The Year 1916
The Western Front was led General Evert, with HQ at Minsk, with the 2nd, 4th, 10th, Guard and 3rd Armies.
The Southwest Front was commanded by General Brusilov, with HQ at Berdichev, with the 8th Army, HQ at Rovno; the 11th Army, HQ at Volochisk; the 7th Army, HQ at Gusyatin; and the 9th Army, with HQ at Kamenets-Podolski.
On the Caucasian Front, the Turkish 3rd Army, led by Vehip Pasha, moved along the Black Sea littoral, while a new 2nd Army, headed by Ahmet Izzim Pasha, advanced on Bitlis in an attempt to turn the left flank of Yudenich's Russians. In North Persia, Baratov's Russians attack on the Turks at Khanikin was repulsed, forcing them to withdraw to Karind.
On the Turkish Front, Germany now had three submarines based at Constantinople.
On 2 June, on the Southwest Front, Lechitskiy's 9th Army was holding the front line east of Potok to the Romanian border, with the XXXIII, XLI, XI, XII, Composite Corps and III Cavalry Corps. Sakharov's 11th Army, held the front line southwest of Kremenets to southwest of Tarnopol, with the XVII, VII, VI, and XXVIII Corps.
On 2 June, on the Caucasian Front, Russian troops repulsed the Turks between Erzerum and Erzincan, forcing them to retreat 40 km.
On 3 June, on the Northern Front, the Russians opened an artillery barrage in Riga area.
On the Southwest Front, the Russians shelled enemy lines in Galicia and Volyhnia.
In North Persia, the Russians defeated the Turks at Khanikin.
On 4 June, on the Southwest Front, General Brusilov launched an offensive south of the Pripyat (Pripet) Marshes in Galicia on a 350 km front. Kaledin's 8th Army moved toward Rozyszce. Lutsk and Tarnopol. The Austro-Hungarian 4th Army was taken by surprise. The Russians quickly pushed a wedge between them and the Austro-Hungarian 1st and 2nd Army. The Belgian Armored Car Division saw its first action in Russia. The entire Austro-Hungarian front quickly collapsed. Shcherbachev's 7th Army moved toward Stanislau. His forces consisted of the XXII, XVI, II, and II Cavalry Corps, with the V Caucasian Corps in Reserve. Lechitskiy's 9th Army advanced across the Dniester River against Pflanzer-Baltin's Austro-Hungarian 7th Army, driving on Czernowitz.
The Austro-Hungarian Commander in Chief on the Russian Front was Archduke Frederick, with HQ at Teschen. Austro-Hungarian forces consisted of the 4th Army, commanded by Archduke Josef Ferdinand, with HQ at Lutsk; the 1st and 2nd Army Group, headed by Bohm-Ermolli; the 7th Army, commanded by Pflanzer-Baltin; and the German Südarmee, led by General Count Bothmer, with his Chief of Staff Colonel von Hemmer.
British Colonel Locker-Lampson's Royal Naval Air Service Armored Car Squadron arrived in Moscow from Aleksandrovsk in North Russia. They left on the 7th for service on the Caucasian Front, arriving at Kars with full equipment on 2 August. They left Kars on the 3rd, with No.1 Section heading to North Persia, and No.2 and No.3 Sections going to the Bitlis sector.
On 5 June, on the Western Front, the Russians repulsed German attacks near Vilna.
On the Southwest Front, the Russian offensive had taken about 40,000 prisoners so far.
In North Persia, the Russians were forced to evacuate Khanikin.
In the North Sea, British cruiser HMS Hampshire steaming toward Arkhangelsk struck a mine laid by German submarine U.75 west of the Orkney Islands and sank in rough waters. There were few survivors. Field Marshall and Secretary of State for War, Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener, was on board and drowned. His body was never recovered. Kitchener had been invited by the Tsar to come to Russia to bolster morale and improve military coordination. His loss was keenly felt in London and by the Russians. There were unfounded rumors that the Empress had managed to send the Germans details on dates and routes.
On 6 June, on the Southwest Front, the Russian drive pushed forward in Volhynia. General Sakharov's 11th Army was advancing toward Brody. In three days of heavy fighting the Russians had driven a front 50 km deep and 80 km wide, seizing over 25,000 square km. The Brusilov offensive lasted until 13 August, capturing some 8,900 officers, 408,000 men, 580 field guns and 17,800 machine guns.
To bolster the situation the Germans were forced over time to transfer eighteen divisions from the Western Front to the East, plus three and a half German divisions and two Turkish divisions from the front in Macedonia.
The Royal Family celebrated Empress Alexandra's birthday at Stavka.