The Silver Scribe

Fun Facts With Matthew: The Attack of the Dead Men

Matthew Drachman, Staff Writer

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Well folks it’s that time again.  Today I bring you another fun fact from history.  Today’s fun fact comes from the eastern front of World War One.  A story about how brave men who did the impossible, and rose from the dead and charged their attackers.  This story would later become known to the west, as The Attack of The Dead Men. Welcome to Fun Facts with Matthew.

This story takes us to the front lines of the eastern front during World War One.  The Germans and the Russians are experiencing heavy fighting for a key fortification called Osowiec Fortress.

The Fortress was built by the Russians in the 1880’s, and the russians were fighting hard to hold it.  The First assault began in September 1914. After heaving fighting the Germans pulled back. Attempting again in February and March of 1915, meeting the same result.

After the failed attempts, the Kieser would replace the command of the German forces with Field Marshal Paul Von Hindenburg, who would later become the last president of Germany before Hitler took power.  This third attempt by the germans would later go down in history.

The Russian army had been evacuating the fortress but left enough men there to hold if the Germans were to launch an offensive.  The Russian army had no gas masks at this time and the Germans knew this, so the third and final attack would see a gas attack.

On the morning of August 6th, 1915, with the wind in their favor, the Germans released the gas onto the russian fortress.  The Chlorine cloud drifted towards them and they were none the wiser. Many being killed instantly.

Believing that all the Russians were dead; the Germans made their advance.  Marching in a long line they moved towards the fortress. This is where many would meet their maker.

The remains of the Russian forces emerged from the fort, covered in blood and blisters on their body, with most of their faces being covered with a white cloth stained with blood.  The soldiers eyes blistering red, all effects from the gas. They had been coughing up blood and pieces of their own lungs due to the gas. The Russians were outnumbered four to one; so they charged.

The site of this horrified the German soldiers; believing that the men were the ghosts of the men that they had killed.  This sent the Germans in a route, climbing over each other to make it back to their own lines. Some even tripped over their own barbwire.  It was a great victory.

Later the Russians would retreat from the fortress to better ground.  Newspapers in the west would call it, the attack of the dead men.

 

“That’s insane that happened.”  Said Parker Frisby. Alexis Harper also said, “That’s Really cool and really historical.”

 

See you next week for another fun fact.

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Fun Facts With Matthew: The Attack of the Dead Men