World War I
Part of the Eastern Front
German prisoners Tannenberg
German prisoners after the battle.
Date August 1914
Location 30 km from Tannenburg, Prussia
Result Decisive Russian victory
Flag of RussiaRussian Empire Flag of the German EmpireGerman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Flag of RussiaAlexander Samsonov Flag of the German EmpireErich von Ludendorff

Flag of the German EmpirePaul von Hindenburg†
Flag of the German EmpireMaximilian Hoffman

Units involved
Second Army Eighth Army
200,000—204,000 180,000—195,000
Casualties and losses
9,000 killed, 4,000 wounded, 1,400 missing 70,000—80,000 killed, 13,000 wounded, 2,500 missing, 6,000 captured

The Battle of Tannenburg was an engagement between the Russian Second Army and the German Eighth Army during World War I, in August of 1914. The battle resulted in a rout of the Germans by the Second Army, which continued advancing further into the German Empire. Heavy casualties were taken by Germany as well, with minimal losses on the Russian side. The victory was heavily propagandized due to the Battle of Tannenburg of the medieval times, in which Slavs defeated the Teutonic Knights. A slogan came into use in the Russian Army afterwards, "And this time, we'll also take Berlin!"

The German defeat was largely due to poor tactics and lack of communications. One of the German commanders, Paul von Hindenburg, was killed in action, to the annoyance of his colleague Erich von Ludendorff. The tactics were actually implemented by suggestion of Colonel Maximilian Hoffman, who later committed suicide, depressed by the defeat.

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