Russia 1917 - 1924: World War One, Impact and Defeat


Part of the series of material looking at Russia and the Soviet Union 1917 to 1924, this chart maps the main reasons for the heavy defeats on the Russian side of World War 1. Keep this handy guide close by when studying as it is a great quick reference on the topic.
Andrew Burke
Flowchart by Andrew Burke, updated more than 1 year ago
Andrew Burke
Created by Andrew Burke over 6 years ago

Resource summary

Flowchart nodes

  • August 1914 Russian army advances in Austria. Two Russian armies advance into the German province of East Prussia.
  • August 26-29, 1914 German army surrounded and trapped the Russians at Tannenberg. 70,000 soldiers died or were wounded and 50,000 were taken as prisoners.
  • June 1916 Russia made a counter-attack and drove into Austria to regain territory lost in 1915. However, reinforcements soon came from the Germans and forced the Russians to retreat again. One million Russians died.
  • 4 May 1915 Austro-German offensive forced Russia to retreat back into Russia from Germany. The extreme winter prevented another terrible Russian defeat.
  •    September 5-9, 1914 German army advances north by rail and defeated a second Russian army at the Battle of Masurian Lakes. 100,000 Russians killed or wounded.
  • Key Events on the Eastern Front, 1914-1916
  • Impact:  Russia entered the First World War with much optimism and expectation. The size of the army itself was huge and many believed Germany and Austria-Hungary did not stand a chance. Yet, at the end of 1914 one million casualties had occurred for the Russians and by 1916 the Russians had been defeated numerous times. Discontent began to grow with the leadership of the Tsar and his government.
  • Reasons for Defeat
  • Most of the army was made up of the peasant population who were ill-prepared and inexperienced
  • Poor leadership from generals and officers
  • Germans intercepted wireless messages and were prepared for the Russians
  • Poor leadership from the Tsar when he took over in September 1915
  • Lack of infrastructure, supplies and equipment
  • Poor roads and railway system - supplies could not reach the frontline
  • Poor tactics and communication
  • Inexperienced and overconfident officers
  • Social and Economic
  • Russia's transport system could not cope with increased demands of war
  • Industry was hit hard; a shortage of workers and lack of fuel
  • 14 million men served in the army (1914-1917)
  • Peasants were conscripted, so there was less men to work the land
  • Food production reduced due to labour shortages and fewer horses
  • Inflation - seven prices rises between 1913 and 1917
  • Factories closed resulting in unemployment and greater poverty after the war
  • Reduced food production led to an increase in food prices
Show full summary Hide full summary


Area, Volume & Perimeter Mind Map
Cell Structure
Formula for Physics IGCSE edexcel
Hitler's Rise to Power
Plant and animal cells
Unit 1: Business Studies GCSE
Libby Rose
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
K d
Flame tests
Joshua Rees
GCSE - Introduction to Economics
James Dodd
Core 1.5 Mechanisms
T Andrews
Yuvraj Sunar