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European Researcher. Series A – международный научный журнал по социальным наукам

E-ISSN 2224-0136

Периодичность – 1 раз в 6 месяцев.
Издается с 2010 года.


07.00.00 Historical sciences and archaeology

07.00.00 Исторические науки и археология



UDC 93/94


«Dead Men Attack» (Osovets, 1915): Archive Sources Approach


1 Alexander А. Cherkasov

2 Alexander А. Ryabtsev

3 Vyacheslav I. Menjkovsky


1 Sochi State University, Russia

Sovetskaya street 26a, Sochi city, Krasnodar Krai, 354000

Dr. (History), Professor


2 Sochi State University, Russia

Sovetskaya street 26a, Sochi city, Krasnodar Krai, 354000

PhD (economic), Assistant Professor

3 Belarusian State University, Belarus

4, Nezavisimosti Ave., 220030, Minsk

Dr. (History), Professor



   Abstract. The article, basing on archive materials, attempts to examine one of the chapters of World War I history, namely, so-called “dead men attack” during Osovets Tower (westward of Bialystok, within the territory of modern Poland) defense by Russian troops in 1915, reconstructs the battle, specifies attack, rather counterattack conditions, introduces new archive sources for scientific use.

   Keywords: «Dead men attack»; chemical weapons; gases; World War I; 24 July/6 August; 1915; the 226th Infantry Regiment Zemlyansky; Russian Imperial Army.


   Introduction. History of World War I contains many blank pages. «Dead men attack» is the unprecedented attack of military men from the 13th company of the 226th Infantry Regiment Zemlyansky during Osovets Tower defense. This theme is poorly developed in domestic and post-Soviet historiography, there are just some eyewitnesses' recollections and publications in newspapers. Symbiosis of these sources formed the face of the battlefield and penetrated into many history scientific web-sites, Wikipedia and journals.

   Materials and Methods. The major source for this article is the 226th Infantry Regiment Zemlyansky unit diary, which is kept in Russian State Military Archive (Moscow, Russia). Source information, concerning these events, was collected on open source resources, namely on science websites, Wikipedia and journal publications. Methods. The article uses historical-situational method, which supposes historic facts study in the context of examined epoch in the aggregate with adjacent events and facts.

   Discussion. It has already been mentioned that the theme of «dead men attack» is widely represented in Internet, including Wikipedia and in periodicals [1]. Osovets Tower received unofficial name of “Brest” Tower of the World War I. Despite the fact, that researchers in the preceding period managed to reconstruct many characteristics of the attack, the overall picture demands adjustment...

   In conclusion it should be noted that today it’s quite difficult to reconstruct the battle without German archive documents – war diaries. These documents would allow to determine German troops losses and German view on the events. But we think that using the archive sources we have managed to retrieve the names of Russian Army commanders and with the help of their evidence present the battle details. Battle detalization allowed us to consider “dead man attack” to be a successful counterattack of the Russian troops.



   1. Shaparenko, Valeriay V. (2012) Is Russian Idea Possible in Russia? Bylye Gody 23 (1), pp. 71-76;



УДК 93/94


«Атака мертвецов» (Осовец, 1915 г.):

взгляд через призму архивных источников


1 Александр Арвелодович Черкасов

2 Александр Александрович Рябцев

3 Вячеслав Иванович Меньковский


1 Сочинский государственный университет, Россия

354000, Краснодарский край, г. Сочи, ул. Советская, 26 а

Доктор исторических наук, профессор


2 Сочинский государственный университет, Россия

354000, Краснодарский край, г. Сочи, ул. Советская, 26 а

Кандидат экономических наук, доцент

3 Белорусский государственный университет, Белоруссия

220030, Минск, пр.Независимости 4

Доктор исторических наук, профессор



   Аннотация. В статье на основе архивного материала сделана попытка рассмотреть одну из страниц истории Первой мировой войны, а именно, так называемую «атаку мертвецов» в период обороны русскими войсками крепости Осовец (Западнее г. Белостока, на территории современной Польши) в 1915 г. Восстановлена картина боя, уточнены обстоятельства атаки, а точнее контратаки. Введены в научный оборот новые архивные источники.

   Ключевые слова: «Атака мертвецов»; химическое оружие; газы; Первая мировая война; 24 июля/6 августа 1915 г.; 226-й Землянский пехотный полк; Русская императорская армия. 

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