and so embarrassed by that defeat so the war did not begin well for the Russians but by the end of 1914 they were able to I guess get back into gear and and they stayed on the offensive and they did have some victories up here in Galicia which at the time was part of northeastern Hungary and so they were actually able to capture a good bit of territory right over here now as we enter into 1915 and we've already covered this on the videos on the Western Front we know that the Western Front was entering into a stalemate the sleepin´ plan did not happen as quickly as possible but the defenders had a huge advantage so that gave the Germans an opportunity to bring some troops back to the Eastern Front to bring troops back to the Eastern Front they also got better at coordinating with the austro-hungarians and so you have 1915 you have the Central Powers go back on the offensive so Central Powers go back on the offensive go back on the offensive and they're essentially able to drive the Russians out of Russian Poland so they're able to drive the Russians out of Russian Poland roughly to this border that I had drawn right over here roughly to this border give or take right over here when we talk about Russian Poland the the modern state of poor Poland I'm making this video now in 2013 the modern state of Poland was essentially split between what you see in this map between the Russian Empire and the journal German Empire the modern state of Poland is roughly is roughly this region this region right over here and so you see it's almost it's completely split almost like a yin-yang sit yin and yang symbol between these two between these two empires but by but through nine fifteen the Russians were pull were pushed out of Russian Poland roughly to this border and essentially to a large degree was because Russia even though they had this this huge army this this huge manpower they had bad communication lines and actually had bad technical supplies Russian industry wasn't able to keep up with the demand of the war and wasn't able to supply the munitions in improper quantities and the arms and proper quantities to their troops as you enter into 1916 the Russians once again were able to get their footing back as you can see it starting to become a little bit of a back and forth so Russian industry Russian industry industry I guess you could say picks back up in 1916 and it essentially puts the Russians more on the offensive they were driven out of Russian Poland but now by 1916 they're able to keep the Central Powers a little bit more on the defensive but the the boundaries of the front roughly stay roughly stay in line with this line right over here and by the end of 1916 you actually have the Romanians joining on the side of the triple on Tonto Nord er to fight in order to fight the central the Central Powers as well now this might look like it's starting to look better for the Russians the Russians their industry is finally picking up they're starting to put the central powers a little bit more on the defensive but the entire time that we're talking about this battle does the economic situation in the Russian Empire is deteriorating dramatically by the time you get into 1917 the Russian economy so the Russian the Russian economy is really falling apart you have food shortages you have riots food shortages you have riots and in February of 1917 you have the February revolution you essentially the the overthrow of the Romanov dynasty it's been in power for three hundred years but you have Tsar Nicholas the second so this is in February February and then in early March you have Tsar Tsar Nicholas Nicholas the second abdicates the throne and this is the gentleman right here and we'll do more detailed videos about the entire Russian Revolution and what happens to his family and all of the rest and you have an interim government that takes place and this is actually a little this is an interesting fact of history this interim government all of a sudden becomes a democracy this is February 1917 remember the United States has not entered the war at this point but you might also remember that in April the United States uses the idea of fighting on the side of democracy as a justification for entering the war which is very nice because by April all of the major powers on the side of the I guess you could say the triple entendre T's you're talking about now the interim government for the Russians you have the French and you have the British Empire obviously it's a democracy only for those who were voting and actually the the United States was the first company the first country to recognize the interim government after the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas ii but we're not just done with 1917 1917 is one of those huge years in the history of the world and especially in the history of russia the situation continues to deteriorate and it starts to deteriorate as well for the army you the the morale and the troops break down you start having the Bolsheviks start to kind of create unrest the by the end of 1917 now we're talking about September 1917 so that's maybe right around here you have the Central Powers Germany is able to capture Riga which is a major which is a major city right over here on the Baltic which brings which brings the the the the Central Powers very very close to the Russian capital it contributes to the ongoing unrest that's going on and so in November November November 7th you have a coup d'etat of that ostensibly democratic interim government provisional government and you have the Communist take power you have the Bolsheviks take power under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin right over here so November 7 1917 very famous date in Street you have the bolshevik so this is Lenin leading the Bolsheviks into power now they were in no interest to continue fighting this battle with Germany they had their own civil war to worry about they were trying to consolidate power in Russia so in December they essentially get into start to negotiate an armistice with the Central Powers and there they did not have a lot of leverage and then in this negotiation because they weren't they really did not want to be in this war and so by March of 1918 March of 1918 you have the treaty this is between Russia and the Central Powers the Treaty of Brest and I'm sure I'm mispronouncing everything brest-litovsk lata Fisk little disc the Treaty of brest-litovsk in which the Russians because they were so desperate the Bolsheviks were so desperate in order to get to kind of focus on the internal civil war that had emerged in Russia in order to consolidate power they gave her over a huge amount of territory to the Central Powers and essentially a large part of European Russia that is not predominantly have Russia is not predominantly of Russian ethnicity went over to the Central Powers now this treaty is important because it essentially was the end of World War one for the Russians it essentially was the end of the Eastern Front and it allowed the Germans to then refocus on the Western Front which allowed the Germans to start bringing troops back over back over to the Western Front and they were actually able to do quite an aggressive Spring Offensive on the Western Front and if it wasn't for the u.s. at the time now being able to reinforce the Western Front remember they declared war in mid 1917 it's not clear that the the German offensive might not have been successful in the spring of 1918 so the importance of brest-litovsk is it was the end of the Eastern Front it allowed the brittle out of the Germans to do an offensive on the Western Front and it was a it was it was a very strong offensive but with the help of the Americans it was not a successful one but the actual territorial gains for the central power of brest-litovsk I'm sure I'm mispronouncing it were not that significant because in November 1918 and here I'm probably falling off my timeline a little bit but right over here in November 1918 this is maybe nineteen this is 1919 right over here you have the the Central Powers essentially saying oh my god we're not going to be able to win this war and you have the essentially what's was for a long time known as Armistice Day the 11th day of the 11th month or the 11th hour of the 11th month of or the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month you have an armistice and you have the end of world war 1 with the Allies winning and so the Allies got to say what happened to this territory right over here