After the defeat at the campaigns at Lozma, the Russian Empire seemed hell-bent of avenging the devastating losses. In the midst of winter, the Russians would launch a campaign aimed at Gumbinnen. On January 18th, the first campaign came to a screeching halt as 48,000 Prussians inflicted close to 11,500 causalities to an army of 37,000 while only receiving just over 4,000 of their causalities. Undeterred by the setback the Russian command launched another campaign against Gumbinnen in February. By February 23rd, the Russians would retreat once again from the scene of battle. Over 24,000 soldiers of the invading 33,000 had been claimed as causalities, while the defending Prussian group of just shy of 24,000 suffered close to 6,000.
January's battle at Gumbinnen.
Though news of the campaigns seemed to draw most attention of the press, there were other events as equally important coming from Berlin. The national assembly (the first of the nation since the signing of the constitution in 1843) had eased the restrictions of trade unions. Previously only state-controlled trade unions were allowed, but now non-socialist unions were allowed. In addition to the news of reforms, there was some research that had occurred. On April 17th, steamers had been researched. Scientists would now focus on their attention at better organizing the factories of the state.
Returning to the war, which required the most attention of the state, the Russians had launched two additional campaigns, while Prussia launched one of its own. At Radom, two relatively equally balanced forces battled for several days before the Russians called it quits on March 10th. Of Russia’s 34,000 soldiers close to 24,000 had been marked as causalities compared to the Prussian’s fewer than 5,000 of 36,000. Another campaign was directed at Gumbinnen, with both forces bringing 69,000 to the battle. Prussia would hold the field suffering 11,876 causalities compared to the Russians nearly three times as high 34,210. In little other note, a Prussian cavalry corps captured the town of Lublin, forcing the town’s rather large garrison of 3,000 into surrender.
A few months would pass as both sides gathered their forces again. The Prussian military refused to advance further, not for the fear of attacking. A simple reality had been made evident. Why attack the enemy and risk the chance of defeat when the enemy was beyond willing to attack and risk defeat? All Prussia had to do was wait for the enemy to come and its then forces could gather to overwhelm the attacker. In late May, the Russians would again return to the field – again aimed at Gumbinnen. Again the Russians would be overwhelmed by reinforcements bringing the Prussians to 48,000 strong compared to the invader’s 33,000. Only this time a more resounding victory was proclaimed as the Russians suffered 29,000 causalities – 87% of their fighting force!
On June 15th, the last campaign of the war would end at Przemysl. Prussian cavalry had been roaming the Polish countryside eagerly harassing Russian supply lines when they encountered a corps of about 26,000 troops. After numerous raids and skirmishes, a battle was forced. The Russians appeared overconfident as the Prussians were “only horsemen”. By end of the day, of the 26,283 Russians, all of them had been claimed as dead, wounded or captured.
The next few months would be spent ironing out a peace treaty. In the treaty of Danzig, signed October 9th, 1845 the Russian Empire would lose its claim on western Galicia to Prussia. Moldavia, which had been a non-combatant, would receive a large swath of territory in the form of Russian-owned Moldavia and Bessarabia. The reasoning behind the decision to increase the power of Moldavia was two fold. Berlin had been asserting its influence on the nation in hopes of eventually securing another ally within the region. Plus, the territory would be a huge road block to the Russian dream of claiming Constantinople for their desires.