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Remembered Today:

BATTLE OF LODZ / WODZ.


fortytwo

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The Battle of Wodz was fought between 11th November to 6th December 1914. However there is very little information regarding this battle. It is known that the German forces almost achieved another Tannenburg, however victory was not theirs as the Russian forces drove them back. None of this is described in great detail anywhere as far as I know. Does anyone know where a detailed description of this battle can be found, or can offer a good account of the battle themselves. Look forward to hearing from anyone who can help.

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No mistake august. I think it is pronounced something like Woodge. The native spelling uses the Polish 'dark L', which is an L intersected by a line, and pronounced like a W.

I don't think we have a dark L in the characters, but I'll amend the title to reflect both spellings.

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The books "The Eastern Front" and "Carpathian disaster" have some information on this battle. Lundendorf's memoirs which are online i believe has some info on it. Then there is the 7 volume Russian offical history which is mentioned on this site if you can read Russian. If you can get hold of a copy of Der Weltkrieg and you can read German there is information on this battle there. Another book is the Russian army in WW I. This is all I can think of for now I hope this is of some help.

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A good overview in English is

http://www.1911encyc..._Of_Lodz-Cracow

For the German side see

Wulffen, Die Schlacht bei Lodz (1918) on Google Books

http://books.google.com/books?id=uXV9AAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=inauthor:%22Karl+von+Wulffen%22&source=bl&ots=yhLbmbTaSE&sig=pnBAfVVeAsW8DpuUZEG5J78rak8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=f2VnUObuNIrv0gHr4oGYBw&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

The maps at the end of Wullfen’s book are quite useful for following the progress of the operation

For the Russian side see

Korolkov, GK, Lodz Operation, available here in Russian:

http://www.grwar.ru/library/Korolkoff-Lodz/index.html

Best,

Waldo

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you ought to be careful while reading von Wulffen's book since it had been published before the war even ended. The operation itself was a combination of failures on the German side, and there never was a question of achieving anything comparing to Tannenberg - save in the minds of Mackensen back in Hohensalza and some corps commanders, particularily von Morgen of the I Reserve Korps. The distances involved were too great for the technology employed; the Germans managed to obtain operational surprise thanks to their secret redeployment from Silesia to Hohensalza-Thorn, but failed to obtain operational victory because the Russians had time to redeploy. The right wing of the 9th Army consisted of a Cavalry Corps and some improvised troops, which failed to secure the flanks of the main body - thus the 38th ID was shattered by a Russian counterattack which, together with stubborn defence to the north of Lodz effectively paralyzed German main body. Mackensen due to notorious failures of communication, to wishful interpretation of intercepted Russian radio messages and greatly exaggerated reports of von Morgen allowed his last reserve - the 3rd GID - to be used in a deep flanking maneuver on the left along with the green XXV Reserve Korps and two cavalry divisions - both units very nearly escaped destruction when the Russians cut them off. Only thanks to utter confusion and great morale of common soldier did the Germans manage to fight their way through the circle (the breakthrough at Brzeziny) and retreat. The Germans celebrated their triumph after they had entered Lodz, but the Russians actually abandoned the city and managed to withdraw in good order, and later repelled all the attacks on their positions at Bzura-Rawka line.

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To Jan Szkudlinski,

Many thanks for your informative reply. I would be most interested to know where you obtained such detailed information on the Battle of Lodz. My only source is from Churchill's "The Unknown War, The Eastern Front" and Hoffmann's "War Diaries". I am not aware of a book by von Wulffen. Could you let me know the title of his book please.

From reading the two books I have mentioned I find it very interesting to see how the Battle of Lodz came about. The advance of the German 9th Army to the River Vistula, where they found they were confronted by 4 Russian Armies who, in their turn, were preparing to invade Silesia. The battle between the two armies along the Vistula and up to Warsaw. The retreat of the German 9th Army to practically its start point. A quick decision by them to concentrate their forces northwards to Thorn and then launch an enveloping attack on the advancing Russian forces, which ultimately led to the Battle of Lodz.

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August

Greetings

Try getting hold of copies of two books:

Battles East by G. Irving Root, and

The Eastern Front by Norman Stone.

Both are in paperback

Harry

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To Jan Szkudlinski,

Many thanks for your informative reply. I would be most interested to know where you obtained such detailed information on the Battle of Lodz. My only source is from Churchill's "The Unknown War, The Eastern Front" and Hoffmann's "War Diaries". I am not aware of a book by von Wulffen. Could you let me know the title of his book please.

von Wulffen's "Die Schlacht bei Lodz" was mentioned by waldo a few messages above.

As to other sources; the whole campaign in Vistula Curve in 1914 is described in the German official history "Der Weltkrieg", vols 5 and 6, with a short introduction in vol. 2. The actual battle of Lodz is covered in vol. 6. There are published memoirs of Hindenburg, Ludendorff, Kurt von Morgen and Karl Litzmann. There is a book by Max von Poseck "Die deutsche Kavallerie in Polen 1914/15". If you are interested in how the Germans managed to breakout from encirclement, by far the best book is Ernst Eilsberger's, "Der Durchbruch bei Brzeziny am 24. November 1914". Plus, nearly every German regiment that took part in the battle has its own published history.

Max Hoffmann's memoirs are much distorted by his desire to downplay the efforts of others; he is especially critical about Austro-Hungarians, and very often his statements are inaccurate or plainly false.

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To Jan Szkudlinski,

Thanks for your reply regarding source of information and the titles of the books. I'm sure they will contain all the information that I am looking for, however, one problem. With sure titles I'm sure they are printed in German with none printed in English. That is my problem. I do not speak German. Thanks for your help anyway.

To Waldo,

Thanks for your reply of 29th September. I have printed the 1911 encyclopedia item. As regards to the other 2. Wuiffen's book in German and Korolkov's book in Russian I am sure are both interesting to read, however, need to understand German and Russian. A great disadvantage to me.

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august

You should be able to understand the maps at the end of Wulffen evwn though you cannot read German.

Books on the web in languages you cannot read con be translated using Google Translate.

The translations aren't the best & it may take perseverence but it can be done. I cannot read Russian but I've been able to get useful info from Russian books using Google Translate.

The Wulffen book (not the maps) is printed in Fraktur -- that Gothic-looking script used in Germany until WW2. OCR software such as Google Translate does not do an adequate job of reading that script and so doesn't translate it very well.

Best,

Waldo

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Actually there is a translation of von Wulffen. The US Army did a translation in the 20s-30s and the typewritten manuscript is available in CARL. It isn't listed in the E-book catalog, so it likely hasn't been scanned. I have a hard copy I made a few years ago.

The Army also translated 'The Battle of Lodz November 2 - December 19 1914' by G.K. Korolkov from the Russian in 1939. This is the history written under the the Soviet Military Publications Division in 1934. This is a 369 page work which uses both German official histories and Russian archive materials. The typescript copy is also available in CARL (I have a hard copy).

Jeff

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Another book addressing the Russian side (if you are willing to tackle French) is La Grande Guerre: Relation de l’Êtat-Major Russe 1st Août - 24 Novembre 1914. Not as detailed as the Korolkov, but written in 1917-18.

post-4942-0-99052200-1350094374_thumb.jp

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Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the info. regarding von Walffen's book on Lodz having been translated into English. You say there is a manuscript available in CARL. I'm afraid i don't know what CARL is. Can I access it to download a copy of the book? From the information you have given concerning Korolkov's sources of research it would seem to be a very interesting and detailed history of the "Battle of Lodz"

Look forward to hearing from you.

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August

Sorry I was traveling this weekend. Kansas City had a major fiber line cut and the fort lost all its internet and e-mail on Monday.

CARL is the Combined Arms Research Library at the US Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC). They have been scanning their collection and making it available on their website. It appears the Wülffen translation has not been scanned.

I was able to scan my copy. PM your e-mail address and I can e-mail a copy. The scan includes the 18 sketches but not the relief map (I have the original German book, so never scanned that map).)

Jeff

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But read von Wulffen carefully - it is a product of the war. IRRC there is not a word about the battering the German right wing suffered.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Note that von Wulffen was a General Staff officer on the staff of the 3. Garde=Infanterie=Division in 1914-15,

which had a key role in the battle, so he was actually there and had a role in directing the battle.

Of course there will be distortions, spin, etc. in any military writing, but in general the series

Schlachten des Weltkrieges (about 38 books) are good sources, written by professional soldiers as texts as

to the lessons to be learned, and often written by staff officers that took part in the very battle

described. Some years ago the books themselves could be bought for about $9 each; almost the entire series

is sitting about 3 meters behind me.

August - I taught myself to read German after I found my father's and grand-father's letters from the front

in 2000, when I was 61. About two years ago I taught myself to read Flemish to study the fighting in Belgium

in 1914, which my grand-father took part in. (He was transferred to the Eastern Front about December 1914.)

My Flemish is very rough but workable. I have only translated one paragraph with a computer translator; the

results were so awful that I never tried again. (Possibly they have gotten better. I suspect that German is

hard for them to do well.) My remarkable wife estimates that she works in 40 languages in a given year; I have

handed her a newspaper in a minor language that she had never seen before, and she was able to read it right off,

but she has different amounts of three modern and two ancient languages that totally surround the one in question.

You could be like me, but not likely like my wife.

Bob Lembke

PS: Greetings, Jan! I've been away, in other vineyards.

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