WWI Russian Soldier
The German Schlieffen Plan intended a quick, all-out ground war on the Western Front to take France and, upon victory, Germany would turn its attention to Russia in the east. It was believed that due to the low population density and lack of railroads Russia would take some time to fully mobilise her armies, but this was not the case and the Eastern Front quickly saw Russia clash with Germany and her ally, Austria-Hungary.
The front was almost 1000 miles long, stretching from the Baltic Sea in the North to the Black Sea in the South. The deadlock was almost broken by the Brusilov Offensive in 1916 when Russian forces achieved a considerable breakthrough against Austria-Hungary, but lack of resources and poor Russian leadership allowed German reinforcements to be sent from the North to prevent Russia making lasting gains from their victory. The war would have a devastating effect on the Russian economy and would spread further dissent amongst the people from the high casualties suffered, eventually culminating in the Revolution in which the Bolsheviks seized power and exited Russia from the war with tremendous concessions to the Central Powers.