Russian Forces, 2,500,000
Grand Duke Nicholas, Commander-in-Chief
General Yanushkevitch, Chief of Staff
Austro-German Forces, 3,000,000
General Hindenberg, Commander-in-Chief
General Ludendorf, Chief of staff Northern Army Group—General Hindenberg
Central Army Group — Prince Leopold
Southern Army Group — General Mackensen
Archduke Joseph Ferdinand
Irreparable disaster befell Russian arms in May, 1915, when a tornado of shell-fire from 3,000 heavy German guns ripped open a 40-mile gap in the Russian front, along the banks of the Dunajec and Biala Rivers, blowing General Dmitrieff's army into oblivion and compelling the entire Russian line to fall back into the far interior, with a resultant loss of 350,000 in killed and wounded and 1,250,000 prisoners. Her tremendous victory gained for Germany possession of 100,000 square miles of Russian territory, comprising all of Poland and Courland, the greater part of Galicia and several other large provinces, whose aggregate population was 20,000,000.
This disaster, which bore fruit two years later in red revolution and the quick collapse of the Russian Empire, was due primarily to Russia's inferiority in guns and lack of ammunition, which left her impotent before Germany's unparalleled concentration of artillery on the most vulnerable point in the Russian line. The European Allies for months had been endeavoring to get munitions into Russia. The only practicable route for the transport of supplies from the West was through the Dardanelles and Bosphorus, past Constantinople and thence by way of the Black Sea. The failure of the Dardanelles and Gallipoli campaigns had definitely closed this route to the Allies.