How different was the Eastern Front of the War compared to the Western one?
(* For the most part the Eastern Front was remarkably more mobile than the fighting going on in France and Belgium.*)
Frankly, the sheer size of the Eastern Front meant that static trench warfare was unfavorable from a military perspective. We’re talking about vast distances. With the mobilization of millions of men, the much smaller distance the Western Front covered meant that reserves were much quicker in getting to the front to mass for an offensive, on the flip side reserves were also able to respond quicker to defend against an offensive. In the East this was not the case, to construct front-wide trench networks on the scale of the Western Front would seriously thin your armies to maintain those trenches. It was much better for armies to conduct mobile operations and face each other, where technological (German) or numerical (Russian) superiority could be brought to bear. It was not uncommon for armies to penetrate tens of miles into enemy territory before being met, and interestingly enough, decisive tactical victories could still be inconclusive on a strategic scale, the prime example being the fact that while Germany captured thousands of Russian prisoners in early engagements due to technological superiority, they still suffered from a stretch in supply and the ability by Russia to call upon a larger reserve of manpower.
Of course, this is an overview. Again, due to the size of the front, battles and campaigns could range from mobile to static depending on where they were. German-Russian engagements in East Prussia were much more mobile than Austrian-Russian engagements in the Carpathian Mountains, for example.
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