Hello to all
; a brief story on this and a little query............................................
Crossing of the Dvina River by the German Eighth Army. 1 September 1917.
Towards the end of August 1917, the Germans started the Riga Offensive in the north. The offensive to Riga continued in September. The Great War is remembered for its trench warfare, but German General von Hutier broke the mold using night approach marches, short heavy opening bombardments, rolling barrages, infiltration and specialized combat units.
The German Eighth Army was ordered to capture the city of Riga, situated on the northern bank of the Dvina estuary. The point selected for the crossing was in the vicinity of a small town named Uxhull, where the river is from 275 to 330 yards wide. This site offered numerous advantages, some of which were there was a railway leading to it, forests offered concealment of operations and there was a re-entering angle towards the attacker.
Great precautions were taken by the Germans preventing contact between the troops and the Civilian population, discontinuance of telephone messages, troops were not permitted to take their positions until the day before the attack, preparations were camouflaged; feints were made, and artillery preparations were carried out at various places along the whole front. Thus while the approximate position could not be concealed from the Russians, the enemy was not aware of the exact location of the site selected.
The attack was launched by the 28th, 14th and 19th Divisions on 1 September on a 7,700 yard front, preceded by an artillery preparation, which lasted until 09:00 AM. At this hour the infantry began to cross the river. Seventy-five pontoons had been allotted to each division. Three bridges were built, the first was completed at 1:00 PM and the other two at 2:30. The construction of a boom to keep off mines was begun at the same time, but It was not completed until three days later.
The attack was successful and Riga was captured with comparatively small losses.
By this time the Germans had acquired experience and realized that battles for river crossings require intensive preparations and the smooth cooperation of all arms. The crossing of the Dvina is an excellent example which deserves study because it can serve as a guide for future use.
Source: Review of Military Literature. March 1939.
How much impact had the innovative tactics of General Oskar von Hutier on the western front, for example in the Kaiserschlacht? Cheers. Raúl M
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.