June Offensive

The June Offensive in 1917 was a desperate final effort to win the war for Russia. The Offensive ordered by Kerensky. It was ill-timed as after the February Revolution there were calls for peace, especially within army who were exhausted from the war effort. A lack of discipline in the army which was fuelled by the Petrograd Soviet and Bolshevik agitators, created a defeatist attitude.

Kerensky hoped a Russian victory would gain popular favour and restore the soldiers’ morale. There was initial Russian success which was caused by bombardment. The Austrians were incapable of resisting and the broad gap in the enemy lines allowed the Russians to advance without encountering any resistance. However, the German forces which fought against the Russians caused heavy casualties against the Russians. As Russian losses mounted, demoralization of infantry soon began to tell. By July 16 the Russian advance had collapsed altogether. The Provisional Government was weakened by failure, and the possibility of a Bolshevik takeover became more real. The Russian generals could not order soldiers as they became increasingly unpredictable. The soldiers began to avoid higher authority. The failure of the June Offensive helped start July Days.