The Brusilov Offensive – The Arab Revolt I THE GREAT WAR Week 98


Russia had suffered devastating defeats over
the course of the war, from Tannenberg in 1914 to the Austro-German Offensives of last
year, which cost the Russians thousands of miles of land and hundreds of thousands of
men. And after the disastrous Russian March offensive this year the general belief among
the Central Powers was that Russia was no longer capable of meaningful offensive action. . I’m Indy Neidell; welcome to the Great War. Last week the Austro-Hungarian Imperial army
continued its advance in northern Italy, the German and British navies had a mighty clash
at the Battle of Jutland, and the Germans opened a new battle in the Ypres salient. Let’s head west first then, to see what
went on over there. At the beginning of the week a Canadian counter
attack failed to retake the lost territory but closed the gap in the lines that had left
the road to Ypres open. But the real news in the west this week was
at Verdun, where the German took Fort Vaux. It had held out for three months. The French
defenders fought in subterranean passages with the overpowering stench of rotting corpses
that couldn’t be buried. They fought for the final week under an enormous bombardment
of artillery and gas shells. Finally they were down to their last 12 gallons of water.
600 survivors of the fort were captured, but Verdun did not fall. This is French Commander Sylvain Reynal’s
account of the end, “Toward 2300 our artillery ceased abruptly, and the night passed away
in silence, more nerve-wracking for me than the storm of battle… I took a tour of the
corridors. What I saw was awful. Men were overcome with vomiting, for so wretched were
they that they had reached the point of drinking their own urine. Some lost consciousness.
In the main gallery a man was licking a small wet streak on the wall. 7th June! Day broke.
And we hardly noticed it. For us it was still night, a night in which all hope was extinguished.
Aid from outside, if it came, would come too late. I sent my last message, the last salute
of the fort and its defenders to their country. Then I returned to my men,>>it is all over,
my friends. You have done your duty, all of your duty. Thank you.

Maurice Vega

100 Responses

  1. 4:08 I've never seen such a cute thing. Can anyone clarify exactly what this terrifying little thing is?

  2. Should there been a special episode about Lord Kitchener? It seems odd that his death is only a footnote to round out the week as there must have been huge consequences for his death at the hands of a mine.

  3. If the Russian attack was so long after the artillery barrage, why was that section of the Austrian army not prepared in time?

  4. Did Brusilov learn from the western front and use aircraft extensively for reconnaissance before he started the offensive? I've always been told he did, I don't know how true it is or not I just wanna know.

  5. To the man who does your visuals (photos and films) and to your editor, my compliments. Outstanding work this episode.

  6. excellent as always!!! what is the small field piece at 4:07? ive never seen it before. and indie encapsulates almost the whole war in one sentence "and perhaps now a few more will learn. but probably not."

  7. Some one help me with this. We all know what rifles, field cannons, mortars, howitzers are,. But @4:07, what are these little mobile crew cannons that pop up in a WW1 pics. I rarely see them in war/weapons books. Based on their profile, not just this one, they look like more of a small field cannon rather than how a mortar looks like. Anyone know the names of what they were called or how they were used?

  8. Hi Indy and team,
    As you have mentioned, Kitchener was killed when his ship was sunk by a mine. Yet I have heard and read that there are many conspiracy theories that this wasn't an action of the enemy but an action by the British to get rid of Kitchener for the good of the war effort.
    Is there any truth to this, as far as you are aware? Who benefited most from Kitchener's death and what was the effect it had on the war effort?
    Keep up the good work guys!

  9. Great episode chaps. Only I find the conclusions problematic. Essentially you conclude that commanders in this war consistently underestimate the enemy. This plays into the well-worn myth that the commanders in this war were uniquely poor. The specific examples you use seem fair to me, but to make this into a generalisation is troubling.

    In fact as you are showing there are plenty of commanders who are trying very hard to overcome the significant advantages that technology provides to the defensive – Brusilov is a case in point!

    This channel is overcoming lots of myths about the war, but sometimes your narratives decides to reinforce them. Great show, subscribe!

  10. Love the show. What are your thoughts on the claims by Boer spy Fritz Duquesne that he mined the Hampshire to kill Kitchener

  11. What is you opinion of kitchener? Ive heard him be called a brutal commander who hated tanks and machine guns, always wanting his men to charge forward on foot or horseback, but i also have heard him called a great innovator of the military who helped strengthen the empire, using machine guns to great advantage (no doubtedly when slaughtering natives throughout the empire WITHOUT machine guns) So, was he a man who was willing to do anything to win, or was he a traditionalist with his own idea of honor?

  12. I've read that Great Britain passed the Military Service Act imposing conscription on men aged 18 -40. However, there was then at that time no real option for citizens for conscience objectors. For instance in the religious group of 'The International Bible Students' (as Jehovah's Witnesses where then called) tried for exemption to the Act, many were refused, assigned noncombatant service, or punished with harsh labor.

  13. Great show, I watch every single episode, keep up the good work.
    I know Corsica was French territory and was dangerously close to the Italian Peninsula. What was it's role in the war, were there Italian blockades or anything like that?

  14. will you talk about Ernest Hemingway? he was an ambulance drivers during World War I on the Italian front. later he stayed in France after the war ended. please do a bio on Ernest Hemingway. Love this snow it is super Great!!!

  15. My great- great- uncle was machine gunner of austro-hungarian army at this time near Lutsk. I have his diary from those days. Lot of shooting, lot of running behind Styr river …

  16. will the Great War do a bio on Miklós Horthy the Hungarian admiral in WW1 and Hungarian  Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary after ww1 and most of WW2. He was a big figure in the Empire of Austria Hungary. He fought in the Navy during the Battle of the Strait of Otranto in WW1

  17. By all accounts Conrad sent some of his best troops to the Italian front (too many?).  The Austrians possibly thought they were fairly safe, after successes of 1915, but although they were in a better position in the spring of 1916, than the spring of 1915, but I think they took too many of their best troops to the ltalian front. I think it may be true that some Slavic troops didn't want to fight the Russians, at certain times in this offensive would rather surrender to the Russians.  The Russians succeeded early on because they had brilliant surprise and a great general (who wasn't appreciated by the rest of the Russian general staff).

  18. This episode, gives a great feel to the impact of the Brusilov Offensive. Complete chaos!!

    The thing is, no matter who would've been in the way of the Russians; Germans, Austrians, French, Canadians, Australian or British.
    They would've achieved the same results.

    Knowing Russians as people one does not wonder.
    It is absolutely frightening what they can achieve under competent leadership and with proper supplies.

    Therefore the reputation of the Austrian, Hungarian and other empire soldiers not be shamed here. They fought as hard, and as best as they could under the circumstances.
    However as we all know, the absolutely broken High-Command of the K.u.K Army added to the domino effect of whats to come.

  19. Great episode this week. I have a couple questions. Firstly what was is the little artillery piece at 4:06? Secondly regarding the surrender of Vaux. I had book of stories about WWI many years ago as kid and it talked about the battle of Verdun and the surrender of one of the forts. When the commander of the fort surrendered he didn't have his sword any more and used a pair of wire cutters in their place. Apparently the German who accepted his surrender gave the French commander a sword. I was wondering if Raynal was the commander in the story.

  20. It's kind of interesting how in WWI Germany was somewhat reluctant to send forces to its allies (yes I'm aware of Germany's significant assistance to Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, it's why I said "somewhat") and then in WWII Hitler is willing to spare a Panzer army for the defence of Italian occupied Tunisia.

  21. Lawrence of Arabia was sent there to as part of some agreement Britain, France, Russia, and maybe others' plan to divide the middle east into spheres of influence. I don't say this to shatter any kind of romanticism people may have about him, British pride, trying to create paranoia and put blame on European powers, or trying to support conspiracy theories. I say it because I feel like it needs to pointed out more to the general public. I think even on this channel they said Lawrence said things that showed his own not so glamorous viewpoint of why he was there and suppose to do. This kind of does put a downer on what people made him out to be. I think even he felt uncomfortable or had conflicting feelings at some point about himself regarding all the public, media, and political fascination created around him later on.

  22. I'm just wondering what's happening in Africa right now shouldn't there be revolts against France right about now or am I just getting the dates confused.

  23. "In the first few years of the war. The General belief among the Central powers was that Russia was no longer capable of meaningful offensive action" . That was the very exact thing Hitler and his thugs were thinking during the first years of thier Operation againts Russia Lmao

  24. The bear has awoken again o.o Austria-Hungary seems to be falling.. yet again… How is THEIR state not like Russia's? Was there nobody saying "hey we're kinda losing men, and the russians are coming"

  25. The most idiotic legends about WWI:

    1) Austrian-Hungary citizens did not want to fight for their country, especially Slavs.

    2) Russians did not want to fight for their country.

    Ppl of both countries fought bravely! Fails and loses is nothing but result of jewish intrigues and swindling! My granpas served in german, russian and austrian army and I remember their memories. Greetings from Poland!

  26. It’s so funny/interesting how Austria didn't evolve a bit since then. We’re still those guys who like to ignore past failures and just run into new ones and again and again (I’m not even talking about recent politics and elections, it's also in our daily lives).

  27. I keep looking at that map, you've gone for a nice looking map rather then even slightly accurate in scale yeah? ☺

  28. Wow so Kitchner actually drowned ? that is just unbelievable. Is he the highest ranking casualty of the war? You gave his death no meaning at all…

  29. The Arab revolt and the exploits of a small German detatchment in 1918, and the dastardly T E Lawrence listning into phone calls ! Ending with the British entry into Damascus in this Nazi era film "Uproar in Damascus" (1939)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_sQa6OzEMs

  30. why didn't Austria and Bulgaria invade Romania and take them out of the war and these two armies could have fought the Russians?

  31. From watching this channel, i say I feel guilty about all those jokes made about how the French can't fight. People from all nationalities and background fought with outstanding bravery in what could be considered the most traumatic and dreadful war in of all of human history.

  32. You can hear in Indy's tone of voice that he doesn't side with the Austrians. Anyways, have you made a video of the usage of the Olympic Class ships (the sister ships of the Titanic) in WW1?

  33. You can tell it's summertime Indie looks like a cooked lobster.
    I love the show and young Michael Caine is a great host!

  34. I don't understand. Each army wastes hundreds of thousands of mean each assault against machine guns, but the Russians do 'advanced sapping' and clean out the Austrian front? Or did those armoured vehicles actually have a massive impact?

  35. What a week, holy shit. Russia gets shit done, Falkenhayn ignores Hotzendorf (again), and fucking Herbert Kitchener died. Man, I remember hearing about this guy way back at the start of the series.

  36. You would think Kitchener and his staff would have a major 35,000 ton Cruiser with a 12" belt for mines or torpedoes ,rather that a light 10,000 cruiser with a 5" belt. Was he not one of the higher ups in Military rank?

  37. Sturmtrooper and Infiltration tactics were the trademark of Brusilov. He came up whit those tactics that quickly spread to every army around europe

  38. Even with income from a variety of family, government, and private employment sources, I am still around the US poverty level, so I can only support a very little bit through Patreon. And that means my questions will be at the back of the line, at best. One keeps coming up, as I hear, again and again, of so much foolishness, stupidity, and apparent inability to learn from experience, among the leadership of every nation in this war. Yet at the time, it must not have seemed so obvious. I really want more digging into why so many were so blind. Find that out and we have lessons for today, because people really aren't any different.

  39. I've never seen anything like the gun at 4:05. It looks like it single-fires 20mm shells, and it's on a tripod. Anyone know what that is?

  40. I wish Indy would check his pronunciation, I find it really confusing. Archangel is pronounced Arkangel – it's really difficult to follow when he uses his own, unique spin on pronunciation.

  41. If the RUSSIAN Tsar had not been overthrown, there would have been discipline in the Russian army, and the war would have ended in summer of 1917

  42. Photos of the dead in this episode have missing footwear – probably looted by enemy or even their own soldiers, as there were shortages of boots.

  43. Toast for the Great Brusilov offensive – the begin of the Blitzkrieg Era! How many of you knew that German losses during Brusilov Offensive were higher than in Battle of Verdun and almost as high as those during several months of Somme? Austria-Hungary took losses of more than 400,000 POWs and about 300,000 death and wounded. Some estimates of losses of Habsburg Empire are talking total 975,000 KIA,WIA, MIA, POWs. Most lethal offensive when Russian army itself according J.Keegan took losses of almost 1 million soldiers.

  44. Am I the only person who thinks italy did the central powers a favor by joining the entente? I can't help but imagine how they would have gotten rolled over by the french and opened a massive front to deal with instead of just throwing men to die against austria-hungary and never pushing like they did.

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