*Tannenberg. Village in East Prussia that gave its name to the great battle that led to Russia’s overwhelming defeat in late August, 1914. Although the battle was actually fought over a large area, encompassing many towns, the Germans named the battle after Tannenberg because Teutonic knights had suffered a historic defeat in this village at the hands of Polish-Lithuanian forces in 1410. The Russian army clashed with German forces at Tannenberg while marching on Berlin. (In 1945 Tannenberg was transferred to Poland and renamed Stebark.)
*Gumbinnen. German name for the Russian industrial city Gusev, where the Russians defeated a German army in the Battle of Gumbinnen about a week and a half before the Battle of Tannenberg. The novel points up how the Russian failure to capitalize on this initial victory led to their defeat in the later battle.
*Willenberg. East Prussian town that was the pivotal point of a Russian movement to encircle German forces. However, the main column of Russian relief troops was recalled, and the town became a pivot for German encirclement of Samsanov’s forces, which began running in panic.
*Neidenberg. Small town in East Prussia (now Nidzica, Poland) that became headquarters for Russian General Samsanov. Neidenberg was isolated from the major battles taking place and lacked the...
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